Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Basis

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Latest post 03-26-2010 4:34 PM by DPH. 10 replies.
  • 03-20-2010 10:14 AM

    • mixgarage
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    • NH
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    Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Basis

    Hello,
    My home is surrounded by a golf course on all three sides except the road. I'm on the first hole and it's a dog leg around my property. I have an abusive amount of balls hitting my property daily and some golfers try to shoot over my property to cut the dog leg. My roof has holes in it, my siding has holes in it, my three vehicles all have dents, I replace several windows a year, and affraid of being hi t( Ican't even sit in my yard anymore). I also have had visitors at my property have their vehicles hit. The golf course put up a 16' fence but that does nothing for a golfball to make it over. The town building inspector even pursued shutting down the hole (because of personal safety). The building inspector suggested they move the hole or put up the appropriate fence. Then all of a sudden the town lawyers made him stop his pursuit, why I don't know. Needless to say I have pursed the course to pay for damages if I don't catch the golfer. They say they and the golfer are not responsible, it's an accident. They have even educated their customers that they are not responsible so they all have this speech ready when I confront them. I have got them and golfers to pay for a few, but now they won't return my calls at all. I have even called the police to go after golfers who walk away but the course will not let the police on their property. I have done a lot of reaerch about people with golfball damage claims and see how hard it is to prove a case. I believe I have a case that is worth pusuing beause of the amount of balls daily, the damage being done, and the intent of golfers trying to shoot over my property. Do I have a case? What type of Lawyer should I get? Any other tips or info?
    Thank You.
    Mike

  • 03-20-2010 10:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    There are no tips because you aren't going to win this.

    When you bought the house on the golf course you ASSUMED THE RISK of forever having golf balls hitting your property.

    I've paid hundreds of golf ball claims to policyholders who just had to live on the golf course. All the claims have one thing in common - Zero subrogation.

    That's because the golf course is not responsible for the acts of golfers nor is the golf course responsible for your intentional purchase of a house that comes with a guarantee of getting hit by golf balls.

    Even if you could identify a particular golfer, the burden of proof of negligence is astronomical. Believe me, I've done all the research when I was a claim rep.

    Your solution is to sell your house to the next person who wants the self aggrandizement of living on a golf course without realizing what he's getting into.

    However, if you want to consult an attorney, any attorney who's ever filed a lawsuit in his life can handle it, only it won't be on a contingency, it'll be $200 to $300 per hour with a retainer probably of several thousand.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-20-2010 2:43 PM In reply to

    • mixgarage
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-20-2010
    • NH
    • Posts 3

    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    I hear what you're saying but there is a nuisance here above and beyound normal. Daily bombardment (DAILY), it was not like this when we moved in, ownership of the course has chnged twice since I've been here. There is also the point that they are intentionally shooting over my property to save a stroke instead of going around my property.

  • 03-20-2010 3:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    mixgarage:
    there is a nuisance here above and beyound normal. Daily bombardment (DAILY),

    I don't see that as above and beyond normal. The golf course is open daily like any other business.

    mixgarage:
    it was not like this when we moved in,

    I hear that a lot from people in Phoenix who bought homes just east and west of our airport 20 or 30 years ago when we only had two small terminal buildings and not too many planes taking off and landing, and now complain about the high volume of air traffic noise over their homes and it's the airport and city's fault.

    mixgarage:
    ownership of the course has chnged twice since I've been here.

    Can't see why that's relevant.

    mixgarage:
    There is also the point that they are intentionally shooting over my property to save a stroke instead of going around my property.

    All I can say is, if you feel strongly about it, hire a lawyer and file suit against the golf course for all of your accumulated damage. Make it a test case and see what happens. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on attorney fees.

    I'm not optimistic of your chances, but it would be interesting to follow along if you do it.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-20-2010 10:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    The golf course was there. You bought to house anyway. You assumed the risk.

  • 03-20-2010 10:32 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,948

    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    I'll bet with a decent dose of hi tech it would be possible to identify the person who hit each and every golfball into your home? Especially if youcan zoom into the tee off area.

    Now I'm not sure where you go next--but why could not golfers be held accountable for wild shots?

     



  • 03-20-2010 10:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    mixgarage:
    I hear what you're saying but there is a nuisance here above and beyound normal. Daily bombardment (DAILY), it was not like this when we moved in, ownership of the course has chnged twice since I've been here. There is also the point that they are intentionally shooting over my property to save a stroke instead of going around my property.

    Here's something else, and I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier:

    • Most golfing communities address golfers' liability with a clause similar to the above, "All owners, by acceptance and delivery of a deed to a Lot, assume all risks associated with errant golf balls, and all Owners agree not to make any claim or institute any action against the Community Developer, the Club, the golf course designer, the builder or any other party other than the golfer who caused the property damage or personal injury, arising or resulting from any errant balls or golf clubs. In other words, the golfer is responsible for damage but collecting, especially for minor damage, may be an impractical task for the homeowner.

    Quoted from:

    http://library.findlaw...

    So check your purchase papers, deeds, and community documents as you might have already agreed that the golf course has no liability.

    From there, if you can identify each golfer that does you damage, you would have to sue each golfer separately for each instance of damage.

    Assuming, of course, that your documents don't have a disclaimer for individual golfers as well.

    Check them and report back here. I'm curious.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-21-2010 10:01 AM In reply to

    • mixgarage
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-20-2010
    • NH
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    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    Ok, Thanks for the feedback but let me give a little more history. I/family have owned the house since 1971, the original property owner is the one who sold the land to the golf course so the golf course built its hole completely around the house. There is no liability clause in the deed at all. When we moved in we had an agreement with the golf course that they would take care of any damages, do our grounds keeping, and snow plowing. This was in exchange for a small use of my land for a practice range. This agreement was held verbaly for 20 years without one incident or disagreement. Then by a death in the golf course family it was handed over to a family member who ran it into the ground and would no longer hold the agreement. Once they couldn't handle the course any longer it was sold to an employee of the golf course who is still running it into the ground.

    The original owners were a gem to deal with and had a clientel that respected our property and if they didn't the golf course delt with them. During that 20 years we averaged one or two balls a day in our immediate area. Now I'm averaging a dozen or more. I have at LEAST 5000 golfballs in crates in my garage, and thats after suppling all my friends with hundreds of balls per year! I'm not talking an occasional ball I'm talking taking cover everyday.

    The building inspector came to my house to check it out and was convinced of bodily harm or death being done because of this amount. His car was even hit by a ball driving to my house. Like I said he was convinced until the town lawyers told him he could not pursue it. Why I don't know.

    Yes I have video and pictures of these events but if the police aren't allowed to go on the course property to get a name, and the course wont cooperate to give a name, it's kind of hard to pursue the golfer.

    I understand the facts about I bought the property so I took the risk and have read dozens of stories about land owners adjacent to courses who tried to recoop and lost. The best scenario I read that sums it up is the baseball field example. If you go to a ball game and a ball gets hit over the fence and bust a car window. You went to the game it was your risk that a ball could hit your car or you. I get that. The golfers/course are playing their game and they are not intending to do damage, it's an accident. I get that. What I don't get is that they are INTENTIONALLY shooting over my property to save a stroke. That isn't an accident, they are now taking a risk to shoot a better game. The old course owners wouldn't tollerate this, but now the new owners could care less. I bet if a ball field had a "hit the ball over the fence tournament" and the amount of balls going of the fence was 6x the amount before that was destroying property it would be a different case.

    Thanks for all your input!

  • 03-21-2010 11:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    I'm certainly sympathetic. I get ticked when somebody throws a soda can out a car window and it lands on my front yard.

    mixgarage:
    When we moved in we had an agreement with the golf course that they would take care of any damages, do our grounds keeping, and snow plowing. This was in exchange for a small use of my land for a practice range. This agreement was held verbaly for 20 years without one incident or disagreement. Then by a death in the golf course family it was handed over to a family member who ran it into the ground and would no longer hold the agreement. Once they couldn't handle the course any longer it was sold to an employee of the golf course who is still running it into the ground.

    I doubt if the agreement would have been enforceable if there had been a disagreement and it wouldn't have been binding on successor owners anyway.

    mixgarage:
    I have at LEAST 5000 golfballs in crates in my garage

    One option is to make an automatic golf ball shooter and shoot them back on to the golf course in random directions at frequent intervals.

    Or, you can sell them on Craigslist.

    mixgarage:
    The building inspector came to my house to check it out and was convinced of bodily harm or death being done because of this amount.

    Unfortunately, you don't have a case for something that might happen. Until it does happen.

    mixgarage:
    Like I said he was convinced until the town lawyers told him he could not pursue it. Why I don't know.

    Probably local politics.

    mixgarage:
    What I don't get is that they are INTENTIONALLY shooting over my property to save a stroke. That isn't an accident, they are now taking a risk to shoot a better game. The old course owners wouldn't tollerate this, but now the new owners could care less. .

    Well, if you are willing to throw $20K or $30K at the problem, file a private nuisance lawsuit against the golf course. Maybe if you strangle the course owners with litigation they'll come down on their members more heavily. Or you might win and end up owning the golf course.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-21-2010 11:47 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
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    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    Had there been a written agreement as to golf course folks maintain your property , take care of damage etc there is a very good chance you could hold successor owners to it--but I think its weak/zippo  if its oral due to problems with statute of frauds--which sort of says deals must be in writing for things longer than one year ( or likley about those words_



  • 03-26-2010 4:34 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    • Joined on 10-08-2001
    • TX
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    Re: Golf Course destroying Personal Property on a REGULAR Ba...

    mixgarage:
    Any other tips or info?

    Install a metal roof that can withstand golf ball impacts, a bit more expensive than a regular roof, but well worth it.  Install impact resistant windows and doors, you might even get a tax credit for energy purposes.  Visit this website, great product:  http://www.simonton.co...  Park your vehicles inthe garage or under a carport to save them.  You can buy a hail blanket if you don't have inside parking arrangements.  Try this website for info:  http://hailblankets.com/

    Sell the golf balls to offset some of your costs.  Get a dog that likes to bark at golfers.  Better yet get two dogs.

     

    Good luck

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

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