Golfers using a certain kind of titanium clubs are apparently at risk of hearing loss. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, golfers using "thin-faced titanium drivers" should probably wear earplugs. The researchers from the Norfolks and Norwich University Hospital investigated the matter after seeing a patient whose hearing damage seems to have been caused by playing with one of the clubs three times a week for 18 months. The patient claims that when he hits the ball, it sounds "like a gun going off." Interestingly, the clubs may have be designed to produce the satisfying sonic boom. From the BBC News:
"There has been a tendency to make booming clubs for drivers," (said sports equiipment engineering expert Dr Martin Strangwood at the University of Birmingham.) But if this were a problem it would be easy to remedy by filling the head of the club with foam to reduce the sound."
He said wearing earplugs was another solution, but said players use the noise as feedback to assess how they are playing and how well their equipment is performing. "So it might not work for all."
"Playing golf can 'damage hearing'"
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