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Man dies from golf-ball shot to head

October 18, 2010 4:37:01 PM PDT
A man died nine days after being hit in the head with a golf ball. It happened earlier this month at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills.At the country club, thousands of golf shots are hit every day, perhaps more than a million each year. It's rare when a golf ball actually hits somebody, and even more rare when someone is killed. But that's exactly what happened to 69-year-old Hiroshi Tango earlier this month.

Course Marshal Nate Brown was one of the first on scene.

"We did what we could for him, but for him to lose his life from that is tough," said Brown.

It happened on the ninth hole on the north course. Apparently the victim was walking ahead of one of his playing partners, who had yet to hit.

"The gentleman was here hitting, and when he was swinging the club and comes around and he hit the ball, but he pulls it to the left, and the gentleman was standing at an angle of the tree," said Brown.

But that golfer was only about 20 yards away. He was walking up the left side of the fairway when the ball came in and hit him right in the back of his head.

"It was an accident and so he had no clue that he would get hit with a golf ball, but it happened," said Brown.

The victim was airlifted to the hospital, but it was too late. He died almost a week and a half later.

Course Manager David Kramer says it's a tragedy, but one that golfers everywhere can learn from.

"Sometimes, I guess, when you're having so much fun you'll lose track of some of the protocols and etiquette, and certainly to put one's self in harm's way by walking forward in front of your group isn't the usual or customary manner of staying with your foursome," said Kramer.

And considering how many golf shots are hit each and every day, it's something course marshals say golfers everywhere should think about.


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