It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced golfer or will be taking your first lesson. There are some guidelines to follow regarding your outfit in order to feel and look great while practicing golf.

Golf has traditionally maintained a stricter dress code compared to many other sports. Golfers often dress in collared shirts, trousers, and appropriate footwear. However, during the last few decades, some rules of golf attire have lessened. In particular, the increasing female presence and participation in golf have led to changes and more variations in golf apparel. Women can choose between a knee-length skirt, a straight skort, or a pleated skort.

Golf apparel is designed with a polished, tailored fit. Golf garments are breathable, absorbent, and very elastic for performance-enhancing freedom of movement. The adherence to a more formal and traditional dress code adds to the perception of golf as a game that values civility and a certain level of sophistication.

Adhering to the appropriate dress code is essential. Here is the ultimate guide to help you decide what to wear:

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1. Polo Shirt

Photo of a woman on a golf course wearing a polo shirt and yellow chinos

A Polo shirt is a must for women and men while playing and practicing golf. It is one of the most popular and widely accepted garments in golf fashion by golfers of all levels.

The polo shirt's association with golf can be traced back to René Lacoste, a French tennis player. René Lacoste, who also played golf, introduced the polo shirt in the late 1920s. The lightweight, short-sleeved shirt with a soft collar and a buttoned placket offered comfort and freedom of movement, making it well-suited for sports like golf.

Read more about the sustainability practices adopted by Lacoste and where it needs to improve.

Over time, golf attire evolved from the more formal and rigid dress codes to more informal and casual clothes. The polo shirt and its comfortable yet stylish design fit perfectly the demands for a more relaxed yet classic aesthetic. By the 1950s and 1960s, the polo shirt had firmly established itself as a popular choice for golfers, offering a balance of comfort, style, and functionality on the golf course.

2. Straight Skort

Woman playing golf wearing a skort and an orange polo shirt

Female golf garments, especially skirts, called skorts, have made a huge transformation in recent years. The name skort comes from the mix between skirt and shorts, which is literally a skirt with built-in shorts under it.

Originally skorts had knee length, but today they have become shorter, are made of softer fabric, and have prettier designs.

The skort provides comfort and functionality while still keeping the skirt in fashion. The straight skort will remain a staple in every golfer’s wardrobe.

Check out our selection of the best affordable and sustainable mini skirts here.

3. Chinos And Capri Pants

A man playing golf in black chinos and a polo shirt

 

Chinos offer a smart-casual look and provide comfort and flexibility, making them a popular choice among golfers. They are typically made from lightweight cotton or cotton-blend fabrics, offering breathability and ease of movement during your practice session.

Here is our selection of the best affordable chinos and khakis for women and men made in the USA under high social and environmental standards.

 

Woman playing golf wearing patterned capri pants and a top

A variation to the chino pants is capri pants. Capri pants are cropped trousers that end between the knee and the ankle and typically have a length that falls mid-calf or slightly below the calf.

Capri pants are a favorite garment in golf practice as they provide a comfortable and unrestricted range of motion, which is essential in golf. They are suitable during the summer as their cropped length helps keep the legs fresh by allowing airflow and preventing overheating during extended periods of physical activity. Capri pants are typically made from stretch fabric and have a soft, elasticated waistband. 

Capri pants are more commonly associated with women's fashion. However, there are variations of cropped pants for men, also referred to as copped chinos.

4. Socks

Woman playing golf wearing short, a polo shirt and knee socks

Wearing long socks is essential during golf practice. The length can vary depending on your outfit and the weather conditions. Consider wearing crew socks or knee socks and leave ankle socks for other occasions.

Long socks provide additional cushioning and support, which can help prevent blisters and discomfort during extended periods of walking or standing on the golf course.

Long socks can protect your legs from potential contact with plants that trigger allergies, insects, or other hazards on the golf course. They act as a barrier, reducing the risk of scratches, bites, or irritations.

 

close shot of a man putting wearing long socks

Long socks have a traditional and classic golf aesthetic. They are often associated with golf fashion and can complement the overall golf attire, particularly in more formal or classic golf settings. Wearing long socks can add a touch of sophistication to your golf outfit. 

Buy cheap, comfortable, and ethically made socks - check out our top sustainable brands' selection here

5. Pleated Skort

A man and a woman on a golf course taking distance and wearing golf outfits

Pleated skorts are a new trend in female golf aesthetics. They appeared recently on the golf courses, as pleated skorts are typically associated with female tennis attire for years.

The pleats add visual interest and create a flattering silhouette, while the attached shorts underneath provide coverage and comfort during intense movements.

Also, as women's participation in golf increased, so did the demand for women's golf apparel that catered to their needs. Pleated skorts offer the flexibility and ease of movement required for swinging the golf club, walking the course, and bending to retrieve the ball. 

6. Leggings

Woman on a golf course practicing putting and wearing leggings and a top

Wearing leggings at the golf course comes with some rules and conditions. They can vary and depend on the specific dress code of the golf facility or club you plan to visit. It is always a good idea to review the dress code of the golf course before deciding to wear leggings.

Some tournaments and courses allow ladies to wear leggings only if you wear them underneath shorts or a skirt. This practice can be a cute and stylish ensemble if you want to diverge from classic chinos and skirts.

Check out our selection of the best affordable and organic bamboo leggings here.

7. Golf Polo Dress

Close shot of a woman playing golf in a green polo dress

Golf polo dresses are designed with golf in mind, offering a blend of style, comfort, and functionality. They are typically made from lightweight, moisture-wicking, and stretchy materials that provide comfort and allow for a full range of motion.

8. Golf Shorts

Close photo of a woman in a golf attire and holding a golf club

Shorts have a long history in golf aesthetics. Nonetheless, professional golf players are not allowed to compete in tournaments wearing shorts. Shorts were first welcomed for Tour pro practice rounds by the European Tour in 2016, shortly before the PGA of America embraced the idea at the US PGA Championship in 2017, and the PGA Tour has since followed suit this season.

A man performing a golf swing in blue shorts and polo shirt

Still today, shorts are not allowed during tournament play, but you are most welcome to wear them during your golf practice. Men’s shorts are usually up to the knee. Women can choose from mid-thigh, knee-length, or wide-leg, skirt-trouser patterned shorts.

Here is our selection of the best affordable shorts for women and men made in the USA under high social and environmental standards.

9. Long-Sleeve Base Shirt

A man playing golf in a white thermal base shirt and a polo shirt on top of it

Golf is a great game, and you can practice it all year long. You can play on the shed driver range when it rains.

If temperatures are mild and you need an extra layer, wear a performance thermal base shirt under your polo shirt. Performance thermal base shirts fit closely to the skin and help regulate body temperature without interfering with the golf swing and preventing you from overheating and sweating while practicing. 

You can read more about the importance of base layers in this article from Nike.

10. V-Neck Sweater

A woman holding a golf club wearing a sweater over a collared shirt

Another option for an extra layer in mid-season conditions is to wear a sweater over your polo shirt. Layering allows you to adjust your clothing according to the temperature and comfort level during your practice session. The sweater must fit well without being too tight or restrictive.

Choose a sweater made from lightweight and breathable materials, such as cotton or synthetic blends, to ensure optimal comfort and ease of movement during your swings. Look for sweaters specifically designed for sports or activities that offer moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry.

Here are the best ethical and affordable vegan sweater brands to help you make conscious purchasing decisions.

 

A man playing golf wearing a black sleeveless knit vest over a polo shirt and long trousers

For mild to warm temperatures, you can go for a sleeveless sweater. Layering a sleeveless sweater will provide added insulation without overheating the arms. This practice is a comfortable and stylish way to add warmth to your outfit when a full sweater or jacket may be too heavy or unnecessary.

Check out our selection of the best affordable and sustainable sweater vests made under high social and environmental standards.

11. Lightweight Padded Vest

Girl swinging her hair and wearing jeans and a padded vest over a turtleneck

Playing golf during the winter requires warm and insulating garments that do not interfere with your swing. The lightweight vest is one of the most versatile articles of clothing for cold-weather layering. You can layer a lightweight padded vest over a short sleeve polo shirt, a thin knit sweater, a performance thermal shirt, or even on top of a mid-season jacket.

Here are some of the best affordable and sustainable puffer jackets and vests made under high social and environmental standards.

12. Windproof And Waterproof Jacket

Profile picture of a blonde woman wearing a white sport jacket

Lightweight windproof and waterproof jackets are essential components of activewear, offering protection from adverse weather conditions and enabling golf enthusiasts to pursue their activities safely and comfortably.

Windproof and waterproof jackets are designed to block the wind and rain from penetrating the fabric, making them suitable for multi-seasonal use and golf courses where wind and precipitation are often present simultaneously.

Here are some of the best affordable and sustainable rain jackets made under high social and environmental standards.

13. Dare With Colors

A girl playing golf wearing a colorful golf attire

Golf gives you the possibility to be brave with colors. Wear bright colors, mix green with pink, blue with red, and yellow with purple to add vibrancy and personality to your golf attire while still adhering to the general guidelines of golf fashion.

During the hot summer months, consider wearing a monochrome white outfit. White has a higher reflectivity, meaning it reflects more sunlight and heat away from the body. This habit can help keep you cool in hot weather conditions by reducing the sun's heat.

Keeping white clothes white and clean can be challenging. Read our best practices on how to fight stains and whiten whites without bleach here.

14. Golf Glove

Photo of a golf glove of a person driving a golf cart

 

 

A golf glove enhances the grip during golf practice. Wear a glove on your non-dominant hand (for right-handed golfers, this would be the left hand) to improve the connection between the hand and the club. The glove's material, usually synthetic leather, provides additional friction and traction, allowing for a firmer and more secure grip on the club. With a secure grip, you will have more control over the clubface, promoting accurate and consistent shots. It minimizes the chance of the club slipping or twisting in the hand, which can result in poor shots or loss of control.

Additionally, wearing a golf glove provides a layer of protection for the hand. It helps prevent blisters, calluses, and discomfort caused by repetitive swinging and gripping of the club.

Learn more about on which hand you wear golf glove and why it is important.

15. Minimal Jewelry And Essential Accessories

Woman smiling on a golf course wearing golf attire

 

Wearing jewelry during golf practice is not recommended. Dangling earrings, rings, voluminous bracelets, and necklaces will interfere negatively with your game and will also appear awkward on the golf course.

On the other hand, remember to take some vital accessories while playing golf. These are a hat, sunglasses, a double canopy umbrella, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and a repellent spray.

 

16. Shoes

A photo of the back of a man playing golf in golf apparel and shoes

Wearing golf shoes during golf practice is essential. They provide the necessary traction, stability, and comfort to navigate the golf course effectively.

Golf shoes traditionally had metal or plastic spikes on the outsole to provide traction and prevent slipping on the grass. However, in recent years, spikeless golf shoes have become increasingly popular. Spikeless shoes have a rubber outsole with nubs or patterns that offer grip and traction without the removable spikes.

Golf shoes come in multiple styles, including traditional lace-up shoes, slip-on designs, or hybrid models that combine elements of athletic shoes and classic golf shoes. They are available in various colors and designs, allowing golfers to express their style on the course.



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About the Author: Iana Jekova


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