Golf accounted for 5% of Midlands Air Ambulance missions in 2014

Incidents included cardiac arrests, heart attacks and strokes

Credit: Cpl Ian Houlding

Incidents in 2014 included heart attacks, cardiac arrests and strokes.

The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity have revealed that 5% of all missions they were called to in 2014 were from golf courses.

Last year they tended to 84 people on courses, approximately one person every four days.

Becky Tinsley, air operations manager for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity said: "A number of people we airlift from golf courses suffer with cardiac arrests, heart attacks or strokes.

"In some circumstances they were life critical helicopter emergency medical air ambulance missions.

"Taking into account the often remote location of golf courses, it is imperative we reach, treat and transfer patients to hospital quickly, as when someone suffers with a cardiac arrest, for example, every minute counts."

In order to help raise further awareness, the charity has partnered with The Professional Golfers' Association.

The PGA have played a key role in ensuring health and safety at golf clubs. In the past they have backed the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign, designed to install a life-saving AED (automatic external defibrillator) at every golf club in the country.

Gallacher, a former Ryder Cup captain, had a cardiac arrest in September 2013, but survived and went on to make a full recovery thanks in part to a defibrillator at the hotel he was in.

Robert Maxfield, the PGA's joint chief operating officer, said: "While Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s statistic is startling, it is sadly reflective of the situation across the country, which is why we launched a campaign prior to Christmas last year, whereby we want to see a defibrillator in every golf club in the UK.

"We are also keen to support the life-saving work of the Midlands Air Ambulance, which has undoubtedly saved countless lives on golf courses in the region."

On Wednesday 14th October, the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity are hosting a charity golf day with support from the PGA. It will take place on the acclaimed Brabazon course at The Belfry. To become involved in a team or to offer sponsorship for the day, call: 0800 8 40 20 40.

Will Medlock graduated from UEA with a degree in Film and Television before completing a Masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary's in London. Will has had work published by The Independent and the Rugby Paper.