Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs


Kyongmin Lee

Publication Date



This study investigated specific injury patterns among injured plaintiffs on or near golf courses, the characteristics of golf injury lawsuits brought against golf courses, as well as the most influential factors that can affect a golf courses success in golf-injury lawsuits. For these purposes, the study analyzed 147 golf-related injury legal cases between 1930 and 2013 using quantitative content analysis. Among cases reviewed, male plaintiffs suffered more golf-related injuries as compared to female plaintiffs. An overwhelming majority of people injured by golf course accidents were adults. The top cause of golf-related injuries was golf ball accidents. A substantial number of plaintiffs suffered minor golf-related injuries. The most commonly injured body parts were the head and lower body areas. Golf-related injuries occurred primarily on the golf course rather than off of the golf course. The cause of golf course accidents was significantly related to age, the injured body part, the location of injury, and the severity of injury. Additionally, the severity of injury showed associations with gender, age, and the injured body part. The lead plaintiffs in golf-injury litigation were considered to be invitees. A large number of plaintiffs who suffered golf-related injuries usually brought negligence claims against nonmunicipal golf courses rather than municipal golf courses to recover compensation for injuries. Dominant defenses available to golf courses were four elements not present, multiple defenses, and primary assumption of risk. More than half of the cases were in favor of golf courses. There was a significant association between the type of claim and the type of defense. A significant association was found between the type of golf course and the type of defense. It was found that the most influential factors that can affect a golf course's success or failure were known risks to the plaintiff and multiple claims.'


Golf-related injuries, sport law, risk management, & quantitative content analysis

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Scott, David

Second Committee Member

Mao, Luke

Third Committee Member

Kim, Yongseek