NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) _ It's OK to hit the ball in the rough. That's the law.

A judge, who just happens to be a golfer, denied a request for damages filed by a man who built his house next to a golf course and had an errant shot break his window.

``The court finds that a golfer has no duty to hit the ball straight,'' Campbell County District Judge Mickey Foellger ruled Tuesday.

Barry Jolly, who built his house next to a golf course, requested in small-claims court to be reimbursed $867 by Don Spraker, who hit a shot that broke his window last July.

Jolly knowingly built his house just off the sixth green at A.J. Jolly Golf Course, named for a former Campbell County judge who is a relative of the plaintiff. That means Jolly put himself in a position of known risk of having his house hit by golf balls, the judge ruled.

``I'm really sorry that I did it,'' Spraker, of suburban Cincinnati, said Wednesday. ``I obviously didn't want to hit the ball into his house.''

There is no negligence on the part of a golfer who hooks or slices a golf ball out of bounds and onto private property if the golfer did not do it intentionally, was not highly intoxicated and exercised reasonable club selection, the judge ruled.

Foellger said he, too, takes a turn on the tees occasionally.

``And I don't hit it very straight, either,'' the judge said.