Keen golfers are being warned by doctors that they could be risking their hearing for their sport.

Players who use a new generation of thin-faced titanium drivers to propel the ball further should consider wearing ear plugs, experts advise.

Doctors decided to recruit a professional golfer to hit shots with six thin-faced titanium clubs from manufacturers such as King Cobra, Callaway, Nike and Mizuno.

All produced a louder noise than standard thicker stainless steel drivers.

The worst offender was the Ping G10 at over 130 decibels.

Lead researcher Dr Malcom Buchanan, an ENT specialist and a keen golfer, said: "Our results show that thin-faced titanium drivers may produce sufficient sound to induce temporary or even permanent cochlear damage in susceptible individuals."

He said golfers should be careful when playing with these thin-faced clubs as they make a lot more noise, and suggested they could wear earplugs for protection.
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