Golf is a great way to spend time outdoors, which is one of my favorite reasons to play. Unfortunately, all of that time outside exposes you to the sun for 4-6 hours at a time. Players are at great risk for getting burned and eventually developing skin cancer. I take this threat very seriously, and am always on the lookout for clothing that can protect you. Recently coLLo Apparel launched their line of UPF 50+ clothing that is aimed at providing protection for golfers.
I've been wearing one of their shirts for the past couple of months on the course and found it extremely comfortable and lightweight. More importantly, their unique collar design protects one of the most vulnerable spots on your body.
Skin Cancer is a Real Threat
Many golfers don't want to talk about skin protection, and I believe it is to their own detriment. I conducted this poll on Twitter asking if golfers wear sunscreen:
Unfortunately around 40% responded no, and I am hoping that doesn't represent the golf community as a whole (but I fear it does). Skin cancer is a real problem, and here are some sobering statistics from coLLo's website:
- Melanoma is the sixth most common fatal malignancy in the United States, responsible for 4% of all cancer deaths and 6 of every 7 skin cancer-related deaths.
- One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetimes, which means that each year there are at least one million new cases in the U.S. alone.
- Nonmelanoma skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are also on the rise, with two million new cases every year.
- Your risks for cancer are highest if you get one, heavy dose of sunlight infrequently, or if you constantly expose yourself to lots of sun every day.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
Since golfers can't avoid the sun when they play, they have to do their best with a mixture of sunscreen and clothing to protect themselves. If there is one major criticism I have had of the golf apparel industry, it is that there are very few options available with built in sun protection.
UPF 50+ is the gold standard when it comes to clothing. Many assume that wearing just any kind of shirt will provide protection, but it really doesn't. The typical shirt will only provide a UPF factor of 10, which is not doing nearly enough to filter out harmful rays. Others will boast UPF 30, which is good, but not the best.
coLLo has created a line of clothing that all has UPF 50+ built into their fabric, which protects you from 98% of UV radiation. Unfortunately this is rare to find in clothing because the process to manufacture the fabric is more expensive. However, if you are going to be continually exposing yourself to the sun it is money well spent in my opinion.
I don't know of many golf brands that offer this kind of protection, which is exactly why I was happy to hear about them launching. Most golfers will not apply enough sunscreen during their rounds, and they are taking a huge risk.
coLLo Apparel, and Their Unique Design
When I was at the PGA Show this past winter coLLo was one of the first companies I noticed. To my knowledge they were one of the few apparel brands doing anything to protect golfers from the sun at the show. I was impressed with the material and design of their collar. One problem I have seen with sun-protective clothing before is that it is not lightweight and breathable.
Once you see their shirts in person you realize the fabric is extremely lightweight and comfortable.
I wore their longsleeve shirt out on the course a few times on days where it was a bit warmer. I found it to be extremely comfortable, and more importantly it didn't suffocate my skin. If you want maximum protection from the sun, then you do have to cover your arms. I think golfers will be able to wear a shirt like this on warmer days and not feel like they will be sweating.
The major design feature that sets coLLo Apparel apart from other brands is their collar. As you can see it's a bit larger than most. It is meant to completely cover your neck, and is constructed so that it stays upright during your round.
Functionally it's pretty amazing. You don't have to worry about slathering most of your neck in sunscreen the whole round. Stylistically, some might think it appears a bit large. But there's no question that it gets the job done.
Good on Them
I am glad to see a new golf brand step up to the plate on this extremely important issue. Skin protection should be in every golfer's mind. Many of us get lazy on the course with sunscreen, and I think coLLo has done a great job at creating clothing that can alleviate that problem.
You can find out more about their products, and purchase them on their website here.