Anthony Phee said he ducked and put a hand up when he heard a shout of “fore” but he was hit and felt the eye “explode”.
Mr Phee, 44, told the Court of Session in Edinburgh that the damaged eye was later removed after the accident at Niddry Castle golf club, at Winchburgh, in West Lothian.
He said he had played “maybe about four” 18-hole rounds of golf at the time, but knew that if there was a shout of “fore” there was a stray ball.
The karate black belt said martial arts were his main sporting interest, but he had been invited to play the course with three others as visitors. He had not played the course previously.
Mr Phee, of Hurst Avenue, Sale, Manchester, said at the time in August 2007 he did not have any knowledge of the line of the 18th hole on the course.
“I heard a shout. The moment I heard the shout my hand went up. It was that instant, there was no delay,” he said.
Mr Phee raised an action for £750,000 damages against golfer James Gordon, of Dedridge, Livingston, and the club. The level of damages in the case has been agreed but liability remains at issue.
Both the club and Mr Gordon said that rather than taking protective action Mr Phee looked up in response to the shout. Mr Phee denied that he looked up.
The club said it was not aware of any previous accidents involving people walking on the pathway being struck by shots hit from the 18th tee.
The hearing before Lord Brailsford continues.