Golf Ball Damage Liability in Canberra?

ArandaBill 24 May 2012 30

Who is liable for damage by errant golf balls to property adjacent golf courses – the golfer, the course owners or the adjacent residents?

Is there any Australian case law or experience? Who is liable if a person on an adjacent property, or roadway, is injured by a golf ball hit from the course?

Does the frequency of damage caused by errant golf balls make and difference (as suggested in UK case law).

How do golf clubs around the ACT respond to their neighbours?


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30 Responses to Golf Ball Damage Liability in Canberra?
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Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 8:27 am 30 May 12
poetix poetix 3:09 pm 25 May 12

djk said :

poetix said :

He writes English in the way David Gower used to hit a cover drive.

Infrequently??

Beautifully.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/apr/01/cricket.features

shirty_bear shirty_bear 2:49 pm 25 May 12

dtc said :

HenryBG said :

You were mad buying a house adjacent to a golf course.

I presume that applies to people who live next to a road when a car crashes through their front wall?

Yeah, good call … I always buy the golf balls with steering wheels on them too.

dtc dtc 2:36 pm 25 May 12

HenryBG said :

You were mad buying a house adjacent to a golf course.

I presume that applies to people who live next to a road when a car crashes through their front wall?

HenryBG HenryBG 1:58 pm 25 May 12

Mysteryman said :

fnaah said :

Why does anyone necessarily have to be “liable”?

If you buy a house next to a nature reserve, you might see a few more snakes. If you walk under a coconut tree, you might get hit on the head. You walk next to a golf course, you can probably expect a few stray balls over the fence. You buy a house with golf course frontage, you can expect a much more intimate relationship with your local glazier.

The course may have a responsibility to at least go to an effort to stop the majority of balls going out of bounds, but there is no way they can be expected to be responsible to stop every single one. Similarly, a golfer can’t be held responsible for the odd stray shot. Sometimes, shit just happens.

You’re joking, surely. Someone is “liable” because their actions resulted in the damage of someone else’s property.

Only if it was foreseeable. I would expect the golf course indemnifies its members

poetix said :

Also, the injunction against cricket wan’t upheld, although some damages were paid.

That’s reassuring. Except for the bit about damages. The court should have ordered the whingers move out and go back to wherever they came from.

You were mad buying a house adjacent to a golf course. Having bought it, you could take steps to protect it. I’m sure the Golf Course will be happy to assume some responsibility, too, if you give them an itemised list of damage with dates so they can understand the scale of the problem.

I lived in a townhouse adjacent to a golf course for while right on one of the holes – I think I found the odd golf ball around the place every now and then, but never found any damage, so I suspect either you are exaggerating, or somebody has it in for you.
(I did have to rush out there with buckets of water one night after the local ferals doused the green in petrol and set it alight. Yes, it was in Kambah. No, I didn’t stay there long.)

djk djk 1:48 pm 25 May 12

poetix said :

He writes English in the way David Gower used to hit a cover drive.

Infrequently??

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 1:17 pm 25 May 12

poetix said :

He writes English in the way David Gower used to hit a cover drive.

I doff my hat to you madam.

Mysteryman Mysteryman 1:00 pm 25 May 12

fnaah said :

Why does anyone necessarily have to be “liable”?

If you buy a house next to a nature reserve, you might see a few more snakes. If you walk under a coconut tree, you might get hit on the head. You walk next to a golf course, you can probably expect a few stray balls over the fence. You buy a house with golf course frontage, you can expect a much more intimate relationship with your local glazier.

The course may have a responsibility to at least go to an effort to stop the majority of balls going out of bounds, but there is no way they can be expected to be responsible to stop every single one. Similarly, a golfer can’t be held responsible for the odd stray shot. Sometimes, shit just happens.

You’re joking, surely. Someone is “liable” because their actions resulted in the damage of someone else’s property.

DrKoresh DrKoresh 12:31 pm 25 May 12

All this victim blaming, it’s disgraceful and so stupid, I mean it works both ways too. Did the original golf course owner not realise they was building in/near a residential area and that they may be liable for damage caused by the odd errant golf ball?

I certainly think it’s worth going down to the club to see if they’re willing to help pay for the repairs. You’re probably not the first to have this happen to them, do you have any neighbours you can query on the matter?

shirty_bear shirty_bear 11:56 am 25 May 12

ArandaBill said :

Is hitting a golf ball out of a course any different to throwing stones, firing a rifle or launching any other missile at someones home?

Vastly different. So different that I’m troubled the question would be conceived, let alone asked out loud.

Did you not see the golf course there when you moved in?

dtc dtc 11:27 am 25 May 12

saraj said :

Growling Ferret said :

Why whinge on the Riot Act when you can walk to the Pro Shop or Golf Club to discuss wtih someone who will know the facts and details?

+1

probably because its human nature to bitch about our problems than be proactive and find a solution.

Or perhaps its human nature to study up on your rights and potential arguments before heading blind into an important meeting?

Who would have thought someone on RA would have been criticised for taking the time and effort to think about things before plunging into action.

saraj saraj 11:07 am 25 May 12

Growling Ferret said :

Why whinge on the Riot Act when you can walk to the Pro Shop or Golf Club to discuss wtih someone who will know the facts and details?

+1

probably because its human nature to bitch about our problems than be proactive and find a solution.

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 9:46 am 25 May 12

Bill

I doubt aims to hit the ball out of bounds. It is definately different to throwing stones, firing a rifle etc – they both show intent. Striking a golf ball at a target and misdirecting the shot is completely different.

By your description, you are talking about the 5th hole at Capital GC. If so, Pete has taken over the lease on the course so its best you speak to someone in the pro shop for advice.

Why whinge on the Riot Act when you can walk to the Pro Shop or Golf Club to discuss wtih someone who will know the facts and details?

ArandaBill ArandaBill 9:35 am 25 May 12

Interesting responses, many thanks. The damage is frequent, broken windows, cracked rooftiles, holes in walls, all expensive to fix, and insurance covers only part of the cost. The course is partly fenced but balls are still hit over the 6 metre high fence, and even over the three story building into the courtyard and carpark beyond. Residents can get quite a shock when they suddenly have a golf ball dancing around their living room. Some golf course managers are sympathetic and automatically pay for damages, others do not. Is hitting a golf ball out of a course any different to throwing stones, firing a rifle or launching any other missile at someones home?

lobster lobster 8:10 pm 24 May 12

screaming banshee said :

Human error = nature….to err and all that

Just like when someone crashes their car into the back of your car and you just go “Oh nature you little devil you!”

poetix poetix 7:26 pm 24 May 12

Blen_Carmichael said :

Slightly off-topic, but who could forget Lord Denning’s classic judgment from the so-called cricket case (Miller v Jackson):

“In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. It has a good club house for the players and seats for the onlookers. The village team play there on Saturdays and Sundays. They belong to a league, competing with the neighbouring villages. On other evenings after work they practise while the light lasts. Yet now after these 70 years a judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there any more. He has issued an injunction to stop them. He has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket. This newcomer has built, or has had built for him, a house on the edge of the cricket ground which four years ago was a field where cattle grazed. The animals did not mind the cricket. But now this adjoining field has been turned into a housing estate. The newcomer bought one of the houses on the edge of the cricket ground. No doubt the open space was a selling point. Now he complains that when a batsman hits a six the ball has been known to land in his garden or on or near his house. His wife has got so upset about it that they always go out at week-ends. They do not go into the garden when cricket is being played. They say that this is intolerable. So they asked the judge to stop the cricket being played. And the judge, much against his will, has felt that he must order the cricket to be stopped: with the consequence, I suppose, that the Lintz Cricket Club will disappear. The cricket ground will be turned to some other use. I expect for more houses or a factory. The young men will turn to other things instead of cricket. The whole village will be much the poorer. And all this because of a newcomer who has just bought a house there next to the cricket ground.”

He writes English in the way David Gower used to hit a cover drive.

Also, the injunction against cricket wan’t upheld, although some damages were paid.

Blen_Carmichael Blen_Carmichael 6:59 pm 24 May 12

Slightly off-topic, but who could forget Lord Denning’s classic judgment from the so-called cricket case (Miller v Jackson):

“In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. It has a good club house for the players and seats for the onlookers. The village team play there on Saturdays and Sundays. They belong to a league, competing with the neighbouring villages. On other evenings after work they practise while the light lasts. Yet now after these 70 years a judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there any more. He has issued an injunction to stop them. He has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket. This newcomer has built, or has had built for him, a house on the edge of the cricket ground which four years ago was a field where cattle grazed. The animals did not mind the cricket. But now this adjoining field has been turned into a housing estate. The newcomer bought one of the houses on the edge of the cricket ground. No doubt the open space was a selling point. Now he complains that when a batsman hits a six the ball has been known to land in his garden or on or near his house. His wife has got so upset about it that they always go out at week-ends. They do not go into the garden when cricket is being played. They say that this is intolerable. So they asked the judge to stop the cricket being played. And the judge, much against his will, has felt that he must order the cricket to be stopped: with the consequence, I suppose, that the Lintz Cricket Club will disappear. The cricket ground will be turned to some other use. I expect for more houses or a factory. The young men will turn to other things instead of cricket. The whole village will be much the poorer. And all this because of a newcomer who has just bought a house there next to the cricket ground.”

dvaey dvaey 6:14 pm 24 May 12

A friend owned a property that fronted onto Murrumbidgee when it was built. They were offered free membership as ‘compensation’ for living next to the course and the occasional stray balls. Maybe they figure members cant sue?

carnardly carnardly 5:23 pm 24 May 12

legal_chick86 said :

I live next to the golf course in a rental – i sure as hell do not want to pay for smashed windows etc for some pricks who cant play golf for s***…

you didn’t think of that risk before you signed the lease? sorry mr property manager – i was not stupid and behaving like a nong, it was a golf ball… I promise…

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 5:19 pm 24 May 12

If you live on a course, you have a great view but have to expect the occasional stray ball in your backyard or bouncing off your roof.

I wouldn’t let my kids play in a backyard adjoining a course.

When the 15 year olds are belting out 250m drives, it doesn’t take much of an error to miss by 25 metres over that sort of distance….

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