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You don’t need to live in southern states like Florida or Texas to realize that playing golf in the heat can be unbearable and even dangerous to your health. You can always escape the heat by traveling to a cooler destination, but if you don’t have the time to travel, follow these tips to have a safe summer golfing season.

Avoid the Middle of the Day

If you can, start early. The sun’s rays are the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The earlier that you’re able to get on the course, the better. Even after the sun starts to descend in the afternoon, the hottest time of the day is around 3 p.m. Make the decision to play early, or after 4 p.m. to escape the heat.

Hydrate With Water

Every golfer should have a bottle of water on hand. To prepare yourself for the heat on the course, you should drink plenty of water in advance. In addition to drinking water prior to playing, golfers should also avoid caffeinated products such as energy drinks, soda, or coffee, as well as any drinks containing alcohol.

Find The Shade

While on the course, wait for your turn in the shade. The shade is typically about 10 degrees cooler than standing directly in the sun. If you find that your course lacks trees or shade of any kind, bring along a UV protected umbrella.

Wear Light Colors

When picking out your next golfing outfit, avoid dark colors. Light-colored clothing reflects the heat better. Dark-colored clothing absorbs more light energy making you warmer, faster. Stick to wearing white or pastel colored clothing to deflect as much light as possible.

Pick The Right Kind Of Fabrics

While you should wear light-colored clothing when golfing in the heat, you should also wear the right kind of material. Many golfers invest in moisture-wicking fabric, which pulls moisture away from the body to the exterior of the shirt where it will be evaporated. This fabric helps you avoid the sticky, sweaty feeling after spending hours out on the course.

SPF Is Your Best Friend

Depending on how strong the sun’s rays are, you can receive a sunburn in less than 15 minutes. Golfing out in the open without any sunscreen can leave your skin vulnerable. Before leaving your home, apply at least a 30 SPF sunscreen. Make sure to take that sunscreen with you to re-apply throughout the day.

“Cool” Neckwear

If you are feeling overheated on the course, try applying a cold wet towel to the back of your neck. Your neck is a “pulse point,” and by applying cold water, it can cool off your blood and body temperature faster. If you are looking for something more fashionable, Icy Cools has created a neoprene and terry cloth bandana that you can freeze and tie around your neck.