Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Golf Balls Gone Astray

It happens to the best of us... you step up to the tee expecting to crush the ball straight down the center of the fairway, but somewhere between adjusting your grip to the moment of contact, something wasn't right.  There's nothing you can do as you watch your ball take flight and start to veer off course, "Oh Sh!t, it's heading towards that house!". 

Fortunately for me, the worst miss-hit I've had bounced off the roof of a house and didn't cause any damage, but some golfers aren't that lucky.  So, whose to blame for those unfortunate miss-hits that end up breaking windows and causing damage to nearby homes?  In most cases, if you ask the golfer, he will say it's to homeowners responsibility and should have homeowners insurance for this type of thing.  In other cases, if you ask the homeowner, he will say the golfer is definitely responsible.  Or maybe the golf course should be partially responsible for developing a residential area so close to the fairway.

There are hundreds of these cases every year.  One gentleman who lives on a par 4 dogleg left in Southern California tells us "my house is hit about 4 times a day and that number doubles on Saturdays and Sundays.  We always park our car in the garage, and rarely let our children play in the backyard because of the danger from golf balls".    Fortunately for him, the city picks up the tab for any damaged property caused by golf balls, but there must be some type of permanent solution to this problem, one that would also allow him to use his backyard.  After looking into potential solutions, implementing a 120-foot high net designed to catch the hacked drives seemed to be the most effective option.  Unfortunately, at a cost of $225,000 it seems an unlikely proposition.

Well, until someone is able to solve this age old problem, here's hoping all your drives are long and on the fairways...