Date: November 05, 2015
Author: David Tease, Golf NSW

Lightning strikes Shelly Beach Golf Course

An amazing lightning strike at Shelly Beach Golf Club NSW has been captured on camera by Scott Walter, the Club’s Facility Manager.

Mr Walter was with some customers while they were taking a few pictures from inside the clubhouse of the classic Australian thunderstorm rolling through the Central Coast when he managed to capture the sheer force of the moment on his iPhone. 

“You could feel the ground shake, “ Says Mr Walter. “You know the feeling when a storm is this close.”

“It was really loud.”

The storm season is here with a vengeance, and this year seems to be a particularly active one.

Personal protection during storms is something that all golfers should take very seriously. Lightning is extremely dangerous, particularly in an open space while holding a length of conductive material like a steel or graphite golf club shaft.

“It’s important you get out of danger quickly when lightning is about,” Graeme Phillipson General Manager – Golf at Golf NSW explains. “A player can leave the course any time they believe they are in danger.”

Rule 6-8 allows a player to discontinue play when there’s danger from lightning.

Golf clubs should remind golfers of their personal responsibilities when it comes to lightning, the significant risk of being struck, and to be aware of the lightning risk before using the golf course.

“Golfers shouldn’t rely on clubs to ensure their safety from lightning either,” Mr Phillipson stressed.

Golf NSW has a partnership with Meteorological Service Provider Ubimet to help clubs improve the safety of their courses for golfers – A service all clubs could benefit from.

“We’re impressed with by the accuracy of the weather information Ubimet provides and rely on the service during all of our own championships and events.” Says Mr Phillipson. During the storm season like we are having now, clubs would really benefit from the service.”

Play was suspended nice and early at Shelly Beach before this storm hit last week.

“We sounded the siren, it got all the golfers off the course nice and quickly,” says Mr Walter.

“And with the ferocious storm that hit, I'm glad we did.”