Golf Courses – Lightning Hazards
Did you know that in the United States, approximately 5% of those deaths that were caused by lightning were on golf courses? Golf courses are a prime location for lightning strikes – often wide open greens with a number of small bodies of water scattered throughout. And although many golf courses do have shelters throughout, these might keep the golfer or golf course worker dry that takes refuge in one during some rain fall, but they are no protection against lightning. Such shelters offer no practical defense against lightning.
As a thunderstorm approaches a golf course, the only real protection one has is to get to a much larger structure that is enclosed, or to a vehicle, and once inside, stay clear of metal and ensure the windows are all closed up. Being in a golf cart on the course as the thunderstorm approaches is one of the worse places to be as far as danger and risk.
Golf course Pro Shops should especially be vigilant about warning golfers when the forecast suggests the possibility of thunderstorms and lightning. Consider posting warnings and providing written instructions to golfers as to what they should do if they hear thunder or observe lightning while out on the course.
A Lightning Detector Increases Safety
Golf courses could help lower the risk of both their golfers and their employees being caught out on the course with the risk of lightning by having a lightning detection system and the ability to communicate with employees about electrical activity that has been detected for which there is a concern about. Just as other employers who have laborers that work outdoors, golf courses should have a policy in place about thunderstorms that provide for instruction and direction about what those who may be exposed are expected to do and where they shall take cover. Providing golf course work crews with the EWS-PRO Portable lightning detector will help you decrease their risk to lightning caused injury and death.