Posted January 5, 2009 2:40 PM
Doctors are advising golfers to wear earplugs on the course as the noise from their drivers could cause deafness.
The warning follows the case of a 55-year-old golfer who visited hospital complaining of hearing loss and tinnitus in his right ear.
His doctors told him the damage had been caused by using a new thin-faced titanium-headed driver — a King Cobra LD — three times a week for 18 months.
The booming noise the metal makes when it strikes the ball is being blamed by ear specialists who studied the case, which was reported in the British Medical Journal.
Tests on six titanium clubs, from leading manufacturers such as King Cobra, Callaway, Nike and Mizuno, found they produced more sound than stainless steel versions.
The worst offender was the Ping G10, one of the first thin-faced clubs on the market.
The ear, nose and throat specialist behind the report is Dr. Malcolm Buchanan, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
He said: “Players should be careful when playing with these thin-faced clubs rather than thicker-faced versions, as they make a lot more noise.
“Wearing earplugs is a possibility, although it might be a bit too radical for some.”
Andrew Coltart, one of Scotland’s leading professional golfers, said: “If you are wearing earplugs, you might not hear the shouts of ‘fore’, be hit by a ball on the head and get brain damage.”
Source: YellowBrix, Daily Record; Glasgow (UK)
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– Thanks to several NVRC News readers who forwarded information and NVRC, Fairfax