Study Golf Carts Dangerous to your Health

By Associated PressJune 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Beware: Puttering around on golf carts can be hazardous to your health.
 
Those little vehicles that lurch and buzz past fairways and greens'and increasingly down suburban streets'might be a cost-saving alternative to gas-guzzling SUVs and cars. But a pair of studies released this week suggests they do have their risks.
 
The research found that over a four-year period, nearly 50,000 people were hurt in accidents involving golf carts.
 
One of the studies, by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said about 1,000 Americans are hurt on golf carts every month. Males aged 10 to 19 and people over 80 had the highest injury rates.
 
A separate study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said annual injury rates for golf carts increased 130 percent over 16 years ending in 2006. The report said falling or jumping out of carts accounted for the largest number of injuries, 38 percent.
 
Part of it is there are more people using them. Part of it is they are using them in more places, said Tracy J. Mehan of the injury research center.
 
About half of the injuries occurred on golf courses or in other sports venues, such as football stadiums. The rest were on streets or residential property.
 
Both studies, released Tuesday, reviewed records from U.S. emergency rooms on accidents involving golf carts.
 
Calls for comment on the studies were not immediately returned by officials of the National Golf Car Manufacturers Association and Augusta, Ga.-based E-Z-GO, which bills itself as the leading manufacturer of golf carts and utility vehicles.
 
On its Web site, the manufacturers association said there were no recent statistics on golf cart ownership or use. But most of the nations estimated 16,000 golf courses have at least a few dozen golf carts, and more and more, both gas and battery powered, are being used for transportation in neighborhoods.
 
UAB researcher Gerald McGwin said some communities encourage the use of golf carts because of their low pollution levels, quiet operation and presumed safety.
 
A lot of people perceive golf carts as little more than toys, but our findings suggest they can be quite dangerous, especially when used on public roads, he said in a statement.
 
McGwin recommends driver education and safety standards for golf carts, which are largely unregulated. He also called for the use of helmets and seat belts and better golf course design to reduce steep hills, sharp curves and other hazards.
 
The Ohio study suggested a minimum driving age of 16 for golf carts and rules banning children under 6 from riding in them. Driver training programs and written safety policies also could help, it said.
 
The Ohio report, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, said about 148,000 people have been treated for injuries related to golf carts since 1990.
 
UAB found there were some 48,255 golf-cart related injuries between 2002 and 2005 alone, or an average of about 1,000 each month.
 
The numbers of injuries have been increasing as more people rely on golf carts for transportation off golf courses. While there were about 5,772 injuries in 1990, the number more than doubled to 13,411 in 2006.
 
McGwin said bone fractures and head injuries were among the most common injuries detected in his study, published by the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care.
 
Golf carts are an attractive transportation solution due to their low emissions and cost effectiveness when compared to traditional motor vehicles, he said. But more stringent safety standards should be applied to the design and use of golf carts, particularly those operated on public roads.
 
Golf pro Jim Newton hasnt seen any serious golf cart injuries in the three years since the Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa opened in suburban Birmingham. But he said a golfer died on a golf cart while trying to cross a busy highway at a course where he once worked.
 
Newton worries more about the safety of area residents who ride their own golf carts on busy streets than the golfers on his course.
 
Our policy here is supervision. If you monitor it, it greatly reduces your chances of anything happening. We have two monitors on the course at all times, he said. No one is monitoring on the street.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.