What To Wear Golfing: Your Ultimate Guide

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Golf is one of the most popular sports on Earth, and it can also be one of the most intimidating. The gear, the rules, and what to wear golfing are all basic questions everyone has, whether they are beginners or professionals. The good news is that figuring out what to wear golfing can be very easy!

What to wear golfing is part of the decorum and rules of the game, more than in other sports. Every course is different, but generally, public or municipal courses allow casual wear while country clubs or private courses have dress code standards. The most important element for your clothing is that you're comfortable, prepared for changing temperatures, and ready to take on the challenge of the game itself.

Are There Rules For Golf Attire?

The short answer is yes. Some golf courses have a dress code, but not all courses do. Any course, public or private, has staff available to give you their dress code information. Call the course prior to your arrival, because, if the course has a dress code and you do not meet the standards, they will not permit you to play. Or they will direct you to their pro shop, where it is generally very expensive to purchase the acceptable clothing items you'll need.

Another great rule of thumb is that the more expensive the greens fees, the more likely it is that the course will have an enforced dress code. It should also be noted that there are different rules for men's and women's attire, which we will cover specifically. Usually, the dress codes will have specifics from what to wear golfing from head to toe.

Don't let this scare you away from the game! If you are looking to go play an easy nine-hole course with some friends and you only own tank tops and shorts, there is likely an executive course near you that will allow you to wear whatever you want.

Furthermore, playing 18-holes can take around four hours, which means the temperature can change from the time you start playing until the time you end. Make sure every layer you wear or bring is appropriate for the course and the weather.

Never assume that because you've seen a professional golfer on television wearing a certain item that that item is acceptable to wear on the course you'll be playing! Tiger Woods may be allowed to wear mock turtlenecks, and John Daly may wear the craziest pants ever made; but not all courses will be on the same page with their attire.

What To Wear Golfing At A Public Course

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A public course is usually owned and operated by a city, a county, or a municipality. These courses are there for public use and enjoyment and are often where people learn to play the game itself. These facilities have relaxed standards for what to wear golfing.

For the most part, khaki's or Dockers-style shorts or slacks, for men or women, are acceptable for this type of course. A collared shirt, long or short sleeve, is a safe option for shirts. Most courses have outlawed golf shoes with metal spikes, so look for shoes with soft spikes. For 95% of golf courses, this attire will get you on the course with no issues.

To encourage more people to play the game, some public courses will allow blue jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes. As long as you look presentable, a public course will allow all golfers to play in this type of attire.

What To Wear Golfing At A Private Course

Private courses, or country clubs, almost always have a basic dress code for anyone, member or not, playing at their course. Members often pay hefty yearly and monthly fees to maintain these courses, so it's no surprise that their rules are more stringent.

Inflexible Rules

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Across the board, neither men nor women may wear golf shoes with metal spikes. These spikes have caused damage to courses everywhere. Modern golf shoes have been upgraded with soft spikes made of hard rubber or plastic. Besides helping to maintain the health of the course, proper shoes will help stabilize your swing, allow for traction while walking, and provide comfort for the hours that you'll be playing. They do not allow tennis shoes at a private club.

A collared shirt is required for men and women. There are long and short sleeved options, and these shirts have two or three buttons at the top and can be tucked into pants. Windbreakers or nicely styled zip-up jackets are great for colder climates.

Khakis, slacks, or Dockers-style pants are acceptable for men and women; women are often also allowed to wear skirts that are no shorter than five inches above the knee.

Unwritten Rules

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It is an unwritten rule that the player's socks complement the rest of their outfit. Ankle socks, tube socks or any other style of sock are fine to wear. Make sure your socks aren't too bulky for your golf shoes.

As with socks, it does not specify headwear in most dress codes, but baseball caps and visors are the most popular options. Cowboy hats, fedoras, or other gag or humorous hats are not appropriate for a private golf course.

Another item to keep in mind is your color scheme. No one will stop you for any basic color, but be aware that if you wear bright, flashy, or ostentatious patterns that draw attention, they may not permit you to play. A private club wants every player who visits their course to feel comfortable and able to focus on their game to the best of their abilities.

What Is Proper Golf Attire For Men?

Checking with the course you are playing is your first stop to confirm if there is a dress code; however, wearing any of the following items will allow you to play most courses. Golfing attire for men is easy to purchase no matter where you are, so these items don't have to cost a fortune.

Check out the items that major retailers are selling to help you choose what to wear golfing. Traditional cotton, microfiber or polyester fabrics are most commonly worn today. We recommend breathable fabrics from head to toe and bringing layers in case of sudden temperature changes.

Pants/Shorts

  • Khakis
  • Dockers
  • Linen shorts or pants
  • Bermuda shorts

Shirts

  • Collared, long or short sleeve
  • Polo shirts
  • Button up, long or short sleeve
  • Pullover sweater
  • Collared jacket
  • Windbreaker

Socks

  • Ankle socks
  • Socks that compliment the outfit

Hats

  • Visor
  • Baseball cap

Shoes

  • Golf shoes with soft spikes
  • Hard soled tennis shoes

If there's any doubt about a course's dress code, then avoid denim, t-shirts, or unstructured tennis shoes and keep in mind that the game of golf adheres to traditional rules of modesty, cleanliness, and decorum. If you could wear it to an upscale casual restaurant, you can probably also wear it golfing.

What Is Proper Golf Attire For Women?

What to wear golfing for women can vary a fair quite a bit compared to what men wear; however, the items below are all safe bets for having a great day on the course. If you're wondering about a certain item you want to wear golfing, know that golf is a game that still adheres to traditional rules of modesty. Tube tops, tight tank tops, or items of clothing that show lots of skin aren't a good idea on the course.

Paying attention to the fabric types on all the clothing you will wear is something to consider when purchasing. Most courses don't have lots of shade, so you want to make sure the fabrics are breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor resistant and that you have the kind of protection from the sun that your skin needs.

Pants/Shorts

  • Khakis
  • Dockers
  • Linen shorts or pants
  • Skirts no shorter than 5" above the knee
  • Shorts

Shirts

  • Collared, long or short sleeve
  • Polo shirts
  • Button up, long or short sleeve
  • Tank top style shirts with a collar
  • Pullover sweater
  • Sweatervests
  • Collared zip-up jackets
  • Windbreaker

Socks

  • Ankle socks
  • Socks that compliment the outfit

Hats

  • Visor
  • Baseball cap

Shoes

  • Golf shoes with soft spikes
  • Hard soled tennis shoes

When in doubt, consider "preppy clothing" to be the most accepted attire on the golf course. Feel free to accessorize as much as you wish with scarves, jewelry, vests, coats, and sweaters. Preppy doesn't have to be uptight; it just has to be well put together.

Conclusion

What to wear golfing matters, but it doesn't have to be intimidating or difficult to achieve. Most sports require a uniform, and you can think of a collared shirt and khaki pants as golf's uniform. The most important part of choosing what to wear is picking comfortable clothing that's weather appropriate.
 

Golf is a game that everyone can learn to play. With the variety of public and private courses all over the world, you can find a course that matches your wardrobe! What to wear golfing should be the easiest choice you make next time you hit the links.

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