Hit by a golf ball? What Do you Do? 0 5

The story of U.S. Olympian alpine skier Bode Miller’s wife, who was hit in the eye with a golf ball  earlier this month, raises some questions about what one does if nailed by another player’s shot.

In Miller’s case, his wife, Morgan, a professional volleyball player, was struck by Miller’s drive. She thanked her sunglasses, made by Kaenon, for absorbing the force of the impact, which left her with 50 stitches but only a temporary loss of vision in her left eye.

So, what do you do if you get injured by a golf ball?

First of all, my friend, Will Ferguson, an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer and head of Will Ferguson & Associates since 1983, recommends that you and your playing partners not engage in a fisticuffs with the offending player.

Instead, he recommends the same SOP as someone involved in a car or truck accident:

Get treated for your injury. If you are unable to get the information from the other player, have someone in your group do it for you while you are being attended to. One calming fact to communicate is that homeowner’s insurance can cover accidents on the golf course.

Get statements from witnesses about what happened, including anyone who responds to the accident.

Preserve evidence, including the golf ball. When able, take photos. The photo of Miller’s wife’s eye after the incident is compelling.

Report the incident to the people in charge of the golf course, so they have a record of where and when the injury occurred, in the event design or safety issues need to be corrected.

Get official reports. If the injury is severe enough to require an EMT response, get a copy of the medics’ report.

— Dan Vukelich

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Sierra Del Rio to Shutter for Two Months 0 30

Sierra del Rio Golf Course

Sierra Del Rio Golf Course, which restricted play in December to Thursday through Sunday only, will close for two months after the New Year.

The temporary closure of the 18-hole Elephant Butte golf course was announced in an email Sunday. The golf course’s food and beverage operation, also will close. Plans are to reopen on March 1, the course said.

“The course is in reasonably good condition but we want it to be in the best shape possible when we reopen,” a golf shop employee said Sunday. Maintenance crews will devote the downtime to earth and drainage work to repair damage to native areas off the playing surfaces caused by heavy rains in September, the employee said.

Sierra Del Rio, a Richard Phelps design, is the centerpiece of a retirement- and second-home community near the Rio Grande in Southern New Mexico. Its director of golf is Guy Wimberly, who retired to Elephant Butte after decades running Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque. Wimberly had no comment on the closure on Sunday.

Sierra Del Rio reduced playing days earlier this month. Winter is typically playable in Southern New Mexico, where daily highs reach into the 50s and 60s.

Sierra Del Rio is part of the Turtleback Mountain Resort. It opened in 2007 on the footprint of the old Oasis Golf Resort and is the nearest golf course to Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists to the edge of space.

The renovated course and new homes built near it provided a boost to the local economy, but homebuilding and rounds played suffered following the 2008 housing collapse.

Dan Vukelich is editor of NewMexicoGolfNews.com. Reach him at dan@newmexicogolfnews.com.