How do I protect myself from the sun on the golf course?
Hats, Shirts and More!
Few things in life are worse than sunburn. The blistering sensation that tightens your skin; the painful burning that comes with the slightest touch; and the lobster-red hue that’s guaranteed to get empathetic looks from total strangers are all attributes of sunburn we’d like to avoid.
So why do so many golfers end up walking off the course at the end of the day a good three shades redder than they were when they started? Simply put, some golfers don’t associate a day on the links with sunburn. Sunburns are supposed to happen on beaches and lakes during summer vacation, not somewhere between the 1st and 18th greens in the middle of April.
If you’re considering your sun protection options before hitting the course this golf season, then you’re already one step ahead of those nasty UV rays. Knowing a few simple facts about golf UV protection can mean the difference between a pleasant ride home after a round versus a pit stop by the pharmacy for aloe and ice.
Golf Sun Protection Facts
The heat index may not be in the triple digits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get sunburnt. It doesn’t matter if it’s 80 degrees or 8-below, if the sun’s out, then you’re at risk.
The National Institutes of Health also state that the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – meaning that unless you’re teeing off in the dark, your skin is going to get UV ray exposure. Golf courses that are also higher in elevation and/or closer to the equator are that much closer to the sun, meaning those blistered ears and tender, rosy red cheeks are much easier to acquire when playing those magnificent Florida courses.
Sunburn isn’t just about discomfort, either. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the majority of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers can be directly linked to UV ray exposure. In fact, 9 out of 10 non-melanoma skin cancer cases are connected to UV ray exposure from the sun.
There’s no doubt that the sun’s rays can ruin an unprepared golfer’s day, but you don’t have to let it ruin yours. Golf UV protection is very simple to implement, and can even be fun when sporting the right products. There are several clothing and apparel options for golfers today that will ensure proper protection from the sun, without interfering with your golf game.
UV Protection from Head to Toe
Your head is the closest part of your body to the sun, excluding those times your hands are raised in anger after landing in a bunker. For the moments when the sun is out and your game is on point, however, it’s important to keep your head and face protected.
Golf caps and visors provide a few benefits when battling the sun on a hot and muggy day. The right golf cap gives golfers necessary shade from blinding UV rays while reducing both head and face exposure to the sun. Golf caps are perfect for golfers looking for head and face protection, while golf visors are good for a minimalist approach to guarding against UV rays.
For golfers that are looking for a more effective shield from the sun’s harmful rays, there are wide-brim golf hats such as boonie hats, Aussie hats, straw hats and bucket hats. These hats have a wider diameter than golf caps and golf visors, providing more shade for golfers while blocking more sun, and are a favorite among tour pros and amateurs alike.
Many golf sun protection hats available today also feature moisture-wicking material that pull sweat and perspiration away from the skin, eliminating the sauna-like feeling that older products produced while keeping golfers’ heads cool and collected.
Beat the Heat With Golf Shirts
So you’ve got your head and face covered, now it’s just time to throw on that old, white golf shirt and head to the links knowing you’re covered, right?
Not so fast. Just because your shoulders seem to have all the protection they need, it doesn’t mean that you’re keeping them away from UV radiation. For example, a golf shirt that has a loose weave – whether due to age or material type – can allow UV rays to penetrate through. This false sense of protection can make for a painful lesson after a long day of golf.
That’s why you should consider updating your golf wardrobe with the latest in sun protective golf clothing. Golf shirts available today come in a wide range of colors and patterns, with most of them consisting of materials that not only protect players from the sun, but also leave them feeling unrestricted during their backswings and dry throughout their rounds.
Having the right outlook on golf sun protection not only helps you stay comfortable during and after your rounds, but it can also have a positive effect on the enduring health of your skin. Sunscreen should always be your first line of defense, with protective golf hats and apparel ranking a close second. Applying these two basic principles before leaving the clubhouse shade for the sunny fairways will ensure that you’ll be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays while avoiding the damaging short and long-term effects of sunburn.