By Clair Goodwin
The Joplin Globe
I learned a tough lesson about three and a half weeks ago.
It was an unbearably hot Friday afternoon and my son and daughter-in-law had arrived from Dallas, Texas, that morning so we could play a practice round in preparation for Briarbrook Golf Club’s popular “Beauty and the Beast” couples tournament.
The temperature had to be somewhere in the high 90s and the humidity made the air feel like a sauna, although there were hints of occasional puffs of air.
Our foursome had played 16 or 17 holes when I began feeling a little odd. Well, maybe a lot odd. I felt as if someone had pulled the plug on my energy level. My head began to hurt and my legs got wobbly.
By the time we finished, I knew that something wasn’t right. But I didn’t know exactly what was wrong. Dehydration should have been high on the list of probable problems. But I wasn’t thinking straight by that time.
I put the clubs in the truck bed and we took off for home. I didn’t feel sick, only very tired. At home, I barely got inside the front door before becoming violently ill. My son, Mike, grabbed the truck keys and whisked me out the door and to the hospital.
In the emergency room at Freeman Hospital, I got a quick, thorough examination and within minutes was hooked up to an IV tube. By the time a second bag of saline solution was dripping down, I was feeling much better. But there were other tests before I could walk out of the emergency room about an hour later.
I am still feeling some side effects of my ordeal. I’ve been checked by my doctor and then returned to the hospital for a battery of tests, including a CT scan.
My suggestion to golfers out there — make that my warning — is to keep hydrated. Don’t count on coffee, tea or soda pop to help. Drink lots of water. If you’re like me and you don’t like water, drink it anyway.
In the last few weeks, I have gone from maybe one glass of water a day to probably 12 or 14-plus. I can’t say that I like water, but I know I need it if I want to keep playing golf in the summer.
My advice to the guys and gals who are on the course a lot when the temperatures soar into the high 90s is simple: Drink lots of water and special sports mixtures, and keep a cool, wet towel over your head or around your shoulders. Either that or risk winding up, like me, in the hospital.
Don’t take any chances. The consequences of dehydration, heat prostration or heat stroke are potentially serious, even deadly. It’s your body and your responsibility.
The major fund-raiser every year for the Joplin Golf Foundation’s popular junior golf program and other youth golf projects is the Ditto-Sapp Memorial Pro-Am.
The late Dennis Ditto and John Sapp were promoters of junior golf over the years and the pro-am, this being the seventh year for the event, is a way to keep alive their memories, their love of the game and their desire to get more kids to pick up clubs and learn how to play.
The pro-am is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club. Registration will be at 11 a.m., with lunch at 11 and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.
Entries should be submitted by Sept. 6. Entry fee is $150 per player or $600 for a four-person team. Checks should be made payable to the Joplin Golf Foundation. For additional information, call the Twin Hills pro shop at 417-624-1611.
The professional entry fee is $100, with a $2,000 added purse.
The Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity’s “Shoot for the Moon” night golf tournament will be held Saturday, Sept. 7, at Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course.
Entry fee for a four-person scramble team is $300.
Registration will begin at 5 p.m. The tournament format calls for a 5 o’clock start on the first nine holes, with dinner for contestants at 7. The second nine will be played at 7:30 p.m.
The entry fee includes one glow-in-the-dark golf ball, dinner, cart, T-shirt and goody bags.
Players are cautioned not to use a favorite driver because glow balls are hard and can cause dents or other damage. Contestants are asked to bring a head lamp or flashlight for use when driving the cart.
Entry forms are available in the Schifferdecker clubhouse.