Fore-warned – Head Injuries on the Golf Course

Golf is a good walk spoiled. Hazards abound. And, not just the kinds made of water and sand.

A golf ball travels through the air at over 160 km/h. At that speed it packs a punch. Getting hit in the face with a ball in flight is like having a small bowling ball dropped on your head. Bones and skulls fracture, retinas detach, and brains get bruised. These are risks inherent to the game that are often overlooked.

Fortunately, golf courses operators know this and plan accordingly to keep you safe. They have course marshals to monitor the speed of gameplay, prevent the congestion of players, and quell reckless behaviour. The designers and maintainers of the course also take these risks into account. Safety devices like mirrors, bells, and horns are made available for golfers teeing off when nearby parts of the fairway are not easily visible. Players of the game work to keep each other safe, too. Even the most amateur of players knows to yell “Fore!” when a shot goes wrong.

But these safeguards are not foolproof. Sometimes there are not enough marshals on the course. Sometimes safety devices are broken, poorly maintained, or are just not utilized. Sometimes people get careless and forget there are other players on the course. And, it all gets worse when alcohol is poured into the mix.

When you’re out on the course keep your head on a swivel. Be aware of your surroundings. Listen for warnings. Utilize safety devices. And, take care of your fellow players.

Even with vigilance injuries can still happen. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured on a golf course, we may be able to help.

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