Sun care

What this brand is doing to keep you safe in the sun

*All products featured on Golf Digest are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.*

Every golfer knows that it’s important to wear sunscreen on the course, and reapply it religiously. Spending hours under the sun’s harmful rays can be very damaging to your skin if you’re not careful. But sunscreen isn’t the only method of sun protection that golfers should be investing in. If you really want to save your skin, consider wearing UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing to ensure safety when you’re out in the sun for extended periods of time.
RELATED: Best Sunscreen And Lip Balm For Golf

Coolibar is one sun-safe apparel brand to check out if you’re looking to explore UPF golf-specific clothing. David Leadbetter, one of Golf Digest's Teaching Professionals, is known for being a staunch sun protection advocate, and works as an ambassador for the company. Since Leadbetter’s father tragically passed away from Melanoma, he has become more aware of sun overexposure and its severe risks. Now Leadbetter is almost never seen without his signature straw hat and long sleeves, and encourages all golfers to consider UPF clothing.

According to Leadbetter’s dermatologist, Dr. J Morgan O’Donoghue, when his patients ask him what is the best form of sun protection, he always tells them “clothing.” Sunscreen is incredibly important, but after hours of wear it can break down and many golfers forget to reapply properly after nine holes. If you reapply sunscreen at the right times and invest in sun safe clothing, you’ll be completely protected.

“Finding good UPF clothing is like finding good SPF sunscreen,” said Dr. O’Donoghue. “You need to know what to look for. For UPF apparel, you should look for a rating of 50+ which is the highest rating marketed on sun-protective clothing. For brands like Coolibar, all their fabrics—no matter the color, weave or weight—are guaranteed UPF 50+ for the lifetime of the fabric.”

Sun-safe clothing uses specific materials in its fabrics to block the sun’s rays more effectively than the typical materials used in everyday clothing. “A UPF 50+ shirt blocks 98 percent of UVA/UVB rays, while a standard T-shirt generally has a UPF of 8—even less if it gets damp,” said Dr. O’Donoghue. Coolibar’s technology incorporates a material called viscose, which comes from naturally UV-blocking bamboo. Viscose is then blended with both cotton and Zinc Oxide (a sun-blocker) to create a sun protective fabric that you would never be able to distinguish from regular fabric based on appearance. These days, sun-safe clothing doesn’t compromise on style or performance.

You might be wondering: won’t this technology wear out over time? This is an important factor to consider when purchasing sun-safe apparel. According to Michelle Rivard, Coolibar’s Manager of PR and Strategic Partnerships, “[Coolibar's] testing goes into real-life usage, evaluating UV protection before and after laundering (a minimum of 40 washes), exposure to 100 hours of simulated sunlight and chlorinated water to guarantee you get true UPF 50+ protection.”

Adding sun protective clothing to your golf wardrobe is easy to do, considering the options available on the market right now. Here are some options available from Coolibar that will keep you extra protected on the course.