It’s still summer in Ottawa, and that means that it’s still a whole lot more uncomfortable outside. While summer weather lends itself to outdoor activities like golf offered at Irish Hills Golf & Country Club, the heat of a mid summer’s day can just be too much to handle. Every year, golfers struggle to find ways to beat the heat so that they can enjoy their sport without the discomfort and health risks associated with over-heating. Cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke can sneak up on you on a hot summer’s day, and it’s important to take the right precautions to keep your body hydrated and healthy during this humid and sometimes miserable time of year.
So you’ve got a foursome scheduled for the afternoon, and your thermometer is showing blistering temperatures. There’s no fun to be had in canceling, so you decide to be brave at the day and get golfing no matter what the weather channel says. But how can you protect yourself from the elements brought on by hotter and longer days?
At Irish Hills Golf Club in Ottawa, your safety is paramount to us. We encourage all golfers, no matter how long their day on the fairway might be, to follow the advice we’ve outlined below so that they can enjoy their favorite sport without risking damage to their health.
The most important thing is to remain hydrated.
So many golfers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts end up in emergency rooms of hospitals for heat-related health concerns, and a lot of the time these things can be prevented by simply remembering to stay hydrated. A day of golf in the summer means a day of baking under the summer sun, but drinking an adequate amount of water will greatly reduce the risk of harm caused by the heat.
- Golfers should drink five ounces of water for every tee box. This means that if you are playing an 18-hole round, you should be drinking at least four twenty-ounce bottles of water from start to finish.
- Sports drinks should be avoided as they often contain high amounts of glucose or fructose. Neither of these are helpful at warding off dehydration, even though they contain electrolytes and taste better than water to many people. Stick with plain old water, and you’ll feel better for it.
- Consuming alcohol or caffeine while playing any sport isn’t wise because both can cause dehydration. But we know that you’ll probably want to knock back a few cold ones while golfing with your pals, so here are a few tips on how to do so as safely as possible:
- Alternate drinks with water.
- Remember to eat. Drinking is bad on an empty stomach to begin with, and it’s even worse when you’re roasting in the summer heat for the better part of a day.
- It’s not a bad idea to have something light to eat prepared to enjoy over the course of your day. Some fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, which can help fend off dehydration:
Dress for comfort, rather than for style.
- Lighter colors help to reflect the sun’s rays better than dark colors. Opt for white and pastel shades when golfing during the summer to minimize the amount of heat drawn to you.
- Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing that allows for the circulation of air. Tightly-fitting clothes can become too restrictive and actually make you substantially warmer.
- We recommend cotton shirts, as they are able to absorb perspiration and keep you feeling dry for longer than other materials.
- Hats and visors are a great way to protect your eyes, face and neck. A wide-brimmed hat is especially helpful, as the wider brim offers more protection from the sun.
Additional protective gear should be essential on every golf outing.
- The sun’s glare can cause damage to your eyes, so a pair of quality sunglasses is invaluable. Find a pair that blocks 99% or 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
- Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is recommended to anybody who goes golfing when the sun is up (which is probably most of us). A protective lip balm with SPF is also handy, because your lips are a part of your skin, too.
- A moistened towel could be applied every now and then to your face, neck, head and arms to ward off the heat and cool the body down. The cool moisture will help your body to regulate its temperature.
- Even though you might want the additional exercise of walking your round, particularly hot and humid days are a very good reason to opt for a golf cart. By riding rather than walking you are exerting less energy, which makes it less likely for you to overheat.
One last thing: Consider playing early in the day. Not only do you get to avoid a bunch of other people by golfing earlier in the day, you can also get a round in before the sun’s peak hours between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
If you keep these simple safety tips in mind, your next summer golf outing will be a more fun, as well as safer, experience.