When it comes to using bug sprays, news that the mosquito-spread Zika virus was found in the United States should only add to golfers' concerns about contracting insect-borne illnesses. Being outside, near water, in a large green space puts golfers at greater risk. Our choices for insect repellents keep bugs from biting for several hours and a decent job of not damaging our favorite golf outfits.
Keep in mind that our picks are all standalone products. They make no promises of offering sun protection. In fact, golfers should avoid combination sunscreen/repellent products. The sunscreen wears off long before the bug repellent, forcing you to reapply more often than necessary. You're wasting money, plus they aren't as effective. Golfers should apply sunscreen first, wait several minutes for the skin to absorb it, then apply a repellent.
Our selections of bug sprays contain double-digit percentages of DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus, the most important ingredients in the fight against deer-tick bites (Lyme disease) and mosquito bites (Zika, West Nile, etc.). We favored products that use those chemicals generously and dismissed repellents that were made from natural plant oils such as citronella, castor or soybean, or another chemical known as IR3535. Those products weren't nearly as effective. All of our choices were long-lasting shields once applied. They kept us covered for an hour of warm-up and four to five hours on the course. And they didn't just work on mosquitoes and ticks. Biting flies and pesky gnats also stayed away.
Off! Deep Woods VII Dry, $6, four-ounce spray
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, $5, four-ounce pump