Not all golfers have to look boring and daggy. You’ll be surprised how much leeway there is when it comes to what you can wear while playing golf.
Interestingly enough, there are separate dress codes for men and women. However what you can wear also depends on where exactly you’re playing golf. For example, tournaments will have different rules and clothing etiquette than a driving range.
In this article I will tell you some general guidelines that you are expected to follow in and out of the course.
I have done my best to outline nearly every situation I can think of. Keep reading, so as a golfer you’ll wear the best items for the right occasion!
- Men must wear collared shirts while women can wear modest shirts or collared tops.
- Both men and women must not wear t-shirts or denim shirts.
- Men can wear trousers or knee-length
- However, cargo shorts, jeans, or workout clothing are a big
- Shoes with soft spikes are recommended for the golf course. The socks you choose must complement your complete attire.
- Hats, sunglasses, and gloves are optional but enhance your performance in the game. You can choose to wear clean baseball caps, straw hats, visors, or beanies (only during cold weather). Remove the hat when you enter a building.
- Sunglasses can help to protect your eyes from the sun and lessen eyestrain. You can consider buying a pair of golf-specific sunglasses for a comfortable fit and good vision.
- Gloves can be worn on the less dominant hand to enhance the grip on the club. Purses are not allowed for both men and women. They must be kept in the pocket provided for the same in the golf bag.
What to Wear to the Golf Course (Men)
Here, I will give you some detailed information on what male golfers can wear to the golf course. Make sure you follow them and abide by the rules. You can always check with your golf course management if you have any doubt.
- Wear shirts that come with collars. The material can be polyester, microfiber, or cotton depending on what you are comfortable wearing. On cold days, you can wear a sweater, a windbreaker, or a light jacket over your shirt.
- A few courses allow men to wear golf shirts with turtlenecks. The length of the sleeves of your shirt must be three-fourths of the way to the elbow.
- Wear polyester blend or cotton long pants if you can. Another option is to wear shorts with a pleated or flat front.
- Put on shoes with soft spikes made of plastic or hard rubber that provide traction and keep you comfortable for long hours.
- Always wear socks when you enter a golf course. They will help to keep your feet comfortable and dry. You can wear either ankle-length socks or normal tube socks.
- Wear headgear like a visor ora baseball cap to protect yourself from the sun. This accessory can be helpful during the hot summer.
- Tuck your shirt in uniformly so that you look modest and feel comfortable when playing.
- Opt for a pair of pants or shorts that contrast with your shirt. If you’re wearing a light-colored shirt, choose a dark-colored bottom and vice versa. The pants should touch the top of your shoes while the shorts must rest just above your kneecaps.
- Make sure that your shoes have a good grip. Sneakers or running shoes are allowed if you do not have golf shoes.
- Ensure that the color of your socks matches your entire outfit and that the socks absorb the moisture from your feet.
- Wear a belt that matches your shirt or pants and remember to use the belt loops provided for this.
- Use a glove to protect your hand from problems like blisters and callouses.
- Avoid ill-fitting shirts that are either too tight or too loose. Sweatshirts and hoodies must be avoided.
- Avoid wearing jeans, cargos, athletic pants, yoga pants, and so on. Pants that are too long or tight pants or shorts should not be worn either.
- Don’t wear shoes with metal spikes as they tend to damage the surface of the golf course. Also, stay off sandals, boots, and street shoes.
- Avoid wearing cowboy hats and other fancy caps or hats.
What to Wear to the Golf Course (Women)
Just like men, golf courses have a few expectations from women on what they can wear when they enter a golf course to play a game. The course management will always be more than glad to clarify any doubts that you may have. As a general rule, women have more choices than men.
- Wear polo shirts that you’re comfortable in. You can also opt for collared blouses with or without sleeves, V-necks, and button-downs. Keep a sweater, cardigan or light jacket handy for cold weather. Printed tops are allowed just as much as plain ones.
- Wear shorts, skirts, slacks, cropped pants, or capris that cover you from the mid-thighs’ way down to just above the knees.
- You can wear a skirt looks like a skirt on the outside, but is actually designed like shorts on the inside. This type of skirt are often the preferred choice of professional players. You can also wear long pants if you want to cover your legs fully.
- Wear shoes with soft spikes to help you retain traction on the golf course surface.
- Wear socks that match your overall outfit. Opting for ankle-length socks is always recommended.
- Insert your top well into your bottoms so that it does not come out during a game. A top that is not tucked in can interfere with your golf performance.
- Make sure that your skirts or shorts cover the knees completely. Private clubs do not entertain such bottoms that are four inches above the knees.
- Wear a belt through the belt loops provided so that your skirts, shorts or pants stay in place.
- Ensure that the shoes you wear will keep you comfortable for long hours without making you want to change them in between a game.
- Use a pair of socks that you will be comfortable in, all day and will keep your feet free from moisture and sweat.
- Keep your jewelry as simple as possible so that they do not interfere with your game.
- Wear a golf glove to avoid callouses and blisters.
- Use only visors, baseball caps, or straw hats to protect your head from the sun.
- Never wear tops like tank tops, t-shirts, halters, and the like. Like men, avoid carrying a hoodie or a sweatshirt to the course.
- If you’re wearing short bottoms, stay away from miniskirts or booty shorts. Your bottoms must never be more than two inches above your knees. Again, like male players, jeans, yoga pants, athletic pants, cargos and denim shorts are not encouraged.
- Keep your sandals, high heels, boots, or shoes with metal spikes out of the golf course.
- Avoid wearing jewelry like dangly earrings and long necklaces as they can get entangled during the game.
- Avoid stylish caps, cowboy hats, fedoras, or other such head accessories.
What to Wear when going Golfing for the First Time
It’s only natural that you have doubts about what you can wear if you’re going to a golf course for the first time. Let me give you some simple suggestions to get started.
Check out a shirt with collars and a comfortable fit. The shirt should neither be too tight nor too loose. The choice of fabric depends on whether you stay in a hot area or a cold area. Short sleeves are allowed like full-sleeved ones.
The shirt must have enough length for you to tuck it into your bottoms. For bottoms, you can wear either slacks or shorts made of breathable material. Shorts are better for summers. Both options must have belt loops and not feature drawstrings.
Slacks must reach to just above your shoes. Khaki, gray, cream, tan, and beige are safe choices of colors. Three-quarter length shorts must be avoided.
Consider looking into a pair of exclusive golf shoes of your size so that you feel comfortable. If this is not readily available with you, shoes with soft spikes or rubber studs throughout the sole are recommended.
Combine your shoes with some thick cotton ankle-length socks that will keep you comfortable and put off sweat. It’s a good idea to match their color with that of your shoes.
Although not mandatory, you can consider keeping a glove, sunglasses, and a hat in your golf bag to use when the need arises.
What to wear for golfing when you don’t have golf clothes
If you’re just new to the game of golf, it’s not likely that you have your golf clothes ready. If this is the case, you can use your existing clothing in your wardrobe to get you by.
Here are some clothing ideas for when you don’t have any golf clothes to wear:
- A comfortable shirt with a collar or a turtleneck and with sleeves or no sleeves based on the weather.
- Non-denim long pants, shorts, skirts, or capris that you are comfortable in and can be washed easily.
- Undergarments that you’re completely okay with and which will not irritate you in the course of the game.
- Sports or walking shoes with grips that give you good traction on the terrain.
- A pair of socks that keep you comfortable while wearing your shoes.
- Sunglasses, baseball cap, and gloves to protect you from the sun and blisters respectively.
- A light sweater if you’re playing on a cold day.
Why Do Golf Courses Have Dress Codes
When golf was first played in the 18th century in Scotland, it was considered to be a game for the elite. The rules formulated then still forms the basis for the present-day game. Golf courses have dress codes for a specific reason.
The main purpose of a dress code is to make sure both amateur and professional golf players follow the traditions of the game.
Although there are some general guidelines to be followed for any golf club or golf course, some clubs and courses have their dress codes. You might want to check out with your golf club or course regarding this.
Golf Course Attire for Spectators
It’s not just the golf players who have to adhere to a dress code when playing on a golf course. Even spectators entering the course are expected to wear specific attire.
Here are some tips for you to consider if you’re entering a golf course as a spectator.
- Wear a neatly pressed tucked-in polo-style or collared shirt that is made of comfortable material like polyester, microfiber, or cotton blends. Keep all those fancy neck tops at home.
- Normal shoes and sandals are good choices. If women must wear heels, those with wedges are recommended to avoid getting stuck in the grass.
- It may cause pain to your legs if you wear fancy footwear; as golf involves a lot of walking. Avoid golf shoes as you’ll not be playing the game as a spectator. Also, do away with flip-flops that come with flimsy soles.
- Carry a lightweight pullover that you can wrap under your arm and use it if it becomes cold suddenly.
- Light colors or pastel shades are ideal for women while men can check out white, black, gray, and other earth tones. Women can also consider these colors. Avoid opting for colors that are too bright. Wear sunglasses and a baseball cap to protect your eyes and head from the sun.
- Use a belt that coordinates well with your shirt.
- Wear a pair of plain pants or one with mild prints or patterns. Leave behind ones with multiple geometric shapes or colors that might be in your wardrobe.
Can I Wear Running Shoes to Play Golf?
No, running shoes are generally not recommended as they do not conform to the dress code of most golf clubs and courses. Furthermore, they don’t offer the foot support when walking the many hours that golf requires.
Also, these shoes are not designed for the short-groomed grass of the golf course. This can result in accidentally sliding or slipping, thereby putting you at risk of an injury. Running shoes also generally get stuck on clay, asphalt, and concrete.
You’ll want to check out my other article that will tell you what type of golf shoes you need.
Which Shoes to Wear with Golf Pants?
You can check out various casual shoes to wear with your golf pants when off the golf course.
Tennis shoes are a great option to pair with your golf pants. Pure boosts and Nike running shoes are also worth considering.
If you like loafers, those from Croc, Sanuk, Santoni, Stacy Adams, and Penny are some good choices as they go well with any color golf pants or normal pants. Dr. Scholls is ideal if you’re looking out for sneakers.
Cole Hann Zero Grand and Lunargrand, Banana Republic wingtips, FootJoy Club casuals, Air Max, Alden Indy boots, and Roshes are some shoes that assure you of comfort.
Which Shoes to Wear with Golf Shorts?
FJ Classics and other leather shoes go well with your golf shorts and keep your feet free of blisters because of less slippage.
Icons are great if you want some stylish looking shoes or shoes suitable for summer as they absorb sweat like those with cloth insoles. Moreover, Icons shoes also look good with just about anything and even without socks.
If you’re wondering which color looks good with shorts, then you can opt for black color. This color looks nice for sneaker type shoes like Nike mesh ones or Adidas crossflex.
Alternatively, if comfort is your key mantra, tennis shoes are a good idea. Look into a True Linkswearpair if you want some lightweight shoes.
Can I Wear a Tennis Skirt to Play Golf?
Yes, you can wear a tennis skirt while playing golf. However, keep in mind that tennis skirts are usually quite short. In such cases, you must wear spandex or tights under them. Alternatively, you can wear a slightly longer skirt that just covers your knees.
Can I Wear Leggings to Play Golf?
No, leggings are not encouraged because they do not contain belt loops to wear a belt. Another reason to stay away from leggings is because they’re very casual and can be distracting to other people on the golf course.
Leggings are not a part of the standard golf dress code, but you can wear them under your golf skirt if you really want to.
Can I Wear Jeans to Play Golf?
No, most golf clubs do not allow their players to wear jeans while playing golf. Denim jeans are too restrictive and are not comfortable nor formal enough to wear for golf.
You are allowed to wear jeans in the club room, but not on most serious courses.
I am seeing a gradule shift in this area however. I do believe at some point jeans will be allowed to be worn, but it really isn’t the ideal fabric to play in.
What to Wear for Golf Lessons?
One thing you should remember while attending golf lessons is that you will have to undergo a lot of field practice on the golf course.
I do recommend that you wear golf shoes. This is so you can get the right balance and perfect grip without slipping all over the course. However, you may not be required to wear them on the very first day of your lessons.
If you still have any doubts about what you can wear and what you cannot, check the website of the golf course or call up your golf facility to get your queries answered.
What to Wear at a Golf Driving Range?
Since there are hardly any restrictions on what you can wear here, you can wear your workout clothes and add a hoodie or sweatshirt if it’s very cold.
You can also wear a t-shirt, cargo shorts, athletic sweatpants, and military boots if you love wearing one. Jeans are also allowed in this case.
In short, you can wear anything that you feel comfortable in. Having said that, it’s best to avoid garish and loud outfits. It’s always better to dress on the conservative side.
A general rule that golfers follow is to adopt the same dressing style that they follow when they are on a golf course. So, you can wear a comfortable shirt with a collar and pair it up with khakis or shorts of your choice.
This, of course, means that you cannot wear jeans if you prefer dressing like you’re ready to play! Although golf shoes are not needed at a driving range, most golfers prefer wearing them because they are comfortable and offer good support for their feet.
What to Wear to a Golf Tournament?
The main thing to keep in mind when you go to watch a golf tournament is to dress sensibly and modestly.
Your dress should not turn out to be a source of distraction to others. Failure to comply with what is expected can find you being asked to leave the tournament.
Male golfers should opt for neutral and non-flashy colors. Solid colors are always better than loud prints or stripes.
Choose a typical golf shirt or a button-down Oxford shirt with short or long sleeves and a collar. Some clubs allow polo necks too. The shirt must be tucked in properly. Complement them with a pair of shorts or khakis.
Make use of the belt loops and wear a belt. Opt for footwear like loafers, sandals or tennis shoes. You can optionally wear a cap and a solid colored windbreaker.
Female golfers should wear non-bright comfortable fitting and high-cut tops.
Pair the top with a pair of simple shorts, pants or skirts depending on what keeps you comfortable.
Fashionable accessories are okay as long as they are not garish or distracting. Since a golf tournament is always an outdoor event, use just a small layer of makeup along with some sunscreen to keep you fresh.
For footwear, tennis shoes, sandals, flats or heels with wedges are the best. Finally, carry a visor or a wide-brimmed hat for protection from the sun.
What to wear for a Golf Outing?
If you’re planning for a work-related golf outing and have never played golf before, there is no need to panic. Recalling the fact that golf is a traditional sport, wearing comfortable, weather-appropriate and non-constricting attire is the mantra here.
Do not hesitate to call up the course management or check the website of the club to get your doubts cleared. I will give you some ideas about what men and women can wear to a golf outing.
- Wear golf shirts with collars. These shirts can be either half sleeves or have full sleeves. Knit fabric is ideal for hot weather as it allows air circulation and keeps them cool. Wrinkle-free fabric is another good option.
- Opt for long pants or shorts based on what keeps you relaxed when you’re playing on the course. This does not mean you can wear jeans, cargo pants, yoga pants or other such bottoms although you might feel comfortable in them.
- Wear shoes only with soft spikes. Other choices are sturdy sandals, sneakers or loafers.
Female golfers can wear tops with or without sleeves. If you’re opting for a sleeveless top, then you should make sure that it has a collar.
A general rule of thumb is to buy a shirt that is one size longer than your normal shirt and has larger armholes.
- Perform a practice swing to see if you’re able to move freely. This does not mean that you can wear a low-cut top.
- Decide if you would feel comfortable wearing pants, skirts, shorts, or skirts and wear them accordingly. But, make sure that they are not too tight-fitting as this can hamper your movement.
- If you’re planning to play in summer, be prepared for a lot of sweat. So, it’s recommended to buy your apparel designed with a fabric that has antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties.
- Regular sneakers should suffice if you’re only going to attend work events occasionally and not play the game regularly as a hobby.
While all the above aspects hold well, it’s at times worth giving a thought to buy some versatile attire instead of the typical golf attire. This means that you can buy an outfit that can also be worn outside the golf course if they adhere to the dress code.
What to Wear to a Golf Course Wedding?
The first thing to take into consideration when you’re attending a golf course wedding is the time of the event. This will help you to decide on what to wear for the occasion.
If the wedding is a morning event, men can wear simple, nice shirts along with a pair of khakis. Women can opt for sundresses.
For an evening occasion, men can choose a slack along with a button-up. If wearing a suit is your choice, using a tie is optional. Ladies can wear cocktail outfits. Children can also be dressed accordingly.
What to Wear to the PGA Championship
If you’re going to watch a PGA Championship, you must once again follow some of the basic dressing rules mentioned above
What to Wear to the PGA Championship:
- Men can wear polo shirts, button-down shirts or collared shirts but absolutely no t-shirts. Women can dress in sundresses.
- If you’re going to be seated in the front row or be near the ropes, solid and subdued shades are the best bet. Stay away from loud and bold colors and graphic prints.
- Men can wear lace-up tennis shoes or slip-on shoes. For women, low heels or heels with wedges are recommended. Both men and women must avoid flip flops or golf shoes with spikes.
- Women must keep their handbags as light and as small as possible. PGA rules do not allow them to be bigger than 10 inches by 10 inches. They must be worn across the shoulder so that they don’t rub on your neighbors when you turn around.
- PGAs do not allow carrying drawstring bags or backpacks of any size. You can keep an umbrella in your bag if there is a rain forecast.
- Decide on the best outfit based on whom you’re going with to watch the championship.
What to Wear for Golfing When it’s Cold
While golf is a warm-weather sport, nothing can put down an avid golfer from playing the game even when it’s cold.
If you cannot resist the urge to play even when the temperature is as cold as 40, 50, 60, or 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it is only natural that you must take some precautions to keep yourself warm and comfortable.
Tips for golfing when it’s cold:
- Wear an insulated lightweight jacket that will keep you warm and yet not interfere with your movement. Lambs’ wool sweaters and knitwear jackets are the best options as they are windproof on the inside and waterproof on the outside.
- If you want to do away with a base layer, consider wearing a golf shirt with long sleeves and a polo neck.
- Protect your ears with fleece ear bands that can be worn over your cap if it’s very cold. Alternatively, look for all-in-one winter golf caps that have both ear flaps and a visor. A winter beanie is also a good idea.
- Equip yourself with a couple of winter golf pants that you can easily get from any golf store.
- Wear gloves or mitts to prevent your hands from becoming cold and numb. There are gloves and mitts specifically for golfers. Check for gloves with a fleece top, a leather palm, and an inner Wind stopper lining.
- Wear thermal underwear that has a moisture-wicking compression layer to keep sweat at bay.
- Use golf boots instead of traditional golf shoes. These are usually ankle-length boots with a zipping mechanism and waterproof property. Remember to wear a pair of golf socks also.
- Look out for a golf snood if you wish to protect your neck and face barring the area surrounding your eyes.
- Wear your sunglasses even if the temperature is low as this can help to avoid the ultraviolet rays from coming in contact with your eyes.
Remember not to make your winter outfits bulky as this can make it a burden to wear them. Think wisely and buy only what you think you would need to keep yourself warm.
What to Wear for Golfing When it’s Raining
If cold weather cannot stop you from playing golf, then you should at least be as comfortable as possible! Read on to know how to dress for when playing golf on a rainy day:
- Wear a rainsuit that does not restrict your swinging. Go in for a lightweight jacket and pants that stretch and keep you dry. The advantage of a lightweight set is that it can be folded easily.
- Invest in gloves that give you a good grip even when your hands are wet. There are rain gloves designed exclusively for this to render a better grip when they are wet.
- It’s recommended to keep an extra pair handy in a sealed plastic cover so that they do not get soaked even if you leave your golf bag open accidentally.
- Use waterproof shoes so that the water does not get in through them and make your socks wet. It is always ideal that you keep an extra pair of socks along with the gloves.
- Wear a rainproof bucket hat or headgear that keeps your head dry when you play in the rain.
An umbrella, some towels, and a grip control lotion are some other useful accessories that you might want to keep ready if you’re going to play when it’s raining.
Although you will not be using them always, they can help to keep your equipment dry and establish a better grip on the golf club.
Lastly, you can keep an extra shirt and pants in your locker or golf bag just in case you experience a letdown after taking all these precautions.
What to Wear for Golfing in Hot Weather?
Now that I have told you what you can wear when it’s cold or raining, I am sure you must be waiting to know the best options to wear in hot weather when the temperature is or at least close to a soaring 100 degrees.
- For the top, buy a shirt with short sleeves and a polo neck. While cotton may be a comfortable choice of fabric, remember that it can become heavy because of the sweat and make playing difficult.
Synthetic and synthetic blends are better choices because they absorb lesser sweat, they dry up faster.
- Like the top, synthetic pants are recommended for the same reasons mentioned above.
- Some golf pants have articulation at the knees to stop bunching because of the sweat. Of course, shorts are any day more comfortable than pants on a hot day.
You can call up the management or check the website if you can wear them. But remember, not to wear your sporty shorts or comfortable cargo shorts.
- For the undergarments, opt for ones made of breathable wool or moisture-wicking fabric so that they remain dry and cool.
- Ladies can wear a synthetic sleeveless shirt with a collar along with a synthetic or moisture-wicking shorts, skirt, or skirt.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats and a pair of sunglasses to protect your head, face, and eyes from the scorching heat and UV rays. You may also look for a hat or a cap with a sweatband inside them.
- Use a suitable sunscreen lotion liberally over your exposed body parts so that they don’t get sunburned.
I suggest that you dress up in light colors because they hold and absorb less heat. This will, in turn, keep you cool and comfortable.
If you’re still unsure about the choice of colors, wear a full white outfit with a pair of colored shoes and a belt that matches your shoes.
Often, humid weather is bound to be accompanied by rainy spells. So, always keep a large umbrella or a lightweight rain suit ready in your bag.
Want to add a touch of personalization to your your golf bag?
You’ll want to read where you can get your golf bag embroidered.