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There are many ways to embarrass yourself while playing golf, including swinging and missing a short putt or the dreaded slice. However, one of the easiest ways beginners embarrass themselves on the golf course is by not following the proper golf dress code.
If you’re from a small town and wearing a t-shirt and jeans is the norm, this isn’t the kind of clothing that you’ll be able to get away with on an elite golf course.
Even smaller golf courses in cities usually follow a basic golf dress code.
One of the most common questions asked by beginners to golf is, “Do you have to wear a collared shirt to play golf?”
Most golf courses will have a dress code and many of them will require a collared shirt while you are golfing. However, the rules vary from course to course so calling ahead or checking the course website is a good idea.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question varies from golf course to golf course, but there is a basic dress code for golf that you should be aware of before you play your first game.
In this article, I will delve into the details of golf course dress codes and how you’re expected to present yourself during the game.
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Is There A Dress Code For Golf?
Golf most certainly has a dress code. It has for as long as the game has existed and is one of the ways that players can prepare for the round. As part of the tradition of the game, certain attire is appropriate for golf courses while other attire is not.
However, while there is a dress code for the game itself, it’s important to note that not all golf clubs follow a strict dress code. Municipal golf courses, for example, often don’t have strict dress codes.
While you must be dressed in something to receive service, most municipal golf courses allow all kinds of attire and don’t make visitors stick to a specific uniform. This is very different for bigger, more elite golf courses.
As a rule of thumb, the higher the green fees, the more likely you’ll be asked to follow a specific golf course dress code.
Generally, men are expected to wear a collared shirt and golf shorts or slacks, while women are given golf skirts or skorts options. However, while lower-priced golf courses may allow jeans and denim shorts, there is usually a no-denim rule in place for more upscale golf courses.
Some elite golf clubs even have a no-shorts rule and require golfers to wear slacks instead.
Golf Dress Code: Shirts
You may have been wondering, “Do you have to wear a collared shirt to play golf?” If so, this is certainly the case in most golf courses but doesn’t apply to all of them.
When it comes to traditional golf course dress codes, t-shirts are not allowed. Men are usually required to wear collared shirts, while women can wear either collared or uncollared tops. Both long-sleeved and short-sleeved shorts are generally permitted, but having a collar seems to be a steadfast rule for men at most golf clubs.
Most golf clubs allow sleeveless golf shirts for women but don’t allow t-shirts, halter tops, tube tops, tank tops, or tops showing cleavage.
I would suggest either cotton or synthetic material shirts, depending on the weather. In cooler weather, I suggest wearing a collared cotton shirt.
In warmer or more humid weather, you may want to opt for a synthetic material that allows sweat to evaporate and keeps you cool and dry.
Golf Dress Code: Pants, Shorts, And Skirts
Most courses allow knee-length shorts as well as golf pants or trousers for men. However, denim shorts and cargo shorts are generally not deemed proper golf attire.
Some courses ban shorts altogether and prefer golf pants or slacks, but this depends on the golf course you attend.
No matter the type of bottoms you choose, you must ensure that they have belt loops since drawstring pants and shorts are generally not permitted.
Women can stick to golf shorts or slacks but are also permitted to wear skirts, skorts, and dresses. However, most golf courses require that these be no more than two inches above the knee.
Mini skirts and short shorts are not deemed appropriate golf attire.
Golf Dress Code: Outerwear
During colder weather, many golfers wear vests, sweaters, light jackets, and windbreakers. All of these are acceptable options.
However, avoid denim jackets, hoodies, and sweatshirts since these may be considered inappropriate on some golf courses.
Golf Dress Code: Accessories
Golf attire also includes accessories like socks and hats. Golf socks should adequately absorb moisture and preferably match your bottoms.
Socks should be ankle-length and not too long. Both baseball caps and visors are popular options to opt for. However, it’s essential that you wear these properly since backward caps are generally not acceptable.
It’s also good golf etiquette not to wear caps in the bar or clubhouse and only on the course.
Golf Dress Code: Golf Shoes
Depending on the golf course you go to, you may or may not be allowed to wear shoes with metal spikes or hard heels. This is because these kinds of shoes can damage the turf.
Most courses will require golf shoes with either soft spikes or other kinds of soft-soled shoes. Depending on availability, preference, and comfort level, you can opt for shoes with soft spikes or spikeless shoes.
While some golf courses let you wear tennis shoes and hiking shoes, others may require you to wear golf-specific shoes and may have golf shoes available for you to rent. Checking the golf course dress code beforehand is always a good idea.
Can You Play Golf In Casual Clothing?
If you’re determined to play golf in more comfortable or casual clothing, you can try going to municipal courses or golf courses that don’t impose a strict dress code. No matter where you’re located, you can call the golf course in question and inquire about the dress code before you go to the course in person.
Some golf courses are beginning to ease their dress codes to appeal to a wider audience. However, when in doubt, always call beforehand so you can avoid embarrassment or being turned away.
Whether you’re new to golf or just had questions such as, “Do you have to wear a collared shirt to golf?” I hope this guide helped you understand golf course dress codes and the attire you need to wear in order to fit in with other golfers.