Should Golfers use sunscreen?

For those who live in harsher climates, the dream of the summer and the sun especially during the colder months is top of mind. The down side of the sun, particularly during the summer, is the damage the sun can do to the skin but don’t forget, even in the winter months sun light can harm your skin.

Protecting our skin against UV rays should be a daily practice throughout the year because of the decreasing ozone layer, whether it is overcast, cloudy (85% of UV radiation comes through the clouds) or sunny. Skin cancer is rising annually and one person dies every hour from malignant melanoma. The sun can also damage the eyes and bring premature aging to the skin around the eyes, so it is of the utmost importance to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, visors, hats or caps, or a combination for best protection. By taking this precaution, you may prevent cataracts in older age.

When a round of golf takes four to six hours to complete, commonly between the hours of 10am and 4pm when the rays from the sun are strongest, this combined with wind burn increases the risk of damage to the skin, scalp, neck and ears. It is therefore of the utmost importance to wear suitable headwear, apparel and sunscreen, when out on the golf course.

Golfing legends Sam Snead and Greg Norman popularised broad wing light hats. Other golf professionals wear a variety of styles to protect and shield the blinding sunlight that often plagues golfers. Golf professionals agree that sun protection hats offer them a competitive edge over players who do not wear protection. Some pros are of the opinion that the sun is the biggest risk to golfers and therefore should be treated with the greatest respect, and necessary precautions should be taken to protect themselves against the suns dangerous rays. Pros such as Tiger Woods always wear some form of head wear to ensure that their game is more comfortable and that they’re kept well protected.