Be Smart & Healthy This Summer

use a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protectionCompared to most sports, golf is very safe. The chances of getting seriously injured are very small. But with all of the good news comes a few hazards golfers need to be aware of to stay safe and healthy.

Dehydration

During a four-hour round your body loses enough water to make you dehydrated, lose mental focus and feel tired, so it helps to drink a lot of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight ounces of fluid before you even tee off, then continue to drink four to eight ounces every 15 minutes of play. Sports drinks replace salt and electrolyte, and some soda can be beneficial, but keep in mind that drinking alcohol is dehydrating and should be done in moderation, or reserved for the 19th hole.

Insect Bites

Mosquitoes or the nearly invisible gnats known as no-see-ums may bother you while you are walking or worse, when you are standing over a crucial putt. An insect repellent with DEET is an indispensible weapon in your golf bag. Some folks swear by Avon's Skin So Soft to keep the little pests away, or even carrying fabric softener sheets in your pocket as other armorment.

Sunburn

There are three things you can do to protect your skin from becoming overexposed to the sun’s UV rays. You can wear protective clothing, play before 10:00 AM or after 4:00 PM, therefore avoiding the days most intense UV rays, and use a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Tehama introduced a new clothing line that includes SUV protection Cocona™ made by Trap-Tek™. Utilizing activated carbon made from coconut shells, it provides exceptional evaporative cooling, odor resistance and added UV protection to keep you more comfortable in any environment. Wearing a broad brim golf hat will protect by keeping the sun off your face, ears and neck. Coolibar, manufacturer of clothing with built-in sun protection offers a large selection of stylish and packable hats for all activities with SPF 50+ sun protection. Coolibar products have the seal of approval of the American Academy of Dermatologists.

Of course sunscreen is your best defense. Research shows 90 percent of wrinkles are caused by the sun's UVA light and sun damage is the #1 cause of premature aging in women and men. There are over 150 brands of sunscreen on the market so it’s best to check with your doctor for recomendations for your skin type. Sunscreen should be worn any time you are outside, regardless of how long you will be out, and should be reapplied frequently (every 40 to 80 minutes when perspiring, even with water-resistant sunscreen). And don’t skimp - applying sunscreen should not be limited to areas not covered by clothing, but to the entire body helps to keep you really protected.

Lightning

Although it’s probably unlikely you will be struck by lightning - it’s almost like winning the (really bad) lottery - your odds increase just by living in Florida. The Tampa Bay area is known as the lightning capital of the nation, if not the world. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a storm and is random and unpredictable.

avoid being hit by lightningThe Golf Course Superintendents Association of America takes the threat very seriously, and you should too. Every year more people are killed or injured by lightning than by tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. In fact, it's estimated that in the United States, as many as as many as 300 people are killed by lightning each year. Because golf courses are open areas with scattered individual trees, they are dangerous places to be during a thunderstorm. A lightning bolt will take the shortest route between the cloud and the ground, which means that a golfer standing in the middle of a fairway or huddled under a tree is a prime target for a strike.

There are several safety measures you can take to avoid being hit by lightning:

  • Seek shelter at the first sign of a thunderstorm.
  • Get off the golf course or go to a designated lightning shelter.
  • Do not stand under a lone tree.
  • Stay away from water.
  • Stay away from your golf clubs.
  • Move away from your golf cart.
  • If stranded in the open, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley.


Most golf courses employ storm warning systems by blowing an air horn or siren. When you hear the horn, all play must be suspended immediately and all players should mark their ball and leave the course and return to the clubhouse until the storm passes.

For more lightning safety tips go to: www.gcsaa.org/files/lightning.doc

 

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