Golfers: Killed by Lightning

Golfers make up 5% of all people killed by lightning according to a study by the National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI). They also concluded that lightning can still find golfers hiding under trees, and kill them.

In October of 1997, the NLSI published their findings of 35 years research on lightning fatalities in the USA between 1959-1994. Here is a chart which summarizes the report:

1. Location of Incident:

40% Unreported.
27% Open fields & recreation areas (not golf).
14% Under trees (not golf).
8% Water-related (boating, fishing, swimming…).
5% Golf/golf under trees.
3% Heavy equipment and machinery-related.
2.4% Telephone-related.
0.7% Radio, transmitter & antenna-related.

2. Gender of victims = 84% male; 16% female.

3. Months of most incidents = June 21%, July 30%, Aug 22%.

4. Days of week of most incidents = Sun./Wed./Sat.

5. Time of day of most incidents = 2 PM to 6 PM.

6. Number of victims = One (91%), two or more (9%).

7. Deaths by State, Top Five = FL, MI, TX, NY, TN.

8. Injuries by State, Top Five = FL, MI, PA, NC, NY.

I'm no scientist, but my interpretation of this report would suggest that a man playing golf in July on a Wednesday afternoon in Florida has a pretty good chance of being struck by lightning and killed!

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