Hole in one? Lightning strike leaves mesmerizing display on golf course

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For about the 10th time in the recent history of the Eagle Creek Golf Club, a hole-in-one was scored. However it wasn’t a human with a golf ball and some luck, but, rather, a lightning bolt from a powerful storm that made the impressive shot.

In the midst of Tuesday night’s thunderstorms that passed over Moyock, North Carolina, located near the border of southeastern Virginia, a bolt of lightning appears to have directly hit the flagstick of the course’s seventh hole, shredding the pin flag and designing an impressive electric sprawl along the putting green.

“It was crazy, I had never seen anything like it,” Taylor Paasch, manager of the golf club, told AccuWeather. “It was like it struck right in the hole and spread out from there.”

Paasch said that he has heard of lightning striking other areas of the courses, but never directly hitting a hole.

Eagle Creek Golf Club shredded flag

Eagle Creek Golf Club shredded flag

Thanks to photos from the striking being shared thousands of times, Paasch said the club has drawn plenty of publicity from news agencies and fans online.

“It was like God got a hole-in-one,” he said. “It’s been pretty exciting to see something like that happen. For us to get some publicity out of it is cool as well… Free advertising never hurts.”

This wasn’t the first time lightning has struck a golf course. In May, lightning struck a tree during a stoppage of play at the U.S. Women’s Open in Charleston, South Carolina.

In a sport commonly played in open areas and occasionally amid stormy weather, golf courses face a heightened risk of lightning accidents. Numerous golfers and reporters were struck in 2018 around the world in different tournaments and settings. In 2017, Philip Shard died in Witnesham, United Kingdom, after being struck. According to Golf Monthly, he was the fifth golfer in the U.K. to die from lightning since 1999.

A lifelong golfer, Paasch said it’s never smart to golf during a storm.

“Playing golf in a storm with lightning is a huge no-no,” the 27-year-old Paasch said. “Playing with metal rods in your hands and the flags on the greens being made of metal, so even just putting your hands on that is a big no-no.”

From the calls and comments the club has received, Paasch said he doesn’t think anyone else has seen something like this ever before either.

“I’ve heard of some instances of strikes on courses,” he said. “But nothing crazy like this.”

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