Basal and squamous cell carcinoma risks for golfers: an assessment of the influence of tee time for latitudes in the Northern and Southern hemispheres

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2011 Oct 5;105(1):98-105. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2011.07.007. Epub 2011 Aug 4.


This study investigates the influence of tee time to determine the relative basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) risk for weekly single round competition golfers located in the Northern and Southern latitude ranges between 25°, 35°, 45° and 55°. A comparative risk methodology, employing annual erythemally effective ultraviolet (UVE) exposure calculations was used to determine BCC and SCC risk factors for golfers using a regular weekly tee time. Relative risk was found to be proportional to golf tee time with mid morning tee times generally presenting the greatest risk in each latitude range. The greatest contribution toward the risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma was found to occur for golfers beginning weekly rounds mid to late morning, with specific risk factors of 1.47 (BCC) and 1.98 (SCC) in the Northern hemisphere compared with similar maximum risk factors of 1.51 (BCC) and 2.08 (SCC) in the Southern hemisphere occurring at comparable morning tee times. Differences in annual UVE exposure between the golfer and non-golfer were the largest determinant of BCC and SCC risk. Generally, these risks were found to decrease with lower latitude although contribution toward overall risk was influenced strongly by the global time zone of each studied golf course site.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology
  • Golf*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects