Best Golf Hats For Sun Protection In 2024(Men’s-Women’s-Bucket-Straw)

Written by Michael VanDerLaan 

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So you love golf, but you're nervous about the damage the sun is doing to your skin. In addition to using sunscreen, having one of the best golf hats for sun protection is a great way to enjoy a great round with some peace of mind. 

Best Overall

Titleist Men's Tour Sun Hat

Titleist men's tour wide brim sun hat

Best Men's/women's

Coolibar Matchplay Golf Hat

coolibar matchplay golf hat 

Our favorite

Titleist Men's StaDry Bucket Hat

titleist men's stadry golf bucket hat

One of the greatest things about the game of golf is you get to enjoy the great outdoors. How often these days do most people get outside for several hours straight - either solo or with their buddies?

One of the most prominent reasons golfers wear hats is to protect their faces and necks from the sun. If you're not careful, it can definitely sneak up on you, and the first line of defense is not leaving home without a proper sun hat for the golf course. 

This isn’t baseball where we’ll be spending over half our time in a shaded dugout, so leave the ball caps in the car for some other midsummer adventure. Instead, take a peek at how to get the best protection from the sun so you can save the sick burns for your buddies (or for the edges of the cup), and not risk legitimate short-or-long-term injury from playing too much of the game we love.

Types Of Golf Hats For Sun Protection

Playing Golf In The Sun

In order to get the most sun protection out of your golf hat, you have to branch out a little bit and borrow from some styles that have already been perfected by other outdoor enthusiasts. The three most common types of golf hats for sun protection are the bucket hat, the wide brim sun hat, and the straw hat.

Each of these hats favor different materials, and give very different looks ranging from “sporty” to “pure class.”

Some favor a more packable design that can be thrown in a bag or the trunk without thinking twice, while some can trend towards being more collectable pieces that you could just as easily wear for a tropical night out on the town.

That said, all three have one thing in common: they provide full sun protection from the front, sides, and back of the hat at all times. That’s the basic criteria, but even inside that design, we’ll find many different looks and options to choose from.

Bucket Hats

Your standard-issue bucket hat has long been the choice of many golfers, but has shifted from a kind of Caddyshack gag piece to a competitive fashion statement in recent years. Overall it is functional, proven, and if it’s good enough for PGA Tour winner Joel Dahmen, it’s good enough for anybody.

Bucket hats are more likely to feature a chinstrap for windy conditions and be made from water-resistant or stretchy material. The other main feature is that most of these hats are collapsible and some can even be machine washed.

Wide Brim Sun Hats

John and Caddy Matt Achatz

Golf Gear Advisor staff member John VanDerLaan with his caddy Matt Achatz 

Another option is the classic wide brim hat. An absolute staple in equatorial climates ranging from Southeast Asia to Southern Alabama, you’ll see different variations of this hat that suit any look from the “rugged outdoorsman” to the “southern belle.” 

Wide brim hats are a favorite of a lot of pro caddies out there that are looking for protection from the sun.

A wide brim hat is one of the best golf hats for sun protection for women and men.

Straw Hats

For a truly gentlemanly throwback look, or a nod to your favorite Aussie superstar, the engineering marvel that is the straw hat has still yet to be dethroned by the modern textiles industry.

Whether you want to channel The Slammer or your inner Greg Norman (or just want to save a few drops of sweat) you can’t go wrong with this tried-and-true staple.

RELATED: Do You Have To Wear Golf Shoes To Play Golf

Best Golf Hats For Sun Protection

Now that we are all on the same page about the different types of sun-protective hats, let's jump in to the reviews of the best golf hats for sun protection. We are confident that you will find something you love!

Best Sun Hats For Golf At A Glance

Titleist Men's Tour Wide Brim Sun Hat

If you want a one-and-done no-brainer choice, this is the model made popular by your favorite PGA Tour players when they want to stay “made in the shade.”

It checks all the boxes functionally, and provides a little bit larger and firmer brim than what a bucket hat would provide.

This also gives it a more “serious” look. Throw in a removable chin strap and a hidden inner pocket and we can see why this hat was made for Titleist’s playing pros.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Titleist is best on the market when it comes to golf equipment. The Men's Tour Wide Brim Sun Hat is no exception to that rule. This hat is the perfect mix of look and function to keep your skin cool and safe.

What We Like

  • We are amazed how durable it is
  • Perfect cross of style and functionality
  • High value for the price

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Limited color options

Titleist won’t put a product out on the market with their signature without giving it that “pro” signature style. Their products are always pure class.

The only drawback to this hat is that you’re going to pay for arguably the top brand in golf. This is one of those cases that you get what you pay for. Between the durability and reliability of the Tour Wide Brim, there is truly no better hat for those hot and sunny days on the golf course.

Best Men’s/Women’s: Coolibar Matchplay Golf Hat

Coolibar Matchplay Golf Hat

The Matchplay Golf Hat is another hat specifically designed for the golf course. 

Brought to you by the Coolibar brand, it will present a significant savings over some competitors while still offering an ultra-soft, breathable, and well-made woven design.

Also featuring UPF 50+ and coming in several different sizes to choose from, it’s guaranteed to keep any dome protected from a scorching while out on the course.

We were especially impressed with the number of size options and the additional drawstring that makes the Matchplay perfect for any head size. Whether you play the tips or the ladies tees, this is truly one of the best golf hats for sun protection.

Related: Best Golf Hats For Big Heads

What We Like

  • We love how many size options this hat has
  • Large brim for increase sun protection
  • Drawstring adjustable for the perfect fit

What We Don't Like

  • Non-stretch fabric
  • No chinstrap option

The Coolibar Matchplay Golf Hat isn’t going to set you back as much as a more heavily-logo’d option. It provides fantastic coverage with a brim extending to 4 inches in some parts.

While there is no chinstrap on these amazing sun hats, the drawstring that helps you find the perfect fit for your head can be tightened around your chin. If you like to play on windy days, too, this hat isn't going anywhere! 

Just make sure to order the right size, and you’ll find this hat delivers all the performance you’d want out of a sun-protective golf hat.

This is the ideal golf hat for men or women to wear golfing.

Henchel Hats Aussie Breezer Golf Hat

Henschel Hat Company has been in business since 1947.

With their Aussie Breezer, they offer a great twist on a classic wide brim hat design. This hat thrives in the heat, offering the ultimate breathability with a mesh cotton design that mimics a straw hat style.

The big advantage here is that unlike a straw hat, this design is crushable and packable and can go in your golf or travel bag.

This may not be the style for everybody, but if your search for the best golf hats for sun protection is purely based on function, you can't go wrong with the Aussie Breezer.

What We Like

  • We stayed cool all day with the breathability of this hat
  • Huge range of sizes for all head sizes
  • The chinstrap is perfect for a windy day

What We Don't Like

  • Only one style and color
  • No adjustability within sizes

If you’re looking for sun protection on the golf course while maintaining breathability, this cotton design literally cannot be beat.

You also don’t have to worry about babying it between rounds like you might with a stiffer straw hat. Crush it up and store it in the big pocket of your golf bag so that you're always prepared for those high-UV days!

With a UPF 50+ rating and a 3-inch brim all around, the Aussie Breezer has you covered. 

Dorfman Pacific Co. Men's Golf Hat

The Pacific Co. Men's Soaker is a more budget play on the “Aussie” design, which features a wide brim but with breathable mesh at the top.

This hat’s brim is slightly smaller than some others at 2 3/4 inches. It comes in a polyester/nylon design that has its own advantages when it comes to durability and easy cleaning - just wipe it off, dirt doesn't seem to stick.

Most of all it’s going to leave an extra $10-$20 in your wallet when it’s all said and done compared to some of our other featured hats.

If you want one of the best golf hats for sun protection, but you're only going to wear it occasionally and want to save money, this is the hat for you!

What We Like

  • The best price you will find for a big hat
  • Easy to keep clean
  • We love how breathable and comfortable it is

What We Don't Like

  • Smaller brim doesn't provide as much sun protection

If you want a no-muss, no-fuss hat that isn’t going to break the bank, this might be your best option.

It’s going to provide great functionality if you’re looking to switch up styles or only find yourself needing crazy sun protection once in a while.

The Men's Soaker is also the perfect hat to see if you like the style. You will receive a quality Aussie-type hat for a relatively small chunk of change. 

If you plan on really heavily relying on a hat to keep the sun away, it might be worth investing in a hat with more features or different materials than this one.

Best Golf Bucket Hats For Sun Protection

Let's talk about bucket hats. Here is a style that has been making a comeback in recent years both on the golf course and in casual attire.

With a smaller brim that is angled down to, most bucket hats double in function as both a sun-protective hat and a rain hat. We love them, and we compiled a list of the best bucket hats for sun protection.

Titleist Men's StaDry Bucket Hat

If bucket hats are your thing, look no further that the Titleist StaDry Bucket hat. While it doesn't offer as much sun protection as the Titleist Tour Wide Brim, it does protect the ears, face and back of the neck.

It is a very comfortable, lightweight hat that is a top pick from golfers around the world.

It is also waterproof, so it is ideal for those wet, rainy days on the course.

What We Like

  • We are amazed at how comfortable it is for the high end appearance
  • StaDry Technology adds some rain protection
  • High durability and quality product

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in dark colors
  • Waterproofing means it's less breathable

As the popularity of golf continues to grow, we see more and more golfers going to the bucket hat.

The one that they choose most often is the Titleist StaDry Bucket hat. It is the ideal choice for bucket hat lovers.

Adidas Men's Victory 4 Bucket Hat

This offering from Adidas answers all the questions that the Titleist version left us asking. It hits home runs by adding some perforated mesh for breathability, a chinstrap for windy days, and a variety of color combinations to suit your needs. All that and you’ll probably save a few bucks as well!

While we often find that golf products match quality to price, the Adidas Men's 4 Golf Bucket hat goes above and beyond. You get one of the best golf hats for sun protection at one of the best prices. When you consider all of the advantages this hat brings, the only regret you will have is that you didn't pick one up sooner!

What We Like

  • The breathable, athletic design makes this hat easy to wear all day
  • Moisture wicking for increased comfort and usage
  • 7 amazing color combinations
  • Very attractive price

What We Don't Like

  • Smaller brim provides less protection than some competitors

Fully adjustable, UPF 50+, crushable, packable, foldable - this is the Swiss Army Knife of golf hats. There is really not much you won't love here. You’re getting tons of features in an athletic look for a very fair price.

The Men's Victory 4 bucket hat is one of the best products Adidas makes, and is without a doubt a winner when you're looking to stay out of the beating summer sun.

Callaway Golf Bucket Hat

Callaway rings in with their bucket hat offering, and it’s a good one.

Going for maximum style, this hat leaves a few of the extra bells and whistles at home in favor of a simple, crisp, and functional design. Coming in two neutral colors, this is a strictly fitted hat which offers fantastic sun protection without a bunch of other gadgets to worry about.

It’s very similar to the Titleist line except they have added laser perforations for some extra airflow.

What We Like

  • Very breathable for hot and humid days
  • Simple and straightforward
  • Unbreakable design

What We Don't Like

  • Strictly fitted without adjustability, making it hard to match sizes
  • Limited color choices

Callaway comes in strong in the sun protection game with their take on the bucket hat.

A very modern and elegant look is a change of pace for the company, and they’ve pulled it off well. The Callaway Golf Bucket Hat is very simple and sturdy hat that will serve anyone well who doesn’t want to play with a lot of drawstrings, chinstraps, and other fringe features. 

Check out this classic from one of the most respected brands in golf for a basic version of the growing bucket hat style.

MISSION Cooling Bucket Hat

There’s a curveball here in that this hat from MISSION is designed to be dipped in water, wrung out, and the material should drop to 30 degrees below the ambient temperature. A real treat on those extra-hot desert days!

Overall, even without that it functions as an ideal bucket hat, featuring a chinstrap as well as ventilation holes all while being able to fold it up and toss it in your bag before or after a round.

MISSION is one of our favorite brands for the hot summers in Southern Florida. We absolutely love the cooling ability of their products, and we think you will too!

What We Like

  • H2O cooling technology will keep you cool and comfortable all day
  • Foldable, packable, and crushable for easy storage
  • Low price
  • Machine washable

What We Don't Like

  • Not a highly known and sought-after brand

This is the perfect bucket hat for somebody who wants an extra hat or wants to be able to pull something out of their golf bag to bail themselves out in a pinch.

It really does offer everything you’d want for a fraction of the price, you just have to go without the moniker of your favorite PGA Tour brands.

If a good quality bucket hat that provides both sun protection and cooling features for hot days on the course sounds like you, then don't waste any more time! Get your's ASAP!

Nike UV Bucket Hat

As always, Nike comes strong with their apparel offerings and goes fully for the top-of-the-line with every product put that swoosh on.

This bucket hat is no exception, bringing all the cutting-edge technology along with the most sophisticated styles. It’s everything you’d expect from Nike, including the price tag.

We particularly love that Nike included a detachable chin strap to their rendition of the bucket hat. You can keep the hat on your head on those windy days, and store the chin strap out of the way when it's not blowing!

What We Like

  • Detachable chin strap allows you to change styles
  • Lightweight, breathable, and stylish
  • Extra wide brim for increased sun protection

What We Don't Like

  • One of the more expensive hats on the market

This hat really is the premium hat that you’d expect from Nike, it’s just up to you if you want to go for the sure thing or try your luck with another brand.

The hat has it all and delivers it with a trademark style that has become synonymous with elite athletes worldwide. With the Nike UV Golf Bucket Hat, you’re going to get breathability, moisture resistance, shade, comfort, and security and you’re going to look good doing it.

Best Golf Straw Hats For Sun Protection

Now this style is a classic. From Byron Nelson to Sam Snead, and even a young Tiger Woods, straw hats are a long time favorite of some of the game's best players. 

And even better, they provide massive coverage and are some of the best golf hats for sun protection. Here are the best straw hats that we were able to find that will keep you cool under pressure... and the sun!

Stetson Gambler Straw Golf Hat

This Stetson Gambler Straw Hat is made from 100% seagrass and comes in a few sizes to fit your needs, but will also stretch slightly if you need it.

A classic design, it is accented with a genuine leather head band and, unlike the straw hats your grandfather wore, this has UPF 50 protective inserts in the brim and crown to make it a true sun protection hat for the golf course.

We know, not everyone can pull of the straw hat. But we think this hat from Stetson may change some outlooks and revamp some styles!

What We Like

  • 100% seagrass - we love eco-friendly!
  • UPF 50+ inner liners give enhanced sun protections

What We Don't Like

  • Only one style
  • Not crushable or packable

The Stetson brand speaks for itself, and if you can pull off this epic, understated, “gambler’s crown” look then this is the piece for you.

Whether you look up to the greats of golf past, or you're just looking for something new to spice things up on the first tee, rest easy knowing you’ll have that throwback style with modern UPF50 protection.

Callaway Golf Straw Hat

Callaway’s Men’s Golf Straw hat might offer the best sun protection we’ve seen yet. It’s a very different design from most straw hats. The emphasis here is on full coverage with a huge brim. The straw is tightly woven and coated with UPF50 material to make it fully sun protective.

I am one of those golfers who is starting to become more educated on the harms of the sun, and this is one of my favorite hats. Not only do I think it is a versatile look, but I can actually feel the difference on my skin after a round of golf wearing the Callaway Straw Hat!

What We Like

  • The combination of straw and leather in this design look amazing
  • Massive sun coverage for increased protection
  • UPF 50 coating increases protection even more!

What We Don't Like

  • One size that is not highly adjustable
  • Only one style

This hat features a stretchable band for the perfect fit - but only within reason. The leather chinstrap is also removable - a feature we absolutely love for the versatility of the design.

All else being equal this is a very functional hat providing an alternative to the Panama/Stetson styles that provides even more sun coverage.

Panama Jack Men's Seagrass Matte Straw Hat

If you’ve ever wanted to go out in a tropical location and want to absolutely ooze that “Caribbean-yet-sophistocated” style, Panama Jack has always been waiting there, ready to deliver just that.

The brand is synonymous with a high-end good time, and there’s no better place to bring that than to the golf course.

The only drawback of this hat looking so great is it’s going to have a slightly smaller brim than most of its competitors, entering the market with a 2 ½” reach.

What We Like

  • The Panama style will bring you the classic Robert Redford look
  • Fantastic breathability
  • Teardrop pinched crown provides an extra measure of style

What We Don't Like

  • Not packable or foldable
  • Smaller brim provides less sun protection

This hat will get the job done, and you will sure look good doing it. It’s just going to leave you slightly more exposed from some low angles, allowing you to work on that island tan without getting totally burnt. 

We love to mix it up a little when it comes to style on the golf course, and this is the perfect hat to do just that!

Stetson Men's Airwar Vented Panama Straw Hat

This high-top option from Stetson brings in a little bit more of that West Texas look to your weekend foursome while still providing plenty of amenities.

By far the most open-top design we’ve seen, it still provides full UV protection with a solid crown. The signature here is the style, with a woven leather accent band and a 4.5” high pinched crown.

The combination of features here makes this the “coolest” hat on our list in more ways than one!

What We Like

  • This is a statement style hat that will have you standing out in the crowd
  • Perfect for high temperature days
  • One of the largest brims we've seen

What We Don't Like

  • Delicate and easier to damage
  • Gets dirty easily

At the end of the day this hat really provides as much function as it does form. No matter what you shoot you’ll be able to ride off into the sunset with confidence ― and a sweat-free noggin.

Not only is this a great hat for sun protection, it fits on bigger heads too! If you need a hat that fits bigger heads and straw isn't your style, let us help you find your new favorite!

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Choose A Sun Hat

When choosing a sun hat, the best thing to do is find one that gives you coverage and a style you like.

You can go as big, floppy, and oversized as you want, and strap it all down with a leather harness, or try to play it down the middle a little bit more and get away with something that has a more understated brim and still provides 360 degrees of coverage.

That is a personal preference. All the hats reviewed here are going to provide UPF 50 coverage!

RELATED: Learning To Play Golf At 50, 60 Even 70

What type of hat is best for sun protection?

The best hat for sun protection, ultimately, is the one you will actually wear! So make sure you get something you like and is comfortable, first and foremost.

The number one feature that all sun hats for golf have is a 360 degree brim. Some are wider than others, some taper on the sides and get longer in the front and back, but all provide coverage no matter what direction the sun is coming from.

What color cap is best for sun protection?

If we're talking strictly about sun protection, all color hats are going to protect you the same as long as they are rated UPF 50+, which measures the actual amount of rays blocked by the material (in this case 98%+).

This is achieved either through the material itself, with UPF coatings, or with UPF inserts on hats with perforations for ventilation, regardless of the color of the hat.

One thing to consider when there’s strong sunlight - another thing comes with it. HEAT! White and light colors reflect more sunlight while dark and black colors will absorb it, making a noticeable difference, especially over the course of an entire round. You will see a lot of hats made specifically for sun protection come in white, but it’s not mandatory.

No matter what color you choose, it's important to learn how to wash your golf hats! This simple task will add countless hours to the lifespan of your favorite hat.

Do sun hats actually work?

Sun hats work very well, provided that you wear them properly and check to make sure the brim is wide enough. Different hats sit different ways, and some people might want FULL protection, with their face and neck completely shaded the entire time. Others might just want to avoid a disaster and can choose from a wider variety of styles.

The key is to try on hats and check whether they are casting a shadow over your face and neck while they are actually in-use. If not, choose a different style or consider adjusting the angle of how you are wearing the hat in order to let it do its job.

Scientifically, all sun hats are UPF 50+ so they absolutely will work to block the sun’s rays.

How wide should brim be for sun protection?

The brim of a sun hat should be at least 2.5 inches wide to provide ample sun protection. This will vary by the hat, but we find that anything smaller does not cast a wide enough shadow to protect you all day.

The average bucket style hat is going to be around 3 inches, and anything extending over 3.5 inches is going to provide full shade for most people.

Are Panama hats good for sun protection?

Panama hats are a great option for protection from the sun while golfing.

The only thing to look out for is that the traditional Panama style hat can sometimes (not always) go into styles that have a thinner, more conservative brim. In this case it’s a personal decision if it’s going to be enough protection for you, but they absolutely will do the job.

If your main concern is sun protection, shop through styles to find one that has a medium or wide brim, and never look back!

Final Thoughts

The game of golf and great weather go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, that has produced a lot of solutions to the sun protection problem when it comes to golf hats. In fact, the baseball-style hat is a relatively modern occurrence in the game, while long days out in the sun are not.

RELATED: Golfing In Jeans: Can You wear Denim To Play Golf? 

Modern equipment manufacturers have borrowed classic styles and married them with high-tech breathable fabrics and UPF coatings to make the sun protection of hats more effective than ever. All you really have to do is pick which look you want to emulate - whether you want to go for the Mr. Snead or Mr. Spackler - and you’ll be more than ready to let your game shine all summer long.

RELATED: Golf Essentials For Beginners

Photo of author

Michael VanDerLaan

Michael is an Associate Editor here at Golf Gear Advisor. He is a playing professional with a passion for finding the best equipment through product testing and evaluation. He has an intimate knowledge of the golf swing and a very effective way of communicating his knowledge to those that are interested in learning more. As an Associate Editor at Golf Gear Advisor, Michael shares his knowledge about the golf swing, fitness and finding the right equipment for your game.

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