Playing golf can make you deaf, say doctors, who warned that golfers using latest generation of titanium drivers should wear earplugs to protect them from noise.
Those at risk are the players who use a new generation of thin-faced titanium drivers to propel the ball further and make the game easier, the scientists said. According to ear specialists who studied the case, the booming noise the metal club head makes when it strikes the ball was found to have reduced the hearing of a 55-year-old golfer. The study has been published in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal. In the study, tests of six titanium clubs against six thicker-faced stainless steel models revealed that the former all produced greater sound levels. The authors say: “Our results show that thin-faced titanium drivers may produce sufficient sound to induce temporary or even permanent cochlear damage in susceptible individuals.” 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.” The doctors, based at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, decided to conduct the tests after a 55-year-old golfer attended their clinic with unexplained tinnitus and reduced hearing in his right ear.