As we all know, managing a golf course can be stressful, but when thunder and lightning are forecast then things can get even tenser.
The conflict about whether or not to clear the course and suspend, or even cancel, a competition is enough to give the most seasoned of us a few more grey hairs, especially if you get it wrong.
No matter what policies you have in place or how good your audible warning system is, the ability to know exactly where and when lighting could strike would be an added benefit in preventing a serious incident.
Following an unfortunate accident last year, when a visiting player was struck by lightning and sadly died, a member of the GCMA arranged a lightning detection service through the French Company Meteorage (other systems are available). After undertaking a 6 month trial it was found on the few occasions that there was lightning in the area, that it is was very good alarm system, which complemented the club’s existing Skyview portable detector.
The system works by sending a text and email to the club with a link to a website showing the lightning activity in a defined area from the club (in this case 20km). The movement of the storm can then be followed and when the danger has passed another text and email will be received. This will then allow an informed decision to be made regarding continuation of play.