Golfers Hit by Lightning

Myth Busted!

National Weather Service Play it Safe Photo

Play it Safe – Avoid Storms
Click above to check out the report.

Lee Trevino once quipped: If you are 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.

Though it has been long believed that golfers would hold this top spot, according to a recent detailed analysis by NOAA of lightning deaths in the United States, golfers do NOT account for the most sports related lightning fatalities. Out of the 12 activities which accounted for the most, golf was tied for number 8. The sad No.1 spot belongs to fishing, which accounts for twice as many as number 2, camping.

Some interesting charts and graphs are included below. As one can see, Mother Nature apparently doesn’t like men, since 81% of the time they are the target.

In fact, a quick overview of the data suggests that if you’re a guy, aged 20-29, and it’s a Saturday in July, and your buddies invite you to go fishing on a boat, and there are possible storms in the forecast, either decline the invitation, or bring your 1 iron.

Lightning Fatalities by Gender Chart

By Gender

Lightning Fatalities by Age Chart

By Age

Lightning Fatalities by Day of Week

Day of Week

Lightning Fatalities by Month

By Month

Lightning Hits by Sports Activities - Golf is 28 percent

Sports Activities

Lightning Fatalities by Water Related Activities

Water Activities

Fortunately, lightning deaths are preventable. The key is to react to signs of approaching storms. If you don’t have time to read this complete report, then some of the key lightning safety take-a-ways are these:

  • Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far as 10 miles from any rainfall. Many lightning deaths occur ahead of storms or after storms have seemingly passed.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are in danger. Don’t be fooled by blue skies. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to pose an immediate threat.
  • Have a lightning safety plan. Know where you’ll go for safety and how much time it will take to get there. Make sure your plan allows enough time to reach safety.
  • Postpone activities. Before going outdoors, check the forecast for thunderstorms. Consider postponing activities to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
  • Monitor the weather. Look for signs of a developing thunderstorm such as darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing wind.
  • Get to a safe place. If you hear thunder, even a distant rumble, immediately move to a safe place. Fully enclosed buildings with wiring and plumbing provide the best protection. Sheds, picnic shelters, tents or covered porches do NOT protect you from lightning. If a sturdy building is not nearby, get into a hard-topped metal vehicle and close all the windows. Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
  • If you hear thunder, don’t use a corded phone except in an emergency. Cordless phones and cell phones are safe to use.
  • Keep away from electrical equipment and wiring. Water pipes conduct electricity.
  • Don’t take a bath or shower or use other plumbing during a storm.

Here in Florida, we have more than our share of lightning – well over 1 Million hits per year, ranking us No.1 in the United States. So, no matter the sport or activity that you’re enjoying, don’t get in harm’s way. Remember to Play it Safe and Get Indoors When Thunder Roars!

Posted in Golf Putting Greens Tagged with: , , , , ,

The First Tee- Golf for Kids and Teens

The First Tee - Golf for Kids and Teens

The First Tee – Golf for Kids and Teens

Kids and Golf are a great combination. We all know that before we can teach them to run, they have to learn how to walk, and in between we teach them to putt, chip and drive. What better way to teach them about life than the game of golf. From birdies to triple bogeys, golf closely parallels real life as players experience the highs and lows of the game. Surely there must be a way to introduce more youth to the sport without parents having to invest a small fortune. Well, there is, and unfortunately, most people I speak with are unaware of this terrific organization, so I want to help spread the word.

Not only do they teach youth, ages 5-18, golf instruction, but also life skills, core values and healthy habits. Lessons are administered at chapters, military installations, and to students in elementary schools. Youth from all walks of life benefit by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf. You can bring your own clubs or usually they’ll have some available to use. Program prices are adjusted for income levels.

The First Tee - Golf Instruction for Youth- Nine Core Values

Nine Core Values

  • HONESTY- Calling a penalty on him/herself if he/she breaks a rule.
  • INTEGRITY- Maintaining composure and etiquette even when he/she thinks others are not watching.
  • SPORTSMANSHIP- Treating otherskindly whether winning or losing.
  • RESPECT – Following instructions and safety rules.
  • CONFIDENCE- Identifying something he/she is doing well regardless of the outcome.
  • RESPONSIBILITY- Taking care of the practice areas and course by repairing ball marks, replacing divots, raking bunkers, etc.
  • PERSEVERANCE- Trying his/her best regardless of how he/she is playing.
  • COURTESY- Remaining still and quiet while others are playing.
  • JUDGMENT- Making healthy choices at the golf course, such as being physically active, drinking water and eating healthy snacks.
Nine Healthy Habits

Nine Healthy Habits

  • Energy- It is important to understand and make healthy choices about when to eat, how much to eat, and the types of food and drinks to provide the body with the most useful energy.
  • Play- A variety of energizing play can help the body stay strong, lean and fit, and be fun in the process. Sleep and other forms of “re-charging” allow one to engage in play on a daily basis.
  • Safety- Physical safety includes playing in a safe environment and by the rules, protecting the body with proper equipment, warm-up and cool-down and wearing sun protection.
  • Vision- In order to make the most of one’s unique gifts—talents, characteristics and abilities— an individual needs to learn from the past, value the present, create their vision and future to ultimately “leave a footprint.”
  • Mind- The mind is a powerful tool for health. One’s mind influences his/her emotions and behaviors and can be utilized for self-improvement, building confidence and maintaining perspective.
  • Family- When family members participate in activities together – share meals, communicate and establish roles and responsibilities – they are more likely to be successful in achieving their health-related goals.
  • Friends- Maintaining healthy relationships includes surrounding one’s self with friends and supportive people, while effectively handling challenging situations, including bullying and navigating the digital age with social media.
  • School- Success in school – learning, building relationships and contributing to the school environment – leads to success in other areas of life.
  • Community- Like the health of one’s body, it is important to also explore the health of one’s community and discover how one can give back and care for its environment and safety.

The following founding partners play a key role in creating awareness and providing support for The First Tee and their youth development goals:

  • Ladies Professional Golf Association
  • Masters Tournament
  • PGA of America
  • United States Golf Association
  • Corporate Founding Partner – Shell Oil Company
  • Legacy Partner – Johnson & Johnson

In addition, former President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair. He succeeds his father, former President George H. W. Bush, who served as The First Tee’s honorary chair since the organization’s inception in 1997 and is now Honorary Chair Emeritus.

They do appreciate corporate sponsorship, donations, and volunteers, so if you’re looking for a really worthwhile cause while promoting golf, The First Tee is your organization.

You can find the Tampa Bay Chapter of The First Tee here, or Find a Chapter in Your Area

Posted in Golf Putting Greens Tagged with: , , , ,

Protect Your Pets from Lawn Chemical Exposure

Protect your dogs and pets from potentially harmful effects of weed killers and lawn chemicals.

According to a recent study, herbicides (weed killers) applied to residential lawns, were detectable in dogs.

Here are the Highlights of the study:

  • Lawn chemicals were commonly detected on treated and “untreated” lawns.
  • The detection of lawn chemicals in the urine of pet dogs was widespread.
  • Lawn chemicals persisted on the grass for at least 48 h after application.
  • Chemicals persisted longer on grass under certain environmental conditions.
  • Dogs may serve as sentinels for human exposures, and further study is justified.

Exposure to herbicide-treated lawns has been associated with significantly higher bladder cancer risk in dogs. This work was performed to further characterize lawn chemical exposures in dogs, and to determine environmental factors associated with chemical residence time on grass. In addition to concern for canine health, a strong justification for the work was that dogs may serve as sentinels for potentially harmful environmental exposures in humans.

Herbicides [2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP), dicamba] were applied to grass plots under different conditions (e.g., green, dry brown, wet, and recently mowed grass).

Chemical residues were measured at various intervals up to 72 hours post treatment. In a separate study, 2,4-D, MCPP, and dithiopyr concentrations were measured in the urine of dogs and in grass residues in households that applied or did not apply chemicals in the preceding 48 h. Chemicals were measured at intervals up to 48 hours post application in treated households and at time 0 in untreated control households. Residue persistence of 2,4-D, MCPP, and dicamba was significantly prolonged on dry brown grass compared to green grass.

Chemicals were detected in the urine of dogs in 14 of 25 households before lawn treatment, in 19 of 25 households after lawn treatment, and in 4 of 8 untreated households. Chemicals were commonly detected in grass residues from treated lawns, and from untreated lawns suggesting chemical drift from nearby treated areas. Thus dogs could be exposed to chemicals through contact with their own lawn (treated or contaminated through drift) or through contact with other grassy areas if they travel.

The length of time to restrict a dog’s access to treated lawns following treatment remains to be defined. Further study is indicated to assess the risks of herbicide exposure in humans and dogs.

Interestingly, some herbicides have been around for decades, have been limited in use in other countries, and still remain questionable for exposure to children and pets.

No herbicides, no pesticides, and hypoallergenic. Artificial grass by EasyTurf is your solution.

Pesticide Free plus Herbicide Free plus Hypo-Allergenic = 1 Happy Healthy Dog

More than 78 million Americans live with one or more dogs (Humane Society, 2013) and many use herbicides around their homes and lawns to control weeds, though primarily for aesthetic reasons. Although weed killers are beneficial, poor planning or improper use of a product can be very toxic to dogs and I would add probably Not good for our kids. Of course the best way to avoid toxicity is to avoid using chemical products. However, if these chemicals must be used, please be sure to read the labels, use the products properly, and be extremely careful.

Environment Friendly, Dog and Kid Friendly DIY Weed Killer

Without getting into a lot of home brew, do it yourself concoctions to kill weeds, I offer you a simple recipe that I’ve used for years. It’s safe for the environment, with no long term residue, and kills weeds. Mix a 50/50 solution of the cheapest vinegar you can find, with water. (Grab a gallon or two since it’s awesome for windows too.) I also add a drop of dish soap after adding the water. This decreases the surface tension so it will ‘stick’ to the leaves when applied with my sprayer.

Click here to view the study at the National Institute of Health Site

Posted in Pets Dogs and Grass Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Notre Dame Keeps it Lean, Mean and Green with FieldTurf

Notre Dame readies for new FieldTurf synthetic turf field.

Notre Dame readies for new FieldTurf artificial turf field.

History Between the Lines

The artificial turf football field will include the traditional diagonal striping in both end zones. There will be 18 lines (nine in each end zone), and will be oriented at 42-degree angles toward the Basilica and the Golden Dome. The numbers 18 and 42 represent 1842, the year the University was founded.

There will be a traditional interlocking ND logo at midfield, and the 35-yard-line marks for kickoffs will include small green shamrocks.

“The interlocking ND is the most recognized symbol of our University and its athletics programs, and we wanted to communicate that to our fans and all those viewing our home games on NBC,” said Notre Dame Vice President and Athletics Director, Jack Swarbrick.

Traditions Maintained & Celebrated

The integration of the shamrocks achieves consistency across all new or recently renovated facilities where both the interlocking ND and a shamrock have a presence on the playing surface.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish installs new FieldTurf artificial grass turf football field.

While being careful to maintain the look and feel of the original Rockne bowl, using this opportunity to make sure that every visual element of the field is carefully considered and helps to celebrate the University and its rich traditions.

Examples of the latter will include a reworking of the planters along the sidelines to include Irish coastal grasses with the mum plantings, as well as the application of appropriate color pantones and theming to sideline equipment, pylons and yard markers.

The turf field will soon be delivered with installation scheduled to begin shortly thereafter.

Posted in Sports Grass & Turf Tagged with: , , , ,

Eliminate Pet Urine Odors

Uricide Microbial Products