It was slower than usual on the course yesterday, and we were fighting daylight. The foursome in front of us were taking their sweet time: hacking, reloading and hacking again. We spent a lot of time waiting, but patiently played along.
The ninth hole is a dog leg right after about a 270 yard straight fairway. I consider it a good shot for me if I can roll it up to the turn. The foursome in front of us were on about their fourth or fifth shot when they finally made the turn and started heading for the green. After waiting a good 10-15 minutes for them to get out of range, I finally teed up my ball. I was aiming at the center of the fairway, which was clear, and hit the ball. I pushed it to the right, straight towards one of the foursome's cart, which had stopped unexpectedly. However, they were so far beyond my normal range I didn't even occur to me that I might hit them. I lost the ball in flight and was just picking up my tee when I heard a distant "Owwww, you hit me!" I thought, what the F......??
I Immediately apologized profusely, not knowing what else to do. She was at least 280 yards away, and we were all in disbelief that the ball carried that far.
The lady was not happy, and I don't blame her. I've been hit by balls before, and it's not pleasant, but it's one of the hazards of the sport.
They drove off and left for the clubhouse, and we finished the hole. Of course, she was waiting for me at the turn. She steps in front of us and says "Who hit that Ball!". I told her that I did, apologized again, and tried to explain that it was an errant shot that surprised me as much as it did her. She was not satisfied with any amount of remorse on my part, and wanted to let me know how she felt in no uncertain terms.
I stood there as she vented her spleen, lifted up her shirt to show us the impact zone (slight redness), and tried to be as sympathetic and polite as I could. There came a point though when enough was enough. I politely excused myself and headed to the tenth tee as her verbal onslaught faded into the distance.
I wasn't as though we had been hitting up on them either. We were polite and patient the whole time, even as this lady kept hitting her shots in the pond, out of bounds and off to the side of the tee on the previous hole.
Nevertheless, she just couldn't accept that accidents happen occasionally. I didn't even bring up the fact that she cost me another 20-30 yards on that drive she stopped, but then I'm forgiving by nature. I managed to par the hole anyway.