Are You Responsible For Damages Your Golf Ball Caused?

Ask just about any golfer, and chances are they’ll know somebody who’s hit something or somebody with a golf ball. Heck, at least one member of the Caveman Crew has had to replace a window after a worse-than-usual wobbler from the rough went wrong. But before you take to the tees in 2010, you might want to look through at the laws in your area because liability and legal responsibilities vary greatly from place to place.

Just ask Raymond Kinney. His tee shot on a West Chicago golf course back in 2005 must have had a heckuva hook to it, because he ended up hitting Lillian Demo in the head while she tended to her course-adjacent back yard. Long story short, lawsuits are still being decided almost 5 years later, and a new ruling last week says Kinney may be in the deep stuff, so to speak.

According to the judge, while “New York and California have laws that adopt the view that people who purchase homes next to a golf course assume the risk of being hit by an errant golf ball,” no such law exists in Illinois. That means even though Kinney’s group yelled “Fore!” the fact that the golfer was “negligent by failing to aim properly and failing to properly execute the swing of his golf club” means the woman can seek damages from both the individual who struck the ball and the owners of the golf course. She wants $50,000 and says she suffers from migraines since she was hit. Read the full story at

Keep that in mind next time you play a course lined with condos!


PS: So what’s the worst you’ve seen? Share your story in a comment below – if your lawyer will let you!


One thought on “Are You Responsible For Damages Your Golf Ball Caused?

  • February 17, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I believe the golfer should be held responsible but only to a certain extent. Home owners on golf courses should know the risk of bodily harm and property damage.


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