[PHOTO: Robert Cianflone]

Golf is supposed to be a “safe” hobby for professional athletes. Snowboarding? Riding motorcycles? Skydiving? Not so much. In fact, sometimes players are contractually prohibited from off-field thrill seeking during their playing careers, but golf is one pastime they don’t have to worry about… usually.

Unfortunately Australian cricket star Glenn Maxwell learned that nothing in life is risk-free when he suffered a concussion in a bizarre golf course accident while enjoying a day off on Monday.

The round at Kalhaar Blues and Greens Golf Club in Ahmedabad, India — where the ICC World Cup is currently being held — apparently passed without incident. The trouble began on the way back to team bus, when there weren’t enough golf carts to transport all the players. Maxwell decided to stand on the back of the cart and hang on for the short ride but he lost his grip and fell, striking his head on the ground. He was placed in concussion protocol soon after and will miss Australia’s match against England on Saturday.

This may all sound a bit fishy — or at the very least alcohol-fuelled — but Australian coach Andrew McDonald assured reporters that was not the case.

“There was nothing untoward in the behaviour throughout the day,” McDonald said. “It was a clear-cut accident and unfortunately it’s compromised what we are doing as a team.”

As it turns out, Maxwell may just be accident-prone. Last year, Maxwell was ruled out for five months after slipping and badly breaking his leg at a friends’ birthday party. The Aussie team is also undeniably snakebit when it comes to golf, however. Teammate Josh Inglis was apparently ruled out of the 2022 T20 World Cup after cutting his hand when his golf club snapped.

That’s some seriously bad juju, but McDonald isn’t banning the golf outings just yet, believing it’s important for players to get away from cricket for a few days while on the road. We couldn’t agree more, but maybe a little extra caution is needed. One more freak injury on the golf course, and the Aussies will be spending their off days playing backgammon.