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You have to learn a lot of rules to completely understand the game of golf. Learning all of them you probably emphasize the rules involving how to play the actual game or which clubs to get and which gear would be the best.
But imagine, you’ve made yourself acquainted with all the tips and tricks of the game, you have your golf bag with all the necessary golf gear and gadgets, you’re ready to go out and play but you head towards a golf club wearing jeans and a shirt!
What do you think is going to happen next?
If you’re visiting a relatively small neighborhood golf club, you’ll probably get to go in with no trouble. But for most other golf clubs, you’ll find someone in the club who will tell you, “You can’t go in to play wearing that”.
This goes to show you that in golf, overlooking your attire is not okay. Many golfers tend to make that mistake, but it is important to know that most golf clubs tend to have a strict dress code.
Besides, your attire matters because you’ll be spending hours on the course. Therefore, you have to be prepared in a way that will ensure your comfortability in any weather.
Introduction to The Golfer’s Dress Code
To save you from embarrassing yourself by getting turned away from a golf club, and to ensure that your attire will be best suited for the greens, here is a guide that you can follow:
This is the first thing that the other golfers will notice, so better read the section carefully or else be prepared to be a joke.
Collared polo shirts are a primary part of the entire golf outfit. These shirts can be of two materials: either cotton or synthetic fabric. Which kind of fabric you’ll choose for your polo will depend on the kind of weather you have where you’re playing.
If it is a hot, summery place, you will prefer more breathable clothing that is loose but not baggy. In that case, cotton fabric is the best choice. It’ll help you from soaking in your sweat in the 100 degrees outsides. You can choose either long sleeves or short sleeves as long as it is collared and looks clean and pressed.
If you live in a colder climate, you should pick synthetic clothes. It is also okay to wear a sweater, vest, pullover or any thermal jacket. You could wear synthetic clothing in summer, but you will find yourself profusely sweating and having to drink gallons of water to counter that.
You need to ensure that your shirt is not of a t-shirt or jersey material. In addition, the shirt should not have any bright looking graphics or foul language in bold letters. That sort of thing is looked down upon when you’re walking on the greens. Finally, you should always tuck your shirt into your pants.
The following images show examples of the kind of tops or shirts that male and female golf players usually wear:
Just like men, women are required to wear collared polo shirts. However, some clubs often allow women to play without a collared top. Fabric options are the same as it is for men.
Women can opt for sleeveless collared shirts or turtlenecks in some cases. But it is important to avoid anything too revealing or anything that can expose your midriff during a swing. Tucking in your shirt can help in this case. If you want to wear a skirt like bottoms, you should tuck the shirt into the skirt as well.
Women are allowed to wear dresses if they want as long as they are athletic dresses. The dress has to be of a certain length that does not violate the imposed dress code standards.
Hence, you should avoid anything too short or uncomfortable. Big letters or explicit graphics are not allowed in women’s clothing either.
For bottoms, you have options between shorts or slacks. The material of the cloth in this case matters too. It should always have a breathable fabric like cotton. You can alternate between pants and shorts according to how hot the weather is.
Women can opt for Capri pants as it is the most popular choice for most female golfers. They can also wear short skirts or skirts that come with shorts, also known as skorts. The pants for both men and women should not be of jeans or jersey material, as is the case for shirts.
In terms of the length of the clothes, the pants should be long enough that it touches the top of your shoes. It should not be form fitting or even baggy. In the case of shorts, the bottom of your shorts should be just above the knee.
Wearing three-quarter pants are not allowed in most dress codes in golf. For women who choose to wear skirts or shorts, it is important to be mindful about wearing clothes of an appropriate length.
Pants should more or less have belt loops. But they should not have drawstrings as it does in soccer shorts.
You should maintain a strict color scheme for your pants. It is best to choose cream, beige, khaki, gray, tan, navy or any other muted color.
Khaki is the most common color of choice for golfers while white is mostly off-limits. As you get better at golf and develop a reputation, you can slowly transition into brighter colors as most professional golfers do.
Shoes are probably the most important part of your outfit for playing golf. This is because the entire game of golf revolves around a lot of standing and walking. It is very important to choose the right shoes that you can be comfortable in. Otherwise, you might end up with painful, sore, sweaty or injured feet.
It is advisable for beginners to wear sneaker shoes, not actual golf shoes as they can be a little expensive. It’s probably a good idea to opt for sneakers when you play while you figure out how serious you are about the game.
You need to stay as the level to the ground as possible. It is the best to avoid running shoes since they have too much padding under its heel. As you grow in the game, you might want to splurge in some shoes that are meant for golf alone.
You have two options when it comes to golf shoes: shoes with spikes or shoes without spikes. Shoes with steel spikes are no longer allowed in golf clubs, due to its tendency to tear up the greens, even though they might seem to be the most appealing to golfers.
However, you can always opt for shoes with softer spikes or non-metal spikes like rubber or plastic spikes. These are usually the most popular among the golfers.
You can also wear a spikeless, soft-soled shoe such as tennis shoes as long as it does not have a hard heel. Some people tend to experience stud pressure while walking. These shoes would be the best for those people since these shoes contain a lot of small rubber studs.
The problem that the most golfers have these kinds of shoes and the most professional golfers wear spiked shoes and thus the golfers who have just begun to play get this idea that it is necessary to wear that kind of a shoe.
However, you can choose either. You are not only allowed to wear trainers, flip flops, thongs, sandals or high heels.
Belts and Socks
Just like shoes, it is essential to pick the right socks to make you feel comfortable as you walk for hours and hours. If you pick the wrong ones, you will find your feet sweaty and uncomfortable. Therefore, you should opt for some good, breathable cotton socks.
Cotton socks usually keep your feet dry and stable. If you feel like you need extra comfort, you should consider getting a thicker sock which will provide extra padding.
You can shop for other socks that are made specifically for golf or regular running. In terms of length, the appropriate measure would be around ankle length or a little longer.
You can get the Nike white socks that go up near your ankles. A picture has been provided as an example below:
You should always wear a belt with your pants. If your pants have belt loops, you should use them for belts. This is an important part of your dress code. It adds to the outfit to make it look cleaner and put-together.
The belt is probably the only part of your clothing for golf in which you get to have the freedom to wear any kind you want. Most people prefer something stretchy and less formal that matches the color of their pants or their shoes.
Brown leather belts are a popular choice among the golf players. But you can use any sort of straps, even cheap ones like that elastic braided belt.
Wearing gloves is not strictly necessary or obligatory to the rules. You can avoid getting them if you don’t want the hassle. People who play for a long time soon realize that gloves are necessary to help with your game.
Gloves help because they can add an extra element of comfort and aid you in getting a better grip. A full day of golfing can rub off on your hands and make you uncomfortable. Gloves help to prevent that.
Usually, players who are right-handed wear gloves on their left hand and those who are left-handed wear it on their right hand. They tend to wear only one glove on either of their hands. You can also wear two gloves if you want — one glove on your left and the other on your right. Beginners tend to do this.
Finding the right size of gloves for your size is important. It should fit your hand but not so tight that it can cut off your blood circulation on your hand. The gloves should be soft and thin as well as durable so that it can act as a second layer of skin.
Unless you’re a professional golfer or looking to be one, you do not have to spend a huge amount of money on getting gloves. Otherwise, you can opt for getting gloves just to keep your hands dry and prevent blisters or discomfort.
Golf is an outdoor game. To play this game, you have to stay outdoors for hours and, sometimes, even all day long. So, you’ll find yourself facing a lot of issues related to weather, lethargy and more. To face these issues, you need to be prepared with a few accessories.
Sunscreen is a must-have accessory for any sunny day for all golfers. You should apply sunblock 30 minutes before hitting the course. The SPF in sunblocks usually wears off after a few hours. You might have to reapply it after certain periods.
You should opt for sunscreens with a minimum SPF of 30. You can try spray-on sunblocks for more ease when you use it between rounds.
You can also wear sunglasses to protect yourself from the bright rays. Some glasses are specifically made for golf but they can be a little expensive. If you’re a beginner, you can just use regular glasses. It’s not a must, but it will help you on a bright and sunny day.
Wearing a hat is not a must in golf regulations either. But you can wear one for extra protection. Your hat, however, has to follow some strict rules. It is better to choose a hat made for sports such as a visor or tennis cap.
The most common hat worn by most golfers is the baseball cap. Visors are also worn by many, but if you’re bald, then it’s probably not the right one for you. The hats that you are not allowed to wear are bucket hats, backward hats and cowboy hat.
Some wear cowboy hats, but it is slightly looked down upon. You can wear it as a fashion statement if you want (or if you can pull it off).
Wide brim hats usually mark that you are a beginner. It is very useful in keeping the sun off your cheek.
Since golf is played in all kinds of weather, not just in sunny day, it is good to be prepared for every kind. If it is colder where you live, you can bring a light jacket or windbreaker to stay dry and warm. If it is a place where it tends to rain a lot, you should carry a raincoat and also a dry towel to keep your grips dry.
These guidelines should tell you that it is not only necessary to get the right golf gear but also to get the right attire for your game. Some clubs may or may not allow you to wear more relaxed and comfortable clothing. Some could even allow you to wear jeans and t-shirts.
Since the most clubs do not, it is better to be prepared using these guidelines. What you should do, to be sure, is call up the club you’re going to visit and ask beforehand about what kind of dress code regulations they have.
It will help you in many ways not just to look good on the golf course, but also to be practical in dealing with everything you have to face on the greens while playing.