There are very few reasons the United States Golf Association (USGA) allows golfers to discontinue play, such as in the case of a dispute or sudden illness, but lightning makes the list [source: USGA].
The beauty of a golf course is in its wide, open spaces, the green hills that stretch as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately for golfers, lightning is just as enthusiastic about a golf course's charms. An empty field except for a few people with raised metal clubs? Perfect for getting to ground.
Only 20 percent of lightning strike victims die immediately, which is pretty amazing when you consider that a lightning bolt can reach 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit (29,982 degrees Celsius) and 1 billion volts [sources: Mullen; Webber]. Luckily for us, there's a process called external flashover that causes most of the current to pass over the skin instead of the full charge going directly through the body [source: Mullen].
Should you be on the links when you hear the first rumbles of thunder, head indoors or to your car ASAP. The shelters on golf courses are meant as protection from rain and sun, not lightning, and they aren't a safe place to wait out a storm.
On the next page, you'll find out where you don't want to go with the flow.