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Cleveland drivers teed off at stray golf balls hitting vehicles, but who’s to blame?

From NewsChannel 9: Some drivers in Cleveland say the damage to their vehicles that came from golf balls is not par for the course.  

From NewsChannel 9: Some drivers in Cleveland say the damage to their vehicles that came from golf balls is not par for the course.


Casey Calhoun shared photos with our newsroom clearly showing damage to two of his vehicles, and told us golf balls from the Flagstone Golf Club on Benton Pike Northeast.


“It shattered my windshield. I had to get it completely replaced,” Calhoun told us.

And this is the second time Calhoun’s had vehicle damage from a ball hit at Flagstone – the first time in 2015.

After the most recent ding, Calhoun took to social media if anyone else had this problem. Turns out the answer is: quite a lot.


“There were at least about two dozen other people just from right here in the area,” Calhoun says.

Former Cleveland resident Dana Miller told us…


My husband had a 79 Jeep CJ5. He was driving by and someone hit a ball. It managed to hit him on the left side by his ribs. He had a huge bruise from it.”

A look at this Google Maps embed shows you some unintended hazards beyond golf course property, with Benton Pike running to the north of the course:


Calhoun says he called the golf course about the incident and the person on the phone told him they could not help him.


“He was incredibly rude. He was right away just so ‘that’s that’s not my problem. I can’t help you,'” says Calhoun.

We dug deeper on Tuesday to find out who is ultimately responsible.


Doran Burnside of the Burnside Insurance Group told us on Thursday the answer is both clear and complicated.


“In all reality, the the responsible person would be the golfer,” he told us. “But the problem with that is is finding out who the golfer is, and getting them to take responsibility.’

That’s not the answer the average driver wants to hear.


But still, Calhoun hopes concerns from the community will prompt the golf course owner to consider safety installations.


“The golf course does have netting along its driving range, but it doesn’t have any netting along the course,” Calhoun says. “And I think they definitely need netting along the course at the very least.’

Cleveland resident Vince Soulchin, who knows Flagstone by its old name Chatata, echoed his statement saying


“The driving range at Chatata is too close to Benton Pike. Since they are not likely to redesign their layout, I believe the course should be responsible for any object that flies off of their property into traffic, and any damages or injuries caused by those objects.”

We reached out to Flagstone on Tuesday, but were told no one was available to answer if they will consider those upgrades.


So what should you do if this happens to you?


Burnside tells us you should file a comprehensive claim with your auto insurance company right away.


“That’s going to be the fastest way to get your vehicle repaired, you’re subject to the deductible of your policy,’ he said. ‘So I recommend that you have a lower deductible on your comprehensive because that’s acts of God things you can’t control.’