Choosing The Best Golf Hat
Having the right hat when you head out onto the golf course is an important but overlooked part of the game. Of course, you want to look good while you’re making your way around the course, but there are so many important roles a hat must play when you’re golfing.
Obviously, a hat is relied upon for sun protection. There’s nothing worse than finishing up a great round of golf with a bad sunburn. Plus, getting sunlight on your eyes can affect your ability to judge distance, read putts, and play your best.
Golf hats also have to be constructed to stand up to the demands of the game. After all, you are playing a sport. A heavy hat that doesn’t breathe well is going to be uncomfortable before the end of your round.
Finally, when choosing a golf hat you want to find something that offers a number of great features at the price that you are comfortable with. Paying top dollar for a golf hat may look good when you walk the course, but it won’t look so nice when you get your credit card statement.
Ready to go shopping for a new golf hat? Use this guide to help you make a decision you can be happy with round after round.
When Style Matters Most
A golf hat serves a functional use to protect you from the sun. Of course, we all want to look great while out on the course. Having a stylish golf hat is an absolute must for all golfers.
Style is a subjective thing for most people. What one person thinks looks great may not be the style of choice for another golfer. With that said, there are 3 basic styles of golf hat to choose from.
First up is the traditional, duck-bill style of golf hat. Watch an old footage of golfers, and you will see this hat featured prominently. Until recently, the traditional golf hat was the choice of some senior golfers, but few younger players went for the old-school design.
However, Bryson DeChambeau has changed the stereotype of golfers who wear the traditional style cap. The young golfer entered the PGA tour sporting the traditional hat, often known as the “Hogan Cap.” His popularity and eccentric style captured the attention of Puma who signed DeChambeau to a sponsorship deal and began producing traditional-styled caps for people who wanted to recapture the look of yesteryear.
The other two styles of golf hat prominently found at shops and on the course are both ball-cap style hats. Snapback and flex-fit hats are as popular in golf as they are on the ball diamond. Both styles offer flexibility to fit all sizes of head and hair with personal preference being the ultimate deciding factor.
Snapback caps have become very popular in recent years as more people in popular culture began sporting the style of hat that was losing popularity since its peak in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Color is a big factor when it comes to style. While everyone has their own favorite color, it is important to consider the outfit you tend to wear while golfing. A black, white, or grey hat may not stand out as much on the course, but those colors will pair with many more potential outfit combinations.
Sun Protection – A Hat’s Ultimate Purpose
Of course, style only matters if your hat actually does its job which is to protect you from the sun. In combination with adequate sunblock, a golf hat can help protect against sunburn and more serious issues like skin cancer.
In fact, there are a number of PGA Tour professionals who have battled melanoma and, shockingly, this common form of cancer is only continuing to become more common in the world. A proper golf hat can go a long way in protecting the face from the harmful rays of the sun that golfers expose themselves to every single time they step onto the course.
However, sun protection isn’t just about injury or illness. Poor protection from the sun can affect your golf game. Squinting as the sun hits your eyes can hinder your ability to judge the correct shot type needed, read putts on the green, and make clean contact with the ball. A hat keeps the sun away from your face and may even help improve your game.
Some styles of golf hat have large holes for breathability. While this may seem like a great feature, players need to consider the sun protection factor of the material. If a hat has large holes, then players need to compensate by applying sunscreen on the top of their head. Hair will not always provide complete protection from the sun.
Breathable and Durable Materials
A golf hat is commonly made of either cotton or polyester. Both of these fabrics are chosen because they are fairly lightweight, very breathable, and durable as well.
Polyester is the lighter of the two materials and has some unique advantages and disadvantages when compared with cotton. People who find that heavy hats feel uncomfortable by the end of a long round of golf may prefer polyester for the lightweight feel and comfort it offers.
Polyester golf hats may last longer than cotton hats because of the ability to machine wash polyester hats. Of course, you should always consult the washing instructions for a hat before throwing it in with your unmentionables, but many polyester hats can withstand a run through the washing machine.
The downside to choosing polyester is that is often less breathable than cotton. Some hats will compensate for this by adding larger holes for air to pass through. While this does help with breathability, it reduces the effectiveness of the hat for protection against the sun.
Cotton is a great choice for golf hats, especially if you tend to sweat a lot. Cotton is more breathable than other materials and is the best option to consider if you don’t want your hair to be drenched in sweat at the end of your round.
However, cotton does feel heavier than polyester and washing a cotton hat is not as simple as throwing the hat in the washing machine. However, players can make their cotton hats last longer by hand washing in a bucket of warm soapy water, then leaving the hat out to dry.
When The Price is Right
Golf hats are just like any other type of golf apparel: some hats can be found at bargain bin prices while other hats can cost much more than you ever thought a hat could cost.
Part of this has to do with the brand name on the hat. Some brands like Nike, Puma, Adidas, and Underarmor are known for style and have a reputation for quality. As a result, a golf hat from a well-known brand name will often cost more than other hats available.
There are also a number of features that brands will incorporate into their golf hats to help set them apart from the competition. Features like sweat-wicking materials, comfortable headbands, and extremely lightweight design can increase the price of a golf hat dramatically.
Ultimately, the price of a golf hat is subjective. The right hat can last many, many rounds of golf which helps make the up-front cost of a hat seem insignificant when you look at the greater picture. Of course, some people simply want a nice hat at the lowest price possible. For them, looking at older styles or lesser known brands is a good decision.
Find a Golf Hat You Can Enjoy
There are many different options available when looking for a new golf hat. Choosing the right hat can seem like a daunting task. However, you can simplify the process.
Our advice is to set a budget going in. Do you want to pay for the best product from the top brands or do you want something a little more reasonable? From there, you can narrow your search.
After finding some hats that meet your unique style needs and budget, consider the sun protection and additional features of the hat. Do you hope to be able to machine wash this hat? Are you concerned about sweat control? All of these are questions to ask while shopping.
Once you have settled on a hat, treat it with care, wear it every day, pair it with sunscreen on your legs and arms, and you will be comfortable during and after your round of golf. Happy shopping!