Be Cool and Still Be Cool

Playing golf in the wilting hot weather can make you a sweaty, soggy-shirted mess. It also can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here's how to keep your body temperature down and still be cool.

We've all been where Lee Westwood was, pitting out his shirt during a hot practice round of the 2005 US Open Championship at Pinehurst Country Club in Pinehurst, NC. You play when you probably shouldn't — hey, it's golf and it's summer. But you risk heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and by wearing soggy, clingy clothing that reveals too much of a bod that belongs in the gym more than once a fortnight, you risk losing that put-together look that defines your cool.

The hottest weather I've played in was on the courses of Gulf Shores Alabama in August. Cart girls were the cavalry as they provided not only cool beverages but also towels soaked in ice water. I can still feel and smell those chilled, magnolia-scented towels!

Cooling Towel

It's unusual when cart girls provide chilled towels, so here's a less-than-$10 way to provide your own chill this summer on the course: the Arctic Cove Cooling Towel (see video). I first wore this 37- x 13-inch towel around my neck during a scorching church work trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Teens working with me poked fun at the towel at first, but within a couple of days they were asking to borrow it. It's made of a polyvinyl alcohol material that aids in evaporative cooling.

To activate, just run the towel under water for one minute and then wring out the excess. To reactivate, soak it in water and wring out the excess. To store, place the wet towel in a sealed container and put the container in the refrigerator.

When summer seems too short anyway, as it does here in Minnesota, it makes sense to use the Arctic Cove Cooling Towel so that the heat doesn't shorten the golf season even more.

How do you keep your body temperature cool during a hot round of golf?

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