Most golf courses have a formal dress code to maintain certain golf traditions. While some age-old traditions are still upheld, other courses are more contemporary. Overall, what you wear on a golf course typically depends on weather conditions and the type of golf course you’re playing. But, no matter what you wear, it should be functional without sacrificing style. Here are some top tips to follow when it comes to golf attire etiquette:
Proper men’s golf attire
A collared shirt is the way to go when it comes to men’s tops. Sleeves, long or short, are also required. It’s wise to keep shirts tucked in at all times. For a more formal look, men can opt for a button-down shirt. Breathable fabrics are good for comfort on the golf course, especially during warmer months. For colder seasons, vests, sweaters, or windbreakers are ok. It’s best to avoid any t-shirts or jean jackets.
Khakis, athletic pants, and nearly knee-length shorts are perfectly acceptable for men to wear on the golf course. Wrinkle-resistant fabrics are a good option. Avoid all denim, sweatpants, cargo pants, swimsuits, and cut-off shorts.
Metal-spiked golf shoes are banned from almost all golf courses because of how the spikes dig up the playing surface, so make sure yours have soft spikes or are spikeless. White, black, or brown golf shoes are safe color options. Running shoes are typically permitted on a golf course, but golf shoes will grip the turf better. Always refrain from wearing flip-flops.
Proper women’s golf attire
Women have more flexibility when it comes to golf attire. There are more styles to choose from, but there’s also an emphasis on keeping outfits modest. A polo-style shirt is a great option. Unlike men, it’s acceptable for women to wear collared v-necks and sleeveless shirts. Vests, sweaters, or windbreakers are perfect for chilly weather. Avoid tank tops, t-shirts, and halters.
Most women’s-specific golf skirts, shorts, dresses, and pants are acceptable at most golf courses. To be on the safe side, most women’s skirts and shorts should be knee-length. Some exclusive clubs may require skirt hemlines to be below the knee, but most clubs (like Harbor Club) will require the skirt not to be excessively short. Avoid all denim, yoga pants, leggings, sweats, cut-off jeans, short shorts, and sun dresses.
The same rule applies as it does to men’s shoes – women’s golf shoes should not have metal spikes. If you must have spikes, choose hard rubber or plastic ones instead. Sneakers are usually permitted on a golf course, but golf shoes will provide more grip. Refrain from wearing any flip-flops, heels, or sandals.
Hats on the golf course
Men and women may wear hats on the golf course and should undoubtedly opt for one if the sun is strong. Choose simple visors or baseball caps and ensure the peak is always facing forward. Some straw hats, bucket hats, and beanies (for winter play) are acceptable too. But remember to always remove your hat upon entering a building.
Standard dress code etiquette
To ensure that your golf garb is respectful, follow these basic rules:
- Avoid clothing that’s overly casual or revealing
- Avoid wearing anything that may be considered offensive
- Ensure your clothes fit well and are clean and pressed
It’s best to err on the side of caution and dress more formally than less. And, if you’re still not sure about the dress code, call the golf course and ask. That way, you can avoid an embarrassing situation where you may be asked to leave to obtain the proper attire or purchase it at the Pro Shop and immediately change in the locker room.
Stylish, functional golf attire will not only help you look like a pro on the course, but it may also help improve your game. Feel free to contact our golf professionals at Harbor Club if you have any questions, and while you’re at it, schedule your next tee time too. We look forward to seeing you on our award-winning golf course soon.