Ryder Cup – Spectator Injury


Consultant Solicitor

Thu 4 October 2018 Ryder Cup – Spectator Injury

Greg Rollingson a personal injury lawyer and specialist in golf injury claims at Taylor Rose TTKW reviews the recent spectator injury at the Ryder Cup and its wider legal implications.

The serious injury to a spectator at the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National course in Paris on 29th September 2018, raises new issues about spectator safety at golf tournaments. It also amplifies the risks generally to golfers, spectators and other visitors to golf clubs of being injured by stray golf shots.

Corine Remande (49) was hit in the right eye by a mis-hit tee shot, struck by US golfer, Brooks Koepka, on the 6th hole. Remande was rushed to hospital and treated for a fractured eye socket. Sadly, doctors have confirmed that Remande will lose the sight in her right eye. Koepka immediately rushed to apologise to Remande and is clearly distressed himself at the serious injury the spectator suffered.

TV footage seems to show that a call of ‘fore’ came from the tee. However, at a distance of 300 yards in a noisy crowd, it is unlikely Remande heard the shout or was aware of the trajectory of the ball. Remande criticises the course officials for not calling ‘fore’ or alerting the crowd to the approaching ball.

There are a number of legal issues arising from this sorry incident. Any law suit would be in a French Court and subject to French law. The issues arising will concentrate on whether the golf club or organisers were negligent. Whilst all spectators at a golf tournament must accept some risk of injury, nonetheless in our view (under English Law) Remande would be likely to succeed in the claim if the course officials did not give the crowd surrounding Remande a warning, notwithstanding that a shout of “fore” came from the tee. The European Tour (the tournament organiser) has already indicated that it will offer Remande ‘support for as long as necessary’. If the case does not settle without recourse to litigation, then a law suit is likely to be expensive (certainly for the loser) and time consuming. The R &A (the governing body for golf in the UK) has indicated that it is reviewing its spectator procedures.

This incident has repercussions for all golfers, golf clubs and visitors generally to golf courses. If you are a golf club concerned about these issues, someone who has been injured by a golf ball, or you have injured someone else with a golf ball, Taylor Rose TTKW can help you. Please contact Greg Rollingson on 020 3590 0550 or by email to greg.rollingson@taylor-rose.co.uk




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