A lightning strike on a golf course can come quite literally as a bolt out of the blue – and because of its ability to strike suddenly, lightning protection for golf clubs is required for the safety of the players and staff members.
Golfers may not consider lightning as a threat but it’s important to remember how dangerous it can be. Tall trees can create a lightning rod effect and people exposed in open areas with metal golf clubs can be in danger.
Golf club management should look closely at their procedures to keep players, spectators and staff safe in the event of a sudden lightning storm. The PGA European Tour has officially recognised lightning as a hazard, calling on experts to decide whether to suspend play when necessary. However, many golfing facilities still rely on basic resources, such as the club secretary, to decide when conditions are a risk. Depending on people to simply look out for bad weather is no longer acceptable. Golf facilities should investigate lightning detection and protection technology as part of their working practices.
Players and spectators should be warned about approaching storms, giving them enough time to seek shelter. Relying on visual signs of a storm, when it may be travelling at around 100mph, means it will have hit the course before people can find safety.
Lightning detectors employ state-of-the-art technology to improve warning times during the storm’s early stages, forecasting its arrival time. Lightning and surge protection systems can be deployed to reduce the risks of a strike. Lightning protection is available for every aspect of the golf course including the clubhouse, shelters, the caddy/trolley shed and irrigation system. The risk factor should be assessed by a professional and the level of protection determined and installed according to the risk – a combination of external lightning protection and protection for all service lines entering and leaving the facility, such as metal gas and water pipes and power supply lines.
If you require further information on lightning protection for golf clubs, contact Lightning Strike for expert help and advice.
Betchworth Golf Park