0 Lightning strikes hole-in-one on golf green

LightningA lightning bolt in overnight storms earlier this week blew up Des Moines Golf and Country Club's social media.

And one of its practice putting greens.

A jaw-dropping post on Tuesday from the West Des Moines course's director of grounds Rick Tegtmeier showed the aftermath of the storm finding the hole via aluminum cup and metal flagstick.

"It's burnt to a crisp," Tegtmeier told the Register on Wednesday morning.

"I've seen lots of lightning strikes hit trees and greens before, but never with this much intensity or damage."

The lightning has likely ruined a patch of the green nearest to the cup and splintered out to what Tegtmeier estimated was a 20-foot radius.

It's unlike any accident he's seen in more than 40 years providing golf course maintenance, but the course is considering the cost of the incident low; they'll like replace a four-foot by four-foot patch of sod in August and no club members or employees were hurt by the strike.

"It's a good reminder that people need to heed the storm warning systems at courses," Tegtmeier said. "If you hear that siren, it's time to get inside."

"We have miles upon miles of wire that operate our irrigation system, so lightning is our No. 1 enemy. From where the lightning struck to my maintenance shop is probably a half-mile. And it tripped the breaker in my maintenance shop."

DMGCC has five other practice greens for players to warm-up on, and plans to repair the grass damage when it renovates other holes next month.

The Twitter post immediately caught the attention of other golf course directors and maintenance professionals, as well as local players and meteorologists. Tegtmeier joked that the lightning has taught him as much about social media as it has about course safety precautions.

"I had NBC News, the Weather Channel and all these TV stations across the country contacting me, asking to use my photo," Tegtmeier said.

"It's just pretty amazing to see the fury of Mother Nature, how intense weather can be, and how lucky we were that it happened in the middle of the night."

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