Promoting Sun Safety in Your Community: Golf Courses

For every hour they play, recreational golfers can receive 3.5 to 5.4 times the amount of UV radiation exposure needed to cause sunburn. And it’s not just the sun that makes golfing so dangerous: features on the golf course, like water in ponds and sand in sand traps, can reflect UV radiation back at golfers, so that it hits their skin a second time.

Additionally, 78 percent of golfers share another skin cancer risk factor: They are male. Starting at age 40, the incidence of melanoma is higher in men than in women, and this trend becomes more pronounced with each decade. The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50. In the US, today there are an estimated 8.6 million golfers ages 50 and above.

You can help protect all golfers, regardless of age or sex, by promoting these sun safety measures on and off the green.

  • Create signage that directs golfers to shaded locations, and warns them of less sun-safe areas.

  • Distribute brochures and display posters from our Health Fair Kit in the clubhouse and on the links to promote sun safety.

  • Sell broad-brimmed hats, UV-filtering sunglasses and lightweight sportswear with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or higher at the clubhouse.

  • Stock water-resistant SPF 30 or higher sunscreen (sports sunscreens are a great idea) at the clubhouse.  Provide employees with SPF30 or higher sunscreen and urge its use.

  • Provide shade, especially at busy tees.

  • Encourage employees to work in shaded areas during the peak sunlight hours, between 10 AM and 4 PM.

  • When possible, schedule competitions and other activities to begin early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

  • Institute “Sun Rise” and “Sun Down” specials, offering reduced rates for playing early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when sun intensity is reduced.