You know how it is when you are at work and someone brings up a controversial topic...

...all the opinions come out to play. Well, this particular subject isn't earth-shattering by any means, BUT it definitely will bring out arguments on both sides. This all came up this afternoon here at our studios in Mandan on a cloudy, rain-splashed Friday. As I looked out Scott McGowan's office window, we started talking about golf, and the PGA Championship that is underway in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Yesterday Tiger Woods was irked at a cameraman for getting too close to him out on the course, we both said to one another how crazy it is for professional golfers to be so close to the fans, literally just a few feet away at times. I remarked that I would be afraid of hitting someone with one of my many errant shots, and SO this shifted into a question that defines moral boundaries with the golfer him or herself.

BOUNDARIES being the keyword here

This question pertains to everyone playing on a private or public golf course. If you hit a golf ball out of bounds, onto someone's house alongside the course, are YOU responsible for damages if you break a window? I say without hesitation, absolutely. I'm the one that hit the ball, not anybody else. Many people argue that if you live near or even ON the golf course, the owner understands what could happen. There are some places that will have signs up along the course telling you that it is your obligation to take care of any damages at all that your lousy shot may cause. I've seen this happen once, and the situation got pretty ugly for a couple of minutes. When you are witness to this, there is nothing you can do except hope that the golfer does what is right.

So what do the laws say?

I was super curious about this, and I found no laws exist about golfers being legally responsible. The general rule of thumb is that homeowners would have insurance built in to protect that kind of thing. HOWEVER, you are responsible if such a shot travels outside the course perimeters, and damages a car or a business. The bottom line is this if you are a terrible golfer and fear you may cause mass destruction or bodily harm to someone, just play the video game!



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