A British medical report suggests players who use the new generation of thin-faced titanium drivers are at a risk of losing their hearing. Apparently the loud cracking noise of the club hitting the ball may produce sufficient sound to induce temporary or even permanent cochlear damage in susceptible individuals.
The good news is this report is based on only one 55-year old golfer. They don't say how often he plays or what club he uses, but there is one equipment manufacturer whose driver does make a very loud, annoying tinny sound when striking the ball. I couldn't hit that club no matter how much more distance I'd get from using it. One of my equipment buying tips is if you don't like the sound that your club makes when you hit a good shot with it, then you should replace it. The game is hard enough without you not liking some aspect of your clubs and feeling good about them.
The report even suggests using ear plugs when playing golf, but I can't see anyone doing that. Besides looking a bit silly, I can't be bothered to take ear plugs in and out when trying to talk to other players in my group. And, I'd want to hear other players who might be screaming, "Fore!" if a ball is coming my way.
I say we put our hearing at risk, and play as much golf in 2009 as we possibly can! How about you? Have you planned and budgeted for how many business golf rounds you want to play this year? Put it in your calendar, and start collecting a list of potential golf partners--clients, prospects, and referral sources--for you in 2009.