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Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?
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TOPIC: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?

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JohnnyGK
Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?

JohnnyGK

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Sunday October 7, 2018 9:48 AM
Don't get me wrong, I like the way it is right now. Spectators assume the risks when attending a golf tournament.

But...


If someone hits a golf ball on a golf course, no matter the circumstance, if it strikes another person, the person that hit the golf ball is held responsible.

Why then are Tour Pros not?

Should they be?
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 Message #89529
caligolfer1031
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?
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Sunday October 7, 2018 11:06 AM
No, as a spectator we resume responsibility. Are you going to hold MLB players responsible for foul balls or NHL players responsible for hitting a puck over the glass? I have been hit with a puck and never thought once about blaming the player.
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 Message #89530 - This was a reply to message #89529
24hourgolf
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?
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Sunday October 7, 2018 12:43 PM
Spectators assume responsibility. Always. Would you park your car next to the driving range? Of course not.
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Nickesquire
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?
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Sunday October 7, 2018 1:16 PM
QUOTED  assume the risk


Says it all.



Always cracks me up when I see golf courses post signs that mislead golfers that any damage caused by an errant shot is the golfers responsibility. Actually not, generally only held responsible if intentional or clearly negligent. Especially not true if it is merely a poor shot that hits a house right beside the golf course where the owner purchased the house knowing that golf balls would frequently be in close proximity.

Agree with Greg's analogy.

Side observation: How many times do you see a spectator hit on TV where they are not even looking in the direction of the golfers? Frequently when I see a spectator get hit, they are often socializing with other patrons and not paying attention to the golf. If you are within range of their shots, it is plain foolish to not even be looking.
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The goal is long and straight! But on the many times I cannot seem to hit them straight, I at least want to hit them long!
 Message #89535 - This was a reply to message #89529
Mrkich
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?
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Sunday October 7, 2018 5:52 PM
Generally no but there are shots in pga events where the play is to hit it into or off of grandstands (18 at Torrey comes to mind). In sh-t s where a player deliberately uses grandstand or a crowd to stop a ball then absolutely just as I am responsible if I intentionally hit a ball at a house.
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CPennbo
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?

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Sunday October 7, 2018 6:36 PM
Huh. So if I hit someone with my car but they are in the street then I shouldn't have to take responsibility because after all you assume that risk when you cross the street. :-)

What about during events where spectators aren't protected while watching a different hole? Are there signs that say "Hey, there'll be groups playing your way all day and you are in the landing zone area. Watch your heads!"? Only the organizers truly know direction of play and total layout of the course. So maybe its not the player who should be held responsible but the organizer?
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New Year's Resolution- HAVE MORE FUN, DO MORE, SEE MORE, LAUGH MORE!
 Message #89540 - This was a reply to message #89538
1PLUS1
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?

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Sunday October 7, 2018 7:36 PM
This topic was obviously raised in response to the Koepka incident that took place at this year's Ryder Cup. A terrible result, no doubt, but at what point does the responsibility shift from event organizer to patron? Negligence on the part of the player is one thing...not paying attention or being aware of your surroundings is another. Koepka can't be held responsible any more than Aaron Judge deemed at fault for striking a fan with a foul ball or Alexander Ovechkin blamed for hitting a spectator with a wayward slap shot.


I'm not going to get into the legalese regarding that point, but the nature of golf and the venue wherein it's conducted simply doesn't allow for any type of artificial protection for the fans. While most seem to assume these touring pros are not going to hit the ball astray...foolishly, I might add...I'm often astonished at how little clearance the crowds afford them when they're faced with playing a shot out of the rough through narrow openings often framed by trees.


All it would take is a carom shot off a tree trunk or limb and you could conceivably have the same result that occurred in France. And who would the blame be focused on at that point? The spectator for putting him/herself in harm's way or the organizer/marshal/player for failing to clear an adequate buffer zone?


Yes, there are disclaimers printed on the admission tickets that state the attendee assumes all risks of injury, etc. once they enter the grounds but I'm sure this case will be closely watched over the next few months. Whether or not it sets a precedent at some point down the line remains to be seen. The woman who was struck by Koepka's tee shot may only be interested in recouping any and all medical expenses related to her injury but the psychological damage could have a long-lasting, as well as costly, effect.


If so, this may be treated strictly as a singular incident with no changes forthcoming in the grand scheme of things. I noticed the victim stated that she felt the marshal(s) didn't provide adequate warning that Koepka's shot was headed into the crowd while other 'witnesses' dispute her statement . Let's keep this in mind: the majority of these on-course 'employees' are volunteers. Short of having them sign a legally-binding declaration that they pledge to follow each and every shot with radar-like precision once the ball is struck, it will be difficult to use them as a link in order to hold the event organizer completely responsible for what happened.

QUOTED  [Posted By caligolfer1031 on 10.07.2018 11:06 AM]

No, as a spectator we resume responsibility. Are you going to hold MLB players responsible for foul balls or NHL players responsible for hitting a puck over the glass? I have been hit with a puck and never thought once about blaming the player.


Not necessarily true. Recent incidents involving fans struck by baseballs, bats, and pucks...some which resulted in legal action...led to the installation/extension of protective netting alongside the foul lines and behind the goalie nets. Even though the fan 'assumed' the risk, MLB and the NHL mandated these changes to protect the league as well as the fan.

QUOTED  [Posted By Nickesquire on 10.07.2018 1:16 PM]

Side observation: How many times do you see a spectator hit on TV where they are not even looking in the direction of the golfers? Frequently when I see a spectator get hit, they are often socializing with other patrons and not paying attention to the golf. If you are within range of their shots, it is plain foolish to not even be looking.


Probably prevented from doing so due to their short attention spans and the ease at which they are distracted. Want proof? Just watch any major league sporting event; more people seem to be immersed in their cell phones or idle conversation rather than focusing on the action taking place in front of them. That might be relatively safe at a basketball game, for example, but when projectiles are in play, you'd best be on your toes.

[[Edited by 1PLUS1 on Sunday October 7, 2018 9:36 PM]]
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JohnnyGK
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?

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Sunday October 7, 2018 8:28 PM
QUOTED  I like the way it is right now. Spectators assume the risks when attending a golf tournament.

To clarify, I believe this only if spectators are informed in advance by the organizer of the risks and agree to them in order to attend. But my guess is organizers take all those precautions unless I am wrong? If I go to buy a ticket for an golf event I expect to be warned of the dangers at purchase and certainty before I enter the event location.

QUOTED  In shots where a player deliberately uses grandstand or a crowd to stop a ball then absolutely just as I am responsible if I intentionally hit a ball at a house.

Totally agree.
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 Message #89542 - This was a reply to message #89529
1PLUS1
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?

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Sunday October 7, 2018 10:06 PM
QUOTED  [Posted By JohnnyGK on 10.07.2018 8:28 PM]

QUOTED  I like the way it is right now. Spectators assume the risks when attending a golf tournament.

To clarify, I believe this only if spectators are informed in advance by the organizer of the risks and agree to them in order to attend. But my guess is organizers take all those precautions unless I am wrong? If I go to buy a ticket for an golf event I expect to be warned of the dangers at purchase and certainty before I enter the event location.



Anyone who has played golf should be well aware of the inherent dangers when it comes to viewing an event as a spectator, let alone as a participant. Honestly, do you need to be reminded of that fact by the organizers? I think the bigger issue here might be the casual fan...and I have no idea whether the woman who was hit fits that description...who is unfamiliar with the game and the possibility of injury if they don't have their antenna up at all times. True, there are instances where parallel fairways may make it nearly impossible to simultaneously monitor ball flights from different directions, but the uninformed could pay a hefty price.

Regardless of any disclaimer listed on the back of the admission ticket, the bigger question going forward is just how much of a warning are/will the event organizers be required to post? Signs at the entrance to the golf course? Signs on every tee box? Public service announcements every 15 minutes? A pamphlet issued with each ticket explaining the risks involved with attending the event? Like I said in my earlier post, this incident will bear watching for further developments.
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Alex326
RE: Should Tour Pros Be Held Responsible?
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Sunday October 7, 2018 11:44 PM
First we'll address the common golfer (AKA: Us folks here at GK). Are we responsible for errant shots? It depends. Mainly on the state. There are two rules commonly applied in courts: Negligence Standard and Recklessness Standard.

Under Negligence Standard yes you are liable for not controlling your golf ball. You are to know your game and play within your own limits. Hitting a slice off of your driver and hitting a window of a nearby house is considered negligence (practice more, use a different club that you can control better etc).

Recklessness Standard is what most courts are going to now days. In recklessness standard a golfer is NOT responsible for injuries or damaged caused by ordinary play including bad shots (aka: that ugly duck hook). However, add in a few drinks prior to that shot and it's a different story.
Think that "Happy Gilmore" shot is Fun?? Not so fast. That's considered Recklessness and you are now liable for that 5 car pile up you just caused by hitting it onto the roadway!

Generally, recklessness—unlike negligence—requires a conscious choice of a course of action, with knowledge or reason to know that it will create serious dangers to others.


But the original question was should PRO's be held liable? The answer is No. The same rule that applies to us, applies to them. There is one thing I forgot to mention and that's a verbal and immediate warning ("Fore") must be given. This applies to pro's and regular golfers alike.
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