Golfers and Preventing Skin Cancer on the Golf Course

Preventing Skin Cancer on the Golf CourseOver two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Skin cancer is not the result of a few days in the sun but the result of the accumulation of sun exposure your skin has received throughout your lifetime. Decades of time spent outdoors add up and golfers are particularly susceptible to skin cancer.

Golfers are exposed to much more ultraviolet radiation than most people who spend time outside because of the way the average golf course is setup. Water features and sand traps reflect the sun back at you instead of absorbing it. The length of a round of golf also maximizes sun exposure. It takes a group of four golfers an average of about four hours to play 18 holes. Golf is also often played between 10am and 4pm which are also the hours when the sun is at its strongest. For these reasons golfers are much more vulnerable to skin cancer than many other outdoor enthusiasts.

Professional golfers are particularly at risk. Rory Sabbatini, Brian Davis, Aron Price, Fred Couples, Tom Kite and Brian Davis are just a few of the PGA Tour golfers that have battled skin cancer. Being a professional golfer requires thousands of hours in the sun. The sun can be brutal and white males over the age of forty are the most sensitive to skin cancer. One in four will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in their lifetime.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends protecting yourself in several ways while on the golf course:

  • Protective Clothing: Just covering yourself isn’t always enough. Depending on the weave of the fabric a standard cotton shirt can still allow a significant amount of radiation from the sun to reach your skin. Look for clothing that has UPF protection. UPF 50+ is the highest level of protection you can have.

  • Sunscreen: Sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 is recommended and it should be applied every 9 holes or two hours over all areas of exposed skin. It is extremely important to cover your ears as they are a very common location for diagnoses of skin cancer. Lip balm with a minimum SPF of 30 is also suggested.

  • Cover That Cabeza: Your head is almost always exposed outdoors. Be sure to where a hat. A wide brimmed hat that also protects the back of the neck is preferred. However, if you feel it inhibits your golf swing you should at the very least wear a baseball hat on the golf course.

  • Arms: If you wear short sleeves sunscreen or lotion with a minimum of 30 SPF is recommended or you can cover up with UV protection sleeves for golf.

  • Golfers and Skin CancerYour skin is the largest organ you have and should not be taken for granted. It is estimated that most Americans dedicate more time to brushing their teeth than they do to skin care and skin cancer prevention. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and also one of the most preventable. If you love golf and play a few rounds each month make sure that you always protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

    This Golf Lifestyle Blog is proudly sponsored by NELSON Golf Sleeves.