Finally, summer fun is in full “swing” and many people are spending time outside doing their favorite things. For some members of my family, the dream of living on the golf course doesn’t mean you have a house near a course. It means (if your wife would let you) you would spend every waking minute playing the great game of golf. That is all well and good as long as you are protected. The summer sun can do a number on a golfer who has little to no relief from UV rays on the course.
Not everyone has the same hat style on the course, so if you haven’t found your perfect golf hat, here are some pros and cons to the most popular hat styles for golfers.
Pub Cap/Driving Cap – The driving cap is a classic style that will provide some protection from the sun, but still leaves the back of your neck exposed. These styles come in light weight fabrics, like cotton and linen that keep your head cool in the summer heat and are easy to roll up and stuff in your golf bag or your pocket. Some materials can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleaning, but make sure to check the tag before doing so.
Pros: easy to store and transport, light weight, washable
Cons: limited sun protection (same goes for baseball hats)
Raffia Straw – Raffia straw hats come in various styles with both short and large brims for different levels of sun protection. Raffia straw is one of the most durable straws making these hats good for packing. They will travel well in a suitcase if you are planning a golf getaway. Sometimes this straw can be warm to wear in the hot sun since it is not as lightweight as other straws.
Pros – durable and packable, good sun protection (dependent on the brim size you choose)
Cons – can be warm due to heavier straw
Panama Straw – Panama straw hats come in various styles with both large and small brims. They are one of the lightest weight straws, allow air through the crown and provide great sun protection. A Panama straw hat is handmade and of the utmost quality. If cared for properly, this hat will last for years to come. A Panama straw hat does require conscious care. They should not be handled by pinching the crown and should not be left in a hot car. Never sit on your Panama hat!
Pros – light weight, breathes well, quality construction, great sun protection
Cons – fragile crown, should not be pinched or squashed
Toyo Straw – Toyo straw is a paper straw that is very light weight. Toyo straw hats come in various styles and offer good sun protection. These hats are less expensive than some other straw hats and are considered a one-season wear. Toyo straw should not get wet and should not be left in a hot car. The best way to store a toyo straw hat is on a hat hook or upside down (on the crown) in a cool place.
Pros – very light weight, inexpensive, good sun protection (dependent on the brim size you choose)
Cons – fragile, one season wear, cannot get wet
Canvas – Canvas sun hats offer ultimate sun protection. They are often weather proof in the chance you get caught in a random summer down poor. These hats are generally very durable and last for years of wear. Because the canvas allows no rays to pass through, they also allow no air to pass through which can make this a warm choice for a summer golf hat.
Pros – weather resistant, ultimate sun protection
Cons – heavier weight means it can be warm to wear in the sun
Before you schedule your tee time, make sure you have packed your hat! - Shannon