As the weather gets warmer, many people head to the golf course for a few hours of recreation and relaxation. A round of golf can, however, result in injuries if the players are not careful. This occurred in the matter of Zeidman v. Fisher, 980 A.2d 637 (Pa.Super. 2009). In Zeidman, the golfers were waiting on the tee box for a group ahead of them to clear the fairway. Zeidman, one of the shorter hitters in the group, hit his tee shot and then drove ahead to see if the fairway was clear. As Zeidman was traveling back to the tee box, Fisher struck his tee shot. The shot hooked to the left and struck Zeidman in the face, causing injuries.
The trial court dismissed Zeidman s claim on summary judgment, holding that the doctrine of assumption of the risk barred his claim. In the context of sporting events, participants are deemed to have assumed the risk of injury as a result of participation in the game. For example, golfers are generally aware that even the best players will, from time to time, hook or slice their shots, and that those errant shots may result in injury to another golfer.
On appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the trial court s decision, holding that although errant shots are part of the game, Zeidman had no reason to assume that Fisher would strike his tee shot until Zeidman had safely returned to the tee box. Accordingly, Zeidman s case was allowed to be submitted to a jury. This case demonstrates that even a friendly round of golf may result in injury to the participants, and even the best golfers must therefore act with care before hitting their next shot.