Wearing Coolibar, Jordan Cassel, golf pro at Torrey Pines Golf Course, site of the 2008 and future 2021 U.S. Open Championship, La Jolla, CA.
With Saturday’s tee-time on the horizon, you may be more than ready to hit the links, but are you ready to beat the UV rays? Today, playing golf without sun protection is like playing a round without golf shoes. It is a necessity to the game. Sunburn not only damages skin cells, it overheats skin, creating discomfort and distraction. In fact, between stretching, practicing and playing an actual round, a golfer can experience at anywhere from four to seven hours of UV exposure in a day. To make matters worse, for every hour of play, recreational golfers can receive up to 5 times the amount of UV radiation exposure needed to cause sunburn. Along with damaging direct UVA and UVB rays, water hazards and sand traps reflect UV rays back at golfers, nearly doubling exposure. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, incidence of melanoma diagnosis is in white men over 50, and this demographic corresponds to golf demographics. So how do you start to take sun protection as seriously as you take the game? Here’s how:
Don’t Forget Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ Sunscreen
While this sounds obvious, studies prove no one applies enough sunscreen. And no one every reapplies as frequently as they should. So, a generous measure of 2 ounces should do it. Carry a travel size in your golf bag. For best results, a strong guideline would be to reapply every nine holes or about every two hours for maximum results. Another important factor is the kind of sunscreen you are applying. Use only a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen that offers SPF 30+ protection and is water resistant. For the safest protection, look for a mineral based sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or a combination of the two).
Take Advantage of Twilight Deals
Avoiding long periods of direct sun exposure is crucial to your skin. In fact, ultraviolet rays are strongest from 10 am to 4 pm, a tricky decision given that’s primetime for golfing. A preventative solution that benefits both skin and your wallet—twilight deals. Many courses offer discounted rates on later tee-times, so save a few bucks, evade UV rays and still get your golf fix.
Don’t Forget SPF Lip Balm
Treat your lips with just as much care as you do any other exposed part of your body. Lips do not have protective melanin like skin. Melanin is the skin’s defense against UV rays. As a result, golfers can experience sunburned lips and this becomes a targeted area for skin cancer. Carry a lip balm with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. You’ll be grateful for this little tube in the future. For the safest protection, look for a mineral based lip balm with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or a combination of the two)
Dress for the Round
Don’t depend entirely on sunscreen. In fact, the true first line of defense is long sleeves and long pants. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts – dress to protect. Don’t settle for basic attire, because not all clothing is created equally. Instead UPF 50+ clothing and accessories effectively counter the sun and prevent sunburn. This instantly triggers your skin to feel hotter and sensitive. Coolibar UPF 50+ long sleeve golf apparel, neck gaiters and hats offer UV protection and other performance features like moisture-wicking, Cooltect™ cooling technology and anti-microbial properties, so sunburn and overheating don’t distract you from your game. Look for hats to keep you cool from the top down. The adjustable Matchplay Golf Hat cools with ventilation features and an interior sweatband. Wherever sun protective clothing covers your skin, you do not need to apply sunscreen. To learn more about all our suggested apparel for your next round, visit our new Men’s Golf Collection.
Like golf, skin care is ultimately measured by consistency. Whether it’s lowering your golf handicap or reducing your skin cancer risk, persistence, practice, and, in the case of skin health, prevention – is required to improve.