Cancer Council NSW is partnering with former golf pro Paul Gow to encourage golfers to reduce their skin cancer risk by using sun protection every time they play through the Improve your long game Program.
Co-funded by Cancer Institute NSW, Improve your long game supports participating golf clubs to help keep members protected from the sun by providing information resources and free sunscreen pump stands on the course, with a reminder for golfers to apply and re-apply sunscreen.
Paul Gow is leading the field by staying sun-safe and encouraging all golfers to practice good sun protection both on and off the course, and Golf clubs across NSW are jumping on board to support the program.
“Over the years, golf has given me some of the greatest experiences of my life. Above all, it's about having good times with my mates and family. For us blokes over 40, it's really important that we look after ourselves to make sure we can keep having those good times for many years to come. It’s never too late, that's why Improve your long game and good sun protection benefits everyone.
“I make sun protection a part of my game prep; checking I have all the right gear complete with a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and long sleeves. Make sun protection part of your game too,” Paul Gow said.
Cancer Council NSW’s Skin Cancer Prevention Manager, Liz King said men over the age of 40 are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma, and around twice as likely to die from it, compared to women of a similar age.
“Recreational golfers spend extended periods of time outdoors in an environment that has minimal shade and is highly reflective of UV from surrounding surfaces like grass, sand and water. Unprotected sun exposure puts them at high risk of sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer.
“It’s important to have a sun protection routine in place and following the example of sportspeople like Paul Gow is a great place to start,” Liz King said.
In most parts of NSW, UV levels are high enough to require sun protection for most of the year. Cancer Council NSW encourages golfers to wear long-sleeved clothing (slip), apply sunscreen (slop), wear a broad brimmed hat (slap), find shade wherever possible (seek), and wear sunglasses (slide) each and every time they are out on the green.
“Through Improve your long game, Cancer Institute NSW and Cancer Council NSW are encouraging golfers to follow Paul’s lead to protect their skin from UV radiation. It’s fantastic to see Paul Gow as a great role model and champion for promoting and encouraging positive sun protection behaviours for all golfers in NSW,” said Cancer Institute NSW Director of Screening and Prevention, Sarah McGill.
In 2018, over 100 clubs across NSW are participating in the Improve your long game Program, and showing commitment to improving the sun safety of their members.
For more information on skin cancer prevention and Improve your long game, visit www.cancercouncil.com.au/longgame