It’s funny how current or recent events can influence your reaction to events that would not normally bother you.
I have to say that I don’t have any time for golf, as it really does merit the description of a ‘good walk wasted’. I became even less enamored of it when I became something of an outcast in business, as my fellow directors looked down on me as I did not make any effort to join them at ‘the club’.
However, this tale relates to a moment of alarm I experienced when enjoying a Sunday morning walk over Christmas.
The recent event I referred to was the settlement of an award of damages of £397,000 to a golfer who lost an eye on the golf course, when his eyeball exploded as another player’s ball hit him. Both the player who struck the ball, and the club where the event took place were held liable.
The case and the payment had stuck in mind, as both parties had been found liable, so I thought it was one worth remembering.
One of my regular routes takes me along the road which bounds two sides of the golf course I happen to live nearby, and across the road are rows of two-storey 1930′s semi-detached houses. I usually walk along the fence that borders the course, but for a change, decided to walk along the other side, and have a look at the Christmas decorations on the houses.
Bad idea – as I walked along, I heard the sound that only a fast golf ball makes when it hits tarmac (it’s much the same as a driver makes when hitting the ball) and saw the ball flash from the ground in front of my foot, to disappear into the sky.
On a personal note – that’s just too close. Normally, I would not have given this a moment’s further thought, but the mental picture of someone who had just had an eyball explode after being hit by a wayward golf ball was just too fresh in my mind.
A minute later, a face and cheery wave appeared through the trees behind the fence.
They disappeared fairly quickly when all they got was a scowl in return.
I’ve never seen a loose ball here before, and that one was so close I have no desire to see another one – but now I wonder what it would be worth, if I did get whacked by one that came out of the sky without warning.
Now I have to keep on deciding if I should walk along the fence side of the road, where the trees might prevent balls reaching the pavement, or walk on the built-up side, where I might get whacked on the head one day, and be able to sue.