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9 Sun Protection Tips for Golfers + Why It's a Must

by Will / July, 6 2016 01:30

Beach Head restaurant on Block Island at sunset with American flag waving

I’m a golfer and I know golfers spend a ton of time outside. A single round can last from 4 to 6 hours. That’s a lot of time in the sun. Even on a cloudy day sun protection is a must. So what Suncare Smarts should you use to protect yourself? Sunscreen is a definite and we have a few other easy tips but first a video from the PGA Tour and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Why Skin Cancer Is Such an Issue for Golfers

Some sobering facts from the video and the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • 65% of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun
  • Over the past 31 years more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined
  • More than 2 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year (2012)
  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime
  • Men over age 40 have the highest annual exposure to UV radiation
  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are caucasian men over age 50
  • Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men

How to Protect Yourself on the Golf Course

We’ve seen the facts, so what can you do about it? Fortunately, golf suncare is not too difficult. Consistent protection is key to preventing skin cancer. Here are 9 tips to keep away the sunburn and keep your skin healthy.

1) Use Sunblock Every Time You Play

This is simple: apply sunscreen whenever you play. Go with at least an SPF 30 and make sure it says “broad spectrum” on the label so you know you are getting UVB and UVA protection. Our sunblocks meet both of these requirements.

2) Re-apply Sunscreen Every Two Hours

Another simple commandment to live by. Two hours have passed - re-apply from head to toe. For me this is usually around the 8th or 9th hole depending on the pace of play.

3) Schedule an Early or Late Tee Time

The sun is strongest between 10 and 4. So if you get your round in early or take advantage of twilight rates, you’re also helping your skin.

4) Find Shade

Here’s another aspect where carting it can help. You’ll be protected while sitting in the cart waiting to tee off and traveling between shots. Personally I like to walk the course so I make sure to stand in the shade whenever possible. If someone else is teeing off or I’m waiting for them to hit their second shot I stand under a tree, next to a bush or something similar. Not only does it help my skin, it’s also much more comfortable.

5) Wear a Hat

Another easy one to do. A hat will give your face some shade. The Skin Cancer Foundation says ideally you want a hat that extends 3 inches all the way around. I must admit I tend to wear a baseball cap - not quite as good but gives some added protection.

6) Wear Long Sleeves and Pants

Depending on the temps this may or may not be feasible but sometimes I’m actually cooler wearing pants and long sleeves on the course. Not always, but sometimes it helps. Another idea - if you’re wearing short sleeves you can always try sun sleeves. Nike, Under Armour and a few other companies make them. Check them for at least a 30 UPF rating.

7) Wear Sunglasses

An easy and stylish one to do. Make sure the pair you choose is rated to block 99 - 100% of UV rays.

8) Protect Yourself Even on Cloudy Days

Up to 80% of UV rays penetrate clouds. This means sun protection is a must no matter the type of weather.

9) Use Sun Protection in the Winter Too

If you live in a warm area you might golf year round. Just because the temps have dropped doesn’t mean the sun is not an issue. Just look at all the skiers who get sunburn. So use these tips winter, spring, summer, and fall.

The 19th Hole

Sun protection isn’t difficult and sunblock is an easy start. So use sunscreen and the tips above year round, cloudy or sunny, and no matter your age to keep your skin protected for years to come. For more sun protection tips check out our Suncare Smarts series. If you like getting outside, our Outdoor Life series might be of interest too.

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