I know I am not what you would call an authority on golf, having played only once in my life (and wasn’t that a triumph). And I know that a lot of you get really steamed when the talk in this space strays from matters financial. But golf being as popular as it is, I just feel a responsibility to warn you it is not as benign a pursuit as one might imagine.

Last time I forwarded to you a report on the health hazards (what kills weeds may kill golfers, too). Well, naturally enough, there is also the danger of the errant golf ball. On the local news, I recently saw an incident — all caught on tape, which they played — where some pro hit a ball that conked not one but two spectators, with a ricochet. No one was permanently damaged, thankfully, but both were knocked to the ground (and breathing in, therefore, all the more toxic herbicide).

This reminded me of the time my Aunt Gussie neglected to cry “fore” and drove a ball into my dad’s fore-head. Although this occurred before I was born, it was legend in our family. Aunt Gussie was never our favorite, and I suspect this may be one of the reasons why.

According to The Injury Fact Book, notes faithful reader Kenneth Shirriff, golf resulted in an estimated 18,800 emergency room visits in 1980 and 28 deaths from 1973 to 1980. And though these statistics are old, I know of nothing to suggest the sport has become any safer.

The point is, you can do a lot of damage if you hit that little pockmarked missile wrong — and get yourself into a real pickle, a la the young newlyweds and the genie that I told you about in August.

Golf at your peril.



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