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What to Wear Golfing

Not sure what to wear for your first time golfing? Golf Expert Eric Hall overviews common rules and suggests easy outfits so you won't be caught unprepared.

Two men golf on a course overlooking the ocean.

Photo by Andrew Anderson

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Golf has gotten a bad rap over the years for the stuffy, old-school rules that many private country clubs, especially the elite clubs, implement to control what people—golfers and spectators—must wear on their property. It is best practice to find out what the dress code is for the club you are going to play at in advance, especially if you are playing on an invitation to a country club or a private club.

What should I wear while golfing?

As a general rule, men would not be looked at twice on most golf course properties if they were to wear a collared polo shirt tucked into khaki pants (of any color) and an appropriate hat with the bill facing forward. Women are usually asked to wear a collared shirt and either a pair of pants or a skirt.

What should you not wear while golfing?

On most courses, it would be wise to refrain from wearing items like gym shorts, t-shirts, and denim jeans. However, the new wave of people wanting to make golf more accessible to the masses are starting to change this perception. More clubs, especially municipal courses and smaller places, are allowing golfers to wear just about anything.

Should you tuck in your shirt for golf?

Yes, you should tuck in your shirt while you golf; however, it is common for your shirt to come untucked while playing. You can get away with an untucked shirt at many smaller or less exclusive clubs, but beware the rules of more exclusive clubs and their propensity to throw golfers out who do not follow their dress code.

What do women wear while golfing?

Women generally wear a collared shirt, a pair of shorts or pants, or a skirt. A newer trend involves women wearing leggings and a collared shirt at some less exclusive clubs. Some clubs attempt to put regulations on the length of certain items of clothing or may require sleeves on shirts, so make sure to check with your course before heading out.

Nicole swings her club back while wearing a red polo, black skirt, white shoes, and a gray baseball cap.

Curated Expert Nicole Collins

Is it okay to wear leggings?

This depends on the golf course where you intend to play. Some of the nicer golf clubs, especially those with “years of old history” to stand on, will most likely balk at the idea of leggings on the course unless they are worn under a skirt or a pair of shorts.

Why do women golfers wear skirts?

Skorts and skirts allow women golfers to have a more free range of motion than some other attire, or at least that is the traditional adage. Mostly, it is a choice made by the golfer or a suggestion from the club where they play. Other suggestions may be appropriate-length shorts or pants.

What should you wear if you don’t have golf clothes?

If you don’t have specific golf clothes, find a polo shirt or a pullover for cooler weather. In addition to this, many styles of pants and shorts are acceptable so long as they are not made of denim. It would be best to wear closed-toe, athletic shoes with quality socks, especially if you will be walking. Finally, accessorize with a hat and sunglasses on a sunny day.

What are the best golfing shoes?

This depends entirely on your game, how often you play, and what you are looking for. The more traditional leather-style golf shoe tends to be more waterproof, while the athletic-style shoe is more comfortable but requires extra effort to treat for waterproofing. Spiked shoes provide a little more solid traction on the ground, but spineless shoes allow for seamless on-course to off-course transitions.

A man swings back his club and lifts one of his feet so we can see the bottom of his shoe.

What shoes should you wear if you don't have golf shoes?

If you do not own golf-specific shoes, it would be best to wear some style of running or athletic shoe that has a little bit of grip on the bottom. This will give you stability on the ground and allow your ankles to have support throughout your swing as well.

Do you really need golf shoes?

This is up for debate, especially with more spikeless shoe options on the market. It is still preferable to have some style of golf shoes since they were specifically designed for the sport and also provide more waterproofing than traditional athletic shoes do.

Do you have any other questions about golf or what to wear on the course? Chat with me or one of my fellow Golf Experts here on Curated anytime for free advice and recommendations.

Meet the author
Golf Expert Eric Hall
Eric Hall
Golf Expert
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Written By
I have been giving advice to my friends and family about what clubs and balls to play to better their game since I started playing golf. From beginners to experts, they all have seen improvement in their game by finding the right clubs, shafts, and balls to put in their bags before hitting the cours...

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