The Ryder Cup 2018 was a spectacular tournament which for the European team ended in celebration. Unfortunately, not everyone was celebrating at the end of the tournament, and I don’t mean the USA team.
On 29th September 2018, Corine Remande had attended the first day of the Tournament and was stood on hole 6 of the Le Golf National course in Paris when a golf ball struck her in her right eye causing a fractured eye socket. Ms Remande was immediately taken to hospital for treatment however Doctors later confirmed that she would lose sight in her right eye as a result of the mis-hit tee shot.
Ms Ramande alleges that the Course Officials failed to shout ‘fore’ closer to her, thereby not giving her reasonable warning as to the hazard.
Unfortunately this was not the only incident which happened on a golf course recently. Another spectator was injured after being hit by a wayward shot on day one of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The injured party was pictured bleeding from a head wound after the incident which occurred on the 15th hole at Kingsbarns. She was treated by medical staff on site.
It is widely acknowledged that stray balls can make contact with spectators who are near the course however does this mean that the golfer or course organisers are negligent as a result? Can it also be argued that there is some acceptance of risk of injury by attending such an event?
It is fair to say that the ball landed just inside the spectator area, and was not significantly off the course. TV also showed footage that a call of ‘fore’ came from the tee. However, at a distance of 300 yards in a noisy crowd, it is unlikely Ms Remande heard the shout or was aware of the direction of the ball. It is difficult to see what else the golfer could do, other than feel incredibly apologetic for the injury caused.
A question could be raised however against those managing the event including Course organisers and management of marshals or ‘ball spotters’.
Course Organisers control the spectator areas, and have ball spotters at key areas on the course, monitoring the signs from the tee boxes as to the approaching direction of the ball. It is currently unknown whether a warning was given near to either spectator.
It is clear that a balance needs to be struck between providing an experience for spectators, and managing risk. Fortunately for spectators, injures are not all that common on courses, especially to the extent received by Ms Ramande.
These incidents will have potential repercussions on golfers, golf clubs and visitors to golf clubs. Event organisers will now be looking closely at their risk assessments, spectator management plans and the instructions and training provided to their stewards to prevent future incidents such as these from occurring again.
Should you have received an injury on a golf course or similar sporting event and believe this could have been prevented, you may have a case for compensation. To speak with a personal injury specialist about your case, call 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry via our online form.