Golf is one of safest sports. Only so if you follow a few basic and common-sense safety rules. Injuries can occur when you ignore those rules. The sport involves swinging hard clubs that propels hard balls at very high speeds, and you are in danger if you are in the way of the balls or the clubs. You could also be in danger if you have no respect for the power of the sun, if you play despite lightning warnings, or if your body does not get the right kind and amount of fluids on summer days. Here are some things to follow to ensure your safety and that of people around you on the course.

golf-safetyWhen you are holding a golf club and are preparing to swing, make sure your playing partner is in a safe distance from you. After all, it is not too difficult to keep track of where people are when you are in a group of just four golfers. Do not swing your club when another person is next to you. Also be a little extra careful on practice swings (this is the time when it is easy for a golfer to let his or her guard down).

Also, look to your left and to your right of the area where you aim your shot. Look ahead of you. Do not strike the ball until you are sure that any golfer up ahead is out of your range. But while it is your responsibility to make sure it is safe to take your stroke, you cannot always rely on other golfers to be extra careful. So even when it is not your turn to hit, be alert of your surroundings. Be very careful if you are near the adjoining fairway and players on that hole are hit toward you. Also be cautious if you are venturing into an adjoining fairway to play or retrieve an errant shot.

There will come a time when golfers hit their drive farther than they expected, or slices or hooks come out of nowhere and take the ball toward an adjoining fairway. There are also times when you play a stroke thinking the fairway ahead is clear, only to see golfers up ahead who had been covered by trees or a hill. If such things happen, yell “Fore!” as loud as possible. This is the word of warning in the world of golf. It lets other golfers know that an errant ball might be toward them, and that they must take cover.

So what to do upon hearing the warning? Do not just stand up and try to spot the speeding golf ball! It just makes you a bigger target. What you need to do is cover up. Get behind a tree or your golf bag, use your arms to cover your head, or hide behind the cart. Protect your head.