Sun Protection

5 Best Sunscreens for Golfers for Excellent UV Protection

As an outdoor sport, golf will expose you to direct sunlight. And during summer, that means basking under the scorching sun and exposing your skin to harmful UV rays. As much as Vitamin D is good, too much can also bring risky consequences. With this, we looked for the best sunscreen for golfers, so you no longer have to suffer while on the golf course.

In many of our articles, especially product-based stories, we earn a small commission when readers purchase through our product links. This doesn’t affect which products are included in the articles. All of the products we highlight are recommended for their quality, performance, and overall reputation, regardless of any affiliate relationships.

Neutrogena Broad Spectrum
Dry-Touch Sunscreen
Check Price
EltaMD Broad Spectrum
Sport Sunscreen
Check Price
Banana Boat Ultra Sports
Performance Sunscreen
Check Price
ThinkSport Safe
Athlete Sunscreen
Check Price
Coppertone SPORT
Spray Sunscreen
Check Price

Why do golfers need sunscreen?

One of the most prevalent illnesses among professional golfers is skin cancer. This is due to their prolonged and repetitive exposure to extreme sunlight. Professionals like Rory Sabbatini, Adam Scott, and Randy Jones are just some of the golfers who had to deal with some type of skin cancer.

Golfers have a much higher risk of developing skin cancer than those who don’t go outside often. While skin cancer isn’t the most discussed condition among golfers, it’s on the rise and becoming a threat to many aspiring players.

Let’s give you a better picture here:

During a recreational golf game, a player will be exposed to up to 5.4 times more UV rays than what’s needed to cause sunburn. If exposed consistently, this can lead to skin cancer, which affects about 3.5 million Americans each year.

So why do golfers need sunscreen? It’s all about protection. Just like swimming on the beach, you need to put on a layer of protection to prevent skin damage.

Aside from wearing hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants, sunscreen allows golfers to add a layer of protection on skin areas they can’t cover. This is very true on the facial skin and hands.

Does the sunscreen I use on the beach work?

It may or it may not. It all depends on the SPF protection level, protection duration, and the feel of the sunscreen. As much as typical sunscreen offers a layer of protection, it may not always be enough if you’re golfing for extended hours.

Below, we have discussed a guide on how you can choose the best sunscreen for golfers together with some product recommendations.

How does sunscreen works?

Sunscreen works by filtering harmful sun rays from penetrating your skin. To filter the UV radiation, sunscreen has to use two active ingredients. The first one is organic components which absorb UV rays and release it as heat energy.

Meanwhile, an inorganic ingredient like zinc oxide or titanium oxide serves as a physical barrier. This prevents the absorption of the UV radiation while the organic components process the radiation into heat energy.

But how does sunscreen differs from sunblock? Sunblock blocks the UV rays entirely to prevent skin damage. However, sunscreen absorbs it then releases it as heat energy.

Which is better? Both work well in preventing skin damage. However, sunblocks are very thick and sticky to the skin. This is why golfers prefer sunscreens instead. Sunscreens dry on the skin and don’t the sticky feel of sunblock products.

However, for those with sensitive skin, sunblock might be the better option since it gives total protection. This is due to the lower concentration of titanium or zinc oxide that can cause skin irritation.

How to choose the best sunscreen for golfers

When it comes to the best sunscreen for golfers, the level of protection is the make-or-break part. You need to ensure that the sunscreen will filter out as much UV radiation as possible. Here are some of the quick points to keep in mind when shopping for one:

-Look for broad-spectrum options

If you’re a golfer, you need a broad-spectrum sunscreen for utmost protection. A broad-spectrum sunscreen keeps both UVB and UVA radiations out of your skin.

UVB is the culprit behind the visible sun damage. This is the one the causes sunburn and dark marks after basking under the sun for long. On the other hand, UVA is the ray that alters your DNA. It’s the one that causes skin aging and potential melanoma.

Both are evils. This is why you should always wear a sunscreen with protection for both of these harmful rays. Golfers spend hours under the sun, so they can’t take chances on sunscreen that offers minimal protection.

-At least SPF 15

The SPF factor of sunscreen measures how effective the product will be in preventing sunburn or UVB rays. So how does SPFs work? You multiply the SPF by the minutes before you start having a sunburn.

For example, if you have an SPF15 sunscreen and you normally get sunburn after 10 minutes (without protection), you can stay under the sun for 150 minutes before starting to get burns.

So the higher the SPF of your sunscreen, the longer it will protect you from sun exposure. When it comes to golf, anything between SPF 50 and SPF 100 is our go-to option. Just make sure that it’s a broad-spectrum type, so you’ll get the benefit of double protection.

-Water and sweat resistance

Our biggest pet peeve when playing golf is a sticky and wet feel. This is why you should always look for dry touch sunscreen. This way, your hands will not feel clammy as you hold your club.

If possible, look for a water-resistant sunscreen. This prevents your sweat from washing away the sun protection of the product. Usually, sunscreens can be water-resistant for a maximum of 80 minutes. After that, you need to re-apply to keep your skin protected.

Also, sunscreens marketed as ‘sport sunscreens’ are often broad spectrums and have excellent water-resistant characteristics.

-Lotion vs. spray

There’s so much debate about which type of sunscreen is more effective on the golf course. Some swear by sprays while others prefer the traditional lotion formula.

Spray sunscreens are very easy to apply, especially if a golfer has to put some on his or her own face. It’s also an excellent choice for golfers on the go. It allows a golfer to re-apply skin protection in the middle of a match without having to stop for several minutes just to rub in a lotion sunscreen.

However, the Environmental Working Group has warned about the risk of spray sunscreen if not used properly. It can lead to inhalation of active chemicals, which can have potential health consequences, much so for young kids.

Aside from that, the FDA said that spray sunscreen doesn’t give a consistent layer of protection around the skin. As much as spray sunscreens are still effective if used well, we still recommend lotion sunscreen.

As much as it takes more time to re-apply a lotion sunscreen, it offers better protection without the risk of inhaling harmful particles.

How to wear sunscreen while golfing

Having the best sunscreen for golfers will not be enough unless you know how to wear it. Here’s a quick guide on how to use sunscreen for optimal protection on the golf course:

*Wait for 30 minutes before going under the sun. You should apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you expose your skin to the sun. This way, your skin will absorb the formula well.

Also, never skimp on the amount of sunscreen you’re going to use. You need at least two tablespoons to cover your entire body.

*Focus on easy-to-miss spots. Don’t forget to apply the sunscreen on your ear lobes, back of the legs, feet, and even your bald spot. Take note that sunscreens shouldn’t be applied on the lips. You can use a sunscreen lip balm for this purpose.

*Re-apply the sunscreen. A one-time application of sunscreen isn’t enough to protect you for the entire match. You should re-apply it every 2 to 4 hours, depending on the efficacy stated on the bottle.

*Wear sunscreen under makeup. If there are instances you plan to wear makeup, make sure that you apply the sunscreen first.

5 Best Sunscreens for Golfers


OUR TOP PICK: Neutrogena Broad Spectrum Dry-Touch Sunscreen
best sunscreen for golfers

Product Name: Neutrogena Broad Spectrum Dry-Touch Sunscreen

Product Description: If you’re looking for the best sunscreen for golfers, you must consider the Neutrogena Broad Spectrum Dry-Touch Sunscreen. This is a non-greasy sunscreen with SPF100+ protection to prevent skin damage. As a broad-spectrum formula, this will block UVA rays from causing skin problems. This sunscreen defends your skin against the harmful effects of sun exposure. Still, it remains lightweight and fast-drying so you can go back in the game without the discomfort. It even comes with Helioplex for added sun protection.

Offer price: $$$

Availability: InStock

  • Sun Protection Level
  • Finish
  • Formula Quality
  • Overall Value for Money


The Neutrogena Dry-Touch Sunscreen is available in spray and lotion form. It’s also water-resistant and will keep protecting your skin after 80 minutes of being submerged or soaked.

This uses Avobenzone as an active ingredient that blocks both UVB and UVA rays. Aside from that, this is a PABA-free sunscreen and non-comedogenic, too, to prevent breakouts for those with sensitive skin.

Overall, this works for all skin types without the heavy finish. You can play with comfort while staying protected against the harmful sun rays.



✔️Contains SPF100+



❌Avoid eye contact, it stings


EltaMD Broad Spectrum Sport Sunscreen

best sunscreen for golfers

Another sunscreen that we recommend is the EltaMD Broad Spectrum Sport Sunscreen. This broad-spectrum formula comes with SPF50 and a sports formula. It’s a full-body sunscreen that you can use safely, even on your face.

It’s a mineral-based sunscreen that will not rinse off quickly even if you sweat or got soaked in a hazard. Also, it uses zinc oxide as the active ingredient, which is very effective in blocking UVBs and UVAs from penetrating your skin.

Take note that you should re-apply sunscreen every two hours for the best protection.  This is a tried and tested formula with age-defying benefits.

Aside from that, it doesn’t have artificial colors, fragrance, and parabens. Even the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends this sunscreen to reduce the harm of UVB and UVA rays on the skin.

Like most high-quality sunscreens, this one is water-resistant and can last for up 80 minutes when submerged on water.

✔️Full-body sunscreen
✔️Age-defying benefits
✔️Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation
❌The finish is a little shiny

Banana Boat Ultra Sports Performance Sunscreen

best sunscreen for golfers

If you don’t have a large budget for the best sunscreen for golfers, we recommend the Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen. This is a clinically proven broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you against the harm of direct sunlight.

Take note that this is a spray sunscreen with a twist and lock spray technology. It doesn’t have a cap, which allows you to apply the formula easily. We also like that this has an invisible clear spray and superior endurance even as you sweat hard.

This is a breathable formula with a water resistance of up to 80 minutes. Overall, this sunscreen is made for the outdoors and to endure 7 harsh conditions. For golfers, this is a must-have if you’re on a budget. It has SPF 30 that’s enough to protect your skin against 97% of all UVB rays.

Overall, it’s very easy to apply and will serve as an effective sun protectant. It has a non-greasy feel that you can apply on the go.

✔️Twist and lock spray
✔️Breathable formula
✔️Non-greasy feel
❌You need to do a little rubbing to spread the sunscreen

ThinkSport Safe Athlete Sunscreen

A sunscreen made for the athletes – the ThinkSport Safe Athlete Sunscreen is the first to pass the Whole Foods Premium Care standards. It’s also one of the top-rated products recognized by EWG.

This sunscreen offers SPF50+ protection on its broad-spectrum formula. It’s free from any artificial chemicals that can be harmful to your skin. This is free from parabens, PABA, phthalates, and other harsh substances that may irritate your skin.

The ThinkSport sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. This is also reef-friendly if you’re planning to use it for swimming, aside from golfing.

We also like that this has an aerosol-free formulation. It absorbs quickly without giving an oily feel or smell. Aside from that, we also love that this is cruelty-free and guaranteed to be vegan.

This is also safe to use all over your body, even on your scalp and face.  The smell is also very mild, which will not hurt your nose.

✔️Aerosol-free formulation
✔️Cruelty-free and vegan
❌A little hard to spread

Coppertone SPORT Spray Sunscreen

Another sunscreen that we swear by is the Coppertone SPORT Spray Sunscreen. It’s a high-performance spray that offers SPF 50+ and water resistance of up to 80 minutes. Even though it protects you against UVB and UVA rays, this has a light and comfortable finish that will not make you feel sticky.

Aside from its broad-spectrum benefits, the Coppertone SPORT Sunscreen Spray also contains moisturizers. It also contains Vitamin E that keeps your skin plump even under continuous sun exposure.

This prevents sunburn and skin damage. It’s made for every outdoorsman who plays sports, swim, hike, and do other activities.

Apply this lavishly all over your skin, including the face and scalp. Re-applying the sunscreen spray every two hours is necessary to reap the most benefits.

Also, it doesn’t have any odor, which is great if you don’t want any overpowering scents.

✔️Contains moisturizers
✔️Light and non-sticky feel
✔️All-around sunscreen
❌Still gives you a light tan

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of sunscreen does professional golfer apply?

A: Most pro golfers use broad-spectrum sunscreens to block both UVA and UVB radiation. However, they are divided between spray and lotion types.

Q: Do I still need to wear sunscreen if I’m playing past 5 pm?

A: As long as the sun is out, you must wear sunscreen continuously. Your skin can still absorb UVB and UVA rays even if the sun isn’t as hot as it does in the afternoon.

Q: Can I apply sunscreen to my face?

A: Yes, but avoid getting in contact with your eyes, mouth, and inner parts of the nose. Just apply it topically and use a lip balm to protect your lips. Some golfers use spray sunscreen that they can spritz directly to their faces.

Q: Do golfers get skin cancer due to intense sunlight exposure?

A: Yes, in fact, a handful of golfers have dealt with some type of skin cancer in the past. So if you’re planning to go in the course to play, you might as well protect your skin using sunscreen and physical sunray protection.

Q: Can I use a sunscreen with a moisturizer?

A: It’s best if you’ll find a sunscreen with moisturizing benefits. Some moisturizers may have chemicals that could affect the efficacy of the sunscreen in blocking harmful UV rays.

Final words

The best sunscreen for golfers is made to protect every player from skin damage. A bottle of sunscreen is also very affordable, and you can afford several bottles ready for your next matches. Make sure that you get the right level of protection to suit your needs. Most of all, invest in a sunscreen with safe ingredients.

Have you found your choice of sunscreen? Which one do you like? Share your option in the comment section!