A golfer lost an eye following an accident at a Hafnarfjörður golf course in South Iceland a few weeks ago, Vísir reports. The victim was a highly experienced Icelandic golfer in his sixties, who was taking part in an open tournament at the course.
The accident took place when the golfer was on the fifth hole, along a section of the fairway appropriately called Hraunið, or ‘The Lava.’ The man’s first shot saw the ball land in some lava that surrounds the course and so he decided to try and hit it back onto the green. On one of his attempts, the golf ball hit a a lava stone that was very close to the ball [about one metre, or three feet away] and which was protruding about ten centimetres [three inches] out of the ground. The ball ricocheted backwards off the rock and hit the man directly in the eye. According to course manager Ólafur Þór Ágústsson, the man hadn’t even seen the stone when he hit the ball.
An ambulance was called to the scene and the golfer was taken into surgery soon after, but doctors were unable to save his eye. According to Vísir’s sources, some consider him lucky, despite the horrible consequences of the accident; had the ball hit him in the temple, it could have killed him.
Golf course manager Ólafur Þór Ágústsson said that the staff were shocked by the incident, but that luckily, these sorts of accidents are very uncommon. He did say, however, that balls do sometimes get hit into the rocks and/or lava surrounding the two different fairways and then ricochet off of them. “But this is by far the most serious [incident] that we’ve had happen at the course. There’s been nothing that compares to this. But people have been close to [having things happen]. In this sport, as in any other, accidents happen,” he said, and they can’t always be foreseen. “It’s just horrifically bad luck.”
The golf course’s management is now considering increasing the number of drop spots in areas with a lot of lava, which may decrease player risk along those sections of the course.