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Here in Ohio, all of the courses have been signs on holes that are lined with houses that say, "Beware, homes on right/left.  Golfer responsible for damage."  You also see some people who put up netting in the case of a wayward shot.  IMO, you do assume some risk when you buy a home on a golf course but as a golfer, if you do damage to any property you have an obligation to compensate the owner for damages.

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You can think whatever you want about it but you ARE responsible for any damage that an errant shot cause.  If you arent confident that you can make the shot, dont cut the corner.

There is a misconception among golfers that homeowners assume the liability by purchasing a home on a golf course but that simply is not true.  If you cause damage to their property, YOU, as the golfe

The following is interesting from Arizona and Colorado: Arizona Real Estate Law by Christopher A. Combs The following is for informational purposes only and is not intende

Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

Here in Ohio, all of the courses have been signs on holes that are lined with houses that say, "Beware, homes on right/left.  Golfer responsible for damage."  You also see some people who put up netting in the case of a wayward shot.  IMO, you do assume some risk when you buy a home on a golf course but as a golfer, if you do damage to any property you have an obligation to compensate the owner for damages.

I'm of the opinion that those signs are more of an attempt to absolve the course of responsibility than they are to put an actual onus on the golfer.  Any way you shake it, in most cases, if the course was there or was part of the development plan when the home was purchased, then the owner had an implied understanding that he was buying a home in harms way.  He voluntarily takes the risk on himself.

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I tried to say what I think is the case about liability when this thread started about a year ago.  I think fourputt is correct that courses post such signs to try to put the onus on the golfer and not the course.  I own a home on a golf course.  Being a golfer I selected a location such that I have less than a half dozen balls a year in my yards and have never suffered any significant damage.  When I bought the home I had to sign a waiver of liability that basically said I understood that it was possible that damage could occur as a result of errant golf shots and I would not hold the HOA or course responsible. So what does that mean to the golfer and course and HOA and more importantly to me, me?  It doesn't mean I don't have a right to expect the course, golfers and HOA to act responsibly.  It is the same liability the golfer has if he hits another golfer with a golf ball.  If you just hit a bad shot you're in the clear.  But if you behaved negligently (e.g. hit into a group before they were clear, were drinking to excess or using illegal drugs on the course) then you do have some liability.  I did not sign away my rights to expect the course to enforce certain rules on the course or to expect golfers using the course to act in responsible ways.   I don't know how to say this anymore succinctly than to say in all cases we/you are expected to behave responsibly and prudently both on and off the golf course.  When you don't you assume responsibility for the results of your actions.

Now, having iterated my previous posts I am going to again retire from this thread.

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I believe the issue of who's insurance pays for damage is different state by state. In Illinois, it is my understanding that when the home was built relative to when the course opened is the determining factor. (Based on playing a course with homes every Saturday for years and one of my regulars living in the housing complex.) If your house was there before the golf course, then the golfer pays. If the course was there before the house, then the homeowner pays. The course we played had homes in play that were done before the course and homes that were done after. So, it depended on which house you hit. In either case, homeowner's insurance paid. If the golfer did not have his own homeowner's insurance, things could get uglier.

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As I stated when this thread first started, in Virginia you signed a waiver when you bought or built a house on the golf course that held the course and golfers harmless of any  damage done to persons or property unless you could prove it was done intentionally.   Signs warning golfers of potential liability were placed on the course as a courtesy to home owners to make the golfers more aware of the houses and to be encourage them to be cautious.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Signs warning golfers of potential liability were placed on the course as a courtesy to home owners to make the golfers more aware of the houses and to be encourage them to be cautious.

Interesting. And this is about what I assume any sign of that nature is worth. In most cases I'm aware of, you can't actually absolve yourself of liability simply by posting a sign that says, "We are not responsible for X."

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

I'm of the opinion that those signs are more of an attempt to absolve the course of responsibility than they are to put an actual onus on the golfer.  Any way you shake it, in most cases, if the course was there or was part of the development plan when the home was purchased, then the owner had an implied understanding that he was buying a home in harms way.  He voluntarily takes the risk on himself.


Any house that you buy anywhere is potentially in harm's way.  That doesnt absolve you from liability if you cause damage to someone's property.

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Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

Any house that you buy anywhere is potentially in harm's way.  That doesnt absolve you from liability if you cause damage to someone's property.

We are talking specifics, not generalities.

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Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

Any house that you buy anywhere is potentially in harm's way.  That doesnt absolve you from liability if you cause damage to someone's property.

Obviously, questions of legal liability depend strongly on the exact nature of the events and the local laws, but in general....

Like Fourputt said (or at least implied), the potential harm from a golf course is specific and foreseeable. It's well known, and for at least the recent decades has been plainly explained to anyone buying property adjoining a golf course, that even expert golfers are likely to occasionally lose a ball off the course, and that the ball may cause damage. Assuming the golfer is not negligent---that he doesn't play recklessly, attempt a shot clearly beyond his skill, or cause the damage intentionally---you can't simply assign liability to him because he happened to hit the ball that caused the damage. The bozo who built the house in the line of fire has some degree of fault as well, because he knew prior to construction that the land was likely to be struck by errant golf balls.

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Originally Posted by zeg

. The bozo who built the house in the line of fire has some degree of fault as well, because he knew prior to construction that the land was likely to be struck by errant golf balls.

..and I've hit many....

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This is a good summary of case law related to personal injury and property damage.  Local statutes will prevail (not very common) but in general, unless you intentionally try to damage property, the golfer is not liable.  Golf courses can be held liable but most golf communities have covenants that specifically waive the right to sue the golf course.

http://www.willamette.edu/wucl/pdf/sportslaw/spring04/scoffield.pdf

The short of it, don't buy a home on a golf course!

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  • 1 year later...

At my local course, developers feel the need to pack every dogleg with houses. Put some netting up, or release the golfers of responsibility; this is what insurance is for. The premium should be picked up by the foolish people who a) decided to build ON a course or particular hole between a tee and a green, or b) the person who decided to buy the house in harms way.

There are also measures to take to increase a house's or yard's protection yet there is but one house on our entire course that does. Riddle me this? It should be mandatory or factored in during development. IMHO they don't "ruin the aesthetics" and if anything increase privacy. What's worse is some of these houses on a severe dogleg have roofs littered with skylights (one house with 5+ facing the tee)! It's as if they're asking for a golf ball to drop in while they're eating breakfast.

People make errors while playing golf. Amateurs and pros alike. These houses ruin the playability of the intended nature of some holes; decreasing enjoyability and adding stress to an otherwise fun/relaxing game.

Shame.

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At one of our local courses hole #8 is a dogleg right with a house I measured on google earth at 175 yards from the tee on the right side at the inside point of the dogleg, this place looks like it's in Beruit with all the pock marks in the stucco but what is even worse is that the damn tees are aimed directly at the home. Better players usually fly over the left side of the home to take yardage off the hole while lesser players usually nail this place.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was playing one afternoon with a District Judge in Texas. He broke a window.

"I'm going to go over and offer to pay for the damage," he said. "But I don't have to."

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One course I play at has a house that is missing several pieces of its siding. First hole,a 350 yard par 4 that pretty much requires a punch shot off of the tee box (trees hanging overhead about 120 yards ahead. Every hacker feels a need to shoot to the right, through some trees and over this house. (if they dont hit the house, their ball is inside a fenced in yard anyway.) I have yet to see anyone land in the fairway or on the green using this *shortcut.* I am shocked at the disregard for this persons house, since this is one of the few courses that I have played where the homeowners do not treat the golf course like an extension of their backyard.

Perhaps the owner of that house might want to consider going out late some evening and cutting off the branches that overhang the easy access to the fairway straight ahead. :whistle:

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I don't know if this was mentioned earlier in the thread but window manufacturers make impact resistant glass... if i had a home that was being built on a golf course, then I would insist the builder install this kind of window... doing that would lessen the chance of a broken window. The siding on the house would also be something impact resistant like brick or stone to better ward off errant shots. I believe that some skylights are made with impact resistant materials as well so a golf ball would hopefully bounce off and not crack or shatter them...

I prefer not to play courses that have homes crowding the fairway but if I do play one, then I try to be careful and play around or away from the homes so as to avoid damage.

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