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Quote of the Day - They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken. - Ray Floyd
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Fore Is Just Etiquette, Not A Requirement

Now you know.  "Fore" is a term of etiquette, not a mandatory warning when you slice or hook one on to the next fairway.  At least on Hawai'i golf courses, that is.  Hawai'i is fairly (no pun intended) far away from the Home of Golf, at the Royal & Ancient in St. Andrews, Scotland.  There, "fore" is considered a warning, first derived from military use, according to the Rules of Golf.  As if it were as simple as just that.

How misguided the Rules are.  Apparently, the Rules have yet to run into the Hawai'i Supreme Court. 

There, Andrew Tom was playing golf on the Mililani Golf Course.  Unfortunately, like most of us, what Andrew was playing may not have exactly passed for golf.  Unfortunately, Ryan Yoneda got hit with one of Andrew's golf balls.  In the eye.  Ryan has lost vision in his eye.

He sued Andrew for failure to warn.  Failure to warn with a "fore."  Ryan believed that had Andrew yelled "fore," he would have ducked and avoided the injury.  Andrew didn't yell "fore."  According to the Hawai'i Supreme Court, "[t]he ball, however, took flight in an unintended direction. The ball hit the left side of the fairway, bounced into the rough, bounced again on the dirt area, then bounced onto the cart path, sending the ball towards the golf cart in which [Ryan] Yoneda was seated."

And with that along with some law focused on assumption of the risk, the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled in favor of Andrew, determining that when Ryan stepped on the course, he understood that he was in harm's way, and also that Andrew had no obligation to warn Ryan of Andrew's errant ball.  The term "fore" is simply a matter of good golf etiquette, according to the Court.

Whether the justices have ever played golf is an open question.  On the other hand, maybe they understand all too well the differences between a straight drive and a hook or a slice.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 00:04 Comments Closed (1) |
 
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