Virtually every player I see on the golf course wears a hat. It is common sense to protect ourselves from the 4 hours of sun we love to experience. It is important to cover your noggin to avoid dangerous situations like sunburn or heat stroke. This is commonsense to most of us, but what kind of hat do most players wear?
The most common response is a peaked cap or baseball cap. It is the most widely decorated with logos and writing; and the most widely used on the PGA Tour. Personally, I wear a ball cap and have for years. Rarely will I play without a hat, even in the cloudy days. Protecting my head just makes sense to me and many others:
Sunburn is very obvious and can occur even on overcast days. I always wear sunscreen and try to protect my exposed parts from the hot sun. It might not seem like we experience the hot sunny weather in Norther Canada, but we do. So protection is a must. However, heat injuries is something that many golfers seem to overlook. It is extremely dangerous and may need medical treatment immediately.
Heat injuries can be very dangerous. There are heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke. Unfortunately, it can easily sneak up on a golfer if they spend prolong hours in the sun. I remember playing a 6.5 hour tournament round in the 35º C sunny weather; it was not fun and I was concerned for each of the playing partners. Fortunately, we were all aware and nothing serious happened, except for a minor sunburn.
The following information is taken from Healthline.com
Heat cramps are the first stage of heat emergency. They usually happen when you’ve been physically active in the heat, but they can also occur if you haven’t been active. Heat cramps are especially likely in the elderly or small children, overweight people, and people who have been drinking alcohol. Muscle pain and tightness are symptoms of heat cramps.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- muscle cramps
- mild confusion
- fast heart rate or breathing
- extreme thirst
- nausea or vomiting
- pale skin
- heavy sweating
With heatstroke, all the symptoms of heat exhaustion may be present, plus:
- body temperature over 104°F
- irrational behavior or hallucinations
- rapid, shallow breathing
- rapid, weak pulse
- loss of consciousness
- dry skin
Sweating may be present in heatstroke. A person who is experiencing heatstroke might have very dry skin from dehydration.
Heat injuries are a very serious issue for golfers. We sometimes push ourselves too far and as a result place ourselves at risk. For me wearing a hat is the first step to preventing injuries, but there are many more. Remember that the sun makes for awesome conditions to play golf, but it not respected can cause you serious damage. Enjoy your next round and remember to protect yourself.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!