Golf is a game that puts as much emphasis on its attire as it does anything else, so knowing what clothing and accessories you?ll need to play are essential for every golfer.
Within the realm of golf attire, there are many things to consider, from hats and gloves to the right footwear, and each piece of it can make a difference.
When you?re new to golf, you might be wondering are there regulations in place about the attire or clothing one should wear?
This all depends on where you?re playing, as each course or driving range will have their own requirements. At a minimum, it?s advisable to have the right golf shoes and comfortable clothing on, but there may be additional regulations and restrictions in place.
Some golfers believe that the clothing you choose can actually impact your performance in the game.
Not only is it made for the physical requirements of the game, but being dressed head to toe in custom golf attire can certainly help to improve your confidence.
Therefore, we?re going to explore the subject of golf attire and find out what?s really necessary for this prestigious sport.
What is the History of Golf Attire?
Golf?s clothing style really came into focus during the 1920s as the affluent players looked for a way to distinguish themselves from those that were less so.
Looking more like business attire, players found that they couldn?t move as freely as they wanted to, and so from the 1930s to 1950s, we saw a dramatic change in what golf clothing was all about.
Arnold Palmer, one of golf?s most celebrated players, was the first golfer to start wearing the bright and patterned clothing that the sport is known for today.
From the 1950s onwards, players began adopting this standout way of dressing while still being careful to adhere to club rules and putting comfort at the forefront of their priorities.
The basic golfer?s uniform soon became similar to the style we?re familiar with today. Players usually wear a collared shirt and slacks, as well as other accessories like gloves, hats, and special golfing shoes.
Guidelines at the specific course or club you play at may have further regulations, but as the most important feature, golf attire should be comfortable and supportive for the best performance.
Are Golf Shoes Important?
Many golfers count their shoes as the most important accessory of the game, even more so than their set of clubs or balls.
Those that are new to golf wonder if it?s really necessary to have a special pair of golf shoes or whether they can wear their everyday runners or tennis shoes and the answer will differ slightly depending on the conditions.
For your first game of golf or as you visit the driving range and get some practice in, it?s probably not necessary to purchase a brand new pair of golf shoes.
While you learn the basics of the game and decide whether or not it?s for you, as little money as you can spend would be the best approach.
However, once you determine that you want to continue on with your golfing journey, you absolutely should invest in footwear made specifically for the sport.
Golf shoes are just like any other sports footwear and they have features that help the player?s performance.
A golf shoe is designed to keep the player?s feet firmly in the ground as they swing the club, so they have either textured rubber soles or spikes that give them traction.
Additional features might be waterproofing, cushioning for comfort, and breathable materials like the mesh in the upper area.
There are many styles of golf shoes to choose from, so it?s up to the player to choose one that suits their game and performance level.
Those who prefer to walk the course will opt for comfort whereas people who want versatility in their playing conditions might choose something that?s water resistant.
The choice between spiked and spikeless shoes is another huge consideration, with either style having something to offer the player. Here?s how the two stack up against each other:
- Spiked golf shoes: Spiked golf shoes offer the best traction due to their large spikes that keep you planted in the ground. They last longer because the spikes can be replaced.
- Spikeless golf shoes: A spikeless golf shoe is the most comfortable of the two because they feature no spikes on the sole. However, without these spikes, they might not be able to offer the same level of grip.
With advancements in the way these shoes are made, it?s now common for spiked golf shoes to be more comfortable than before and spikeless shoes to have more traction.
This means the decision is a totally personal one for the golfer to decide and there?s no right or wrong approach to take for footwear.
Are Golf Shoes Waterproof?
When choosing a pair of golf shoes you?ll probably see the ratings range from water resistant to waterproof, and some that offer no protection from the water at all.
Not all golf shoes are made with waterproof materials and construction, and although it might not be totally necessary depending on where you play, some golfers like to have the advantage of this feature regardless.
A golf course is a pretty large area and within it, there are many types of terrain and conditions to consider.
In addition to the landscape, a golfer must also consider the weather or conditions of the ground.
A dewy morning can have enough moisture to damage a pair of golf shoes if they aren?t resistant to water, and a quick spot of ran can do even more harm.
Waterproof golf shoes usually get more expensive the better their waterproofing is, with some even having a two-year warranty on this feature alone.
They could also have moisture wicking benefits inside the shoe, so the entire design is covered. Common materials include microfiber leather and Gore-Tex but these differ depending on the price.
Water resistant golf shoes might have a waterproof upper material like leather, but feature things like mesh that make them not totally waterproof.
When it comes to golf, it?s best to have at least a water-resistant rating to ensure they last a couple of years, but you might need to take additional care to keep them in good condition.
Can You Wear Shorts on the Golf Course?
Golf comes with an unspoken etiquette about what?s required to wear on the course, but there might also be specific rules and regulations where you choose to play.
Shorts are normally an acceptable part of the golf attire at most clubs and courses for men and women, but they should be dress shorts of an acceptable length above the knee in a pleated or flat front style.
Wearing shorts for golf is ideal in warmer weather conditions, especially if you plan on playing a full day outside.
The material of the shorts is another important feature, with most clubs preferring either a cotton or polyester blend.
This is not only suitable for presentation but also allows breathability and comfort in the heat.
For women, dress shorts are recommended in warmer conditions, as well as long trousers or capris if desired.
Golf skirts are also acceptable, but they should be the style made specifically for the sport.
They feature a V-notch on the front that gives you the range of motion to swing and will feature shorts built into the design underneath.
Although shorts are allowed in most cases, there are limits to the style and material for both men and women Denim materials are usually not accepted, nor are shorts made for other sports like basketball or running.
The length of the pant is usually also monitored, with cutoffs and mini shorts being frowned upon.
Can You Wear Leggings Playing Golf?
Wearing leggings has recently become a popular choice for female golfers because it offers some benefits that other clothing styles can?t.
However, any time you plan on deviating from the rules and regulations at the course or club you?re playing golf at, it?s always best to check for the specific standpoint on this garment.
There are many reasons why women might choose to wear leggings playing golf, and why there has been a shift in recent years to the garment. Here are some benefits that leggings offer the female golfer:
- A respectful way to stay covered while wearing a shorter golf skirt or shorts;
- Added warmth during colder playing times;
- Moisture-wicking abilities to keep you comfortable as you sweat;
- Greater range of motion and flexibility than wearing skirts and shorts;
Although leggings are usually acceptable, this doesn?t apply to all types.
A golf legging should be made of a thicker material that wicks away moisture, have a length comes all the way down to the ankle, and be made specifically as a sportswear garment.
These types will usually be more appropriate visually and also give you comfort and support for the physical requirements of golf.
Why Do Golfers Wear Hats?
When you envision the traditional golf outfit that was first made famous in the 1950s, you probably have an image of a sportsman wearing a hat, and the same can be imagined for the modern golfer.
Hats are entirely optional attire for golf and not generally required to play at a club or course, but they do come with benefits that make them attractive to players.
Golf hats come in two main styles: the sports cap and the ivy cap. An ivy cap is the more traditional style of golf hat that was first made famous by the game with a hard brim and baggy top.
The sports cap is worn by modern golfers and usually has some form of logo or identifier on it. There are three main reasons why a golfer might choose to wear a hat when they play the sport, including:
When playing in a sponsored tournament, a golfer will usually display the brand or logo of their sponsor in their clothing, and this includes a sports cap.
Other times you might simply have a preferred golf brand or sports team that you like and will wear a cap to show this off.
The sun can prevent you from getting a good visual on the trajectory and flight path of the ball.
Having a cap to shield your eyes from the sun and be able to see where your ball is going will give you an obvious advantage.
Outdoor golf games result in a lot of sun exposure so whatever methods we can use to protect from the UV rays are welcome, including protecting our face and head with a hat.
Why Do Golfers Wear Gloves?
Golf gloves are another optional part of the sport?s attire that offers some benefits to the player.
A golf glove can be worn by players of all skill levels and they?re worn on just one hand, usually the lead hand which is situated at the top of the grip.
Left-handed players will wear their glove on the right hand, and vice versa, but this might not always be the case.
If you choose to use a glove, it?s doesn?t have to be worn at all times. Some players choose to remove their glove for putts and short iron shots so that they can feel the response of the club better.
However, wearing golf gloves does offer the following benefits:
- Grip: The main benefit of a golf glove is added friction between the grip and your hand, and to make it tackier and easier to hold onto.
- Weather: Gloves can be used to stop sweating in warm conditions and prevent coldness when the temperature drops, both aiding your performance.
- Protection: A glove can provide a barrier between your hand and the club to prevent callouses and blisters.
What Are the Dress Regulations on a Golf Course?
Playing on a golf course or with a specific club means you have to follow their regulations for attire.
Generally, the more expensive a golf course the stricter their guidelines will be.
Every facility will have its own set of rules for what?s expected of their players, but there are some general ones you can expect to find at most of them.
- Collared shirt and docker shorts as a minimum;
- Golf shoes with nonmetal cleats, soft spikes or a soft sole should be worn;
- No metal spikes on footwear;
- Denim shorts and jeans are generally not allowed;
- No offensive slogans or clothing;
- Appropriate headgear not allowed including cowboy hats or gag hats;
As a general rule, golf is about dressing respectfully for the game and others who are sharing the course.
Keep it simple without being too casual and if you?re playing at a new facility, check their specific rules about what attire is recommended.
Knowing what to wear to play golf can be daunting if you?re new to the sport, as the attire is such a large part of the game.
New and seasoned players still have questions regarding the correct attire, so here are some frequently asked questions that can clear up some of the confusion.
Do I Have to Wear Spiked Shoes for Golf?
Spiked shoes are generally not required, but some courses may specifically request them.
As long as a player isn?t wearing metal spiked shoes and they are wearing some form of soft sole or soft spikes made of rubber or plastic, these will be accepted.
Can I Take a Cell Phone on the Golf Course?
Many golf courses will prohibit the use of cell phones during play as it causes a distraction to the other players.
When playing at a club, there may be somewhere to keep your belongings during a round of golf so that you?re carrying as little as possible onto the course.
Should I Have a Golf Bag or Backpack?
A golf bag is required to carry your golf clubs and balls, and they usually come with additional compartments for other personal belongings.
All that?s required on the course is your clubs, balls, rain gear, snacks, and water, so it?s better to travel light.
Backpacks generally aren?t worn on the course and may even be prohibited, so make sure to check with the club you?re playing at.
How Long Do Golf Shoes Last?
Golf shoes can be some of the most expensive gear to buy for the sport but a quality pair can last for a few years, depending on how often you play.
Spiked shoes can have their spikes replaced which gives them added life each time they?re renewed, but a spikeless style will generally wear down after two years.