Compensation for man hit by golf ball

A DOG walker who was hit in the eye with a flying golf ball has received £500 compensation – while the golf club involved has paid out a further £200,000 for safety improvements.

A DOG walker who was hit in the eye with a flying golf ball has received £500 compensation - while the golf club involved has paid out a further £200,000 for safety improvements.

Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club is altering three holes so that in future people walking on the river wall will not be in danger from sliced tee shots.

Solicitor Mike Kent, 53, of Cliff Road, Felixstowe, said that he would be giving his £500 personal injury compensation to charity.

“I had never intended this case against the golf club to produce any money - the idea was simply to get them to take the safety of this issue seriously,” he added.


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“I merely wanted to have this area of the course made safer and now that the ground works to realign the 15th fairway are almost complete, it seems a good time to draw a line under the matter.”

Mr Kent suffered a badly bruised eye and smashed glasses in July 2002, as he walked his dog along the sea wall between Old Felixstowe and Felixstowe Ferry.

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He said: “The ball that hit me came straight off the tee. It was horrendous. The doctor told me that my eye could have been ruptured.”

But, with the realignment of the fairway, he feels the area is now “very much better” for safety.

Mr Kent said he had decided to give the compensation - paid by the golf club's insurers - to the Felixstowe Blue Cross animal welfare rescue centre because that is where his dog Anubis, a Pharoah hound, came from.

“It wasn't about money and so I would like the Blue Cross to have it as they do such a wonderful job and have to raise all their funds themselves,” he added.

Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, which expects the work on the changes to the links course, one of England's oldest, to be completed this year, said that it had been considering alterations for some time.

Richard Tibbs, the club secretary, explained that leading course designer Martin Hawtree was called in to help make the improvements.

“We have taken the opportunity to improve the holes, as well as realign them,” he added. “We were aware prior to this incident that we had a problem and were already working on something when it happened.

“However, I don't think that anybody on a golf course right by the sea front can guarantee that a ball isn't occasionally going to go out of bounds.”

Mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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