Are you heading to the golf course for a round with friends? What are you wearing? The golf dress code varies, depending on the club, but it’s much more relaxed than it was less than a hundred years ago.
PGA stars like John Daly introduced the world to a different style on the golf course. Today, people wear all types of colors and garments on the course.
That said, there’s still an acceptable standard of want to wear on the course and around the clubhouse. Some clubs are more stringent and formal with their rules, while others take a more relaxed approach to how they handle dress codes.
Understanding Golf Dress Codes
- 1 Understanding Golf Dress Codes
- 2 Men’s Golf Dress Code
- 3 Women’s Golf Dress Code
- 4 Does Your Golf Course Have a Dress Code?
- 5 In Closing – What about Using Cellphones?
Read through the membership terms of most golf clubs, and they’ll have some sort of dress code mentioned in the rules. The rule of thumb is that the more prestigious the golf club, the more formal the dress code.
If you haven’t played at a club before, it’s a good idea to call ahead of your tee time and ask them about the dress code requirements. Or, you could search for them on the club’s website under its membership rules.
If you arrive out of dress code, the manager could deny you access to the clubhouse and course due to your violation, and that’s horribly embarrassing. General items to avoid wearing to the club include shorts, jeans, t-shirts, sandals, and flip-flops.
Be respectful of the established rules. If you arrived and didn’t know there was a dress code, just turn around and leave. Making a scene with the manager and staff makes no sense because they won’t let you in.
Casual Golf Dress Code
The dress code at clubs varies, but you’ll find that the coastal clubs in warm areas, like Florida, usually have a more relaxed dress code. Clubs in cooler geographical conditions tend to have a more strict dress code.
When dressing for a casual outing to the course and clubhouse, wearing shorts and a sports shirt is a good choice. It’s a good idea to tuck in your shirt and wear shorts that require a belt. Don’t wear a hat or cap when you’re indoors, as it’s not polite.
The key is to dress to stay comfortable. You want a balance between good quality clothing and style on the golf course. It’s not a fashion show, but ensuring you have the best quality clothing you can afford goes far in setting a good first impression with people you meet.
You don’t need to wear the latest Nike sportswear to look good. There are plenty of affordable clothing brands that make clothing suitable for golf.
Look for garments offering good breathability and moisture-wicking capability. Synthetic materials stay dry and allow air to flow inside the garment, keeping you cool and dry.
Avoid wearing cotton on the course. It’s absorbent and collects moisture, soaking you on hot, humid days. The last thing you need is to arrive at the clubhouse after your round looking like you jumped in the water hazard.
Your shoes should be well-attended and polished or cleaned. Scruffy shoes on the golf course are a sure way to set a bad impression on people. Keep your cleats for the course and sports shoes or boat shoes for the clubhouse.
Don’t wear items like tank tops to the course of the clubhouse. Jeans are also a no-go. You can’t play well in jeans, and they are working-man’s clothes that aren’t suitable for the clubhouse. Avoid wearing cargo shorts and pants on the course as it’s considered tacky.
Clubhouse Dress Code
Most golf courses have change room facilities for members. After your round, you can change into a more comfortable clubhouse attire. Hang out with friends and buy everyone a round at the bar for that hole-in-one on the course this morning.
The clubhouse may have different dress code rules for the course. For instance, some clubhouses may allow shorts on the course but ban them for wear inside the clubhouse. Most clubhouses won’t care what you wear inside, as long as it’s respectful and doesn’t look scruffy.
However, you’ll have to change your footwear. Clubhouses don’t want cleat tracks all over their wooden flooring.
Men’s Golf Dress Code
So, what do men have to wear to look their best on the golf course? Here are the basics of the dress code for men. Each course is different, so check with the management before deciding what to wear.
Wear a pair of dedicated golf or athletic shoes on the course and around the clubhouse. Avoid wearing shoes with metal cleats as many clubhouses and courses ban them. Think of comfort, but keep the colors neutral. If you arrive in bright-yellow running shoes, don’t expect management to let it slide.
As with shoes, keep your sock color choices neutral and stay away from images, patterns, and slogans on your socks. Ankle-high socks are the best choice. However, some courses allow knee-high socks on the course when you’re wearing shorts.
Some courses and clubhouses may allow players to wear shorts in warmer conditions. However, the shorts must have a beltline and a button-up design. The shorts should not drop below the knee line and should not have a baggy look.
You can wear sports golfing trousers or chino pants on the course and around the clubhouse. Avoid wearing cargo pants with pockets on the sides, as most courses and clubhouses ban them. Jeans are also not acceptable.
Golfers should wear golf shirts on the course and around the clubhouse. Button-up shirts are also acceptable. T-shirts are forbidden in most clubhouses and on most courses. The golden rule to remember is that your shirt must have a collar. If it conforms to that rule, then you should be good.
Avoid wearing rugby jerseys and tank tops or t-shirts. Dress in sensible colors and avoid patterns, designs, logos, or slogans that draw attention.
Sweaters are fine to wear when it’s cold. If you must take it off when it gets warm, drape it over your shoulders, and don’t tie it around your waist.
Tuck your collar into your sweater and ensure the sweater has a form-fitting look. Courses won’t allow you to wear baggy sweaters or sweaters with outlandish designs and slogans or colors.
Headwear is another important part of your kit that most golfers can’t do without. A hat helps you keep the sun out of your eyes and assist with better tracking of the ball in the air. Most clubs are fine with wearing peak baseball caps. Just keep the peak to the front of your head.
Make sure there are no outlandish or offensive slogans or images on the cap. You can also wear visors or bucket hats on the course. Most clubhouses don’t allow you to wear a hat indoors.
Sunglasses are a critical part of a golfer’s outfit on hot, sunny days. The sunglasses cut the glare and help you track the ball during your shot. We recommend going for polarized sunglasses from leading sports brands like Oakley.
Women’s Golf Dress Code
Now for the ladies. Here’s what women can wear to the course and the clubhouse. It’s important to note that golf is a conservative sport. So don’t expect them to let you in wearing yoga pants and a sports bra. Here are your wardrobe choices for golf.
Golf cleats are acceptable on the course, and elegant women’s footwear is permitted around the clubhouse. Many clubs ban metal cleats in golf shoes nowadays.
Standard sports shoes are fine and have all the grip you need to enjoy a round of golf on the course. Footwear like high-heels, sandals, and formal shoes are not permitted on the course.
Short, ankle-high socks are the best option. Avoid wearing bright, colorful patterns. Golf sandals are also an option on warm days.
Skirts and Shorts
If you aren’t wearing pants, you’ll need to wear a skirt or golfing shorts. Some exclusive golf clubs require women to wear their skirts below the knee. Others will require the skirt to not be over-the-top short. Avoid wearing jean shorts, athletic pants, and sun dresses.
Women can wear khaki pants and slacks on the course and around the clubhouse. Women’s golfing trousers are also a good choice.
Women will also need to wear collared shorts around the course and in the clubhouse. However, women can wear V-neck button-up shorts and sports shirts. Women may also get away with wearing short-sleeve shirts when men are only allowed to wear long-sleeves.
Some courses and clubhouses also accept a collarless blouse with sleeves. Women may wear turtlenecks at most clubs and courses but avoid halters, t-shirts, and tank tops.
Jackets and Sweaters
Woken may wear standard sports sweaters on the course and around the clubhouse. You can wear a warm button-down shirt if the weather is cool on the course.
Waterproof and windproof jackets are acceptable. However, avoid denim or fur jackets. Make sure your jacket is lightweight and doesn’t compromise the range of motion in your swing.
A sun hat is acceptable for women to wear. The round, stiff-brim sun hat is popular with the ladies, keeping the sin off your face and the back of your neck.
Peak caps and visors are also acceptable for women to wear on the golf course. However, like men, women will need to always have the cap’s peak facing forward, as per dress code rules.
Sunglasses and Sunblock
Sunglasses are a must-have for men and women golfers. Make sure you buy shades with a polarized coating to cut the glare from shiny surfaces. Sunglasses allow you to focus on the ball in bright light, providing better tracking of your shot in the air.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. Being out on the curse without a hat in the peak sunlight hours of the day can leave you with a nasty sunburn. Protect your face with factor 50 sunblock and use factor 30 for your arms and legs.
Does Your Golf Course Have a Dress Code?
Do you know if your golf course has a dress code for the course and the clubhouse? If you’re a newbie to the game and heading for the course, you need to know if you can dress in shorts or if you need to wear slacks.
If you’re a woman, how do you know if you can play with sleeveless tops or if you need to wear slacks or a skirt? Never make assumptions. Always call ahead and ask the front desk about the dress code if you have concerns.
If you arrive at the course and violate the dress code, you’ll have to go home and change or purchase apparel from the pro shop on-site to bring yourself up to code ( and that’s going to cost a pretty penny).
For instance, just because Tiger Woods wears something on the PGA tour and you see it on TV doesn’t mean it’s acceptable at your local golf course. Always call and ask if you have any doubts.
In Closing – What about Using Cellphones?
Most golf clubs have rules surrounding using cell phones on the premises. In the early 2000s, many golf clubs forbid the use of phones on the course or in the clubhouse. However, as the business world and communications grew more reliant on cellphones, many clubs changed their policies on cellphone use.
However, like the dress code, every club is different with its policies. Some may allow cellphone use, while others may forbid it. Once again, call ahead and ask the front desk about their cellphone use policies on the property.
While keeping a phone on your is important for most people, leave it on silent or vibrate when you’re on the course. Be respectful of other people’s time they take to relax and enjoy the game. Never take calls with your four-ball unless all parties in the game clear you to do so. Interrupting the game by taking calls on the course is highly disrespectful.