As a golfer, one of our biggest fears is being caught in a lightning storm. For some, it is not the fact that being hit is very bad or dangerous to our health, but the fact they cannot finish their round. When talking about lightning, most of us over the age of 35 are thinking of the famous scene of Bill Murray and the Padre playing golfing in hurricane like conditions. Well, fortunately, I have never played in such conditions and never plan too. How about you? Continue reading
Have you ever been chased from the golf course! Through the years, I have left the course for only a couple of reasons and in all cases I have to point my finger at mother nature. To clarify, I have left the course after nine, but I do not really consider this being chased of the course. That was a matter of time or just not wanting to play the back nine. Being chased from the course, for me, occurs before or after the turn.
Recently, I asked the question to The Grateful Golfer community and I was not really surprised by their responses. Most were the same, however a couple of the answers were not part of the poll, but they did make me smile.
Golfers are fearless! Without hesitation, they face all natures elements because of an innate desire to finish 18 holes. Some would call this crazy, others compulsive, and others brave….well it is really hard to judge. Most golfers set their own limits and will decide to walk of the course when they have reached their fear factor.
Some will say “challenge the elements”; or “I will face whatever mother nature can throw at me!” Some like, the Bishop from Caddyshack, continue to challenge mother nature and even challenged God…..to his own peril.
On June 28, 1975, while playing in the 1975 Western Open, Lee Trevino was struck by lightning while playing golf. The odds of being hit by lightning in your lifetime are 1 in 300,000 thousand. He has been struck by lightning 3 times while playing golf! His Western Open incident led to one of the most famous quotes in golf where Trevino stated that if he were out on the course and it began to storm again; he would take out his one iron and point it to the sky, “because not even God can hit the one-iron.”
Personally, I have played in rain, pouring rain, pelting rain, freezing rain, hail, snow, blistering heat, using a flashlight (to tee off at 5 am), wearing 3 outer sweatshirts and wearing long underwear. There is virtually no weather conditions that I will not play in except one: lightning! Nope, I do not care how good my game is going, I draw the line at lightning.
So how do we know when lightning is close enough that it is time to walk away? That is a very good question. For me, it is if I see the lightning or the the thunder is so loud that it makes me flinch.
While playing men’s night on Wednesday, we encountered one of those times when a decision had to be made about whether to continue playing or walk away. As we watched this storm cloud roll quickly across the golf course, we decided to carry on….mostly because there was no thunder or lightning associated with the cloud. As it turned out, it rained monsoon like for 5 minutes then cleared up! (I will not tell you where my umbrella was because you would all just laugh at me!) We were wet, but never in any danger…on a side note I found out that I am water tight because the rain just roll off me like water off a ducks back….who knew!
In all seriousness, it is important to know when to walk away from the links. Your health is more important than a low golf score! The golf course is a place to have fun, challenge yourself and meet new people. It is not a place to tempt fate by being foolish. So regardless of much fun you are having it is important to know when to walk away.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!