The most practical advice possible for any golfer is simple; protect yourself from the sun. Skin cancer is no joke. Golf provides several great health benefits, but extended sun exposure is a primary cause of melanoma. Covering up is one of the simplest ways to give protection, so a full-brimmed "bucket" hat is a great start. Let's look at a few hats with different looks that will offer the sun protection you need and do it (arguably) in style.
Maximum Coverage: Coolibar Matchplay Golf Hat
This 4-inch wide brim design from Coolibar will certainly help keep your head shaded from the sun. The brim has lightweight, semi-rigid foam to help keep it out of your eyes. The cap itself is made of a breathable fabric that still provides UPF 50+ protection. This hat is also unisex and can fit various head sizes with an elastic drawcord at the back to adjust the fit.
As a brand, Coolibar specializes in a variety of athletic wear specifically for sun protection. Besides hats, they also offer tops, bottoms, and swimwear for all ages. All have received the Skin Cancer Foundation's seal of recommendation.
Price: $39 through Amazon and Coolibar
Stylish Protection: Wallaroo Avery Fedora
Despite being potentially a more fashionable choice, the Avery Fedora still provides good sun protection. The Japanese glazed paper material keeps the hat lightweight while giving UPF 50+. The hat is available in two sizes and features an adjustable Velcro band to give a perfect fit. A 2 1/2" brim should provide adequate coverage for the ears and back of your head.
The Wallaroo Hat Company is based in Colorado but is designed in Australia, giving the brand its name. They focus their designs first on sun protection and then do it fashionably. Wallaroo sums up their business focus in a simple catchphrase; "It's a sunny life. Wear your hat."
Price: $55 through Amazon and Wallaroo
For Brand Loyalists: Callaway Sun Hat
If you are looking for a sun hat for golfing that matches your clubs, Callaway's 2020 sun hat collection gives several options. This includes a simple, unstructured floppy hat available in both white and black. This design is made from breathable mesh and features an internal sweatband to keep you cool out on the course. The internal bungee adjustment allows the hat to fit most head sizes without an issue. Callaway also features a wide brim straw hat in the collection for those who favor that style.
Price: from $38.99 through Amazon and Callaway Golf
All-Around Winner: Sunday Afternoons Havana Hat
In some ways, this Havana-style hat from Sunday Afternoons provides many of the hats above the best features into one package. The shape is classic and fashionable, the material is light and breathable, and it is packable without deforming the hat. Inside, the cap features an adjustable band to keep sweat out of your eyes and fine-tune the fit. At 2 3/4", the brim is large enough to offer good coverage but shouldn't interfere with your swing. Taken together, you can easily see why this hat generates such rave reviews.
Price: $34 through Amazon and REI
Budget Option: Mashiaoyi Unisex Print Double-Sided Hats
If you are looking for a hat that will keep the sun out of your eyes and allow you to express yourself at least some of the time, these hats from Mashiaoyi might be for you. Amazon currently features over a dozen different prints, ranging from two different avocado designs to tie-dyes and tropical flamingos. The best part is that if you're not feeling the loud style one day, you can turn the hat inside out and wear it as a solid color instead. While reviews are mostly positive, these hats are strict "one size fits most," so larger-headed golfers might be out of luck.
Price: from $13.89 through Amazon
Are there any favorite golf bucket hats out there we missed? Comment below or join the discussion over at the Practical Golf Forum.