Sunday, May 31, 2009

Risks in rain & shine

Golf is good for your health — for the exercise, the fresh air and the socialization benefits. Heck, doing the math as you try to keep track of all the side bets is good stimulus for the brain.

But we can get too much of a good thing, and I’m not talking about hand calluses or back spasms. Dangerous extremes lurk on the golf course. Two golf hazards not discussed nearly enough are the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure and the peril of lightning.

If you play enough golf, you are regularly exposed to both.

Dermatologists say golfers are notoriously poor at protecting themselves from sun damage and frequently need treatment for harmful lesions on ears, hands and noses. And in a typical year, lightning kills more people than tornadoes or hurricanes. A golf course is an especially dangerous place during a thunderstorm because it has isolated, tall trees and wide-open spaces where golfers can be the tallest target.

Read the complete (and excellent) article from the New York Times here.

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