Legal Experts For Golf?

Yes, legal experts for golf … really!  How could this ever happen?

The Background

Three promotors joined forces to promote a regional golf tournament for charity. The United States Golf Association rules controlled the rules of play for the tournament. Contestants paid an entry fee to play in the golf tournament. The winner of each flight was guaranteed a golf-related prize and the overall low-stroke winner was guaranteed a modest monetary prize.  The majority of the entry fees were to be donated to charity.

In addition (and separate from the tournament) each entrant was given one chance to make a hole-in-one. If any entrant made a hole-in-one, the reward was $10 million dollars. The host golf club listed the potential hole-in-one shot as a 366 yard par 4 with a dogleg left.

The “Hole-in-One”

One of the entrants took his stance in the tee box and drove his golf ball toward the hole. The golf ball struck a sprinkler head, made an unusually large bounce toward the green, landed on the green, and ultimately trickled into the cup for a hole-in-one. There were at least twenty people who witnessed the hole-in-one. With so many witnesses, how could legal experts for golf be needed?

The Ugly Mess

To say the least, the promoters were shocked that any entrant could make a 366 yard hole-in-one. The promoters turned against each other and refused to pay the $10 million dollars for the “alleged” hole-in-one. The “hole-in-one” had become an ugly mess. The golfer who made the hole-in-one sued the promotors for the promised $10 million dollars. A jury trial followed.

Legal Experts For Golf

Both the golfer making the hole-in-one and the promoters hired legal experts who were qualified at trial to testify in their respective fields.

Promoter Expert 1

The Cincinnati expert held several Patents for Global Positioning System devices including software. Because of the hole’s dogleg, the Cincinnati expert testified that golf ball only travelled 299 yards from tee to hole and not 366 yards as required by the promoters.

Golfer Expert

The Louisville expert was chief grounds keeper for a Louisville golf club. Using the path played by the most players yardage measurement, the Louisville expert testified the golf ball actually traveled 369 yards from tee to cup. Patented reel, tape and rods were used to determine the golf ball’s yardage.

Promoter Expert 2

The Lexington expert was a club professional. The Lexington expert testified that the Golfer’s expert used an incorrect measurement for the played by most players yardage measurement and the golf ball actually traveled only 354 yards from tee to cup. Stated simply, the Louisville expert had utilized incorrect lines to measure the doglegged hole. A patented state-of-the laser and corresponding rods was used to calculate the golf ball’s yardage.

Promoter Expert 3

The Indianapolis expert was an independent contractor supplying data to the United States Golf Association. The Indianapolis expert testified:  along with being witnessed by others, a round of at least nine holes must be played before a hole-in-one becomes valid. Thus, the one-shot only alleged “hole-in-one” was not in fact a hole-in-one.

Once this evidence is presented, it is up to a jury to determine which expert is most convincing in this case by a preponderance of the evidence. How do YOU think a jury would decide?

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