Compared to other rigorous sports, golf is considered a safe and low-impact activity, as there is less contact with players and a few basic rules to follow. Despite that, injuries and unfortunate events can still happen, especially when guidelines are ignored or if a golfer does not protect himself. To help out, we’ve listed some of the precautions everyone should follow to ensure safety and avoid mishaps on the golf course.
Though golf requires relatively less effort than basketball or triathlon, it is still a physical activity, which means your body should be prepared for it. That said, it is vital to warm up before you head to the course or before starting your swings on the greens. Spend a few minutes doing this or allot more if you’re not physically active. Include your arms, wrists, shoulders, and legs in the routine. By doing so, you lessen muscle tension, improve heart rate, and increase blood flow to your system – all contributing to decreasing risks of injuries.
Be mindful of others
A swing requires your focus to hit your shots and get a good score. Yes, zoning in is crucial, but it is also vital to keep track of people around you. Before you swing, check if other players are at a safe distance. That way, you won’t be hitting them with your golf club. Don’t swing if there are other golfers nearby to avoid any injuries. If you have children playing on a golf camp, extra attentiveness and constant reminders are required to prevent them from getting hurt.
Look ahead and stay wary
Before hitting, look ahead to your target and see if there are golfers around. If there’s a slow group ahead, be patient and ask any marshall to speed up the game. Never allow frustration to hit you. While it’s extremely rare, some people died after being struck by a golf ball.
Meanwhile, you also need to be wary when it’s not your time to swing. All golfers are expected to ensure everyone’s safety before hitting a stroke, but that isn’t always the case. Be alert whenever you’re going out in an adjoining fairway or retrieving an errant shot, and remember to maintain a safe distance from players getting ready before their swing.
Shout “Fore” or move if you hear it
There are instances when your hit can push the ball farther than what you intended or get a mishit driving it to an adjoining fairway. If that happens, shout “Fore!” as loud and as many you can! “Fore” is an international term used in golf to warn people who are standing or moving in the golf ball’s flight and let them take cover. On the other hand, if you hear “Fore!” in your direction, cover up your head with your arms or a golf bag, or go behind a cart or the trees for your protection.
Save your skin
Playing golf means getting the chance to explore the outdoors and witness the beauty of the surroundings. The catch is that it also means you get exposed to the sun and its harsh effects for a couple of hours on an outing. As such, it is a must for you to save your skin by using tons of strong sunscreen. Of course, dress for the heat with cool and protective clothes. Refrain from wearing black or dark-colored outfits as that will absorb heat. Instead, wear light-colored long-sleeves, pants, and a hat with breathable materials that will help you stay comfy, cool and protected from the sun.
While golf is a low-impact sport, engaging in any physical activity, especially on a hot day, means sweating off a lot of body fluids. With that, you need to battle dehydration, which can easily cause exhaustion and mental fatigue, resulting in lazy swings and poor scores. So, drink tons of water, and some little sports drinks that contain sodium, which can offset the sweat you release during the round. More importantly, skip the beer or any alcohol! It can cause dehydration faster and can disorient you, making the chances of accidents occurring.
You may not be on a highway, and there’s no traffic but driving a golf cart means you also need to follow safety rules. Read the safety label and move along the intended paths. Don’t go overspeeding, especially on steep hills or sudden curves. Then, watch out for obstacles and never ever let children drive the cart.
Beware of lightning
It’s not all sunshine, and a thunderstorm may arrive while enjoying a game of golf. The biggest concern when that happens is lightning. Golfers are at a higher risk of getting struck on exposed land due to the metals clubs they’re carrying. So, at the very sight of lightning, take cover by heading to the clubhouse right away. While others may be enticed to the nearest trees, trees themselves are prone to be hit. Look for any designated stone or concrete shelter instead, which can serve as your refuge.
Those are the precautions you need to take when playing on the golf course. Golf is fun, but gameplay can be more exciting when everyone is safe and protected. Happy and safe swinging!