A good walk spoiled by sliced tee shot

A FELIXSTOWE golfer has admitted his distress after one of his stray shots hit a passer-by in the face.Ivan Osborne, a member of Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, hit an 'off-line' shot, which struck Mike Kent, of Cliff Road, Felixstowe, in the face.

A FELIXSTOWE golfer has admitted his distress after he hit a stray shot – and struck a passer-by in the face.

Ivan Osborne, a member of Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, hit an "off-line" shot, which struck Mike Kent, of Cliff Road, Felixstowe, breaking his glasses.

Mr Osborne told The Evening Star that he did not wish to comment because the matter was being dealt with on his behalf by the golf club.

The club said they were reviewing safety procedures today.

Health and safety officers at Suffolk Coastal council have also launched an investigation to discover whether action should be taken to improve safety for people walking near the golf course.

Mr Kent, who often walks along the public footpath between the shore and the course, was taking his dog for a walk on Sunday morning.

Most Read

The stray shot caused £351 of damage to his glasses – but he was told that the spectacles had probably saved his sight.

Mr Kent, a part-time solicitor, heard a shout of "fore!" to warn him of a stray shot. But by instinct he looked up and the ball hit him in the face, smashing the left lens of his glasses.

He went to hospital, where a doctor told him that if he had not been wearing his glasses he would probably have been partially blinded.

Police have said that further action would not be appropriate.

But Mr Kent said he had previously complained numerous times in e-mails and telephone calls about the dangerous 15th hole at the course. He said he had been involved in several near misses.

He said he had requested information from the golf club about how they were ensuring the safety of passers-by. Now he has demanded that the f club review the hole, which lies between the two Martello towers on the footpath.

He said:"I really feel that something should be done about the alignment of this fairway and to encourage members to shout warnings when they hit an errant ball."

Mr Kent has written a statement of intent to sue the golf club for personal injury.

A statement from Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club said: "The club was very concerned to hear of an accident at the course on July 7, when it understands a Mr Michael Kent who was walking on the sea wall exercising his dog was struck by a golf ball sliced and carried by the wind from a player driving from the 15th tee.

"The club recognises that the public lawfully using the sea wall or upon the foreshore have a right to enjoy these places safely.

"The club is very aware of the dangers of the game of golf. Risk assessment and prevention has been a preoccupation of the committee for many years.

"It is believed that all reasonable measures have been taken to ensure the safety of members of the public upon land adjacent to the course and using the footpaths that cross the course.

"Nevertheless, the committee will carefully review the details of this accident and take such steps as may be practicable to ensure, so far as possible, that a similar accident does not occur again."

If you have been involved in an incident like this near the golf club, contact the Star's Felixstowe newsdesk on 01394 284109 or e-mail joanne.constable@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter