If you’re like most hard core golfers, you can’t get enough of this crazy sport however one of the few downsides to it, is the amount of sun exposure you get while playing.
If you live in places like Southern California, Arizona or Florida, it’s even worse than most. No matter where you play it’s important to protect your skin so you can avoid the health risks that come with excess sun exposure. Even when it is cloudy ~ According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds. We all need to take care of our skin, especially all of us golfers and outdoor sports lovers!
In fact, according to the Skin Care Foundation, “On average, it has been estimated that professional golfers received 217 times the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation needed to cause a sunburn over the course of the year.”
Here are a few tips to keep you safe so you can keep enjoying the game for the rest of your life.
Golf Sun Protection 101
1. Try To Schedule Your Game Early Morning or Sunset
The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Limiting exposure to the sun during these hours, even in winter or fall and especially at higher altitudes can help reduce your risks.
2. Apply Sunscreen Before You Leave The House and Re-Apply after the 9th Hole
While we all know wearing sunscreen is important, one of the biggest mistakes that so many golfers make is not wearing enough. In Fact several studies have found that very few golfers actually use enough sunscreen to receive full benefits.
There are endless types of sunscreen, however if you should Opt for using a lotion instead of sprays and use only a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen that offers SPF 30+ protection. You also want to make sure that it is water-resistant as well and to get the best coverage without getting sunscreen lotion all over your hands, LaaTeeDa Sports has come up with this handy Brush Applicator that comes with a protective case so you can throw it in your golf bag and reapply when needed without getting greasy sunscreen on your hands while you are golfing.
For most people, experts suggest putting one ounce of sunscreen on your entire body, or enough to fill one shot glass. Then, add . 04 ounces of sunscreen on your face, or enough to fill just the bottom of a shot glass before you even get to the course. By applying the sunscreen prior to your round, you’re much less likely to forget it.
While there are tons of options, we happen to like the SunBum Clear Zinc SPF 50 and we have also heard good things about Skin Golf Sunscreen SPF 30+ which is specifically made for golfers. The lotion version is said to be not only effective, but it is also one of the only sunscreens that will not stain your golf shirts (especially white golf shirts).
Don't forget during the round (on the turn at least), make sure to reapply the sunscreen for additional protection.
3. Drink Plenty Of Water and Nope... Coors Light Doesn't Count!
Another important tip for staying protected and playing well in the heat is to stay hydrated. Studies have found that even slight dehydration can lead to mental fatigue and exhaustion which could lead to lazy swings that will likely result in a higher score.
To avoid getting dehydrated, make sure to drink tons of water before, during, and after the round and try to go easy or even better skip the booze and caffenine when it is super hot out. We all know what you are thinking… “Skip the booze — are you kidding?!” Even though Beer and golf go together like peanut butter and Jelly, you can't deny that alcohol dehydrates you and that is last thing you need on a hot day. It's always best to save them for the 19th hole.
4. Dress For the Heat
Another way to protect your skin when you are out golfing is to dress as cool and protective as possible.
While long sleeves and long pants provide the greatest coverage, a lot of golfers will get too hot during the round. Since everyone is different, make sure to plan your outfits accordingly.
We always recommend wearing a hat and breathable materials like dri-fit which is just a fancy word for a polyester fabric which transports sweat, heat and moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment where it evaporates, keeping you dry and comfortable.
If you want to protect your arms but don’t want to get too hot, we suggest buying a pair of arm or leg sleeves as well.
A cooling golf towel is another option that you can use.You can wrap it around your neck when riding in the cart and even keep it on around the greens if you want. This can help you stay cool and keep the hot sun off the back of your neck as well.
5. Find The Shade Whenever Possible
The sun can drain your energy which makes it very difficult to shoot well if you’re playing for 4+ hours. Search for cool spots under trees or in your cart, out of any direct sunlight ~ find shade on every hole if possible. You can even find sun umbrellas that can help, especially if you are walking.
Just like the key to playing good golf, taking care of your skin is all about staying consistent. Protecting your skin isn’t a one-time thing, it’s something you need to consciously do on a regular basis so you can keep playing for years to come.