There’s no denying that being on a golf course during a thunderstorm is a scary prospect considering that a golfer is essentially carrying a series of lightning conductors in their bag as they move from hole-to-hole. Lightning is among nature’s most dangerous weapons, and for those that find themselves living in a storm-laden area but also enjoy a round of gold during the afternoon, these tips can potentially keep you out of harm’s way.
The Frequency of Strikes
Around 5 percent of all annual lightning deaths in the United States along occur on a golf course, according to a study that was taken out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. There are around 25 million strikes during the year in the United States, and causes far more damage than that caused by tornadoes and hurricanes. Fortunately, there are some ways that golfers can stay safe when they feel that a storm is imminent.
Watching The Weather
This may seem obvious to most people, but we often underestimate just how fast a storm can approach. While we may have gentler winds on ground levels, winds up in the atmosphere can travel much faster, meaning that a storm is able to quickly catch up to anyone on a course that is unaware of the weather predictions. It’s important that golfers always keep an ear out for any thunder, and if they see darker clouds approaching on the horizon, it’s a good idea to pack up and head home.
Lightning is able to strike at a long distance, even if it’s far from the origin of the storm itself. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind that if thunder can be heard from any distance, the potential to be struck immediately exists, and seeking shelter in the nearest building should become priority.
Avoid Electrical Equipment
Lightning is made up of pure electricity, and will almost always aim for something that is electrical or metallic in nature due to how conductivity works. This means that golfers stuck in shelter during a thunderstorm should try their best to avoid most electrical devices, such as computers, microwaves, and corded phones, but smartphones tend to be safer, meaning you can check out the top 5 casinos in Sri Lanka while waiting out the storm. This can also apply to plumbing, but only if the plumbing in the shelter makes use of copper piping, as many do. The piping easily work as a conductor and allow potential fatal electricity to run all the way to taps or geysers.
Avoid Windows and Doorways
It may feel safe to stand inside behind a window during a storm, but there have been cases in the past of lightning striking through glass, shattering it and injuring the person on the other side. Windows are not safe during any atmospheric electrical activity, and golfers should always try their best to remain as far inside as they can during a storm. This applies to any openings in the building, and it’s also possible to be struck while standing to close to a metal security gate, as electricity is able to arc toward the nearest conductors, which includes the human body.