When you watch the LGPA tour or other women’s golf events, you’ll notice that it’s very common for players to wear long sleeves.
Many top players, like Na Yeon Choi and Stephanie Kyriacou, keep their arms covered as they play. Why do female golfers wear long sleeves so soften?
It’s not unusual for professional golfers to spend upwards of eight hours in the sun. That level of sun exposure puts golfers at risk for sun damage. While wearing sunscreen helps, covering exposed arms with sleeves provide players with additional UV protection.
Not only does wearing long sleeves help prevent sunburns, but it also reduces the risk of skin cancer. It’s estimated that 1 in 40 women will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime, which is why so many female golfers take this risk serious.
What Are the Long Sleeves Made From?
While some golfers wear long-sleeved shirts, the sleeves you see on many female golfers are actually standalone arm covers.
Most golf sleeves are made of breathable materials that are specifically designed to provide protection against UV rays.
Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon can reflect radiation, which is why many arm covers are made from a polyester blend. Golf sleeves may also be made from high-tech fabrics that have been treated with chemical UV absorbers.
Some sleeves even have an SPF rating.
Many sleeves use spandex or elastic for a tight fit that doesn’t compress movement.
Although the majority of golf sleeves are made from synthetic fabrics, some fabric blends may include natural lignins, which can absorb UV rays.
Why Do Golfers Wear Arm Covers Instead of Long-Sleeved Shirts?
There are professional golfers that play in long sleeve shirts, but it’s more common to see pros wearing arm covers. Arm sleeves are a comfortable and flexible solution that golfers prefer for a number of reason.
Fitted shirts with sleeves can restrict movement, especially in the shoulders. In contrast, arm sleeves are made from fabrics that are designed to stretch as the player moves. Sleeves are a way to protect arms without any restrictions.
In addition, most arm covers offer compression. Compression garments help to increase blood flow to muscles, which can improve athletic performance. Athletes in many sports choose to wear compression gear.
Separate sleeves are also a convenient option. Golfers can put on sleeves or remove them at any time. Some golfers choose to keep arm covers in their bag and put them out when the sun comes out.
Sleeves are available in an array of styles, allowing golfers to find options that match their preferences. It’s common to see LGPA players wear sleeves that fit like a shawl.
You can find sleeves in virtually any color, from basic black or white to sleeves that are bright and bold.
Does Wearing Long Sleeves Help Female Golfers Play Better?
Long sleeves provide protection from the elements, but they offer additional benefits as well. Sleeves can compress arm muscles, reducing the risk of injury and keeping the arm stable. If you look closely at female golfers wearing long sleeves, you’ll notice that the arm covers usually have a very tight fit.
While wearing long sleeves when it’s hot out may seem uncomfortable, arm covers are often designed to be keep the arms cool.
It’s common to find sleeves made from moisture-wicking materials that can keep arms dry and sweat-free all day long. Avoiding sweat can also help golfers to maintain a good grip.
When temperatures drop, arm covers can also be a way for golfers to stay warm without wearing clothing that could restrict movement.
Long sleeves make it possible for golfers to stay comfortable in most weather conditions.
Sleeves can also be a way to guard the arms from bug bites. Although many golf courses spray for bugs like mosquitoes, they’re still a common problem. Not only can sleeves shield arms from bugs, but the chemicals used on many arm covers may help keep bugs away.
Do Male Golfers Wear Long Sleeves?
You may spot more sleeves when watching women play golf, but many men are choosing to cover their arms as well. Dylan Frittelli and Phil Mickelson are just a few well-known players that have played tournaments in long sleeves.
In recent years, there have also been several PGA Tour players impacted by skin cancer.
Rory Sabbatini, Adam Scott, Aron Price, and Brian Davis have all publicly battled skin cancer. As players become increasingly aware of the risk of sun exposure, they may be more likely to cover their arms during tournaments.
Should I Wear Long Sleeves When I Golf?
Professional golfers aren’t the only ones choosing to keep their arms covered as they play. They’re becoming increasingly popular with amateur players as well.
Many leading sports brands like Nike and Adidas, now offer sleeves, as do golfing brands like Walter Hagen.
Amateur players usually don’t spend as much time in the sun as pros do, but they can still benefit from the UV protection offered by arm covers.
Some golfers also say that wearing compression sleeves gives them more control over their golf swing. You can find sleeves in many styles and colors, which means there’s no reason not to give arm covers a try.
If you purchase golf sleeves, focus on finding sleeves with the right fit. The sleeves you wear should stay firmly in place as you swing your arms.
Look for arm covers with a durable elastic grip that will keep sleeves from sliding up or down.
It’s totally true that ladies care for themselves and their skin far more than guys do (by and large).
So it is no surprise that one of the biggest reason that female golfers wear long sleeves is mainly because they are wanting to protect their skin.
It’s not because of any mandate from the LPGA and their strict rules on dress, but just a preference for most lady golfers.
So with that said, take that for what it is worth and think of your health and skin before anything else.