Are you playing with sun protection?

June 2023  |   Michelle Baker

Are you a health-conscious golfer who still seems to struggle with sun protection? You’re not alone, however with skin cancer residing in nearly every golf club, Michelle Baker, CEO of the Melanoma Fund and creator of the Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign, explains how and why it’s time to change the habit of a lifetime.

Keeping your mind and body hit and healthy, will help you get the most out of life, improve your game, and help lower your risk of joint issues, diabetes, and some forms of cancer, which will affect 1 in 2 of us. Despite being aware of skin cancer, which is common in golfers, 72% admit to never reapplying sunscreen when on the fairway, with 30% avoiding sun protection completely, in favour of a tan. If this sound like you, maybe it’s time to get some excuses quashed, and your habits improved.

You don’t want a greasy grip!
If you wear sunscreen but avoid re-application during the day (even though you know you should) due to getting your hands greasy, simply use a chubby stick, an applicator, or a small towel soaked in alcohol gel to wipe your hands clean. A non-greasy product such as Stokoderm is also a great solution as it is designed for people who work with hand-held tools.

You wear SPF30 abroad but not in the UK

Skin cancer is the No.1 cancer in the UK, and with heatwaves forecast again this year, and excessive heat becoming more common, sunscreen shouldn’t be saved for that trip abroad but used as part of your health and safety kit.

You apply sunscreen to your face only

This is a typical attitude, but again it is simply a habit. All areas are prone to sun damage and skin cancer, and that can be evidenced by looking at the arms and legs of someone over the age of 50. This skin is aged by the sun in the same way as your face, so apply to all exposed areas.

You forget!
Do you forget to clean your teeth twice a day or to put your seatbelt on? Of course not. When it comes to sun protection, if understand the risks, it’s just a case of developing good habits, for the sake of your skin.


Getting your golf club to sign up for the Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign can help. Designed for golf, it is FREE, easy to implement, and will provide clubs with a toolkit of materials to display both digitally and in print, plus sunscreen support, providing SPF in both tubes for resale, and in dispensers, an ideal benefit for greenkeepers. Not only does it raise awareness of sun protection, but also skin checking, providing videos and advice on how to check properly.

Visit the campaign website, take a look at its resources, and share the link with your club’s general manager. We believe that all golf clubs should be raising awareness of sun protection to help keep skin cancer off the fairways. The question is if not, why not?