Stepping onto a golf course is more than just perfecting your swing; it's also about wearing the right golf attire. When you ponder "what to wear to play golf," it isn't simply about adhering to the dress code rules of most golf courses.

It's about meshing tradition with modern golf fashion, ensuring you're comfortable and compliant.

Whether sliding into a pair of spikeless golf shoes or buttoning up a collared polo shirt, the essence is to wear golf clothes that enhance your game and respect the old-fashioned sport's elegance.

From the crisp greens of the driving range to the hustle of the club, our guide will illuminate the ins and outs of golf clothing. Dive in as we unravel the mysteries of golf shirts, golf trousers, and even the debate between steel and soft spike golf shoes.

For seasoned golfers and newbies, understanding proper golf attire is a putt you won't miss!

green and white polo golf shirt, golf clubs, golf hats

Why Your Golf Attire Matters

Ever heard of "Dress for Success"? It's not just about impressing fellow players but respecting the age-old traditions of the game. Plus, the right outfit can up your comfort level and even enhance your performance!

Fun Fact: The first recorded dress code policy was set by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 1752!

Understanding the Golf Course Dress Code

Many golf courses uphold a strict dress code. Before heading out to play, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the do's and don'ts of golf attire:

  • Avoid Jeans: Most golf courses discourage wearing jeans.
  • Say No to T-shirts and Sports Jerseys: They aren’t considered proper golf attire.
  • Choose Appropriate Shorts: Too short or vibrant patterns are usually frowned upon.
  • Skip the Rubber Shoes and Sandals: These are not suitable for the terrain.
man playing golf

Seasonal Golf Attire

Depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, golf attire can vary:

  • Summer: Lightweight, breathable materials are essential. Consider moisture-wicking shirts, shorts, and breathable shoes. Don't forget sunglasses and sunblock.
  • Winter: Layer up but ensure mobility. Consider thermal turtlenecks, fleece vests, and water-resistant jackets.
  • Rainy Weather: Waterproof jackets, trousers, and shoes can make playing in the rain comfortable. Some golfers also opt for rain gloves for a better grip.
golf wears in a store

Men's Guide to Golf Attire

1. The All-Important Shirt

The collared shirt is the backbone of men's golf attire. Polo shirts are the go-to choice for most golfers. They're comfortable and stylish and come in various designs. Remember, many golf courses insist on tucking in your shirt.

For those warmer days, opt for a short-sleeved shirt. Long sleeves are ideal if the sun's blazing or it's a bit chilly. While cotton is comfy for cooler days, avoid it during hot weather to prevent excessive sweating. Layer up with a sweater, fleece vest, or windbreaker during colder months.

2. Pants and Shorts

Jeans are a no-go on the golf course. Instead, opt for khakis or golf slacks. Shorts are acceptable, but they should be modest in length. Make sure whatever you choose has belt loops because a belt is part of the look. Remember, bright colors like white or pink can be flashy for the golf course.

3. Shoes

Golf requires the right footing. Choose from soft spikes or spikeless golf shoes. Steel spikes are often banned in many golf courses, so it's best to avoid them. Brands like Adidas, Skechers, and Footjoy offer excellent choices.

4. Don't Forget the Socks

Your socks should complement your outfit. For longer pants, choose socks that reach the ankles. If you're in shorts, lighter-colored socks will do the trick.

5. Protect that Head

Whether it's a sunny day or just wanting to look stylish, caps, visors, or even wide-brim hats are the go-to headgear. Baseball caps are trendy among golfers.

two golf male models

Women's Guide to Golf Attire

1. Tops

Collared polo shirts remain a staple, available in various styles and designs, ensuring movement without compromising style. Turtlenecks or layers like windbreakers can be perfect for cooler days.

2. Bottoms

Women have a range of choices, from golf slacks to skirts and capris. Regardless of choice, ensure they have belt loops and avoid denim.

3. Footwear

Like their male counterparts, women golfers favor spikeless golf shoes. However, a good pair of soft spike shoes can better grip the greens.

4. Accessories

A stylish golf visor or hat can protect from the sun. Polarized sunglasses are perfect for those extra-bright days.

Golf Accessories to Enhance Your Game

Beyond the basics of shirts, trousers, and shoes, some accessories can enhance both your style and game.

Golf Bag for Shoes: Keeping a separate compartment or bag for your golf shoes ensures they remain in good condition, and free from dirt and debris.

Golf Umbrellas: A must-have for those unpredictable weather days. A good golf umbrella is robust against strong winds and large enough to shelter both the player and the golf bag.

Ball Markers and Divot Tools: While these might seem trivial, having personalized or unique markers and tools can be a conversation starter and show your dedication to the game.

women's golf attires

General Tips for All Golfers

  • Golf Gloves: While optional, golf gloves can enhance grip and prevent blisters, especially during extended play.

  • Mind Your Colors: Golf has always been about understated elegance. When selecting your golf attire, choose toned-down, muted colors. You want to stand out because of your skills, not your vibrant outfit.

golf wears inside a store

A Stylish Conclusion

For many, golf isn't just about perfecting that swing; it's about stepping onto the green in style. Whether you're new to playing golf or have played golf for years, knowing what to wear golfing can sometimes feel like deciphering an old-fashioned sport's dress code. Let's keep it simple. Starting at the top, a golf shirt is essential.

Most golf clubs would appreciate it if you wore collared polo shirts, which uphold the traditions and lend a neat appearance. And to the ladies wondering about proper women's golf attire: collared shirts are often the go-to, but there's more.

You can also explore capri pants and Bermuda-length shorts, especially in warm weather. While wearing shorts is a popular choice for male and female golfers, golf shorts are a tad different from regular gym shorts. They're typically knee-length and designed to allow flexibility as you swing. You can wear chinos or smart long trousers if shorts aren't your thing.

Now, on to footwear. It's best to avoid steel spike golf shoes, as many clubs have moved away. Instead, choose golf shoes that provide grip without damaging the green. And remember, always wear socks - no-show socks are perfect if you're going for a more modern look. Flip flops? Save those for the beach!

Accessorize wisely. While a golf glove can enhance your grip, hats are more about personal preference. Tiger Woods might prefer a cap, but straw or cowboy hats can be seen on the course - though, maybe skip the latter at a country club.

As for the cold weather players, a fleece vest or light jacket can provide warmth without hindering movement. But avoid denim jackets and tracksuit trousers. They might feel a little out of place.

Lastly, while some might be tempted to add a flair with tank tops, cargo shorts, or even a smart pair of cowboy boots, referring to the club's dress codes is always a good idea.

Golf is a blend of tradition and style, and while there's room to showcase personality, it's also about respecting the game and its storied history.

three golf players

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the proper golf dress code?

Most golf courses have dress codes that emphasize traditional golf fashion. This typically includes collared polo shirts, golf shorts or trousers, and proper golf shoes. It's a blend of respect for an old-fashioned sport and functionality for playing golf.

How do you dress to play golf?

When you're preparing to play golf, think about comfort and etiquette. Wear collared polo shirts and either long trousers or golf shorts, depending on the weather. Female golfers might opt for capri pants or Bermuda-length shorts. Remember to wear socks, preferably no-show socks, and avoid tank tops, gym shorts, or flip-flops. A golf glove can aid your grip while a light jacket can be handy in colder conditions.

What kind of shoes can I wear golfing?

Golf shoes are designed to provide grip and stability on the green. Steel spike golf shoes used to be the norm, but many golf courses now prefer soft spikes or spikeless golf shoes to preserve the green. Make sure you check with the golf course on their specific footwear rules.

Can I wear sneakers golfing?

While golf shoes are the best choice for stability and grip, many golf courses do allow sneakers, especially if they don't have aggressive soles. However, it's always a good idea to check with the specific course you're playing at. Remember, the right footwear can prevent a putt offline!

Can I wear jeans to play golf?

While jeans might be comfortable, they're not usually part of the proper golf attire. Most golf courses discourage wearing denim. Instead, wear chinos or smart long trousers. In warm weather, golf shorts or three-quarter-length shorts are often preferred. Remember, the goal is to respect the tradition of the sport and ensure you're comfortable throughout your game.