|Golfers have a new threat out on the course. Players using the current generation of thin-faced titanium drivers should consider wearing ear plugs, experts advise.|
A recent case in the British Medical Journal revealed that ear specialists suspect the “sonic boom” the metal club head makes when it strikes the ball damaged the hearing of a 55-year-old golfer they treated.
The golfer had been playing with a King Cobra LD titanium club three times a week for 18 months and commented that the noise of the club hitting the ball was “like a gun going off”.
Physicians at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital carried out tests on the golfer after he attended their clinic with unexplained tinnitus and reduced hearing in his right ear.
The tests confirmed that his hearing problems were typical of those seen with exposure to loud noises.
The Physicians decided to recruit a professional golfer to hit shots with six thin-faced titanium clubs from manufacturers such as King Cobra, Callaway
, Nike and Mizuno.
All produced a louder noise than standard thicker stainless steel drivers.
The worst offender was the Ping G10
at over 130 decibels.
The Physicians said wearing earplugs would solve the problem, but said players use the noise as feedback to assess how they are playing and how well their equipment is performing. “So it might not work for all.”