What is the Proper Golf Attire?

The game of golf is not only about perfecting your swing or mastering the putt, it’s also about respecting the traditions and etiquette of the sport. One such aspect is the proper attire golfers are expected to wear on the course. Adhering to the right dress code not only shows respect for the game but also ensures a more comfortable experience on the green. By understanding the essentials of golf fashion, you can confidently step onto the course, knowing you’re dressed for success.

While the dress code may vary based on the specific golf course or club you’re at, there are certain fundamental aspects of golf attire that you should be aware of. These basics include selecting appropriate shirts, pants or shorts, and footwear, as well as considering the weather conditions and any accessories that may be necessary. It’s also important to note that there may be differences in attire requirements based on gender.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper golf attire is crucial for showing respect to the game and ensuring a comfortable experience on the course
  • Essential golf clothing elements include suitable shirts, pants or shorts, footwear, plus weather-appropriate choices and accessories
  • Dress codes can differ among golf courses or clubs, and gender differences should be taken into account

Understanding Golf Attire Basics

When gearing up for a game of golf, it is crucial to dress appropriately to ensure you maintain a proper, professional look on the course. Some key basic elements to consider in your golf attire include:

Golf shirts: Collared polo shirts are a standard choice for both men and women. They offer a sophisticated and comfortable style while maintaining the required etiquette. Golf shirts are typically made from moisture-wicking fabric, such as cotton or polyester, ensuring that they keep you cool and do not interfere with your swing.

Golf pants, shorts, and skirts: Well-fitted khaki pants or shorts are a go-to choice for men, whereas women can opt for tailored pants, shorts, or skirts. Ensuring a neat and presentable appearance is a priority when selecting your bottoms, and choosing a neutral hue that’s not too distracting on the golf course is a useful tip.

Weather considerations: Depending on the climate you’re playing in, it’s essential to adapt your attire. If you are playing in a warmer environment, short-sleeved polo shirts made from materials that keep you cool and dry are advisable. On the other hand, if you are playing in cooler temperatures, consider adding a sweater or jacket made from breathable fabrics that do not restrict your movement.

In conclusion, dressing appropriately for golf is a sign of respect for the game’s traditions and helps maintain decorum on the course. By following these basics of golf attire, you’ll not only exhibit proper etiquette but also maximize your comfort and performance.

Golf Shirts

Types of Golf Shirts

When selecting a golf shirt, it’s important to consider the dress code of the golf course or country club you’ll be playing at. Generally, collared polo shirts are the go-to choice for men, as they offer a sophisticated yet comfortable style. Some golf courses also permit the use of mock turtle neck shirts, which gained popularity through Nike and Tiger Woods in the early 2000s. For women, classic polo shirts are an essential part of proper golf attire as well.


The material of your golf shirt plays a crucial role in both comfort and performance on the course. Here are some common materials to consider:

  • Cotton: A natural fabric that provides a soft and comfortable feel, perfect for casual golf outings. However, it may not be the best choice for hot or humid conditions as it tends to retain moisture.

  • Polyester: A synthetic material that offers moisture-wicking properties, keeping you dry and comfortable on the course. It is also lightweight and dries quickly, making it suitable for various weather conditions.

  • Blends: A combination of cotton and polyester or other materials, these shirts combine the best qualities of both fabrics, offering both comfort and moisture-wicking capabilities.

When choosing a golf shirt, consider the weather conditions and your personal preferences in terms of comfort and style. The right golf shirt will not only adhere to the golf course’s dress code but also allow you to play comfortably and confidently.

Golf Pants and Shorts

When it comes to proper golf attire, choosing the right pants and shorts is essential. In this section, we will discuss the factors to consider when selecting golf pants and shorts for your next round on the green.

Factors to Consider

  1. Style: For men, tailored pants or well-fitted golf shorts are the norm, while women may opt for slacks, shorts, or skorts. Avoid jeans, sweatpants, and athletic pants as they are usually not permitted on most golf courses.

  2. Material: Look for materials that are comfortable, breathable, and moisture-wicking. Popular fabric choices for golf attire include polyester, nylon, and spandex blends.

  3. Length: Shorts should typically be knee-length or just above the knee, while pants should be the appropriate length according to your height. It’s important to maintain a neat and presentable appearance on the golf course.

  4. Fit: Choose pants and shorts that fit comfortably around your waist, with adequate room for movement during your swing. Both men and women should avoid excessively tight or baggy clothing.

  5. Color: Neutral colors such as black, navy, gray, or khaki are versatile and often recommended. However, some golf courses may have specific color requirements or allow more colorful attire, so it’s a good idea to check beforehand.

  6. Club Dress Code: Always take the time to review the dress code of the golf club you plan to visit. Some courses may have stricter regulations, while others may be more relaxed. If in doubt, a safe choice is wearing chinos and a collared shirt.

By considering these factors, you will be well-prepared with the appropriate golf pants and shorts for your next round on the course. Remember, the primary goal of proper golf attire is to maintain a professional and respectful appearance while enjoying the sport with fellow golfers.

Golf Shoes

Shoe Types

When it comes to golf shoes, there are several types to choose from. Golf shoes are typically divided into spiked or cleated shoes, spikeless shoes, and golf sandals. Spiked or cleated shoes provide excellent traction and stability on the course, while spikeless shoes offer better versatility and can be worn on and off the course. Golf sandals provide maximum breathability but might not offer the same level of support as other options. Popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, and FootJoy offer a range of golf shoe styles to cater to individual preferences.

Comfort and Support

Comfort and support should be your top priority when selecting golf shoes. Look for shoes with cushioning, proper arch support, and a comfortable fit. Some golf shoes have a more athletic design, while others lean towards a traditional, dress-shoe style. It is crucial to try on different shoe styles and walk around in them to ensure they feel comfortable and provide adequate support for your feet.

Golf shoes should also have good traction and stability, as this plays a key role in your performance. Spiked or cleated shoes will typically have soft spikes made of plastic or metal, which are replaceable and can help improve grip on the course. Spikeless shoes feature non-removable rubber studs that also provide good traction but may not be as durable or effective as soft spikes.

When looking for golf shoes, consider factors such as your personal preferences, playing habits, weather conditions, and the type of courses you typically play. By understanding these elements, you will be able to choose the ideal golf shoe to suit your specific needs and enhance your overall golfing experience.

Weather Considerations

Rain Gear

When playing golf in rainy conditions, it’s essential to stay dry and comfortable. Invest in a high-quality waterproof golf jacket and rain pants to protect yourself from the elements. These should be lightweight and breathable, allowing for unrestricted movement. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof golf hat or cap to keep your head dry and maintain visibility. It’s also helpful to carry a spare microfiber towel to wipe off your clubs and grips.

Cold Weather Attire

For colder weather, it’s crucial to layer up and stay warm. Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to help regulate your body temperature and keep you dry. Opt for a thermal or fleece mid-layer to provide insulation, coupled with a windproof and water-resistant outer layer for protection against the elements. In colder weather, wearing a hat is not only fashionable but also helps to maintain body heat. Golf gloves specifically designed for cold weather are also beneficial, offering both warmth and improved grip.

Don’t sacrifice mobility in the process of layering up; choose garments that allow for comfort and ease of movement on the course. To stay warm without sacrificing performance, focus on lightweight, insulating materials and avoid bulky or restrictive clothing.

Golf Accessories

Hats and Visors

Hats and visors are essential golf accessories that serve a practical purpose. They help protect your face and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, ensuring you maintain good visibility throughout your game. Choose a hat or visor that is lightweight, breathable, and has a comfortable fit.


Golf gloves play a crucial role in improving your grip on the club and providing added comfort during your swing. While they are often overlooked, the right pair of gloves can make a significant difference in your performance. It’s important to select gloves that are appropriate for the weather conditions and made from a material that offers a balance of grip, comfort, and durability.


Belts are a common accessory in golf attire, providing both a functional and fashionable purpose. On the practical side, a belt ensures your pants stay in place while swinging and walking on the course. From a fashion standpoint, they can add a touch of sophistication to your outfit. Opt for a belt that complements your golf attire and is made from high-quality materials for long-lasting use.

Dress Code Regulations

Public Courses

When playing golf at public courses, proper attire is essential to maintaining a professional appearance. For men, this typically consists of collared polo shirts and well-fitted khaki pants or shorts. Women should opt for polo-style shirts, turtleneck, or crew-neck tops, with skirts or dresses no more than two inches above the kneecap. Both men and women should avoid wearing denim, jeans, t-shirts, halter tops, and tank tops.

Choose colors like khaki, black, or white to align with the golf attire aesthetic. When it comes to footwear, ensure you wear appropriate golf shoes and socks specifically designed for the sport.

Private Clubs

At private clubs, dress codes might be more stringent. In addition to the guidelines for public courses, private clubs may have specific regulations based on their traditions and preferences. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the club’s rules before playing to avoid any issues.

As a general rule, golf attire for men at private clubs should consist of collared shirts and golf pants or golf shorts. Women should wear polo-style shirts, turtlenecks, or crew-neck tops with either appropriate shorts, skirts, or dresses that adhere to the club’s length requirements.

Remember to always choose attire that offers comfort and a professional look while providing a suitable range of motion for playing golf. Check with the golf club or course for specific dress code policies before attending to ensure you adhere to their standards.

Gender Differences

When it comes to golf attire, there are some differences between what men and women typically wear on the course. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for maintaining a professional and respectful appearance while enjoying the game.

Men’s Golf Attire

For men, a primary element of proper golf attire is wearing a collared polo shirt, as it brings sophistication and comfort to your style. When selecting your bottoms, well-fitted khaki pants or shorts are ideal to ensure a neat and presentable appearance. Be mindful of the length of your shorts, as some courses may require them to be longer than a certain length.

Women’s Golf Attire

Women’s golf attire can vary depending on the level of formality at a specific golf course. As a general rule, women should opt for polo-style shirts, turtlenecks, and crew-neck tops. It’s important to avoid T-shirts, halter tops, tank tops, strapless tops, and drawstrings, as these are usually considered inappropriate for the game.

In terms of bottom options, women can wear shorts, skorts, or skirts, but they should be mindful of the length. Many private clubs require that these items are not shorter than a certain number of inches above the knee. Golf dresses are also an option for women, as long as they meet the appropriate length requirement.

The fabric of your golf attire plays an essential role in your comfort and performance on the course. Both men’s and women’s clothing should be made of lightweight, breathable, and durable materials that can wick away sweat and keep you comfortable during play.

In summary, understanding and adhering to the gender-specific differences in proper golf attire will not only enhance your experience on the course but also show respect to other players and the traditions of the game.