There's no question that golfers are at greater risk of developing skin cancer because of their prolonged exposure to sun, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Consider that a round of golf can take four to six hours to play and preferred weekend tee times are generally in the mid-morning. A golfer who tees off at 10 a.m. will be playing during the hours of the day when the sun is at its hottest—and most dangerous.
While the ACS recommends limiting or avoiding exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's ultraviolet rays are strongest, this is not reasonable for most golfers. But by using sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and covering as much skin as possible by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a hat with a wide brim, you can minimize your exposure to the sun. Sunglasses are also a good idea.
Also, try to play in the early morning hours or take advantage of discount twilight rates, which usually kick in later in the afternoon. Either way, you're not playing in the teeth of the sun's most punishing heat.
Apply another layer of sunscreen when you make the turn to take on the back nine.
Keep in the shade when possible. And stay in the cart while you wait to take your turn on the tee.
Pros Are Not Immune
Obviously, the sun is part of a day at the office for professional golfers. Here are just some of the professional golfers, both male and female, who have been diagnosed with skin cancer:
For more information visit the American Cancer Society.