Jun 12, 2022
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

Do Golfers Have to Wear Hats?

If you look out onto any golf course, you will rarely see players without some form of a hat. Whether it's a visor or a full-blown, wide-brim hat, they are all wearing something. It may come as a surprise to know that this isn't simply some unspoken rule of fashion—golf hats actually serve a highly functional purpose. 

This guide will take you through the history of the golf hat, why it's so important, and some of the key benefits you could experience by adding one to your golfing outfit. By the end, you'll be a total hat convert. Let's get into it. 

Do You Have to Wear Golf Hats to Play Golf?

Strictly speaking, you don't need to wear a hat to play golf. If we're being honest, all you need to play golf is a club, a course, and a golf ball. However, to play golf to the best of your ability, you'll need a little more equipment than that. Most players already know this, but many often overlook the classic golfing hat. 

The oversight is probably because a hat seems like just another accessory, but that isn't the case! A sturdy golf hat serves a highly functional purpose on the course beyond just making a fashion statement. 

It's also rare to see a professional in the middle of a game without a hat, and there’s a reason for this, too. The PGA doesn’t require hats, but professionals have sponsors with their logos and endorsements on their hats or visors. 

Still, aside from the handful of notable hatless players like Ollie Schnierderjans, who stood out for not wearing a hat, most golfers wear hats for sponsorship, health, and even performance-related reasons.

History of Golf Hats

Golfers have been sporting hats on the course for as long as golf has been a sport since the 15th century. The standard wardrobe back then for Scots included tweed jackets, knickerbockers, and a flat cap.

However, the golf cap didn’t become a fashion statement until the 1920s in the United States, when the iconic golfing look we know today first started to develop. Before that point, golfers used golf hats purely for practical reasons to protect from the weather, be it beaming sunshine or heavy wind and rain.

One of the first golf hats to truly become popularized was the straw hat, thanks to its wide brim. The inspiration came from Australian surfer hats, which were highly effective at blocking the sun. 

Since then, golf hats have developed a lot. There are numerous styles available, from caps to bucket hats, but they all provide similar benefits. 

What are the Benefits of Wearing a Hat to Play Golf?

Now you know a little more about when and why the golf hat first became so popular, it's time to talk about some of the distinct benefits. We have listed below some of the ones we believe to be the most important, and we're sure you'll agree.

Protects From the Sun

Sun protection is an important one and directly relates to why golf hats first originated in the first place. If you like to play in the summer months, feeling the sun beating down on you can easily make a game an uncomfortable experience. 

More importantly, that much sun exposure can be hazardous to your health, especially if you play for hours. The protection from UV rays is why so many golf hats feature similar characteristics, such as a wide brim, to keep your face shaded and your scalp protected. 

Improves Vision on the Course

In addition to the sun making you feel uncomfortable, a hat can also directly impact your performance. Nothing is worse for trying to get the perfect shot than the sun's glare in your eyes, not to mention how reflective the surface of a golf ball can be. A hat can make all the difference so that you can make a cleaner shot every time. 

You also need to follow your ball's trajectory after every swing accurately. Otherwise, you won't have any idea where it's gone. A glaring sun will get in the way of this, and if your vision is too obscured, you could lose the ball entirely. A hat provides you with clearer vision, so you don't need to worry about your sight ruining your game.

Keeps You Cool

You're probably starting to notice a pattern here regarding the benefit of using a golf hat. A lot of it circles back to minimizing sun exposure, with good reason. Besides how annoying the sun is when it gets in your eyes and the potential health side effects, it can also cause you to overheat. 

While golf isn't always considered a high-impact sport, it still involves a lot of walking and physicality in your swing. The right hat will be able to keep you cooler for longer, thanks to ventilation and sweat absorption. 

Just make sure you pay close attention to the materials your golf hat features before making a purchase, or it could have the opposite effect! Tweed caps may have worked for the rainy climes of 15th-century Scotland, but they won’t serve you well in the Florida everglades or other warmer courses. 

Lets You Show a Little Personality

While golf hats aren't exclusively a fashion statement, they certainly can be! With the number of styles and designs currently available on the market, there's no reason not to get a little expressive. 

Caps, visors, bucket hats, and many more all provide the same benefits in slightly different ways. All you need to do is find out which will make you the most comfortable. Don't be afraid to try out styles you might not usually go for because you could discover a new favorite. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Golf Hats Better Than Sunglasses for Reducing Glare?

Whether golf hats vs. sunglasses are better for reducing glare depends on the specific items you have in mind. While sunglasses are good for reducing light exposure, they could obscure your vision if the lenses are too dark. Hats do not have this problem. 

Many golfers wear both a hat and sunglasses when they play, whereas others find it problematic. The only way to honestly know which is more effective is to try it out for yourself. However, we would always recommend wearing a hat, as they provide the most protection from the sun, not just for your eyes but skin, too. 

Will a Hat Improve my Game?

While sporting a hat won't immediately turn you into a pro, we're reasonably confident it will improve your game. You will be more comfortable, allowing you to relax and focus, and your vision will significantly improve thanks to the shade. Try it yourself and see the difference.

Is My Health Affected if I Don't Wear a Hat?

Without a hat, you risk extended sun exposure, which is harmful to your skin, vision, and overall health. If you aren't careful, you could even end up overheating on the course, especially if you play for extended periods. Wearing a hat can mitigate these risks, and it's such a simple addition to your game. Why wouldn't you?


The golf hat has a long history of providing players with comfort, protection, and style! We highly recommend sporting one every time you go out on the course. It will improve your overall performance and protect you from the many negative repercussions of sun exposure. 

For stylish golf hats and visors, visit Stitch Golf today. We’re the golf store for golfers designed by golfers.