January 4, 2009

Study: Titanium golf clubs may harm ears

The new titanium clubs threaten golfers' hearing with a noise that some say is a loud as a gunshot, British doctors report.

One 55-year-old man appears to have suffered hearing loss after playing with a titanium driver three times a week for a year and a half, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Doctors tested the sound level generated by six titanium clubs and six of the older-style stainless steel ones. They found the noise generated by the titanium clubs hitting a golf ball is far louder than the tink of the steel club making a shot.

Our results show that thin-faced titanium drivers may produce sufficient sound to induce temporary or even permanent cochlear damage in susceptible individuals, said Dr. Malcolm Buchanan, an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist who also plays golf. Players should be careful when playing with these thin-faced clubs rather than the thicker-faced versions, as they make a lot more noise.