In defense of bald man Stewart Cink's skull tan line
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In defense of bald man Stewart Cink’s skull tan line

I feel ya, Stewart Cink. I, too, am a bald man.

I've been one for a long time -- a proud one, in fact. I don't have to use shampoo. I don't need conditioner. Yeah, I might spend more on shaving cream than 90 percent of men (only God and men know the extent to which they manscape), but that's an easy trade off to make. Even if I was as wealthy as Wayne Rooney, I wouldn't get plugs. I like being bald that much.

One benefit of being bald is that almost every hat fits your head. There's no hair to be mat down or misshape how the hat was meant to be worn. OK, that's an overly positive spin on a sore subject: how bald men deal with being outside.

Every time I leave the house, regardless of the weather forecast, I need a hat. If it's cold, I need a hat, since I have no hair to stop the heat from effusively escaping from my skull. If it's rainy, I need a hat because my entire face will otherwise become a chamois, fit to buff a Cadillac. But, most of all, I need a hat if it's sunny.

The skin on the top of your head is pretty thin, turns out. That's why heat escapes your head so quickly. It also means that skins burns very rapidly in the sun. So, to prevent your noggin from getting nuked, there are only so many choices. One is to slather your head with tons of sunscreen, but if you sweat too much and forget to reapply (and who wants to do that mid-round without a bathroom nearby to clean the grease off your hands?), then you could still wind up burnt. The other is to apply a little sunscreen and put on a hat. That's so much easier, and you're practically guaranteed protection from the sun's death rays.

If you wear a hat every time you play, on the plus side, you don't develop (as many) nasty-looking sun spots and moles on your head. Besides, if you develop enough of them, you're going to wear a hat every time you're in public anyhow. Also you're incredibly less likely to develop melanoma or skin cancer.

The consequence? The Easter Egg Tan, as my wife calls it. The skin under the hat is not only starkly lighter than the skin hit by the sun, but it will always be that way. Sure, the contrast might get close in the winter time (if you're not a PGA Tour player), but it never, ever evens out.

Do you know how much makeup they had to put on my dome to the two times I was on "Morning Drive"? Do you think Tim Rosaforte looks as vogue as he does on Golf Channel air without some bronzer? It's just not possible for a bald man to pull off skull beauty and safety.

So, kudos to Stewart Cink, who not only is fully aware of the dangers of his skull's overexposure to the sun, but also to not having a little fun at his own expense about something he has to do.

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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