Summer Golf: Keep Your Cool & Play it Safe!
For many golf aficionados, the desert heat can’t do much to quench the desire to hit the links. Be careful though and take extra precautions to keep your day fun and exhilarating rather than consumed with a trip to the emergency room.
As Arizona residents, we’re particularly familiar with the use of sunblock. Keep in mind that if you’re wiping your brow or back of your neck during your game, you’re most likely wiping your sun protection right off. In addition to sunblock, the attire you wear can go a long way in keeping the sun off of your skin. There are many specialty clothing lines that offer golf attire in sun-protective fabrics. Sun-protective clothes have a label listing the garment’s Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF. If you haven’t purchased sun-protective clothing, you can wash your regular clothing in a product called SunGard. It is a colorless dye that gives your clothing a UPF defense.
Staying hydrated is the number-one way of staving off heat-related illness. Consume PLENTY of fluids, more than you even think you need. In fact, if you are feeling thirsty, you are already too dehydrated. Keep your body cool with the use of cooling bandanas, cooling vests, cooling collars or the popular cooling towels made specifically for golfers. Studies have shown that the worst effects of heat are cumulative. So, avoid overheating in the first place or you may find yourself behind the eight ball when it comes to staying cool and hydrated.
Summer thunderstorms can manifest quickly in the desert. If you notice a thunderstorm approaching, it’s prudent to leave the course right away. Watch out for quick wind shifts, rapid cooling temperatures and increased wind velocity, all signs that a thunderstorm is approaching. If you can hear thunder within five seconds of seeing a lightning strike, you are in a strike zone. Take immediate precaution to avoid being struck by lightning. Put down your golf clubs and remove your golf shoes. Stay away from water, tall objects such as trees and saguaro cacti, and descend from hill tops. Distance yourself from your golf cart and do not use your cell phone. If you’re in a group, it’s better to spread out at least 15 feet apart rather than huddle together. Do not lay flat on the ground but rather kneel or squat to minimize the contact points to the ground.
With plenty of precaution, there is every reason to enjoy your game during these hot months. Happy golfing!