Law Reports

Errant golf balls

Division: The Supreme Court of Appeal
Case No: 673/06
Date of hearing: 5 November 2007
Date of delivery: 29 November 2007
Coram: Farlam, Brand, Mlambo, Combrinck JJA et Mhlantla AJA

The number of balls that have struck a residential property built on a golf course is excessive and unreasonable. For this reason, the Supreme Court of Appeal has ordered the Milnerton Golf Club to install a barrier system to prevent balls from landing on property belonging to development company Allaclas Investments and home owner Alexander Simonis.

In August last year Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso ruled against Allaclas Investments and Simonis - see Allaclas Investments (Pty) (Ltd) . She said Simonis should have known the property would be susceptible to being hit by golf balls, given its position. She found that the club had gone to great lengths to resolve the issue, playing the sixth hole as a par four, except on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Leave to appeal was granted and the SCA found in favour of the appellants. What the first appellant and his family had to put up with went 'substantially' further than what a neighbour was obliged to endure. The court was satisfied that the amount of golf balls entering the appellant's property was clearly excessive and unreasonable in all circumstances. Even if the appellants had known the property was susceptible to being struck by golf balls, they did not know the hole was badly designed and gave rise to safety concerns, the court found.

Full judgment

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