6 Tips for Playing Golf in the Sun
As this rare and beautiful British heatwave continues in the heart of the golfing summer, golf courses suddenly become packed and filled with golfers ready to play in the summer heat. While these conditions may seem glorious, they can also become dangerous if some precautions aren’t taken. All golfers need to be aware of possible dangers like heat exhaustion and dehydration which can easily occur in hot conditions, especially on golf courses. Here are some of the best tips for making sure you are safe in the sun, along with helping you be in a position to take advantage of the conditions, which might actually benefit your game.
This is the obvious one, but unfortunately if you are rushing around in the morning before your round it is usually the thing people end up forgetting. Drinking lots of water on the course is essential in order to stay properly hydrated so that your body remains healthy throughout your round. The common misconception is that drinking water just when your thirsty will solve the problem, however the best way to solve this is to drink constantly and often, refilling your drink as much as possible. Drinking before and during your round can also dramatically affect your physical performance towards the final moments of your 18 holes.
When the weather is at its sunny best, it’s obvious that wearing smart trousers and a jumper really isn’t going to cut it. The best way to combat the sun is to dress cool. Wearing certain attire like hats, shorts, loose fitting/breathable materials, light coloured clothing and sunglasses will help in keeping you cool throughout your time on the course.
Arguably the most important factor in protecting yourself from the sun is to make sure you wear sun cream often, and frequently apply it during your round. While there are no direct statistics or figures about the number of golfers who potentially develop skin cancer due to golf, virtually all dermatologists will agree that spending 4-6 hours in the sun without any sun cream is considerably detrimental for the health of your skin, and frequent abuse of this will most definitely increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer in the future. The majority of people who are diagnosed with Melanoma are men aged over 50, which obviously correlates closely with the age of most amateur golfers. Something as small as carrying sun cream in your bag at all times so you are always prepared, could potentially make a real difference in the future when it comes to the health of your skin.
One simple but sometime forgotten point is that sticking to the shade wherever possible and keeping out of any direct sunlight will naturally keep you much cooler throughout the round. While you obviously can’t stay away from the sun the entire round as you’ll hopefully be hitting many fairways and greens, little tricks like standing to the side of tee boxes where there is shade, hugging the tree line to stay away from the sun in-between shots and possibly taking an umbrella with you to keep shaded will all help with keeping you cooler for longer.
Not only will this help you feel a lot cooler and physically fitter on the golf course during hot periods, but it will potentially benefit the golf course a great deal. In recent months we have seen countless wildfires and forest fires across the world starting due to dry grass being very prone to easily catching fire from flammable objects like cigarette ends. In this heatwave, the majority of golf courses are struggling to keep the entirety of the course watered fully, so this leaves areas of rough and fairways that will be particularly easy to catch on fire. Ditching the cigs will not only make you feel better but will make sure that no fiery accidents occur on your course.
By choosing your tee time for certain times like before sunrise and during twilight hours, you will immediately notice the difference in heat compared to the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. Not only will your body be thanking you from avoiding walking around a golf course during the hottest part of the day, but you will find that playing at times like in the evening when the sun is setting, and the golf course is completely quiet is a relaxing and beautiful experience.
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This heatwave is set to continue in the coming weeks, which means staying safe in the sun will be just as important as ever. While the sun can be dangerous, it would be foolish to not take advantage of these glorious conditions. In the heat the golf ball travels further through the air and the dry fairways will provide extra bounce and roll making most courses play a lot shorter than normal. Following these tips will help you take advantage of these favourable golfing conditions and ensure that you stay safe from the dangers of the sun in doing so.
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