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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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”