As we all know, it is extremely rare to get struck by lightning, but it is not impossible, and it does happen from time to time. What many people do not know is that 5% of lightning strikes around the country actually happen on golf courses. This is widely because there are so many large metal rods on the course and the golfers are carrying metal clubs that attract lightning. The point of the matter is that golfing and lightning storms are not a good mixture at any time.
Thinking that you have enough time to play a few more holes before the “lightning gets too close” to be dangerous is just a chance that you should not take as you could get incredibly injured or worse, killed. As the stormy season starts to close in, it is wise to prepare yourself if you plan to golf. If you plan to be out on the green, below are some suggestions that can keep you safe while playing.
Check The Weather Forecast Often
It can be easy to get distracted during your golf game and forget to check the weather while you are playing the holes. However, if you know that a storm is supposed to hit, check your phone as often as possible. You can get updates as to what the weather is doing in real-time. Then you will have a better idea of when you might experience lightning on the golf course. Just in case you do get distracted, set the alarm inside your weather app so if lightning or storms do get close, you’ll be alerted and have enough time to get in out of the storm.
You may also find additional information on the pending storms through your golf GPS watch or checking out the radar on your smart phone. If you are using your smart phone to connect to your golf launch monitors and your Flight Scope Mevo, take a few minutes and download a weather app that will provide you with lighting strikes and whether or not you should get off of the golf course.
Find out the Golf Course’s Policy on Thunder Storms
Most golf courses around the country are now equipped with incredibly reliable lightning detection systems and storm radars. When a storm gets close and lightning strikes in the area, alarms are set off on the course which tells the golfers to stop playing immediately and leave the course with haste.
At other golf courses, they have a detection system instead of an alert. This detection system will tell you if a storm is likely to hit and when. If it is suspected to hit relatively soon, then, likely, the golf course staff will not allow you to play at all until the threat has passed for your own safety.
Before going out and playing golf during or before a storm, check with your golf course’s staff about what their policies are for playing in inclement weather and what system they use to alert people out on the course. You would think that most golf clubs have a lighting strike alarm system in place, but many courses choose not to pay for the service because it carries more liability for the course.
Find Shelter From Lighting Immediately
It is necessary to find out where the safest shelter at your golf course is before beginning your round of golf. Especially if you are golfing on a day when storms are expected to occur. When there is lightning on the golf course, you have to be able to get to a safe place as quickly as possible, so knowing where to find shelter is vital so you can get there quickly.
If you are playing on the course and are nowhere near the shelter when the storm hits, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. Get away from your golf cart and clubs as fast as you can, stay away from any bodies of water, take metal spikes off if you have them off, find the lowest spot of land that you can and lay down in it staying there until the storm passes.