Summer has basically arrived which means golf season is in full swing! For those who follow golf, the 2018 U.S. Open Golf Championship is just around the corner, taking place from June 11-17th, 2018 in Southampton, New York. Though it may be the perfect season to head to the golf course for a round of golf, the problem is, golfers are especially susceptible to damaging UV rays because of the long time they’re exposed to the sun while on the golf course. This can lead to sunburns, skin damage, and in worse cases, even skin cancer. What’s more, features on the golf course, like water in ponds or sand in sand traps, can actually reflect UV rays, increasing a golfer’s exposure. So how can golfers stay protected? Here are 6 great ways to stay safe under the sun while you’re on the golf course.

1. Use Sunscreen

Sunscreen is especially important when you’re golfing since you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Since you’ll be working up a bit of a sweat under the sun, look for a sports formula that’s sweat resistant and won’t run into your eyes.  

2. Sunrise & Sundown Deals

Many golf courses have special deals or reduced rates for playing early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Take advantage of them! You’ll not only be able to avoid the sun when it’s most intense, but also get to save a bit of money.

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3. Seek Shade

What’s a great way to give your skin a break from the sun’s rays? Seek shade! There’s a lot of different options available at a golf course, such as going indoors, finding a shady tree, or resting underneath a covered golf cart. There’s also special golf umbrellas that are specially designed for UV protection so that you can cover up between holes.

4. Cover Up

Besides sunscreen, other great forms of sun protection include covering up your body with clothing and hats. Long sleeves and pants can provide some protection, but not all clothing blocks UV rays equally so UV protective clothing is advised. There’s various brands that sell UV protective clothing specifically designed for sportswear. Other than clothing, it’s also important to wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your head, face, ears and neck from the sun.

5. Protect Your Eyes

Besides your skin, your eyes can also be damaged by the sun. Not only can wearing sunglasses help protect your eyes and the tender skin around them, it can also help you improve visibility and reduce glare when you’re out on the golf course. When choosing a pair of sunglasses, make sure to look for ones that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays, or offer UV absorption of up to 400nm.

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6. Use Sun Index

Sun Index is a free smartphone app that’s great for keeping you safe under the sun while playing a round of golf. Available for iOS or Android, it can tell you how long you can stay outside before getting a sunburn. It’s also equipped with lots of other sun safety features, like letting you know how much sunscreen to apply based on your size and clothing choice, and sending you reminders when it’s time to reapply sunscreen. You can also use Sun Index to find out the sunrise and sunset times for your location.