Harry hits an errant elliptical drive through the 3rd window on the 2nd floor of Proud Mary’s mansion just off the 14th tee. Harry flees down the fairway to avoid an irate Mary who gallops after Harry’s golf cart wildly swinging her broom. Who pays for the window?
In Texas, many golf course communities and their homeowners associations have provisions in their CCR (covenants, conditions and restrictions) providing that all homeowners expressly waive their right to recover for damages from errantly struck golf balls.
Practically speaking, the occasional broken window from accidental (not intentional) drives, does not put enough money at stake for Proud Mary to litigate. However, if the problem becomes so pervasive for there to be regular broken windows in the same general location, Proud Mary may have sufficient incentive to pursue a claim employing the argument of negligent design against the owner (and maybe the designer) of the golf course and asking a court to require that a particular hole layout be redesigned and reconstructed.
Obviously, chasing a golf ball on to Proud Mary’s property is not advisable and raises additional liability issues.
For more about broken windows and negligent course design, see Edward J. Malouf, et al v. Dallas Athletic Country Club, 837 S.W.2d 674 (Tex. Ct. App. 1992).Yes, we have a disclaimer.