Many articles say that golf is one of the most dangerous sports. People who are struck by lightning, golf cart accidents and people who are hit by a golf ball are horror stories that can be read often. But how likely is this to happen and how can you protect yourself from it?
HIT BY THE GOLF BALL
It was only in the summer of last year that a six-year-old girl died from her injuries in the US state of Utah after her father accidentally hit her with a golf ball while playing golf. But such incidents are very rare. The golf etiquette contains precautionary measures to prevent such accidents. "Fore" is a word that every golfer must know. Before the golf shot you should always make sure that the fairway is clear or at least there is enough distance to the front flight so that even with an extremely successful golf shot no one is endangered. However, should the stroke fail and the golf ball fly in an unforeseen direction, you should shout "Fore" to warn the people at risk from the golf ball in good time. If you hear the exclamation you should react quickly and take cover. It is important to make yourself as small as possible and to protect your head. This prevents serious injuries and minimizes the risk of being hit by the ball.
GOLF CART ACCIDENT
You can also hear about golf cart crashes in the news every now and then. But these do not happen very often, either. Rarely do they occur on the golf course itself. In most cases, these are road accidents with unauthorized golf carts. In 2018, a 25-year-old was injured while repairing such a golf cart, and an accident occurred in Chieming in public road traffic at the beginning of last year. Only in the summer of 2019 some spectators got injured at the US Open after a golf cart took off on its own. Incidents of this type do not normally have to be expected.
THUNDERSTORMS AND LIGHTNING STRIKES
Injuries on the golf course due to thunderstorms and lightning strikes occur more often than the two cases mentioned above. In August of last year, six spectators were injured in the finale of the PGA tour in Atlanta. Lightning struck a tree near the 16th hole and debris from the tree injured the six spectators, including a child.
Some might know the quote by Lee Trevino:
"If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron. ”
Anyone would advise against this though, holding a long iron stick in the air during thunderstorms is an extremely unwise idea. In the event of a thunderstorm, you should end the game as quickly as possible and move far away from your golf clubs. If the thunderstorm is more than two kilometers away, you should quickly seek shelter in the clubhouse or in a hut with lightning protection. Huts of this type are available on most golf courses. However, if there is no longer enough time, you have to move away from your golf clubs and any trees. You should also not be on hills and elevated tees. The best solution would be to seek shelter in deep-lying bunkers and squat down immediately. Likewise, one should not touch anyone else and if possible seek protection alone.
How far away a thunderstorm is, is relatively easy to determine. The seconds between lightning and thunder divided by three give the distance in kilometers.
Golf is therefore not completely risk-free, but what situation in life is? Proper behavior and compliance with safety measures can minimize the likelihood of being hit by a golf ball, causing an accident with a golf cart, being the victim of such an accident, or being struck by lightning.