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Your woods might just set the course on fire……literally!

golf_fire

Seeing sparks fly off the end of your golf club might sound dreamy to many keen golfers, but for those with the latest golfing tackle, that dream could become a dangerous reality.

Golfers with modern titanium clubs could innocently cause fires, scientists have warned, after research revealed they can reach temperatures of 3,000F (1,650C).

The scorching clubs can stay hot for long enough to ignite bone dry tufts of grass and shrubbery!

Fire investigators in America asked university chemical engineers to research the possibility that titanium clubs caused at least two golf course fires in California in recent years.

Titanium glazed woods have become increasingly popular with both professional and amateur enthusiasts of the sport over recent years.

Many feel the lightweight metal alloy makes the clubs easier to swing and provides more power and precision, mostly when hitting the ball out of the rough.

However, the connection made with small stones when swinging in these areas creates sparks of up to 3,000F, according to the team from the University of California in Irvine.

That heat is enough to ignite the dry greenery found in the less cultivated areas either side of grass-covered fairways.

Researchers at UC Irvine reconstructed areas of rough under lab conditions and used high-speed video cameras and microscope analysis to record what occurs during a golf shot, the journal Fire and Materials said.

The experts discovered the red hot sparks kicked off from titanium covered clubs but not from clubs covered in standard stainless steel.

Professor James Earthman of UC Irvine said: "One fire almost reached homes before they stopped it. This unintended hazard could potentially lead to someone's death.

"A very real danger exists, particularly in the Southwest (of America), as long as certain golf clubs remain in use. "Rocks are often embedded in the ground in these rough areas of dry foliage. When the club strikes a ball, nearby rocks can tear particles of titanium from the sole of the head.

"Bits of the particle surfaces will react violently with oxygen or nitrogen in the air, and a tremendous amount of heat is produced. The foliage ignites in flames."

So if you've blitzed the 5 wood from the rough on a warm summers day, be careful not to set your golf trousers on fire!

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