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Lightning Strikes


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I had a tense experience with lightning this weekend...trapped in the depths of the course without shelter during a 2-hour intense thunder and lightning storm. Some golfers ran under trees! I, and others, hunkered down in a low spot in the open under our umbrellas. Deer were running scared across the course. Lightning was so close I could smell it. Pretty horrifying. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Anyone else have a lightning experience? (Please make it your experience, not hearsay or myth. :)


TS
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I see your from NJ, so am I. That storm was pretty bad the other day.

But when lighting and thunder and rain happen, I was told to always go under a tree and leave your bag out in the open..
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I was under the impression you were to avoid trees due to the fact that their height makes them more likely to be hit. Moving away from a back full of metal sticks is probably a good idea though.
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I was under the impression you were to avoid trees due to the fact that their height makes them more likely to be hit. Moving away from a back full of metal sticks is probably a good idea though.

Yea you do NOT want to hide under a tree. You increase your risk greatly. Not only do you risk being electrocuted, but if lighting strikes a nearby tree branch you risk being hurt by fallign debris.

The best thing to do is to take cover at a low point and whatever you do stop playing golf. The best course of action is when you see or hear eletrical strikes nearby get the heck to the club house!
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Yea you do NOT want to hide under a tree. You increase your risk greatly. Not only do you risk being electrocuted, but if lighting strikes a nearby tree branch you risk being hurt by fallign debris.

My dad told me to go under trrees and he's been playing for 45 years Lol...Idk if there is nothing around I think its better to be under a tree then out in the open.

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My dad told me to go under trrees and he's been playing for 45 years Lol...Idk if there is nothing around I think its better to be under a tree then out in the open.

I was told to go under a shelter. That's what they made them for. Trees are closer to the sky, and are more likely to get hit.

There was some lightning a couple weeks ago at a golf course I was playing at. However, living in Colorado, I'd thought it'd pass over in about half a minute. I was wrong, but luckily the clubhouse was right by it. I got a raincheck. In other kinda-related news, someone got stuck with lightning last week. I dont know if they were on the golf course or not.
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Lightning strikes the nearest and tallest object. So, for instance, if you are on the ground in the fairway, YOU are the tallest object.

A solo tree is a bullseye for lightning. Avoid it.

A small stand of trees is better, or short bushes.

Better is to get low, like below the surface of a raised green, or in a bunker...BUT do not lie down. Reduce your footprint on the ground. Squat like a baseball catcher so only your toes are making contact with the ground.

Best - a metal building or car. A shelter in the open is very bad, especially if it is not grounded.

Abandon clubs and golf cart.


Very scary stuff.

TS
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I'm not one to get caught out in a thuderstorm. I pay attention to the sky and can usually see one coming from miles off. As soon as I'm down to 10-15 minutes before the storm hits, I get the hell out of Dodge. Sometimes I cut it too close and get wet, but no, never struck by lightning.

If I was stuck out in the middle of a storm, I'd look for a shelter - failing at that, I'd get into a sand trap and get as low as I could. No , I am not going to hold my putter in the air and yell out loud "Rat farts!" .

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This discussion reminds me of the quote from Lee Trevino.

If you're caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.

Good enough reason to carry a 1-iron?

--Will
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