Sparks from titanium-coated golf clubs can ignite fires, study finds
Lydia Ko takes aim at a pane of glass in a skills competition during media day for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic golf tournament at Lake Merced Golf Club Monday, March 10, 2014, in Daly City, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014 5:12PM EDT
IRVINE, Calif. -- Golfers are urged to swing with care after scientists at the University of California, Irvine, proved that titanium-coated clubs can cause course-side vegetation to burst into flames.
Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi says the results confirm a suspicion investigators have had for years: that titanium clubs were likely the true cause of at least two blazes on Orange County golf courses, including one that burned 12 acres at Shady Canyon in 2010.
Professor James Earthman says the clubs can produce sparks if hit upon a rock. And the sparks will burn for more than a second -- plenty of time to ignite a fire.
Concialdi says the Fire Authority is giving golfers permission to "improve their lie" -- that is, to move their ball away from rocks and dry vegetation.