Club loses

Niddry Castle must now pay

Golfmagic Staff's picture
Golfmagic Staff
Fri, 22 Mar 2013
Club loses

Remember the story of Anthony Phee – the golfer who was awarded nearly £400,000 in damages two years ago when he was struck by a ball during a round in 2007 which caused his eye to “explode”?

Now there’s been another twist in the tale. 

Niddry Castle Golf Club, which was initially ordered to cover £120,000 – around 30 percent of the damages – has lost its appeal and must now pay £320,000, representing approximately 80 percent.

After the initial ruling, the club and James Gordon – the golfer whose ball struck Phee – had launched appeals. But three appeal court judges have ruled the “lion’s share of blame” rests with Niddry Castle for its lack of warning signs around the course.

The remaining 20 percent to be paid to Phee – who lost his job as a railway engineering supervisor as a result of the injury – is to be made up from Gordon and insurers.

Alex Rae, of insurance specialist Tonic Golf told Golf Club Management’s Alistair Dunsmuir: “It is thought that Niddry Castle’s insurers will appeal this new ruling. But the case is proving to be very expensive for the club – regardless of whatever the final decision will be.”

Just last month former Walker Cup player Gavin Dear found himself in court being sued by David McMahon, a ball spotter who was struck by a stray ball from Dear at the Scottish Amateur Champion of Champions event.

“This isn’t an issue that clubs and golfers can hide away from,” added Mr Rae. “The £50,000 figure that David McMahon is seeking could have been significantly higher than that amount if he was about half his age and had an occupation which required good eyesight.”

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