Are golfers responsible for errant golf balls?

By Agency Owner Lance Anderson October 2022

I have always been under the opinion that the golfer was responsible for the damage or injury caused by an errant golf ball. My father, a long time Allstate agent always used golf ball damage as an example of something that would be paid for under the liability section of a homeowners insurance policy. Turns out, my father is probably wrong.

So who is responsible for the damage caused by an errant golf ball?

Let’s discuss property damage first. There is a lot of information and laws in neighboring states support the thought that the homeowner who builds his home on a golf course is assuming increased risk and the damage to their home cause by golf balls. While you may feel guilty about that broken window or chipped stucco, you may not be liable.

You may not be responsible for injury either as each golfer assumes the inherent risk of a golf ball hitting them while on the course. Makes sense, many sports are played under this assumption.

If however, the golfer is negligent in their actions, they can be held responsible for damage to property or injury.

The only errant golf ball Utah law that I could find was for the Murray golf course. It appears the Murray golf course has an ongoing problem with a bordering street and has established law and a budget for each incident. They may have done this recognizing that the course was built next to this street and makes them responsible for damage to the cars. In most cases, the golf course nor the golfer are responsible for errant balls that may cause damage to cars or passersby.

So while on the golf course I am sure you take all the precaution you can but know that even the best golfers will hit an errant ball or two and may not be responsible for that broken window. Cases have been decided both ways so the best protection is high homeowner’s insurance liability limits which will extend to the golf course and other activities away from your residence premises. For the best golf tips or more information, reach out to Anderson Insurance Group agents Brennan Gregory, Landon Gregory or Parker Simonsen, our on-staff golfers.

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