Golf Safety

May 31, 2017 - 8:20am

Anyone for a game of golf?

On any given day hundreds if not thousands of people will grab a golf club for a relaxing afternoon. But how many took a few warm up stretches; remembered extra drinking water; slapped on a wide brim hat or slopped on some sun screen? Golfing is becoming increasingly popular among Canadians of all ages. But like all sports, playing golf involves a risk of injury. It seems odd that something so simple as golf could cause injury but it can. Oddly there is more to swinging a club and not to improve your game either. The following tips can help you to manage the risks of golf-related injuries:

The proper swing

* A golf swing is an unnatural motion for the body, and most golf-related injuries are caused by overuse or poor form. Injuries to the elbow, back, shoulder and wrist are most common.

* If you haven’t played in a few months, start by hitting a bucket of balls at a driving range. If you’re in pain the next day, you'll need to ease slowly back into the game.

* If you continue to experience pain after you play, you may be heading towards a more serious injury. Take some lessons to improve your form, and consider seeing your doctor.

Other players

* Golf balls can travel at speeds of more than 240 kilometers per hour, and can impact with a deadly amount of force. Keep aware of other players on the course, including those behind and in front of you, and those on adjoining holes.

* If you hear someone shout “fore!” don’t try to spot the ball. Protect yourself by immediately crouching or bending over and covering your head with your arms. Stay in this position for five seconds or until you see or hear the ball land.

* Be alert for practice swings, especially before or after a tee-off. Make sure others are outside the range of your club before taking a swing.

Golf carts

* Test the cart’s brakes and steering before leaving the clubhouse area.

* Remain seated and keep your body inside the cart while it is in motion. When driving, make sure passengers are properly seated with both feet inside the cart before starting to move.

* Golf carts can overturn easily, so drive slowly while on hills and while turning, avoid driving the cart across muddy, wet or sandy slopes, and avoid driving on the edges of cliffs, bunkers, waterholes or drop-offs.

* If drinking alcohol, be aware that heat and exercise can intensify alcohol’s effects. If you’re driving the cart, or driving home after the game, drive sober.

The weather

* Wear sunscreen and a hat, and watch for symptoms of heatstroke while playing. Drink plenty of water!

* The open playing area and use of metal clubs puts golfers at an increased risk of being hit by lightning. Avoid playing on days when rain has been forecast, and return to the clubhouse if storm clouds appear. Remember that golf carts will not protect you from lightning.

Young golfers

* Young golfers may take more dangerous risks than adults, including horseplay during the game and while using golf carts. Young golfers should get trained before they play their first game, and should be instructed on the rules of safe play and safe golf cart use.

* Children should always be supervised by an adult while golfing.

Golf is a great way to relax with friends and family plus get some exercise. Like any sport doing so safely and in moderation is the key to success. Have a great game!

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