Getting outside in the sun is one of the great benefits of playing golf. Unfortunately it is also one of it’s greatest dangers, as during just one round of golf, you are exposed to many times the UV rays necessary to cause a sunburn. There is good reason why skin cancer is called “Golf’s silent killer”!
Fortunately there are many ways to protect yourself while out on the links!
Here are seven tips that will help you stay safe on the course:
1. Use sunscreen liberally. Look for a waterproof broad spectrum product with SPF 30 or higher. Apply it before getting dressed to make sure you can reach all those areas that may get exposed while you move, and then bring it with you to re-apply during the round.
2. Look for UPF clothing. UPF is the clothing equivalent of SPF. A regular shirt has a UPF of about 5-8, while a densely woven sun protective shirt usually has around UPF 50! These fabrics have come a long way, and many can be worn comfortably even on a hot day.
3. Wear a hat with at least a 4″ brim all the way around. Visors will leave the top of the head fully exposed, and baseball caps don’t protect the ears and back of the neck, so if these areas aren’t covered by a hat, you will want to make sure they are protected by sunscreen.
4. Don’t forget your eyes and lips! Wear a good pair of sunglasses and grab some SPF lip balm.
5. During your round, seek out shade when you can.
6. Plan your day. If you can, avoid being outside from 10am – 2pm. Try to limit other outdoor activities the same day as playing golf, as UV exposure is all about time spent in the sun.
7. Get your skin checked by a dermatologist regularly. It’s quick and easy and will give you peace of mind as well.
Even following all of the advice above, you will still get all the benefits of being outdoors, including plenty of vitamin D! So do as Adam Scott says, and keep your skin healthy and looking great while enjoying the game you love:
“There’s a saying in Australia: slip, slop, slap. Slip on a t-shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat. It’s just part of the job.”