Golfing is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the world, enjoyed by millions of people. However, golfers need to be aware of the dangers that come with playing on an open course during a thunderstorm. Lightning strikes can be deadly, and the damage they can cause to golf courses can be significant.
A recent incident at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers of playing golf during a storm. The Director of Grounds at the club, Rick Tegtmeier, posted a photo on Twitter showing the aftermath of a lightning strike on the practice green. The photo shows the cup and pin of the green with long tentacle-looking marks protruding from it, which are the result of the lightning strike.
According to The Weather Channel, when lightning strikes earth, it branches out along the ground, in this case, the practice green. The resulting currents fan out from the strike center in a tendril pattern. A lightning bolt can be fatal up to 100 feet away from the point of the strike, and it can cause significant damage to anything in its path.
In the case of the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, the lightning strike was so intense that it melted the cup. Tegtmeier expressed doubts about the possibility of recovery of the practice green in his follow-up tweet.
The incident is a reminder that golfers need to take safety seriously when playing during a thunderstorm. Golf courses are typically large, open spaces, which can make them vulnerable to lightning strikes. It’s essential to be aware of the weather conditions before heading out onto the course and to heed any warnings or alerts.
If you hear a horn or see lightning in the distance, it’s essential to seek shelter immediately. Avoid standing under trees, as they can attract lightning strikes, and if you’re in a golf cart, get out and seek shelter indoors or in a car.
In conclusion, golf and lightning don’t mix, and the incident at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club is a stark reminder of the dangers of playing during a thunderstorm. Lightning strikes can be deadly, and they can cause significant damage to golf courses. Golfers need to take safety seriously, be aware of the weather conditions, and seek shelter immediately if they hear a horn or see lightning in the distance. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to lightning strikes.