You can spot a committed golfer by their office decorations, the way they practice their golf stance in the grocery checkout line, and the fact that they keep their favorite golf course (you!) on speed dial. You probably see them at least once a week during the season.
Those committed clients of yours keep your business healthy, and at this point, they’ve probably become your friends too. Keep them safe as they follow their passion in the hot weather with these three golf-course heart safety tips for the summertime.
Get in the Know about Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke
The Environmental Protection Agency defines hot days in which the heat and humidity levels are high as excessive heat events (EHEs). Though high temperatures often cause heart issues, EHEs are considered an official public health threat because they increase the number of heat-related deaths and non-fatal complications.
One of the biggest problems on an EHE day is heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both of these conditions can lead to heart issues, and they show different symptoms.
|HEAT STROKE||HEAT EXHAUSTION|
|Hot, red, dry skin||Heavy sweating|
|Throbbing headache||Muscle cramps or weakness|
|Rapid, strong pulse||Headache|
|Body temperature of 105˚ F or higher||Fainting or dizziness|
To ensure safety on your course, teach your staff to identify heat-related illnesses and consider offering golf safety classes or posting easy-to-read, colorful signs in the clubhouse that familiarize clients with the signs and dangers of heat illness.
Give Out Free Water & Sunscreen
One of the top summer heart dangers comes from dehydration because your blood can thicken without enough hydrating fluids. The heart already needs to work hard in high heat to keep the body cool, and thickened blood makes the heart work even harder – which could lead to overwork.
Your clients may think they’re drinking enough while they’re on the course, but alcohol and soda aren’t considered hydrating fluids because they don’t keep the blood at an optimal consistency. Get your clients to drink heart-healthy water as they play by providing free water bottles and easy-to-find water stops every few holes on the hottest days of the year.
Consider offering free sunscreen to your clients on these days as well because sunburn is a frequent cause of dehydration. When providing sunscreen, choose a “broad spectrum” SPF of at least 30 and remind golfers to reapply sunscreen if they’re out longer than two hours.
Make Lightning Procedures Clear
Lightning is one of the top golf course dangers at any time of the year, but summer heat conditions create such frequent lightning storms that your clients may become used to them, and may therefore push their game as far as they can before heading in. Unfortunately, heart attacks are the primary cause of death in a lightning strike – and it doesn’t take a direct hit to cause one.
Make sure that your summer golfers understand the full risks of lightning storms on the course, and that they understand how to respond if they see lightning in the distance. The best option is to go back to the clubhouse immediately, but if they find themselves caught in a storm without shelter, they should:
- Move away from trees, golf clubs, their golf cart, and water
- Stand 15 feet away from others in their group
- Remove metal spikes from their shoes (if wearing)
If storm-tossed golfers begin to feel a tingling sensation or the hair on their arms starts to stand up, they should protect themselves immediately. Instruct them to assume a baseball catcher’s crouch, keep their feet together, and balance on the balls of their feet. They should also cross their arms in front of their knees and look forward, not up at the sky.
Keep Your Clients Safe with a Fast, Appropriate Response
The long days of summer lead to more tee times throughout the day, but in the hottest golfing season of the year, summer’s blazing sun may also lead to increased heart hazards during the time it takes to play 18 holes.
The smartest way to keep your course safe year round is to ensure your staff follows insurance-approved procedures for heat-related conditions and other golf course dangers. This can include:
- Knowing when to move and when not to move an unconscious person
- Using CPR training in a range of situations
- Stocking a full first aid kit (with anti-venom) for snake and alligator attacks
- Keeping fully charged portable emergency defibrillators available at all times