There are not necessarily very strict rules regarding golf clothing; however, there is a golf etiquette that most golf clubs require players to attend to. Some are more important than others, and the clothing rules for the PGA Tour are much stricter.
9 Clothing rules when you play golf:
- Wear collared shirts
- Tuck your shirt in
- Wear golf pants or chinos
- Shorts shouldn’t be too short
- Don’t play with sandals
- Jackets and sweaters for cold weather
- Wear golf caps or bucket hats
- Wear neutral socks
- Gloves and sunglasses can be essential
1. Wear Collared Shirts
Almost all golf courses will require players to wear collared shirts. Collared shirts can be made from cotton, microfiber, or polyester. Wearing a t-shirt is quite frowned upon when playing golf, as it does not suit the formal etiquette of golf.
Wearing a collar is probably one of golf’s most well-known clothing rules, as these collared shirts are also called golf shirts. For women’s shirts, the rules are a little more relaxed in terms of collars. Women can wear collared or non-collared golf shirts while playing, as long as they are modest and more traditional.
While playing golf, tank tops or regular shirts will usually not be allowed, especially on private courses or high-end country clubs. However, clubs tend to have their own rules, so it’s best to check with them before going to play.
As a basic rule, wear a clean, presentable collared shirt. More modern style shirts are also considered these days, like the turtleneck-styled collars. Some clubs also allow women to wear sleeveless tops for playing golf, as long as they are not revealing.
2. Tuck Your Shirt In
Often, golf shirts are designed to be a bit longer than other collared shirts, so they stay tucked in a bit better. Tucking your shirt in while playing golf is not necessarily required by all clubs; however, it is one of those unspoken clothing rules.
It comes down to personal preference, but ultimately tucking your shirt in does look neater and more professional. Tucking in is a better choice for particularly long shirts as it might get in the way when you are swinging the club.
Perhaps if your shirt is not particularly long and you’re playing a very casual round of golf with your friends, it is acceptable to keep it untucked. That is, if the golf club allows it.
3. Wear Golf Pants Or Chinos
A player can purchase pants specifically designed for golf, primarily available at Pro shops or specific sports apparel shops. However, beginner players or those only playing for fun may not want to invest in these costly pants.
In that case, a neat pair of chinos would do the trick. Long pants made from cotton, linen, or khaki are all good options to play golf in. Jeans are mostly avoided as they do not really fit in golf etiquette. However, lower-priced and more informal courses do allow players to wear jeans on the course.
It mainly depends on the course you go to. Some high-end courses are also changing policies to cater to a wider range of golfers. On the other hand, some luxury courses are very strict about jeans and only allow players to wear golf slacks. Similarly, some golf courses usually do not permit yoga pants, leggings, and sweatpants.
4. Shorts Shouldn’t Be Too Short
Men and women can wear shorts when playing golf. However, the shorts should preferably not be too short. About Bermuda-length style would be appropriate at almost all golf clubs. It is, of course, understandable that players want to wear shorts in hot weather.
Gym shorts, jeans, or other material cutoffs and short shorts should be avoided when playing golf. Ladies can wear skirts and skorts of an appropriate length. One rule of thumb is that the shorts or skirts should reach at least your fingertips when standing straight.
5. Don’t Play With Sandals
Sandals, boots, and high heels are no-nos on the golf course. Players need to wear closed shoes. Closed shoes with heels are not recommended for golf, as the heel could make an impression on the green, and any marks could influence someone’s putt.
For some time already, golf shoes with metal spikes have been banned. Most clubs and courses will not allow players to wear these while playing or practicing. Golf shoes can have soft spikes for traction or non-metal cleats, which can also be removable
Any soft sports shoe can work if you don’t have golf shoes. Players can wear tennis shoes, trainers, or sneakers on the golf course. For clubs that have more expensive green fees, players may be required to wear shoes specific to golf.
If you are a regular player, investing in a good pair of golf shoes is recommended. These shoes are also designed to be comfortable for hours of walking and provide a good grip in wet conditions. Soft-spike shoes would be recommended as these are accepted all over.
Although sneakers and running shoes are fine, golf shoes will help players with a more stable swing and comfort. Usually, the colors of these shoes are quite limited, such as white, black, and brown. However, more and more golfers are introducing more color into their shoes and other apparel elements.
6. Jackets And Sweaters For Cold Weather
Wearing a jacket or sweater is usually more worn in colder weather. If the weather is warm or not too cold, it is more acceptable to wear a golf shirt. Some golfers like to wear vests or sweaters for a specific layered look, which is more of a style element.
Also, the type of jackets and sweaters should be modest, and jean jackets or hoodies are generally not accepted. Sometimes, women wear a golf cardigan over their golf shirts to add to their style.
7. Wear Golf Caps Or Bucket Hats
A cap or hat is highly advisable when playing golf. Considering players must be under the sun for hours, sun protection is necessary. You can buy golf caps from all known golf brands like Titleist, TaylorMade, and Callaway, but a cap from any other sports brand will do.
Caps should be forward-facing when playing on the course. Straw hats and bucket hats for more protection around the ears and neck are also acceptable. In colder weather, beanies work as well. Most golf clubs will probably not encourage other types of hats, like fedoras or cowboy hats.
8. Wear Neutral Socks And Clothes
This clothing rule is a debatable one. When playing golf or practicing with business associates or clients, it’s perhaps better to tone down the colors and patterns of your socks (and other clothes) to look more professional. Again, it depends on which level of golf you’re playing and where you are playing.
When wearing long pants, your socks should match their color. If you are wearing shorts, then it is recommended to wear neutral or light-colored socks. However, some individuals and golf clubs as well encourage players to wear bold and interesting colors.
Many golfers support this movement toward a more modern approach to golf. This approach includes incorporating different and new styles to the dress code, starting with color and pattern. If you like wearing bright socks, it’s up to you, but a good tip would be to stick to one bright and colorful item of clothing.
Perhaps wearing a bright red shirt with yellow pants will distract your fellow players or bring unnecessary attention to yourself. Matching the colors of your shoes, belt, and hat is considered good practice.
Color combinations that complement or contrast one another can work well as well. For instance, navy golf slacks and a white shirt looks great together. Alternatively, you can wear shades like brown pants and a beige shirt.
9. Gloves And Sunglasses Can Be Essential
Besides hats or caps, there are a few other clothing items that can be considered accessories, or essentials, depending on your interest in golf and frequency of playing. For instance, amateur to professional golfers chooses to wear gloves.
It is actually only one glove, which is worn on the hand opposite to your dominant one. The glove protects your hand and provides a better grip on the club. Another item that many golfers choose to wear is sunglasses. These help to keep the glare out of your eyes when you’re squinting to see your ball.
A third item that can be considered essential for golfers is watches. These can be fitness watches or just regular ones to keep the time on a round. Some brands even have sunglasses for golf and other sports where you need enhanced vision.
Preferably not too loose or delicate as they may break while handling clubs. As in tennis, wristbands are also accepted to help decrease sweat. However, these are not too popular among golfers.
Golf Clothing Rules For Men And Women
There appear to be more strict clothing rules for men than for women. There are more styles for women, including shirts, pants, or skirts. Men have a more classic look to consider, with the collared shirt and golf slacks.
However, the clothing rules generally change slightly according to different golf clubs. Some are more relaxed, and others are more traditional and stricter. If you are unsure what is considered appropriate, it is always a good idea to give them a call and find out.
Some golfers are moving towards a more relaxed attire, while others insist on keeping with the unspoken golfing norms.