Golfer’s lightning death a timely reminder

Martin JonesTHE tragic death of former Hawks Nest Golf Club President Martin Jones is a stark reminder to golfers everywhere to heed lightning warnings.

Jones, 62, was struck and killed by lightning yesterday as he stood on the fifth tee about to hit an iron shot.

The force of the bolt is reported to have blown off his shoes and ripped apart the 5 iron he was using.

His playing partners, aged 64 and 62, suffered minor injuries and were flown to John Hunter Hospital for observation.

”Marty made everyone laugh, was a magnificent cook and always went out of his way for his mates,” his wife said.

”He just loved the game, and there would be no better way for him to go.”

Jones was one of 170 golfers playing in a Christmas competition.

Locals reported the bolt was one of only three during the brief early afternoon storm.

At times, it can be all too easy for golfers to ignore the danger lightning poses.

I was playing as a visitor in a competition at the St Georges Basin course on the NSW south coast yesterday morning, just a couple of hours prior to the tragic event up north, when a rain squall and thunderstorm threatened the course.

There was a siren suspending play but the three members of my group continued to play on and finished the 9th hole.

In my defence, I “thought” I heard a siren but when the two local members I was playing with didn’t react I chose to ignore the reality.

It turns out the two guys I was playing with just didn’t hear it.

That sort of scenario was probably played out on that course and on courses right across the state yesterday as thunderstorms swept many areas.

The tragedy at Hawks Nest should give all golfers cause to reassess their decisions and the potential fatal consequences.

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