Improve your long game this World Melanoma Awareness Month
By Cancer Council NSW
This month is World Melanoma Awareness Month, and we are urging golfers across the country to remember the importance of sun protection when out on the course.
Even as we head into winter, the UV can still be high enough to damage your skin, so remember to check the UV rating daily and get behind the Improve your long game sun protection program.
Sadly, about two in three people will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70. In NSW, men over the age of 40 are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed and 2.5 times more likely to die of melanoma than women of a similar age.
Improve your long game is our free sun protection program that supports golf clubs in helping members protect themselves from the sun.
I have personally recommended this program to all the clubs I go to. It is such a great cause and it’s free for the people that matter the most to us.
– Chris Durrington, Operations Manager at Yamba Golf Club
Since its launch in 2014, over 190 golf clubs across NSW have signed up to the program. Among them is Yamba Golf Club which has supported the program for six years.
“We signed up because we were sick of seeing our members being away from our club because of skin cancer-related issues and losing many great people to the disease,” Operations Manager Chris Durrington says. “A competition round usually takes around four and a half hours, and that can be a long time in the blazing hot sun.”
The Improve your long game program provides golf clubs with information resources for reducing skin cancer risk, and free sunscreen pump stands at the first and 10th tee of the golf course.
“Using the free sunscreen is a given, but now most of us wear sun sleeves or long sleeve shirts as well as hats and sunglasses,” Chris says. “Quite a few of the walking golfers have their umbrellas up in the sun for extra protection too.”
Our research shows that male golfers at participating clubs, aged 40 and over, are more likely to know they’re at increased risk of skin cancer and are more likely to use sun protection than men at non-participating clubs.
“I know that it has benefited us greatly with less and less people developing skin cancers and leaving us way too soon,” Chris says. “Having all the literature around the club really drives it home on the need to protect yourself from the sun. I still update the weekly UV factor so they all know how quick they can burn. The green staff are all wearing the free sleeves when they aren’t wearing long sleeve shirts, and we now have a sun smart policy which they all sign.
“I have personally recommended this program to all the clubs I go to. It is such a great cause and it’s free for the people that matter the most to us.”