The Basics of Sun Protection on the Golf Course


There’s nothing like playing a great game of golf during a warm and sunny day. However, if you aren’t careful, you might end up with sunburn by the end of the day. It’s also important to remember that prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is a risk factor in getting skin cancer. Thus, it’s important to take extra precautions to ensure that you’re protected at all times. In this article, we’ll give you some tips and tricks for keeping harmful UV rays at bay while you’re sinking those putts.

Apply Sunscreen Every Two Hours

If you would put on sunscreen at the beach, why not put some on while you’re at the golf course? We recommend buying some water-resistant broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. However, just because your sunscreen has a higher SPF doesn’t mean that it’ll last longer. Regardless of the SPF level, all sunscreens typically begin to wear off around two hours after application. That’s why you need to re-apply it regularly (ideally at every nine holes) to ensure that you get optimal protection at all times.

Wear UV Protection Clothing

On a really hot day, you may be tempted to wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts to try to keep cool. However, this exposes large portions of your skin to the sun. As an alternative, you might want to consider wearing long golf pants and a light long-sleeved shirt to keep your skin protected. If you prefer wearing short-sleeved tops, consider buying a pair of sun sleeves to keep your arms covered instead. However, even these measures may not be enough. Unfortunately, UV rays can penetrate through the tiny spaces in between the fibers that make up your golf apparel. Thus, you’ll need to purchase clothing with fibers that are tightly knitted together, reducing the holes where UV can reach your skin.

Also, consider the type of fabric the clothing is made of. You’ll want to choose high-quality golf pants and golf shirts that are made from material that provide good sun protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation notes, for instance, that semi-synthetic lustrous fabrics like rayon tend to reflect more UV rays than matte fabrics, while synthetic fabrics like nylon, lycra, polyester, and acrylic are better than bleached cotton when it comes to keeping the sun at bay. Alternatively, you can look for clothing that specifically sports an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label of at least 50.

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Eyes, Hair, and Lips

A lot of players focus so much on protecting their skin that they forget to take care of the rest of their body. Your eyes, hair, and lips are particularly vulnerable to sun damage. Thus, it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses with UV protection to keep your eyes shielded from the sun. Otherwise, cataracts could begin to form on the lens of your eyes. Apply a lip balm with SPF protection, too, to keep your lips from drying out or chapping. Lastly, don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat so that you can protect your face, ears, and neck, too.

By combining all of the tips we’ve listed above, you can greatly minimize the amount of damage that the sun can do. Remember: regularly apply sunscreen, wear appropriate golf wear, and don’t forget to protect the rest of your body, too. Keep these tips in mind and you can play comfortably and worry-free, knowing that you’ve greatly lowered your risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

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