Professional golfer and Cancer Council NSW ambassador, Paul Gow started playing golf when he was just 10. His mum and dad were avid golfers, and since he is one of six children, playing golf meant more attention!
“We’re just not used to protecting ourselves when we’re out there on the course”
Many of us are affected by skin cancer, and Paul says he is no different, “so when I was approached to be an ambassador for Cancer Council NSW I was so excited. The thing with the industry I’m in is we’re just not used to protecting ourselves when we’re out there on the course.”
Paul was first diagnosed with skin cancer about six years ago, and has since had about 20 different parts of skin cut out. “I want people to protect their skin and prevent this from happening. So, with my own personal experiences aside, being an ambassador is about spreading the word to golfers and the golfing industry that sun protection really is something everybody needs to take seriously.”
“72 holes really tests you on the day”
“I encourage everyone to have a go at The Longest Day because you get to know yourself a lot better. 72 holes really tests you on the day, and it’s probably helped my golf to this day, to be able to really dig deep and get through the pain barrier of all that walking. It’s enjoyable too, spending the full day on the course with just you and your mates. It’s rare you’ll get an opportunity like that.
“It’s like fine tuning a formula one car!”
Paul is taking part in The Longest Day for the second time this year and says he’s really excited. “The whole thing is just great, from taking the day off from work, to the anticipation of the big day, and seeing if I can improve on last year. I’ll be making mental notes on how to manage myself, and that’s what golf is about, managing yourself pre, during and after the game. It’s like fine tuning a formula one car! I’ll be playing with Matt Burke, Warren Smith and I’m not sure on the fourth victim yet! You can’t just take anybody you see, you’ve got to be able to spend a full day with them under challenging conditions!
For anyone thinking of taking part in The Longest Day, Paul recommends you start playing 18 holes regularly and take up walking – if you’re going to the gym, get on the treadmill and get your feet ready, do a lot of stretching!
Staying sun safe on the course this summer
The Longest Day takes place in the height of summer, when both UV and heat can be extreme. Cancer Council encourages golfers to practice sun-smart behaviours when they are out on the course by:
- Slipping on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Sun sleeves are great at protecting your skin, and when wet, they also cool you down in the breeze.
- Slopping on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or higher) sunscreen.
- Slapping on a hat – broad brim or legionnaire style to protect face, head, neck and ears.
- Seeking shade where it is available or attaching a golf umbrella to your cart.
- Sliding on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.