Question: Can you sue for injuries sustained on the golf course from an errant drive of another golfer?
Answer: Normally, you may not.
Breach of duty usually involves an evaluation of reasonableness that is usually a question to be determined by a jury. But in cases involving sports injuries, and in such cases only, a limited rule applies acknowledging that reasonableness may be found by the court. Sports participant engages in physical activity that is often inexact and imprecise and done in close proximity to others, thus creating an enhanced possibility of injury to others. The general nature of the conduct reasonable and appropriate for a participant in a particular sporting activity is usually commonly understood and subject to ascertainment as a matter of law. In claims against a participant in a sports activity, if the conduct of such participant is within the range of ordinary behavior of participants, the conduct is reasonable as a matter of law and does not constitute a breach of duty. However, a participant’s particular conduct may exceed the ambit of such reasonableness if the participant either intentionally caused injury or engaged in reckless conduct. Such intentional or reckless infliction of injury may be found to be a breach of duty. For example, a golfer hitting an errant drive which resulted in injury, such conduct is clearly within the range of ordinary behavior of golfers and thus is reasonable as a matter of law.