Do Golf Courses Have Dress Codes?
Golf is a sport with many long-standing traditions. When you think of golf apparel, you likely imagine the typical collared shirts and knee-high socks most people wear.
The dress code helps to preserve golf’s identity as a serious outdoor activity. In short, golf courses do have dress codes, but it’s nothing to sweat about.
In this guide, we’ll give you a set of guidelines, so you’ll never worry about being booted out of the clubhouse for inappropriate attire.
Why Do Golf Courses Have Dress Codes?
Dress codes have been a tradition for golfers for a long time. It’s a way to keep new golfers and veterans in line with the game's traditions.
Golf courses implement dress codes to maintain the etiquette of the sport and create a certain atmosphere and community feel.
Each course has its own unique dress codes, so it’s essential to check the club beforehand to ensure you’re dressed appropriately.
Golf Dress Code for Men
Understanding the proper golf casual attire can help you feel comfortable on the course while still obeying the dress code from each clubhouse.
Many of those rules aren’t entirely restrictive, but some guidelines prevent players from wearing certain clothing on the course or in the facilities. We’ll break down the men’s dress code of apparel items below.
Hats and Caps
Spending time on the greens means you’ll be in the sun for a long stretch of the day. Wearing a comfortable hat helps to keep the sunlight out of your eyes while protecting your head.
Visors, trucker hats, and baseball caps are all suitable options for golf attire. However, you want to avoid statement hats that draw attention, such as floppy sun hats and cowboy hats.
Also, it’s important to wear your hat with the brim facing forward. Wearing your hat to the side or backward is generally frowned upon and seen as inappropriate.
Look for caps with breathable performance fabric designed to wick away moisture and an adjustable snapback closure for a comfortable fit.
Sunglasses are a practical accessory to wear on the course.
That said, it’s best to avoid distracting or highly reflective glasses. They should also be worn properly, not on your hat or head.
During cooler months, add an extra layer to keep you warm as you move from hole to hole.
Loose-fitted windbreakers or vests in a neutral color are a great choice on cold or windy days. From a practical standpoint, look for functional golf outerwear with breathability and protection from wind and water.
However, it’s best to avoid hoodies, denim, or fur jackets.
No matter which type of jacket you choose, ensure that there’s enough room for movement so that it doesn’t interfere with your golf swing.
Sweaters are perfectly fine to wear, especially when cold. A warm crewneck sweater is a professional choice that lets you display your golf shirt’s collar.
Like any golf attire, avoid flashing or loud designs and stick to the classics. This shows professionalism and a level of respect for the tradition and etiquette of the sport.
Most courses require men to wear collared shirts and forbid players from wearing t-shirts. Collared shirts may include polo shirts, pullovers, or even button-up shirts.
However, mock turtlenecks are another choice for shirts. They were made popular in the early 2000s by Nike and Tiger Woods and are now widely accepted by many courses.
Generally, shirts should always tuck in with no flashy or large graphics. Small to medium repeating graphics, small logos, stripes, or vibrant colors are fine to wear. As for material, consider moisture-wicking fabric like polyester or cotton to help you stay dry and cool.
Golf shorts and pants come in a wide variety of styles. Most courses and country clubs allow for professional-looking khaki shorts of an appropriate length, typically just above the knee with no fraying.
You also must wear a belt with any bottoms you pick. Gym shorts, athletic shorts, swim trunks, and cargo shorts are usually not allowed on most golf courses. And with any pants, you want to stay away from jeans as they are bulky and restrict movement.
Golf Dress Code for Women
The sport is increasingly popular, and more females are playing golf than ever. Like men, women also have a common dress code to follow.
Knowing what to wear can be tricky. We’ll give you a few pointers to help women find an appropriate outfit to wear on the course.
Hats and Caps
The best hardware on the course for women fully protects you from the sun's harmful UV rays.
We recommend wearing visors, bucket hats, baseball hats, sock caps, or brimmed sun hats. Avoid statement hats that draw too much attention your way.
Sunglasses are invaluable, but polarized lenses are popular among golfers since they improve visibility and reduce glare. They often can adapt to various lighting conditions to provide high-contrast vision.
Certain sunglasses may distort the distance or angles. Make sure you can see comfortably in them so it doesn’t affect your vision in the field of play.
Jackets follow a similar protocol to men’s dress code. When wearing jackets, make sure it’s in line with the overall dress code of the course.
We recommend wearing lightweight, fitted jackets designed for golf, like rain jackets or windbreakers. Opt for moisture-wicking and breathable materials such as spandex blends and polyester.
Many classics like crewneck, v-neck, or quarter-zip styles are generally acceptable on the green. Opt for a sweater that provides a sporty look with breathable materials. The sweater should reach the hip or waist level and never be cropped.
Women can wear crewneck tops, polo-style shirts, collared shirts, and turtlenecks.
Avoid more casual tops like t-shirts, drawstrings, tank tops, and halter tops. However, some clubs may allow for sleeveless-style polos, especially for hot summer days.
While women can wear shorts or pants, you can choose an athletic skirt or dress.
Shorts should be just above the kneecap, and dresses and skirts shouldn’t sit any more than two inches above the kneecap.
Always avoid streetwear bottoms – including basketball shorts and denim. Instead, stick to a looser fit versus bike shorts and yoga pants.
As for color, it’s best to stick to neutral colors like white, black, dark green, and khaki for the proper attire aesthetic.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still wondering how to dress at the golf course, we’ve put together a quick FAQ guide for your reference.
How Should I Dress for the Golf Clubhouse?
Most golf clubhouses have required attire. For men, it’s best to stick with classic collared or polo-style shirts with slacks or shorts. Females can wear stylish casual clothing such as branded sports tees, skirts, or crisp leggings. Always check the specific dress code of the club you’ll be visiting.
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Whether you already have or don’t have golf clothes, you now know enough to piece together an appropriate outfit at just about any golf course.
Clubhouses enforce dress codes to maintain a certain level of respect and decorum for the game.
If you follow these rules, you’ll never have to worry about not being permitted to play due to your outfit choices.