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Golf Apparel

Golf Apparel: So you don't stick out like a sore thumb, here are general guidelines of what you should and shouldn't wear. And because function is just as important fashion, we'll give you some tips on how to pick golf apparel that works just as good as it looks.

    One thing you'll never find a shortage of when playing golf is rules of etiquette. And one of the most important parts of golf etiquette is what to wear and what not to wear. Experienced golfers can tell who's a rookie and who has their act together just by looking at clothes. So, to save you from being labeled a novice, here's the golf apparel etiquette you need to know before your next round.

Appropriate Golf Apparel

    The first thing to keep in mind is that most clubs have their own rules for how to dress. If you're concerned, just call ahead. But if you follow these general guidelines, you'll most likely be in the clear. Guys have it much easier than women because guys' options are limited. The less you have to think about, the easier it is to pick out golf apparel. Guys' should wear nice slacks or dress shorts (Schempp). For shoes, guys can wear either golf shoes or gym shoes. Never wear street shoes or boots because they mess up the course (Schempp). As for your men's shirts, if it has a collar, it'll work (McGann). Beyond that, avoid denim, loud patterns and always look professional. Women have more options, which can be fun and burdensome at the same time. Women can wear pants, shorts or skirts (Schempp). However, most golf clubs don't allow shorts or skirts to be higher than one inch above the knees (Davis). As for shirts, anything with a collar that looks conservative will due. Shoe etiquette is the same for men and women, spikes or gym shoes. For both men and women, the idea is to let your game earn the attention, not your attire.

Beyond the Basics of Golf Apparel

    Now that you know the basics of what you should and shouldn't wear, it might be helpful to know what golf apparel will actually help you while out on the course. Here are our recommendations of what to look for while shopping for golf apparel.

  • Shirts: Whether long or short sleeve, the goal is comfort. Look for shirts that wick moisture away from your body while increasing ventilation and air circulation. If you are cool and comfortable, you'll feel better and play better.
  • Pants, Shorts and Skirts: Ease of movement and comfortable fabric are key for having great golf pants, shorts and skirts. Through 18 holes, you'll do a lot of walking, bending, twisting, turning and other movements. If your pants, shorts or skirts don't fit right and are made from uncomfortable fabric, you'll be miserable. To ensure that you buy comfortable pants, shorts or skirts, try on the apparel before you buy. Don't just put them on; try some golf movements in them like a swing, bending down to read the green or grabbing your ball out of the hole. You'll be glad you tested them out.
  • Shoes: Top things you should look for are waterproof materials and adequate support. Wet feet will make you miserable, as will sore feet. And miserable golfers have never been known to play well.
  • Rain Suits: You must have a rain suite when golfing because you never know when the weather will change. Being stuck on the back nine, far from shelter, without any rain gear won't help you play any better. Yes, being dry is great, but not at the expense of your ability to move. So, make sure you get a rain suit designed to allow fluid movement.
  • Belts: Buy a flexible belt for golfing. There are specifically designed golf belts that are engineered to not restrict movement, but any stretchy belt will do.
  • Layering: Layering isn't exactly a type of golf apparel, but it's important enough to include in this list. You need to wear layers of clothing so that you can adjust to the environment and how you feel. It's always better to be prepared because the more comfortable you feel, the better you'll be able to focus on your game.

    Being prepared for golf apparel etiquette will help you feel more comfortable out on the course and let you concentrate on your game, rather than all the weird looks you're getting. Besides buying golf apparel that fits with golf etiquette, make sure it will actually help you play better. You clothes should do more than just look good.


Davis, Susan Comolli. Golf: A Woman's Guide. (Ohio: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001), 123.

Schempp, Paul G., Peter Mattsson. Golf: Steps to Success. (Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2005), xxi, xxiv.

McGann, Michelle. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Golf. (Indiana: Penguin Group, Inc., 1997), 222.