How to Stay Safe from Lightning Strikes On a Golf Course

Jul 6, 2020

lightning in a purple sky

Living in Florida, it is no secret that in the spring and summer months, rain showers can appear out of nowhere. Though the rainy season is predictable and showers can be timed like clockwork daily, there are still times where the unexpected shower or storm occurs. Many golf courses are starting to equip themselves with lightning detection systems that will set off an alarm when it detects lightning within a certain distance from the course. Others have an additional system that is able to predict storms and read the conditions of the atmosphere. Whether the course you are playing is outfitted with these technologies or not, it is always a good idea to check with the staff and learn their policy regarding lightning. A bogey may ruin your golf game for a hole but being struck by lightning will ruin your golf game forever. Our golf professionals can tell you your odds of being struck by lightning on the golf course and how to stay safe from lightning strikes.

Fun Facts About Lightning

You may think you know all there is to know about lightning strikes, but our South Florida country club can tell you five surprising facts about lightning that you may not know!

  1. The air in a lightning strike can be as hot as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightning usually strikes outside of heavy rain bands and may happen as far as 10 miles away from where it is raining.
  3. Most people who are struck by lightning are outside in the summer months in the afternoon or evening.
  4. When lightning hits the ground, it can create as much as 100 million to 100 billion volts of electricity.
  5. The length of a lightning strike from cloud to ground can be anywhere from 2 miles to 10.

What Is the Likelihood of Being Struck by Lightning?

The odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course is 1:3,000. The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the US is 1:700,000. Lightning can kill people or cause cardiac arrest, severe burns, permanent brain damage, memory loss, and personality changes. According to National Geographic, “About 10 percent of lightning-strike victims are killed and 70 percent suffer serious long-term effects. About 400 people survive lightning strikes in the U.S. each year.” 1

How to Stay Safe from Being Struck by Lightning

To minimize your odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course, there are a few things that our experts recommend you do.

  1. Frequently check the weather forecast.
    Though it may seem like the simplest thing you can do to reduce your odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course, many golfers fail to keep an eye on the weather during their round. Before hitting the links, make sure to check your weather app or download a weather app that has alerts for things like severe storms, tornados, or lightning.
  2. Download a radar app.
    A reliable radar app will also drastically lower your odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course. There are some radar apps that you can download on your phone that can detect a storm within a radius of 10 miles. The radar will tell you how far the storm is from you, giving you enough time to prepare.
  3. Immediately find shelter.
    Look for shelter immediately when there are signs of a storm and before your tee time. Make sure that you are aware of all the places to shelter near each hole and be sure avoid standing under any trees or in golf carts, do not hold your clubs, stay away from water, and remove any metal spiked shoes.

Deer Creek golf club invites you to enjoy a round on our world-renowned, championship signature course. We are open to the general public and also offer annual, residential, seasonal, and weekly memberships!

 

 

Sources:

  1. National Geographic – Flash Facts About Lightning