Can I Play Golf After Getting A Tattoo?

playing golf with tattoo
Relax. There’s no need to put away the clubs, even after a new tattoo.

So your tattoo is fresh, and you need to know if playing golf will ruin the new ink on your body? If you take the necessary precautions, yes you can still play golf after getting your new tattoo.


3 Tips For Golfers With New Tattoos

In this article we have mainly discussed what not do to when having a tattoo. However, there are important things you specifically must do when playing golf.

1. Cover Up With Clothing – The most effective way to protect your tattoo while on the golf course is to wear clothing that covers it. Cotton is very effective in blocking out damaging UV rays from the sun. 

If you have an arm tattoo, wear a long sleeve shirt on the green.

Broad brim hats are also great at blocking out sunlight if your tattoo is on your face, neck or shoulder area.

2. Stay Hydrated By Drinking Water – Keeping your skin hydrated will aid in the healing process after a new tattoo. Being out in the sun all day playing golf is a sure way to use up water weight.  Drink at least 33oz of water per game of golf will help keep your hydration levels up.

Other Drinks That Help:

  • Green Vegetables Juiced
  • Green Tea
  • Carrot Juice
  • Pomegranate Juice
  • Red Wine (maybe one for the 18th hole!)


Can Food Hydrate Your Skin Too? – Yes, certain foods such as fish, avocado, olive oil and cucumbers will keep you hydrated on the inside. These types of goods contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which will protect your tattoo further.


3. Use An Umbrella – Umbrellas are not just good in the rain. They’re an effective method of covering your tattoo on a sunny day of golf. Any decent golf bag will already have an umbrella storage holder built in it. Simply pull the umbrella out after you’ve hit your ball and you’ll have nothing to worry about.


Risks Of Playing Golf With A New Tattoo

It’s no surprise that at first, golfing with a new tattoo sounds like a really bad idea. As a golfer, you may be standing in the sunlight for hours at a time.

And make no mistake about it, sun and tattoos don’t mix. The risk of damage to your tattoo is increased while playing golf.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing a full 18 holes of golf, or just mowing the lawn. Being exposed to sun for long periods of time, is a big no-no if you have ink on your skin.


1. Can UV Sunlight Make My Tattoo Fade?

You’ll want to avoid exposing your fresh tattoo to any sunlight during the first 3-4 weeks. This period is the initial healing stage, and it’s important to block out the sun completely. 

This is because your skin absorbs UV rays from sunlight, which in turn breaks up the pigment particles of your tattoo. This causes your tattoo to fade quite quickly if you don’t take care of your new ink.

This is the exact same way laser tattoo removal works! The laser machine just speeds up this process.


2. Will My Tattoo Change Color In The Sun?

If you expose your new tattoo to sunlight during the early stages, it could certainly change your colors. Imagine coming home after a round of golf to see your new ink look unrecognizable!

The reason this occurs is because of the sun, and our skin. Your tattoo is embedded over 2 layers of skin. When sun rays shine over your tattoo, it will darken (tan) the outer layer of your skin. As a result of this color change from the outside, the ink shading on the inner layer of skin will look different too.

While the damage is riskier for fresh ink, this is a real risk for all ages of tattoos. Using sun block and keeping your ink moisturized, will go a long way here.  


3. Will My Tattoo Crack, Split Or Get Damaged While Playing?

As we have mentioned, any golfer with tattoos does place himself at some risk. You can take all the safety measures you want, but the sun takes no prisoners. 

During the early stages of your tattoo, your skin will naturally form scars around the edges of the ink. This is a completely normal part of the healing process, but is a dangerous time too.

During the healing period your skin will become extremely dry. Dry skin isn’t good for a tattoo, especially one that’s still healing. This is the likeliest period where cracks and splits on your skin could form.


Things To Avoid After Getting A New Tattoo


Getting It Wet

Water and new tattoos don’t mix well either. Not only do you need to keep your tattoo from drying out, but also from too much moisture. After getting a tattoo done, you must wait at least 24 hours being having a shower.

Also avoid getting the area from getting soaked for at least 2 weeks. 

Sure you can still have a shower, but keep the inked area of your body away from the water as much as possible. Your skin needs to stay clean, but excessive water, steam and chemicals from soap will damage your tattoo.

Avoid Hot Water

Whatever you do, don’t use really hot water for the first few weeks. Remember your skin will be tender for some time after getting a tattoo. Hot water can open up your pores which is a recipe for disaster. Opening your pores could result in ink leaking and your ink becoming patchy.

If you expect it to rain during your golf game, keep your skin covered using a plastic wrap. This is where your golf bag rain hood and umbrella come in very handy!


Incorrect Wrapping 

As soon as your tattooist designs his/her masterpiece on you, there are important details they’ll share with you. I remember how excited I was getting my first tattoo. I also know that I was too excited, and how I wasn’t listening too hard to the advice given to me.


Not Listening To Your Tattooist

Listen to your tattooist about the after care recommendations so you keep your tattoo looking its best.

A piece of advice they will share with you is about the wrapping protocol. As soon as your tattoo is complete, you will be provided with plastic wrapping. This wrap goes over your fresh tattoo; much like a band-aid goes over a cut.



Remember, a tattoo is literally hundreds of tiny puncture marks deep in your skin. You need to take care of this the right way.

Any good tattooist will inform you on how long you need to keep the initial wrapping on. I recommend you keep the wrapping on for at least 2 hours. However this will depend on which body part you got tattooed and the overall size.


When To Remove Wrapping

After you have had your new tattoo wrapped for the recommenced time given to you, it’s time to remove it. There is no need to wrap it ever again, as it’s now time for your skin to breathe.

If you were to put a new wrap on, this would be counterproductive. Your tattoo needs time to, breathe and heal on its own.

The plastic wrapping will keep heat trapped in. This isn’t good for your tattoo, and can produce too much moisture on your skin. As a result, bacterial infections can develop, which is enough to ruin a fresh tattoo forever.


Sun Tanning & Solarium Sun Beds

I was surprised how many of my friends didn’t know how bad direct sunlight is bad for their tattoo. Their tattoos would of fared much better if the really did live under the rocks they seemed to be living in.

In case you weren’t aware, sun tanning, and solarium sun beds are an absolute no!



It’s true you that do need to be careful after getting a new tattoo. However you shouldn’t let that stop you from playing a round of golf. By following the advice in this article, you can enjoy your game and not worry about anything.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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