Club Safety-More than just your Swing

There are a lot of tips out there for golfers who want to be safer when they have the club in their hands. Most golfers know that a good stretch before you swing will keep you from pulling a muscle and the right grip and a quick look at your surroundings will keep your fellow golfers safe (and keep you from yelling “fore!”) While it’s easy to remember to do this simple tasks, those in the industry of golf clubs and resorts know that the most important safety tips pertain to the elements that you can’t control. Dangerous weather conditions often appear to seemingly form out of nowhere and can threaten the safety of not only you and your fellow golfers, but club employees as well.

Dangerous Weather at Golf Clubs

There are a few different ways that severe weather conditions can threaten your health and safety while visiting or working at a golf club or resort. While these issues can arise at any time of year, summertime is the most dangerous season for golf clubs due to high temperatures and stormy weather. While sunny conditions and warm temperatures seem like the perfect weather for a round of golf, these conditions can actually do some damage to your health. If you forget sunscreen and a few bottles of water, you can suffer from sunburn and dehydration on the golf course. Another more serious health condition that can arise from playing in extremely hot and sunny weather is heat stroke. It’s important to prepare for the dangers warm temperatures can bring and skip the course for the pool on days where it’s too hot.

A second dangerous weather condition that affects those at golf clubs and resorts is lightning. Although lightning strikes can happen less often that heatstroke, dehydration, and most of all sunburn, it is definitely a threat that needs to be addressed considering golf is actually one of the most high risk activities for being struck by lightning. A recent study by NOAA found that 64% of lightning strikes that hit humans happen during leisure activities. With new forecasting tools being developed all the time and real-time alerting from cell phones, it’s puzzling to some people as to why dangerous weather conditions compromise the safety of golfers and club employees alike.

Lightning Safety is not a Game

Spring Lightning, Oak Hill, Kansas on April 13, 2015. Credit: Tony Crichton

Spring Lightning, Oak Hill, Kansas on April 13, 2015. Credit: Tony Crichton

It is imperative to remember that unlike golf, safety is not a game. As a golfer, we know it can be tempting to stay out on the course and finish your game even with the threat of dangerous weather. We also know that at some courses golfers are faced with a long walk or drive back to the clubhouse or nearest shelter. Thinking “it-won’t-happen-to-me” is oftentimes the easier, stress free solution to seeking shelter however it’s not an effective solution.

Many clubs and resorts have their own alerting systems in place, however someone still has to make the decision and call those in harm’s way into shelter. There’s a lot of pressure on shoulders of club operation managers and other decision-makers. Since normally club operations managers aren’t part-time meteorologists, tracking storms can be tricky and stressful since weather conditions and patterns can change quickly. If a club operations manager makes the call and the storm doesn’t show up, they risk facing angry club members on the golf course and beyond. If they don’t make the call and the storm does show up, angry golfers are the least of your worries as safety concerns become paramount. We know you must be wondering if there’s an easier way.

Perfect Your Safety Game

Lightning strikes and other severe weather conditions can put a golf club employee or member’s life in danger, making safety a tremendously large responsibility to bear. While there are a few different weather alerting systems meant to ensure lightning safety at golf clubs and resorts, Earth Networks takes safety a step further. How do we do this? We grant decision-makers, members, and employees peace of mind be leveraging our state-of-the-art weather stations to power the industry’s first in-cloud lightning detection. Most lightning detection misses out on approximately 80% of all lightning strikes because these systems are limited to only detecting cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. Total Lightning detection, or the ability to track both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning, is a capability exclusive to Earth Networks. Plus, since in-cloud lightning is often a precursor to other dangerous weather conditions, out Total Lightning Network allows our consumers to be safer from not only lightning but tornadoes, hail, micro-bursts and other severe weather.

Get golfers, club members, and employees to shelter when severe weather approaches and minutes matter most. Our state-of-the-art Outdoor Alerting System detects lightning and sends out severe weather alerts with a high decibel attention-getting signal for maximum coverage from single to multiple siren sites. Our alerts are also customizable, meaning you can set your own parameters for automated warnings based on the size of your golf club and the longest time it takes golfers to return to shelter. Our easy-to-use system helps decision makers know when to give the “all clear” with our real-time dashboard which includes a countdown timer with an estimated safe time.

The average golfer has a lot to worry about. Stretching before a round of golf and making sure your swing is on point are just some thoughts that might be on your mind. With all these worries, it’s easy to forget about the weather and get caught in a dangerous situation. Perfect your safety game and give yourself peace of mind by only golfing at clubs and courses that have a severe weather alerting system in place.

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This entry was posted in Awareness, Lightning, Safety.
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