Recently, during the Ryder Cup, a woman spectator was hit in the eye by a golf ball, and subsequently lost the sight in that eye. When I read about the incident, my immediate reaction was what one would expect. I felt tremendous sympathy. After all, this poor woman started her day excited at the prospect of watching the best golfers in the world compete in person, before her very eyes. Before the day was over, she had lost an eye. What a tragedy.
This morning, however, when I read that the woman intends to take legal action against the organization that runs the tournament, my response to the article was entirely different. I was angry. Sure, I feel terrible about what happened to her. Who wouldn’t? But holding the organizers responsible? Give me a break. It’s a golf tournament. At any given moment, there are at least a dozen or two, rock hard, golf balls flying around in the air. If you are anywhere on the grounds of the course, there is a reasonable chance that you could be hit. It happens all the time at other sporting events, like hockey and baseball games.
What could the organizers have done differently? Not much. When an errant shot is struck by a golfer, it is his or her responsibility to shout “Fore,” which, in this case, Brooks Koepke, the golfer in question, did. Marshals engaged by the organizers of golf tournaments diligently restrain spectators, who often ignore their instructions to gain a better view of the action. It’s a risk they take. But just being on the course is also a risk, and anyone attending a touronament should be aware of that. The only way to be assured of not being struck by a golf ball, a baseball, or a hockey puck is to watch the game on TV.
In this case, my sympathy ended when the lawsuit began. In other words, as someone far wiser than I once said, “You pays your money, you takes your chances!” Sorry, but that’s just how I feel. Comments?