UK Golfer Killed By Lightning On Course

60-year-old Philip Shard died at Fynn Valley Golf Club in Witnesham on Saturday 27th May, the fifth golfer to die from lightning in the UK since 1999

golfer killed by lightning Brit Dies After Being Struck By Lightening On Course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

60-year-old Philip Shard died at Fynn Valley Golf Club in Witnesham on Saturday 27th May, the fifth golfer to die from lightning in the UK since 1999

UK Golfer Killed By Lightning On Course

A 60-year-old golfer has died after being struck by lightning on the golf course.

Philip Shard, 60, was struck by lightning on course at Fynn Valley Golf Club in Witnesham near Ipswich, and later died in hospital after a cardiac arrest.

He is the fifth golfer in the UK to die from lightning since 1999.

Fynn Valley GC owner and secretary Tony Tyrrell told the BBC, "Everyone at the club is horrified by it. It's a dreadful thing to have happened and our thoughts are with his family.

Related: Five unusual golfing incidents

"He only became a member a couple of months ago and he quickly became well known to the regulars."

Professional golfers to have been struck by lightning include Lee Trevino and Retief Goosen.

Related: Lee Trevino: Supermex

Trevino was struck by lightning at the 1975 Western Open, where he said: “If you’re caught in a storm and are afraid of lighting, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.”

At the 1991 US Open, a spectator was killed by lightning, with five others injured.

How many lives do lightning strikes take?

Golfers in the UK have been struck and killed by lightning in August 1999, June 2003, June 2005, May 2014 and, now, in May 2017.

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In the past 30 years, around 60 people have been killed by lightning in the UK, and another 20 people have been resuscitated who would otherwise have died.

Four out of five UK lightning deaths are male.

Around ten times as many people are injured by lightning than killed (risk of being injured is 1 in 3 million).

Most people survive due to the ‘flashover’ effect of lightning passing over a person’s clothing and body rather than entering into the body and causing a cardiopulmonary arrest which, rather than burns, is the only cause of immediate death amongst those struck.

Research from Professor Derek Elsom, Oxford Brookes University

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5