Be safe out on the golf course

  • Tue Jul 24th, 2012 6:37pm

<b>GOLF TIPS | </b>By Tyrone Hardy For The Weekly Herald

Greetings fellow golfers. That was a great win at the British Open for Ernie Els and heartbreak for Adam Scott.

We are finally seeing the good weather and that means more golfers are out, which is always a good thing. Every year Ballinger Lake Golf Course hosts a golf tournament in honor of my mother-in-law. She passed away from melanoma, a type of skin cancer, and we hope to promote awareness of the disease through this event. A dermatologist visits with the golfers after the tournament and talks about the benefits of early detection and prevention.

I thought I would mention a few things that all golfers could add to their regimen that would make their game more enjoyable and a little safer. First is to wear sunscreen. Even on partially cloudy days, using sunscreen is the single most important step in the prevention of skin problems that could arise from exposure.

A hat is just as critical. I personally do not wear visors, but I do wear a hat. Especially if you are fair-skinned, consider wearing a hat with a wide brim that is made from fabric designed to block the sun’s harmful rays.

Hydration is also important. A cold beverage, whether it be soda or the alcoholic variety, is always enjoyable, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day – especially if it is warm and humid. Your body becomes dehydrated quickly during a round of golf.

I learned a trick while attending college in central California, where the temperatures can reach triple digits. If you want plenty of ice-cold water but don’t want to lug around a cooler (which most courses won’t allow) try this: The night before take an empty gallon water container, fill it about two-thirds full with water and place in the freezer. When you play take the frozen water container with you and during the round, the ice will gradually melt and this becomes the best tasting, coldest drinking water.

Because warmer weather can also affect your play, here are a few items to consider. First, the course will be firmer and the air will tend to be drier. Both of these factors will help the ball travel farther, so take that into account when choosing a club off the tee and on approach shots.

There is a downside to the course being firmer: it will effectively play narrower. When the course is dry, the ball may roll through the fairway into the rough when it wouldn’t when the course is softer. Also, allow for some roll or release when hitting approach shots to the green, especially when playing out of the rough.

Try these tips and you will enjoy a day of golf that much more. Then when you are done with that round of golf at Ballinger Lake Golf Course, a barbecue sandwich and an ice cold beer are waiting for you. See you on the links.

Tyrone Hardy is co-owner of Hardy Golf LLC and director of Golf at Ballinger Lake Golf Course. For more information go to Send comments or questions to or follow Ballinger Lake Golf on Facebook and Twitter.