The sun protection campaign Slip! Slap! Swing! by The Melanoma Fund aims to get 500 golf clubs in the UK and Ireland officially ‘Sun Protection Accredited’ in 2020.
Supported by 11 leading golf organisations including the R&A and England Golf, the charity is hoping to raise awareness of the importance of sun protection in golf and help tackle the rapid rise of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer within the sport.
Melanoma is known as the most dangerous form of skin cancer and cases have more than doubled in the UK in the last 30 years.
However, it is preventable if you practice good sun protection and the campaign is asking golf clubs to help members and staff to improve their sun protection habits and knowledge.
Ways they can do this include providing free suncream, displaying awareness posters and by nominated a Sun Pro Ambassador to help spread the word.
Guidelines from the Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign for practicing safe sun protection include the below:
This is an issue particularly close to our hearts at Women & Golf as our Sales Manager Jane Lees has suffered with skin cancer herself.
Jane tells us her story:
"I have been a member of Mill Hill Golf Club for nine years and prior to that I was a social golfer playing a few times a year. Years of tennis have taken their toll on my left hip and golf seems a much gentler, if not frustrating, game.
I always wear a hat and as a freckly redhead have always worn sunscreen and turned up my collar (no Elvis jokes please).
Many years ago, I started to notice a recurring itch on my shoulder. Then when I was away on a spa weekend the masseur pointed out a mole on my shoulder and said I should get it looked at. After a few worrying weeks, it was discovered to be malignant and removed under general anaesthetic in January 2004 - the surgeon, Peter Butler, went on to conduct the first face transplant in the UK and these days my scar is hardly noticeable.
I then had five years of follow up appointments at the Royal Free Hospital and I always carried an underlying concern that any lump or bump that appeared on my body could be another case.
Then, in 2006 a suspicious mole appeared on my thigh. This was also removed under local anaesthetic and was fortunately found to be non-malignant. Phew!
My scars are a constant reminder to be vigilant and if you are ever worried by a mole, I implore you not to hesitate about visiting your doctor. It's a quick process these days and afterall it’s always better ‘to be safe than sorry’.”
So next time you head out for a round, please don’t forget your suncream.
For more information visit www.melanoma-fund.co.uk/golf.
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