Safety on the Green: 4 Ways to Protect Yourself from a Golfing Accident
It’s a beautiful summer afternoon: The sun is shining, the grass is green, the sky’s a cloudless blue. You’re ready to gather your golf clubs and play a few holes with friends. What could possibly go wrong?
Even sports that might seem relatively tame have the potential to go awry. From golf cart accidents to heat-related illnesses and trip-and-falls, the potential for golfing accidents are more numerous than one might think. By keeping these four tips in mind, you can ensure the safety of yourself and others whilst forging ahead in your quest to beat par.
1. Prep your body
Establishing a proper stretching regimen can help prevent injury and even make you a better player: More limber muscles can lead to a more effective swing. Mayo Clinic suggests golf-specific stretches for all areas of the body, including wrists, hips and hamstrings.
2. Factor in weather conditions
Checking the weather and planning accordingly is vital when it comes to golf safety. Metal golf clubs are conductors and are more likely to attract lightning in the open golf course environment, where players may often be the tallest objects in a given area. In the event of a storm, you should stop golfing at the first sign that lightning may occur.
Even on a nice day, heat-related illnesses pose significant risks for golfers who seldom find themselves under cover from the sun’s rays. The CDC advises those who are active on hot days to drink often, apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and pace themselves, taking breaks to cool down as often as needed. Learn to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illness in both yourself and others and take action by getting cool and, if symptoms are severe, calling 911.
3. Practice proper golf cart safety
Though golf carts can be fun and useful tools to ease gameplay and increase accessibility, this does not mean that they’re exempt from serious safety precautions. In Pennsylvania, anyone 12 or older is legally permitted to drive a golf cart, though you must be 16 to drive a golf cart across public highways. Practice proper golf cart safety by:
- Sticking to designated paths and avoiding rugged terrain and puddles wherever possible
- Slowing down around winding turns
- Looking out for other vehicles, stray golfers or equipment on the green
- Respecting the limited amount of baggage and people the cart is able to carry safely
4. Be aware of your surroundings
It might seem simple, but it’s effective. The most you can do to prevent golfing accidents is to pay attention to what you and others are doing. When on the green:
- Yell “Fore!” if you find that your hit might put others at risk
- If you hear “Fore!,” cover your head with your arms and crouch down
- When others are near you, do not swing your golf club
- Do not hit into the group in front of you. Be patient and wait for them to move on
- Look out for potential hazards above you before you swing — you may hit branches or other obstacles that could fall on impact
- If you’re a spectator, stay within the specified safe zones. Otherwise, you might not be able to hold the course liable if you are injured by errant golf balls
By following these four tips, you can lessen the risk of injury and illness on the green and focus on setting your new personal best.
If you have been injured in a golfing accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact KBG to schedule a free consultation.