Lightning strike leaves mark on Iowa practice green

Rick Tegtmeier
A golf course is no place to be during a thunderstorm. Check out the mark a bolt of lightning left on a practice green in Iowa last week.
By T.J. Auclair
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, July 18, 2016 | 9:15 a.m.

"The good Lord would never disrupt the best game of my life."

Those are among the fateful final words from the Bishop in "Caddyshack" moments before being struck by lightning in a biblical storm as he was in the midst of the round of his life.

The lesson? Golfers: Do not mess with lightning.

Last week in Des Moines, Iowa, a line of thunderstorms pushed through Des Moines Golf and Country Club and did it ever leave a mark on the course's practice green.

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Check out the damage a lightning strike left behind in this tweet by Des Moines Golf and Country Club Director of Grounds Rick Tegtmeier:

Wow. According to a later tweet by Tegtmeier, the lightning strike even melted the cup. picked up the story:

When lightning strikes earth, it branches out along the ground which, in this case, happened to be a green. These currents fan out from the strike center in a tendril pattern.

A lightning bolt can be fatal up to 100 feet away from the point of the strike, according to NOAA. also included some interesting lightning facts:

NOAA says that June, July and August are the peak months for lightning activity across the United States and the peak months for outdoor summer activities. As a result, more than 70 percent of the lightning deaths occurred (2006-2015) in June, July and August, with Saturdays and Sundays having slightly more deaths than other days of the week.

Florida typically sees the most lightning deaths on an annual basis.

Based on 2000-2010 averages:
- Odds of being struck in a given year 1 in 1,000,000
- Odds of being struck in your lifetime 1 in 10,000

For perspective, the odds of an average golfer making a hole-in-one are 12,500 to 1. No wonder those of us with aces are so delighted -- it's harder to do than get struck by lightning over a lifetime!

We'll leave you with the great "Bishop's Epic Golf Game" scene from "Caddyshack":


T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.