(Source: Associated Press)

In dismissing a personal injury lawsuit, New York’s top court ruled that slices, hooks, and other errant shots are common hazards on the links, and a golfer cannot expect to get a warning shout of “Fore!” every time a ball comes his way.

In 2002, two friends were playing on a nine-hole Long Island course when one of the gentlemen was hit in the head while looking for his ball on a fairway, blinding him in one eye. The judges on New York’s Court of Appeals said that although the man’s friend did not yell in advance of his errant shot from the rough, his failure to shout did not amount to intentional or reckless conduct.

The court cited a finding from a lower court, saying the man was not in the foreseeable zone of danger and, as a golfer, consented to the inherent risks of the sport. “The manner in which [the gentleman] was injured—being hit without warning by a ‘shanked’ shot while one searches for one’s own ball—reflects a commonly appreciated risk of golf,” the judges wrote.

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