Talk about hazards: Errant second shot breaks golfer's leg

September 08, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Golfers like to tell stories, and the one about Michael Newstead's accident spread across the fairway and to the emergency room even before he got there, picking up an embellishment here and there.

Contrary to rumors, a golf ball did not lodge in his leg. Nor did it go through it. Nor was he hit with a club by another golfer.

But it was indeed an unusual accident that befell Mr. Newstead on Saturday at the Oakmont Green course in Hampstead.

He turned to watch a member of his foursome take a second shot, and the ball rocketed 35 yards toward his shin so fast and hard, it broke both of the long bones.

"It dropped me. I don't even remember falling, actually. I was just on the ground," Mr. Newstead said.

One of his other companions propped his head up on his golf bag and found a clean towel to control the bleeding.

A Manchester Fire Company rescue squad put him on a stretcher, then onto a truck to drive across the crowded course. Other golfers stopped their games to watch, and Mr. Newstead waved as he went by.

Meanwhile, the Manchester squad alerted the Carroll County General Hospital emergency room that Mr. Newstead had an open fracture, a break in the bone and the skin over it.

"They must have been very astute," said Roger Stone, the emergency room doctor. He said the main bone, the tibia, was cracked about 12 inches -- the long way. No bone was sticking out of the skin.

"It was an atypical fracture," Dr. Stone said. After an X-ray confirmed that at least one bone was broken, orthopedist Anthony Woodward took over treating Mr. Newstead.

"I'd say it was a significant injury, compared to what you would imagine golf would do to you," Dr. Stone said. He recommends golfers stay well behind someone hitting a ball.

"That ball must have been traveling at a tremendous rate of speed," he said.

Mr. Newstead went home Tuesday, and now he's hobbling around on crutches at his house in Catonsville, with a white plaster cast from his toes to his groin.

"They don't want you moving any part of it, I guess," Mr. Newstead said of his wounded leg.

No golfing until next year. But Mr. Newstead is very optimistic, and hopes to start running soon after his last cast comes off in the winter.

He plans to go back Monday to his job as a regional vice dTC president for AccuStaff in Baltimore, an agency that places temporary workers.

A story in the newspaper, he said, would help bolster his alibi.

"I feel like they're never going to believe me," he said. People started calling as soon as he got home, wanting to hear the whole story.

By early afternoon, he got tired and stopped taking calls, he said.

Of course, his friend who hit the ball felt awful, Mr. Newstead said -- so bad that Mr. Newstead doesn't want to make the man feel worse by telling a reporter his name.

And besides, Mr. Newstead said, the man works at the National Security Agency, which doesn't like its employees to get their names in the paper.

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