Golf Course Accident Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a golf course accident, we can help.

Whether your injuries were caused by a slip, trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.

Owners or occupiers of business premises should have insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.

We can help you make an injury claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article


Statistics show that annually around 12,000 golfers require hospital treatment after being injured on a golf course in the UK. In one year alone more than 3,500 head injuries were reported.

Even the most competent golfers can play an errant shot - a spectator and two marshals at the Open championship were struck in the face, and a spectator was hit in the head by a golf ball at the Scottish Open the following year.

Golfers swinging a golf club when playing a ball may also accidentally hit another player - in the face or body - causing injuries.

Whether compensation can be successfully claimed for injuries sustained on a golf course is likely to be very dependent on the circumstances of the accident.

Golf swing

Do I have an injury claim?

You should be able to make an injury claim if you sustained an injury:

  • within the last 3 years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if the other party denies liability?

If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your golf course accident. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?

If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

How much can I claim?

How long does a golf course injury claim take?

How long it can take to secure compensation for a golf course accident can vary considerably.

For example, a simple uncontested occupiers liability claim might be concluded in a matter of weeks. If the negligent party denies liability, a claim can take considerably longer. On average an occupiers liability claim takes 6 to 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Serious injury

Depending on where the blow lands, golf balls travelling at high speed have caused serious injury to players, spectators and members of the public outside the course or range.

Being struck on the back or side of the head may cause concussion or brain injury, including cerebral haemorrhage.

Being hit in the face may break bones or lead to teeth damage, or lead to the partial loss of sight if there is a blow to the eye.

Who is liable for accidents on a golf course or driving range?

In most cases, the golfer who struck the ball is liable for the accident, but only if the golfer's actions are negligent, falling below the expected standard.

Generally a golfer should not play the stroke until he is certain that the area is clear. A cry of "fore" if another player strays across the path of the ball may not be sufficient to allow that person to get out of danger.

Although golf liability insurance is available, it is estimated that only 10% of golfers have cover, so any claims for injury may need to be made against the defendant's household policy. Not all home insurance policies, however, include public liability cover for sports injury and may offer only restricted cover for equipment used for golf.

Visiting players from abroad may not have home insurance, so the potential for compensation against a defendant golfer may be limited.

A solicitor will be able to investigate further and provide clarity on whether an injured claimant has a claim against a golfer responsible for their injury, and whether a payout is likely.

The golf course's liability

Setting out general duties that employers have towards their employees, the Health and Safety at Work Act also requires that people other than those at work are protected from risks to their health and safety. This includes club members, visiting players and spectators.

As part of the golf course's duty of care, fences should be erected to contain areas where a golf ball might be mis-hit and cause injury. Where this is not possible, prominently displayed signs should alert golf course visitors to the risk of injury. The layout of the course should also be designed minimise risk.

Where there is a lack of fencing or signage, or fences or signs are poorly maintained, the golf course may be found liable for any injuries sustained as a consequence.

Following a significant claim against a Scottish golf course - and recognising their duty to protect the public from straying into the path of golf balls - the British and International Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and the Golf Course Managers Association (GCMA) have worked in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive to create a new safety management system.

All golf courses are encouraged to use the new documents for their risk assessments.

Faulty equipment

Many courses hire out golf buggies. These need to be fully maintained to ensure their brakes do not fail, or that they do not roll over. The management of a golf course may be liable for an accident caused by faulty equipment or inadequate signage of uneven ground or dangerous slopes that cause a golf cart to topple and injure the occupants.

Players' and spectators' responsibilities

As well as taking care not to hit another player with a golf ball, players (and spectators) also need to ensure they do not walk into the path of a shot that is being played. Ignoring signs and walking out of the rough or trees into the fairway without due care may mean that any claim for compensation is reduced for contributory negligence.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

No win, no fee - the facts

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

No win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. golf course accident claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor