Sports Law • Risk Management

Golf Course Extreme Weather Protection Measures

While playing eighteen holes on a golf course over approximately a four-hour period of time, the weather can change substantially, affecting the safety of those on the course. A good golf course manager can do much to protect players and workers on the course when extreme weather approaches.

One way to protect persons on a golf course is to have strategically placed shelters for persons to take cover throughout any golf course. These shelters may be temporary or permanent covered structures, although permanent structures are preferable. Ideally, shelters should be positioned at locations on parts of the course that are not located near the clubhouse or other covered structures. While the total number of shelters needed depends on the design of the course, all shelters should be marked on the map of a golfer’s scorecard for reference in an emergency.

Another way to protect golfers on the course is to continuously monitor the weather. This may include subscribing to a weather alert service, purchasing a lightening detection device and routinely stepping outside to survey changes in the weather. Once it is identified that a storm is approaching, a warning horn should be sounded to announce a pending storm. All golfers on the course should be educated that the warning horn is a notification for the golfers to take shelter within a covered structure.

Golf course workers, particularly rangers and those involved in grounds maintenance, should be taught to look for changes in the weather. These workers should notify the course manager immediately of any considerable changes in weather. If extreme weather conditions are approaching, workers should help warn and direct golfers to safety and also seek shelter for themselves.

Since golf is an outdoor sport, weather changes are important to monitor. It is important to have an emergency action plan in place and to train staff on what to do in case of a weather emergency. For more ideas on golf course risk management, consult a Nohr Sports expert.