This Is Sad
By Kickntrue on 11/30/10
Most golf and death stories are tragic, but involve some sort of anger. Not this one- which leaves a worker dead- and a golfer with a lifetime of hell.
A man hit in the head with a golf ball has died.

It happened Wednesday afternoon at Sanford's Mayfair Country Club.

Police said a golfer was teeing off at the second hole when his golf ball hit Maurice Hayden, 42, who was a maintenance worker at the club.

Hayden was weeding the base of a tree about 100 feet away from where Brian Donohue teed off and the ball hit Hayden in the temple.

Officials at Central Florida Regional Hospital said Hayden died Thursday afternoon.
Obviously the family and loved ones of Maurice Hayden are devastated from this tragic and freak accident. You have to wonder how the golfer, Brian Donahue is doing?! Just awful the whole way around.

I can't tell you how many times I've been on a golf course with maintenance workers around who go about their general business when I'm hitting a shot. The crazy part is that you couldn't hit them with 1 in 100 shots if you were TRYING to. I guess the only moral of the story is to be careful (short of getting all philosophical with some "carpe diem" rhetoric). Golf involves multiple objects that are very dangerous. This is odd to consider- but despite damaging effects of a sport like football with concussions and all, I bet statistically you're actually more likely to die on the golf course.

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photo source

Thanks to user rjtalcott for the sad, but good tip on the story.

[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
You know, it's totally true about possibly hitting maintenance workers. I mean, you can't expect them to just stop what they're doing at every moment to let golfers through but stories like this suggest they probably should. When i was playing the Greenbrier in June while they were getting ready for the PGA to get there i almost hit a group of them. They were building an island (presumably for signage,though i never saw what for) off the 16th? hole in the middle of the pond. Problem was, you had to go dangerously near it or over it (as i did since i was ducking the ball all day. They wouldn't move despite my waving and i was forced to hit a 170mph shot right at them and over their heads. I notified them prior, but how do you get out of the way of that? It was a tournament too or i would have at least tried to walk around or wait.
mclayton1970 says:
I feel for the Family of the Maintenance worker...I have Played that course a few times and they were really doing some Big Improvements on the course ..I myself felt terrible after I hit a tractor on a wayward tee shot ..I could not imangine how awful that Man feels ..I don't know if I could play golf again after that !!
bkuehn1952 says:
I am always surprised how few maintenance workers wear helmuts and/or eye protection while working in harms way. I am with birdieXris, unless I have no choice, I won't hit a shot if anyone is in my hitting zone.
Jattruia says:
I almost wonder why maintenance workers don't wear hardhats...

Seems like that would really make sense.
Jattruia says:
Banker85 says:
wow, so he obviously must have really mis hit that one. I mean 100feet is nothing in golf in mean what 35 yards... i would probably burn my clubs. so sad indeed.
Kurt the Knife says:
When I started to really think about the physics involved, I began to realize just how much energy could be concentrated on a very small area of relatively thin cranial bone. I mean the skull ain't that thick and under it is a rather delicate and vascular organ (not the brain itself is very vascular but lots o' vessels overlying) revealing a chilling potential.
Dang. Way sad, I feel for the golfer dude.
Like a radiologist buddy of mine used to say everytime he saw a malignant/terminal imaging finding,
"What's the moral of the story?... GO FOR THE GUSTO!"
dmce says:
Its the millions of times people play past them and nothing happens.

Its a sad story :(
tennesseeboy says:
I'm with Mustache, why not wear some sort of helmet? I worked construction in college and we always wore a hard hat. You get use to it and you don't even think about it. Even something like an old fashion padded football helmet would be enough to prevent a fatal head injury from a golf ball.
dmce says:
You could argue that the golfers should be wearing protection as well. It could just as easily happen to one of us
DougE says:
I realize that hard hats can be hot in the warm weather, but do believe they could go a long way in protecting golf course workers. OSHA requires them on far less dangerous work sites.
DougE says:
I was devastated when I hit an errant shot off a side hill lie with the ball way above my feet, which flew off almost straight right, OB, into a house, breaking an irreplaceable wind chime. What was worse was that I was actually playing with the owner, and his wife was on the patio next to the wind chime when it happened. I could not finish the round I was so upset about it, and to this day, I have a hard time playing that hole mentally. If my drive happens to end up on that side hill, I just can't approach the shot like I normally would by aiming right to compensate for the extra left movement expected from that type of lie. Consequently, I will miss well left. I can't imagine what the golfer who hit this poor maintenance worker will have to live with in his head. Would not be surprised if he had to give up the game. What a terrible tragedy for all involved. Life is so precious...and precarious.
Kurt the Knife says:
I have seen patents on protective inserts for golf caps, just none commercially yet.
Was my immediate thought, if you can just spread that impact energy around a bit maybe can avoid a fracture. Which is my assumption considering the structures involved. Unlikely that mass of a golf ball sufficient for closed, shearing injuries.
wrhall02 says:
Wow, very sad. Protective gear for maintenance workers is a great idea. Golfers assume the risk...not sure golfers would be willing to wear helmets.

I had two close ones last weekend, incredibly during the same round:

A friend topped and shank-ed it out of the bunker and hit me. A few inches higher and I would have lost teeth and maybe worse (hit me in the shoulder). It happened so way for me to react or for my buddy to yell fore. I was kneeling way to the right (at least 90 degrees) in an area I thought was out of the possible flight zone.

Then on the back nine, another buddy hit into a hazard that was parallel to me. I didn't see that he chose to pick up and go to the drop zone (50 yards back and way to the right of were I was waiting). He duck hooked it, missed my head by inches and shattered the golf cart windshield. It was a kill shot, I was lucky no one yelled fore, I would have turned into the ball.

I learned my lesson: I stay behind the golfer hitting, period.
jev says:
So sad. It must be terrible if this happens.

OTOH, we don't want this I guess:
askarzy says:
Wow I what a freak incident, feel sorry for the workers family, and for the man who hit the shot.

Last season I was in the 15th fairway at my home course, the 11th teebox is parallel to the 15th fairway. So I'm just standing in the fairway waiting for my friend to hit when I hear my friend scream my name and heads up. I immediatley duck, felt the ball scim my head. Someone teeing off on the 11th shanked one and didn't yell fore...
legitimatebeef says:
Terrible tragedy. I hope we can learn a lesson from this. When we are anywhere near people hitting golf balls, we take nothing for granted, and always be aware of where someone could be hitting. Almost anything is possible. Balls can go in any direction.
Neo says:
Not sure of the details here, but seems like the golfer should not have hit the shot when this guy was in range? Scary stuff indeed, and it's good to be reminded about how dangerous it can be out there.
Bryan K says:
I'm going to check with OSHA when I get a chance to see if hard hats are a requirement for golf course maintenance workers. They should be.
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