Did you know that different golf courses have different rules about what to wear? Some clubs are more casual, and some are very formal. In this guide, we will help you figure out what to wear golfing so you don’t break the rules.
History of Golf Attire
Golf’s origins date back to around the 14th century in the Netherlands. In Scotland, it evolved into the 18-hole game we know today. Its popularity spread worldwide in the late 19th century.
When the game spread worldwide, so did the attire. Because golf is British, styles usually involved the British styles of the day, such as knickers with knee socks and tweed jackets. Newsboy hats, long-sleeved button-up shirts, and pants tucked into knee-high boots were also in vogue.
At the start of the 20th century, pants became more popular and replaced knickers. And by the 1950s, more casual clothes like polo shirts replaced the formal ties and dress shirts.
For women in the early 20th century, the golf attire of the day involved wearing long, pleated skirts and sweaters. As golf fashion trends evolved, clubs eventually allowed women to wear shorter skirts and pants as men do.
Today, shorts are more commonplace as are clothes with sports brands on them, such as Nike and Adidas.
Rules Are Rules
Given that golf is a sport that is a few hundred years old, there are plenty of traditions and rules that go along with the game. That’s not to say that golf attire hasn’t evolved as times have changed. If golf fashion hadn’t changed, people would still be wearing tweed coats, knickers, and ties.
Today’s golfers wear more modern clothing than their predecessors, but there are still some rules that you need to follow. If you choose to ignore the rules, you might end up going home rather than playing a round of golf. And that wouldn’t be too fun.
Public Golf Courses
Just because you’re headed to a public course, don’t assume it’s okay to show up in a t-shirt and jeans or short shorts. Some public courses have rules about what to wear.
Private Golf Courses
If you’re playing at a course exclusively for members and their guests, expect nothing less than strict rules about attire. Be sure to look up the course’s rules or ask around if you aren’t sure.
Where to Look First
Did you know that golf clothes are not mandatory? It’s not necessary to head to a sporting goods store to find what you need. You may be able to find what you need right in your closet. Here are some ideas.
Pants, Shorts, Skorts, and Skirts
Whatever you do, wear socks! If you don’t, you’ll end up with blisters. Find socks that wick moisture away and are either no-show or ankle socks. White is the preferred color.
You should also consider colors when selecting your attire. Neutral colors are safe as a beginner. Some view colors like pink, white, or bright colors as being for more experienced players.
If you’re really fashion-conscious or don’t want to appear out of place, consider these tips when deciding what to wear golfing:
- Match your belt with your shoes
- Wear contrasting colors (i.e., don’t wear gray pants with a gray shirt)
- If you wear a pattern or bright color, choose one item of clothing to feature it.
Shopping for Golf Gear
Once you’ve been bitten by the golf bug, you may find yourself wanting to go all out and buy clothes that are made for golf.
Really, the only clothes that are specific to golf are golf shoes. There are three types to choose from: steel spikes, soft spikes, and spikeless.
Unless you’re a pro golfer, you won’t need to buy steel spiked golf shoes. They are not allowed on most courses where amateurs are allowed to play.
The most popular type of golf shoes is the soft spike shoe with spikes that are made out of rubber or plastic. This type of shoe won’t tear up the greens.
Spikeless golf shoes have small rubber studs in place of spikes. They are great for people who may find spiked shoes uncomfortable. Studs can create pressure points and cause pain. Given that golf involves a lot of walking, comfort in golf shoes is essential.
As you play golf more often, you’ll probably want to buy golf gloves. If you’re right-handed, you’ll need ones for your left hand and vice versa.
The main reason for wearing a golf glove is grip. Wearing one will prevent the golf club from slipping and turning in your hand. They also help people who have loose grips get a better grip. And last but not least, they are also useful for preventing blisters and calluses.
A basic golf glove is made out of various materials, and most golfers choose leather or synthetic materials. Most basic golf gloves are not sold in pairs, so don’t worry if you can’t find them.
There are weather-specific gloves as well that are made for cold weather or playing in the rain. Gloves made for specific weather conditions are sold in pairs. This makes sense because you’ll want to protect both hands if it’s wet or cold outside.
In this guide, we covered the basics for what to wear golfing while maintaining a sense of style and professionalism. You should be ready to hit the golf course and have some fun without worrying about making any golf fashion faux pas.