Once you start playing golf, you’ll discover that there’s nothing better than playing golf on a sunny day. Whether it is hot or cold, summer or winter you will want to get to your local golf course and play a match with your friends.
However, you should be careful when you are going to play golf in the summer, especially on those rare hot summer days in the UK. The summer heat in the UK and other countries can be dangerous for your skin and can damage your health. Be cautious and take preventative measures.
With that being said, we have compiled seven top tips for you to play golf in the summer and have an amazing round of golf without any problems from the sun or heat exhaustion. Playing golf in the heat can be fun or Hard work. Let’s make it fun!
1. Keep Hydrated
As with any sports, you have to keep hydrated if you want to do your best and play a good game. The best idea is to keep a water bottle with you at all times.
Most people tend not to take this seriously because they think that water doesn’t have an immediate effect on the body and it’s not important in the short-term. This is not true. Water can immediately help the body to feel refreshed and, especially in the summer heat, it can help to make the blood flow
Another important point to consider, is to keep other types of liquids that you can drink with you as well. Although nothing can compare to drinking water, sports drinks and hydrating juices are good alternatives. These drinks contain sugar and salt, which provide immediate energy to the body. If you are someone who sweats a lot, these drinks will greatly benefit you. Keep hydrated on the golf course and you will find that your energy levels stay high; you’ll play better and your swing speed will not reduce.
Isotonic Gel drinks are what pro golfers drink. The main cause of fatigue during a round of golf is depleted carbohydrate levels. The body stores carbohydrate as glycogen in the muscles and liver for use during exercise, however it has a limited storage capacity. Consuming carbohydrates in the lead up to and immediately before an event helps. These drinks help to replace lost carbohydrates quickly. If it’s good for the pro’s it’s good enough for me.
We like ‘Science in Sports’ packs. They come with all the gel packs, include a sports water bottle and are available on Amazon for home delivery.
2. Sunscreen Lotion
Your best friend in the summer is the bottle of sunscreen lotion which you ignore all year round. When the summer heat finally reaches you, make sure you take a bottle out with you and use the lotion as required. My bottle of sunscreen is always with me in my golf bag throughout the summer.
Sunscreen manufacturers make lotions which have different elements all mixed in one. These elements prevent tanning, protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, and even prevent scars and other pimples to pop out on your skin. If you have sensitive skin, these problems are aggravated if you expose your skin to too much heat.
When you are playing golf, you have to focus on the game and if your skin is irritating you, you will not be able to give it your all, nevermind how bad you’ll feel the next day with sunstroke!
To avoid this, buy a good sunscreen lotion. When you go shopping for sunscreen lotion, keep a few things in mind. The SPF level indicates the intensity of the lotion. So if you are looking for a high-intensity lotion then buy one which has a high SPF. If you want something low then a low SPF will do the job well. Experiment with different brands until you find one that is non-greasy, easy to apply, inexpensive and works well for you. Some brands will suit your skin better while others may not. Playing golf in the heat should be fun, sunstroke isn’t fun so go prepared.
3. High Protein Snacks
Many golfers are not aware that high protein snacks give you extra energy when you are playing golf. Golf requires strength which comes from strong muscles. So your arms and legs should be properly toned.
Exercising helps but the real deal is when you eat proper healthy food too. Protein snacks are available in every market and they give you that extra boost of energy needed to get the best game in the field.
To make the most of these snacks, you should eat them at the right time. When you are feeling low in energy and your golf game is not at its best, that’s the time to eat this snack. I always eat one or two just as I start to deteriorate as they take a few minutes to work and start to improve my energy levels again.
It will give you the energy that you require. Some of these snacks and their benefits are explained – Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips and dried. It makes an excellent and convenient snack.
You can use trail mix as well, which is basically fruits and nuts combined with chocolate and grains. These snacks are high in protein and they cater to all kinds of tastes. My personal favourite are Lucozade sweets that you can buy at most Chemists. They are easy to carry in your bag, cheap and fast working. Plus they only cost 80p a pack! I also like Golf energy bars which are great to share with your golfing buddies.
4. Golf Umbrella
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from the sun and the summer heat is by using a golf umbrella. When you are using a golf cart you should place an umbrella on it in such a way that it protects you and your gear from the sun.
There are different sizes of umbrellas available on the market that can fit on your cart. This is one of the easiest methods to stay away from the harsh sun. One of the important things to check when you are buying an umbrella
The shape is mostly round but the colour is more important. White reflects the heat better than black. Transparency of the umbrella is one factor which differentiates the brands. A good umbrella will not heat up too quickly either.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” is very true with golf umbrellas. Yes, you can buy one from a national sports outlet for £6 – but they’ll likely last about two minutes in high winds. Spend around £20 and you’ll get a good quality golf umbrella that you can take to the golf course for personal daily use.
Taylormade make some really reliable and top quality golf umbrellas.
5. Play golf at different times of the day
Play in the evening when the day is starting to cool down. This obviously depends on your work commitments and playing schedule but in the summer, you should aim to have a schedule which allows you to play when the sun is not at its highest.
Nothing beats playing golf in summer on a cool evening when the sun is starting to go down. I have spent many evenings between 6pm-9pm when it’s cool and not as busy. Playing golf in the heat can be fun but a cool summers round of golf is the best.
You should avoid playing at midday when the sun is at its peak and the heat is at its highest. If you are used to playing in the morning then this will take some time to get used to because your eyes need to adjust to the different light. This is not a hard thing to change however, because when you are doing something you love, these small things do not really matter.
The choice is yours and in the end, it is up to you. But, protecting yourself from the summer heat should be your first priority. Your health comes before anything else.
6. Wear the right clothes
Golf clothes are designed to keep your body cool and be light enough to give you flexibility of movement.
As this is an outdoor game, brands which provide the best golf clothes are often the ones which keep heat in mind. Other sporting brands have taken the golf clothing market by storm like Under Armour. This is because they understand how the body reacts to heat and sweat.
The market includes tons of good brands. All of them make new and stylish, yet lightweight clothing to keep your body cool. Before you buy anything, we would suggest that you first wear and check them out for yourself.
Size also matters a lot. When something is too tight and hugging your body in the heat, it can cause rashes and irritate your skin to a great extent. Also, choose clothes which are light in colour. If you can get something in white, that would be best as it does not attract heat. Summer golf clothes are essential for playing in
You don’t need to pay a small fortune for the right golf clothes, yes some of the expensive ones are amazing but cheaper brands will do the job too.
Summer golf spikeless shoes are a good buy. Nothing is worse than trying to play golf in the heat with big heavy leather golf shoes. Nothing feels and look better than a stylish, light and supportive pair of golf shoes in summer. Step on to the first Tee in style this year.
TOP TIP: Have two pairs of golf shoes, one for winter which are
waterproof and offer maximum protection and warmth and a summer pair which are light and supportive.
7. Insect Repellent or Bug Spray
In the summer, bugs/insects are the most annoying things to deal with; especially in grassy areas and open fields. These bugs come out and attack any humans they see. Bugs can hinder your game. So it is better to buy a good bug spray or lotion and use it wisely. Keep it out of your eyes because this can be really irritating and damaging. Bugs also like water and where do you find water? On a golf course. Usually where my ball is!
Bugs will not come near you if you use a good repellent and you can play a better game. Different companies making bug sprays and they all write the chemicals and ingredients on the label of the bottle. Please check these and read them carefully to see if your skin is sensitive to them or even worse, allergic to them.
Avoid putting lotion on any dry areas of your skin as well as any scars or injuries. If it starts to itch, wash it off immediately.
I always take a packet of baby wipe with me in my golf bag. Not only are they handy for when you apply sunblock and bug repellent but also to cool you down and clean your grips to give you better control over your swing on a hot summers golf day.
TOP TIP: Bug Spray and Sunscreen lotions can be greasy and may cause your grip on the golf club to slip. I take a packet of baby wet wipes with me in my golf bag to clean up after applying.
Conclusion: Playing golf in the heat
No matter whether you are a beginner or a professional, follow these tips to protect yourself from getting sun or heat stroke. It is important to follow these tips in a timely manner and think ahead. Once you’re on the course and you’re starting to feel the effect of heat, it may be too late.
Because if it is too late then there is no going back. It will probably spoil your day and the following days after could be all about you recovering from sunstroke which isn’t pleasant at all.
If it gets too hot to play you could always read on on the best golf autobiographies ever written.
Good luck, enjoy the short UK Golf Season and play well.