A recent wildfire in Mission Viejo, California, was apparently caused by sparks from a titanium driver. The fire burned for three hours before being contained.
That’s not the first time a driver has been blamed for a fire. Similar fires started in 2014 in Irvine, and in 2011 in Mission Viejo.
A study by UC-Irvin scientists found that when a titanium clubhead strikes a rock, it can create sparks that heat to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit for long enough to ignite dry tinder. Sparks created by steel clubheads apparently do not create sufficient sparks.
The video below shows a UC-Irvine scientist demonstrating the sparks. I’ve seen similar sparks on my home course, but unlike California, we don’t have a drought problem in Michigan. Californians can laugh all they want about how they enjoy warm weather year-round, but we have all the water we need and then some. I shovel tons of nuisance water off my driveway every winter.