At fifteen, Goosen was struck by lightning while golfing with a friend at Pietersburg Golf Club. On January 30, 1985, Goosen and his friend Henri Potgieter were playing through a light drizzle when lightening struck the top of a tree and traveled to the ground and across the wet grass. Potgieter who was playing ahead of Goosen was knocked off his feet. Goosen, on the other hand, suffered a fate much worse than his friend. "When I stood up I was looking for him, and I couldn't find him," Potgieter remembered in Golf World. "I wanted to know his reaction. What I did see was his golf clubs and his golf bag. Then I saw him lying on his back. His tongue was down his throat and his eyes were backward, and he was breathing weird. He had no clothes on; they'd been burned from his body. I remember picking up his spectacles. I didn't know what to do. It looked like he was dead. I was screaming for help. Fortunately, there were guys teeing off on the 12th hole. They came running toward us. From then on, I can't remember much. They picked him up and put him in a car." Goosen's shoes had disintegrated from his feet, his underwear and watch band had melted to his body. Relieved that their son had survived the accident, Goosen's father took it as an act of God and a hint of things to come.