It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. People tend to think of golf as being one of the safer sports because it is non-contact. While you may be at lesser risk for a concussion or broken bones, there are still serious injuries that can occur while playing golf. Not only can a golf ball flying towards you be a life-threatening situation, there is also quite a bit of danger related to weather and with golf carts. Here are some tips to make sure you are maintaining safety on the golf course.
Lightning is a real danger for golfers and should never be taken lightly. Carrying metal clubs while walking in open space or near trees during a storm is an accident waiting to happen. If a thunderstorm comes, golfers need to stop playing right away and go to the clubhouse. If players can’t get to the clubhouse, they should:
- Drop their clubs and move away from them.
- Move away from the golf cart.
- Stay away from trees and water.
- Find a low-lying area.
It’s well known that when hit a poor shot, you should yell “fore.” As embarrassing as it is to hit a bad shot, you must yell fore as loudly as possible if you see that your shot going toward other players on the course. If people have time to prepare and to protect their heads, the chances of them being seriously injured are going to be much less. This is a huge way to achieve safety on the golf course. Brad says, “It’s important to look in other fairways and look ahead of you before you swing. Also, make sure your playing group knows that you are about to hit. The biggest part of staying safe on the course is staying aware.”
Many groups make the mistake of allowing unlicensed drivers drive the cart. These inexperienced drivers are much more likely to crash. As much as possible, players should stay on cart paths and never try to go off-roading across bumpy terrain. Brad says, “When alcohol is involved, sometimes players will make bad decisions in how they operate their cart.” To achieve safety on the golf course, it’s also imperative to watch out for other carts where cart paths intersect. Don’t let anyone hang feet, legs, arms, or hands out of a cart while it’s in motion.
Heat exhaustion is common on hot, humid days and includes symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, weakness, headaches and feeling nauseous. Though it is typically reversible by getting out of the heat, heat exhaustion can lead to something more serious such as heat stroke. Heat stroke is characterized by a body temperature of 104 degrees or higher and is often accompanied by central nervous system dysfunction. Signs and symptoms of heat stroke may include mental confusion, erratic behavior, fainting or losing consciousness. If a player begins feeling any of these symptoms, they should take corrective action immediately by stopping physical activity, getting inside, drinking fluids, and elevating their legs to increase blood circulation. Golfers who spend several hours out on the course on a summer day put themselves at higher risk for elevated body temperature, dehydration, and heat illness. To reduce these risks, follow these simple tips:
- Get on the course early.
- Don’t over-exert yourself.
- Seek shade whenever possible.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Stay hydrated.
- Grab a cart, don’t walk.
These are just a few of the more common ways you could be injured on the golf course and believe it or not, our firm has handled quite a few cases where there was negligence on the course. If you’ve been injured on a golf course, give our office a call and we’d be honored to see how we can help you.