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Lightning Safety

Some facts you might not know about lightning:

  • Air in a lightning strike can be heated up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The rapid heating of the air is what produces the shockwave that results in thunder.

  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

  • Most lightning incidents occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening (between 2:00-6:00 p.m.).

  • A ground strike can produce somewhere between 100 million to one billion volts of electricity.

  • The length of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike can range from two miles to 10.

Seek Shelter Immediately. Scout out the locations for shelter on the golf course prior to your round. Know where to go beforehand because time could be of the essence in finding a safe place. If you are caught on the course and there is no shelter near, consider the following tips:

  • Do not stand under tall trees or sit in a golf cart. Do not stand under a lone tree, even a small one.

  • You must get away from your cart and away from your golf clubs quickly.

  • Stay away from water.

  • If you are old-school and have metal spikes on, take them off.

  • If stranded in the open, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley, or the lowest spot you can find.

Check the forecast and check it often. Seems simple enough but its no longer surprising when golfers are seemingly out of touch with what the daily forecast says. With all of us having a mobile device nearby at all times, it should be a given that everyone has some sort of reliable weather app on their phone. Make sure that the app has the ability to set alerts on things such as lightning, severe thunderstorms, and even tornadoes.

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