If knowing the 7,000 rules, and understanding the unwritten rules and etiquette of golf wasn’t worrying enough, you then have the dress code to contend with and the fear you’ll get stopped at the gates for wearing the wrong coloured socks (yes that’s happened). That’s why today I thought I’d provide you with the dress code for golf, a beginners guide.
A Hoodie On A Golf Course…
Pro, Tyrell Hatton, won a tournament in September 2020, the BMW Championship at Wentworth… and a year and a half later people were still talking about it, not because it was a great win, even though it was, but because he did it while wearing a hoodie!
You’ll still see social media posts about it (I’m guessing because the social media person has run out of relevant ideas to get engagement).
The reason it sparked such a viral response was that hoodies had been banned, and continue to be banned on lots of courses around the country. And it felt like a, more than overdue change was occurring. Hoodies appear to be now welcomed at many courses, brands have started making “Golf hoodies” which are normal sporty or “athleisure” hoodies, but more expensive.
Dress code in golf is a hot topic, but rather than dive into a debate about it here, I am going to outline what the current rules are to make sure you are all good. Also, it’s worth noting that these dress codes generally apply if you are going to a club. Public driving ranges do not have a dress code.
You may have seen either of these comical guides from the 90s I imagine. When were three-quarter lengths in fashion? And they REALLY need updating… It’s actually laughable. But rather than start another debate on golf fashion and dress codes, let’s make sure you aren’t breaking any rules.
The Dress Code For Golf In 2022
Golf Polo Shirt
✅ Safest bet – A collared golf shirt.
However, Nike golf and plenty of other brands now have lines of polo shirts with almost no collar being sold as golf tops and I haven’t been stopped yet… I probably wouldn’t wear them to a posh club just in case.
❌ No football shirts, even Ian Poulter got fined for wearing his arsenal top at a pro event.
❌ And finally no t-shirts.
Nike have always been my go-to brand for polos, saying that I’ve recently bought a Travis Matthew golf top and I love it, and will definitely be buying more.
No football shorts, gym shorts, and no cargo shorts. So what is allowed… Tailored shorts. Think your summer chino shorts vibe. Only now there are actually shorts that are more sport and flexible etc made specifically for golf.
Nike, UnderArmour and Adidas are normally the best value, Scottsdale Golf often has a great selection of those 3 brands in.
When it comes to trousers, the main thing is no jeans, no jogging bottoms. Your best bet is a pair of golf trousers – look like chinos but made from a lightweight, performance material. I read a lot that the belt loops are the crucial component in knowing whether they are ok or not. I can’t say I’ve had anyone check my belt loops before.
It definitely used to be the fashion to have big wide trousers… not so much anymore, the slim fit, even ankle tight trousers appear to be in.
This is one of the ones that trips people up the most. And it continues to make me angry that clubs would actually turn people away because of the colour or height of their socks. Yes, it happens, but don’t worry you will be able to buy some overpriced socks in their pro shop.
And obviously, this is only really an issue if you want to wear shorts.
Now, to be fair, most clubs don’t care too much about socks. But a few, probably the higher-end ones, might. So always check their website, some might want knee-high socks, others white ones that cover those ankles are fine. And then some clubs have such rules written on their website but would never actually uphold it, but to play safe, check the website and follow what they ask.
Footwear – Golf Shoes
Previously golf shoes looked very different to trainers and you weren’t allowed to wear trainers. Luckily, times have changed and golf shoes now look a lot like trainers. My Nike AirMax 90s are wonderful, in my opinion, and they even have Jordans out now too!
The only thing to take note of is when you will be playing, in winter you might want some shoes with more traction than the AirMax 90s for example.
If you are more of the traditional type, don’t worry, all those looks still exist across the brands.
Caps, Beanies, Visors & Bucket Hats
As far as I’m aware there aren’t any rules against different types of hats. The only thing the golfing elite take offence to is wearing a cap backwards. I mean… can you imagine, a hat on backwards… what is the world coming to.
Jumpers, Hoodies, Jackets
In the UK it gets cold, wet and windy. Chances are you are going to want to wear some kind of a jumper at some point in your golfing season.
Hoodies are still a blurry line… lots of courses will now allow them. Lots of courses will allow them but you will get those looks from the older crowd.
Isn’t This All Just A Bit Much?
Now after all that, you may be thinking that golf goes overboard with telling us what we can and can’t wear… and you’d probably be right.
I honestly don’t care what you wear, it’s not going to affect my game. However, lots of people in golf disagree with me and take offence when people turn up wearing something that might be deemed fashionable. To be fair I’m in no way claiming that I’m fashionable… I am absolutely not. Part of me also really likes how there is a “uniform” for the sport. I enjoy putting on my golf clothes for my rounds, and I love buying new golf clothes.
In summary, the look you’re going for is a sporty, smart-casual.
There you have it, hopefully, that has been useful and hopefully, you don’t run into any fashion police while out on the course…just remember to have your shirt tucked in if you do.
Check out some of the other guides in our beginners series:
- The Rules Of Golf – The Beginners Guide
- Golf Etiquette For Beginners
- Golf Terms For Beginners – Learning The Language Of Golf
- Best Golf Balls For Beginners
- Stableford Scoring – The Complete Guide To Golfs Popular Format
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