If a golf course injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Golf Course Accident Injuries typically occur from struck-by-ball incidents, golf buggy accidents, or slip and falls on the course terrain.

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.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Golfing injuries are more common than you think, you are not alone

Most professional golfers will sustain an injury at some point during their career. Although amateur golfer injuries are less common, 57% of golfers report injuries with wrist, back, elbow and knee problems being the most common (bjsm.bmj.com).

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.

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.

If you decide to make a golf course accident claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

Do I have a golf course accident claim?

As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if you were injured:

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

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

What if I was partly to blame?

Liability for an accident often involves fault on both sides.

In our recent 2024 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents thought they could be partially to blame for their accident.

You can often still claim compensation even if you were partly to blame, as cases with shared fault usually settle with a split-liability agreement.

Read more:

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

How long do I have to make a golf course accident claim?

In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.

If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.

How much compensation can I claim for a golf course 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.

Golf course accident injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated July 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

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

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

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.

These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your golf course injury such as pain medication, physical therapy and psychological support.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Claiming compensation for psychological injuries

Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.

Our 2024 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey highlights that 29.03% of claimants reported they had suffered a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.

Accidents on golf courses can cause anxiety in open spaces (agoraphobia), seriously limiting future participation in the sport.

Your solicitor will help ensure that any psychological harm you have suffered as the result of another party's negligence is recognised and included in the calculation of your compensation award or settlement. In addition, you can also claim for mental health treatment costs that may not be readily available on the NHS.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

Serious injuries on the golf course

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.

See also:

Concussion injury claims

Brain injury claims

Blindness injury claims

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.

See also:

Sports injury claims

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.

What happened?

Golf course accident claims are usually referred to as public place, or occupiers' liability, claims. Click on the icons below to learn more:

No win, no fee golf course accident injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim golf course accident injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Citations

Source: (reviewed: 10/12/2023)

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor