How to Dress for the Golf Course

By Nichole Brophy

Dressing appropriately for a day on the links can be a challenge for beginners, but it doesn't have to be. These simple suggestions will help you look the part until your game catches up.


Difficulty: Easy
Step 1
Check with the golf course you wish to play regarding its dress code policy. As a general rule of thumb, golf facilities with moderate to high greens fees will be sticklers for adhering to their rules of dress. These guidelines can easily be obtained by calling the club in advance of your round or by browsing the course's wsite. At the highest level of play, for example, PGA Tour, players aren't even allowed to wear shorts while playing in official tournaments. Contrastingly, at some municipal or city-operated courses it wouldn't be surprising to find patrons playing in denim or cargo-style pants (though it is typically frowned upon elsewhere). In most cases, the accepted form of course-appropriate clothing falls somewhere in between these two extremes.
Step 2
Become familiar with typical golf course attire. Watch a professional golf tournament on television and take note of what the pros are wearing. If an ensemble is good enough to pass the dress code set forth by the PGA Tour, then it should be fine for recreational weekend golfers as well. Most pros don't deviate from the classic collared shirt paired with khaki trousers look, and if they do it is often only experimentations with color and fit. The collared shirt and non-denim trouser or Bermuda short (a lengthier short variation with a hemline that falls just above the knee) have become the clothing staples of the sport and the most frequent outfit of choice for everyday golfers.
Step 3
Sift through your existing wardrobe. Although golf has many rules that provide guidance for all areas of play, taking up the sport does not necessitate shopping for an entirely new wardrobe. Look in your closet and determine if any of the articles pass the golf dress code test. Many collared shirts and trousers that are worn in a smart-casual office environment also work in the country club realm.
Step 4
Go shopping. If analyzing your current collection of clothes proves uninspiring, head to a local golf retail store or pro shop. These stores house anything and everything necessary to outfit any golfer. They also make it easy to configure a coordinated look by grouping together popular brands or trendy styles. When beginning your initial venture into the game, it is best to stick with the basics. A golf wardrobe consisting of neutrals, blacks and whites will always remain classic and relevant, making it easier to develop numerous looks from it.
Step 5
Personalize it. Just as you would when you get ready for work or a social function, be sure to add your own style to your links look. Pull an ensemble together by adding a braided cable vest or argyle accent to further exude a classic country club appeal. Funky-colored hats, golf gloves and even shoes can help to make a look all your own.

Tips & Warnings

The length of a pair of short is often a cause for concern at pricey golf venues. To be on the safe side, make sure shorts reach past the mid-thigh point. The same recommendation applies for women's golf skirts.

About The Author

Nichole Brophy is a golf journalist whose ventures in the sport have led her to numerous golf destinations including the birthplace of the game. Brophy regularly interviews and features PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour players. Her most recent interviewees include Sergio Garcia, Tom Lehman and Peter Jacobsen.


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