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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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.