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Brent Kelley

Marshall Dies After Being Struck By Golf Ball

By February 27, 2005

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A golf course marshall in Arlington, Texas, died after being struck in the head by a golf ball. Deaths in this manner are exceedingly rare, but the sobering news brings up a very important point: Let's be careful out there.

The tools of our trade - metal clubs and hard spheres struck at great speeds - can do damage when they aren't handled properly. We can all use some reminders about golf course safety and golf etiquette. Our safety guidelines are especially good for beginners.

In the case in question, the longtime marshall ducked behind some trees off the fairway to watch the golfer on the tee box hit his drive. The ball ricocheted off those trees and struck the marshall in the head. He died the following day. This case is even more tragic, however, because of the identity of the man who hit the golf ball.

The marshall was 67-year-old Dale Parlin. His marshalling job at Lake Arlington Golf Course was one of his favorite things, according to family members.

Tragically, in addition to having to deal with the death of a family member, Parlin's loved ones must also come to grips with this fact: The man who hit the fatal shot was Parlin's 31-year-old son.

How afwul the younger Parlin must feel about this terrible accident. Our condolences go out to the family, and we hope that the younger Parlin finds a healthy way to deal with the terrible emotions he must be feeling right now.

Readers interested in viewing an article on the accident can do so in the Dallas Morning News (registration required).

See also:
Golf Course Safety
Golf Etiquette

Comments

November 15, 2006 at 10:46 am
(1) Caleb Talati says:

Golf is a dangerous sport. Some people cannot bear to hear/read about a story of a death in golf and other sports, e.g. boxing. I believe that golf course marshalls must wear helmets to protect their heads. Protection for the body can, of course, also be thought of. Also, when someone shouts, “Fore!” how many people would be unable to hear the warning because they’re too far away?

August 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm
(2) Elisa Plauche says:

My son was hit by a golf ball in the leg and the injury which, though it did not fracture his tibia, has caused him severe pain which he is still dealing with 2 and a half weeks later. He is still on crutches and cannot bear any weight on the leg. This was no ricochet ball but a direct drive hit from supposedly 80 yards away and supposedly off to the side where it was supposed to be safe for him.

May 26, 2013 at 11:40 am
(3) Erratic Driver says:

I inadvertently hit a young lady in the thigh Thursday afternoon and her bruise is deep, fleshy and radiating from the area where the ball struck her. She was slightly ahead of us at the women’s tees and just to the right of her golf cart about 20 yards ahead of me. I yelled out to her before I teed off to get her attention, but she didn’t move behind the cart as she was conversing with her playing partner.

My drive was a screamer, about 2 feet off the ground, and was heading toward the left of the fairway and directly toward her. The ball was upon her before I could yell “fore” and before she could move. It hit her squarely 3 inches above her knee and on the inside of her left thigh. Upon impact, she gasped, exhaled and began cursng like a sailor who just found out that he’ll be at sea for another 6 months, the day he was supposed to go home. There were no tears, so she took it like a champ, sort of.

It’s a severe injury and we’ve applied ice consistently over the past 48 hours and she’s taken Vicodin and OxyContin for the pain and Ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. She went to an urgent care facility this morning because she was concerned about clotting. It’ll probably hurt for quite awhile and is limping because as one could imagine, it hurts to walk.

She has vowed to cower behind the cart from now on!

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