What Are Golf Pants? The Complete Guide
Golf pants are one of the first things anyone thinks of when they picture a golfer. Players are defined by their brightly colored snug-fitting golf pants, but these are more than just a fashion accessory; they perform an essential function.
Like most golf apparel, they mustn’t restrict or interfere with play. Golf pants should be comfortable to walk in for long periods and soft and breathable to reflect changes in temperature and humidity.
Always check the rules of the club or course you are playing to make sure your choice of apparel abides by their rules.
What Are Golf Pants?
Golf pants are specifically designed trousers for the game of golf. With recent innovations in fabric and design, the regular pair of golfing pants has undergone quite a revolution. Consequently, there are numerous types to choose from.
The design of golf pants is dictated to some degree by the game’s history. Golf was always a formal and elite sport with its origins in the 18th century. Therefore, golfing apparel is quite traditional, and there is an etiquette about acceptable golfing wear, which doesn’t just apply to golf pants.
The USGA governs the sport of golf in the USA, but many local clubs and courses will have their own take on what is acceptable for golfing pants.
How Many Parts Do Golf Pants Have?
Pants are just pants, aren’t they?
Well, no, not when it comes to golf! Golf pants have to perform on the course, so their design and the choice of fabric are pretty crucial.
Let’s focus on the different elements that make up a pair of golf pants.
Some designs of golf pants have a silicone band inside the waistline. This band ensures that the shirt remains tucked in and tidy.
This is the distance from the top of the crotch to the cuff.
Almost all golf pants are designed to be worn with a belt.
Some golfing pants have pleated fronts to give a more accommodating fit. Pleats may vary in number from one to three. Pleated fronts are generally considered more traditional and formal.
If you intend to ride the course in a golf buggy, a pleated style can make getting in and out easier.
Some golf pants have no creases at all and just a flat front.
Fly or Buttons
There are two choices, zipper or buttons, depending upon preference.
Pockets are an integral part of golf pants. Some designs can have up to six pockets to accommodate golfing gloves, scorecards, and tees.
Most golfing pants have two front pockets, and some styles will also have a small tee pocket on the front, either visible or located inside one of the larger pockets.
The cuffs sit at the bottom of each pant leg to finish the look. On slim-fit golf pants, the cuff is a little narrower.
The rise is the distance from the center of the crotch seam to the top of the waistline. Most pant rises for men are between 9” and 11”. The rise determines where the waistband will happily sit and what is comfortable.
What Are Golf Pants Made Of?
The most common material for golf pants is either cotton or polyester or a mixture of the two. New modern materials now offer an even greater variety when choosing golf pants.
Cotton twill is a sturdy fabric and a popular and traditional choice for golf pants or chinos. It is characterized by diagonal lines on the face of the material.
Cotton twill is 100% cotton, so it is a naturally breathable and soft material but robust enough and durable to cope with plenty of wear.
Cotton twill golf pants can be a plaid pattern or plain solid color. They are warm on a cool day with a soft, comfortable feel.
Cotton and Elastic
This mix of traditional cotton with elastic allows some stretch, so the golf pants move as the body does. The percentage of elastane in the garment is anywhere from 3% to 10%.
Cotton and elastic golf pants have a soft, stretchy feel and give that optimal fit so beloved of pro golfers on the fairway but without compromising freedom of movement.
Polyester is the material of choice for most top-of-the-range golf pants and other sporting clothing.
Polyester is lightweight compared to plain cotton and breathable, wicking away moisture on hot, humid, or damp days.
Polyester golfing pants give an on-trend and sporty appearance and feel as nice to wear as they look.
Polyester and Elastane
Polyester offers the wearer a lighter weight material compared to cotton. Pair this with elastic for freedom of movement, and you have what some consider to be the ultimate in golf pants.
Breathable, moisture-wicking, and stretchy, polyester and elastane golfing pants give a sporty look but are super functional to help you do the job.
Wool is warm and a heavier fabric compared to the alternatives. Wool will keep you dry and snug during cold golf rounds and has the traditional ‘golfing’ look, especially if you opt for a plaid or tartan.
The downside with wool golf pants is that they will need to be dry cleaned; they are not candidates for the washing machine.
What Tech Do Golf Pants Have?
In addition to looking at the design and choice of material, other ‘tech’ features can be incorporated into golfing pants. This technology is borrowed from garments designed for extreme outdoor wear and other sporting disciplines.
4 Way Stretch
4-way stretch offers optimal flexibility in the fabric for the ultimate freedom of movement, even with golfing pants that have a slim, figure-hugging fit.
4-way stretch is ideal for those players who ride on a cart as it will accommodate repeated getting in and out.
Breathable fabrics or moisture management material, as it is sometimes called, have been around a while and are not confined just to golfing apparel.
The idea is that sweat or dampness from humidity or rainfall is drawn out of the fabric to the exterior, where it can evaporate. Fabrics that keep moisture between the player’s skin and the fabric will only ensure you stay damp and uncomfortable.
Breathable, tech fabrics are ideal for comfort during long rounds where the temperature and weather conditions alter. Moisture management fabrics keep you cool in hot conditions and dry if damp.
Windproofing uses tightly woven microfibers that stop the wind from penetrating the pants.
Windproofing technology also tends to go hand in hand with breathability and waterproofing properties.
Water Repellent Technology
Water repellent technology resists water and moisture from literally waterlogging the fabric. Most golfing pants are water repellent for light rainfall, keeping you dry and warm should conditions change.
How Should Golf Pants Fit?
The best way to test the fit of golf pants is to try them on. Buying from your club shop or a pro golf outfitter will make it easier to find the pair that suits you quickly.
However, many decent online retailers offer accurate sizing and measurement charts for remote purchasing. Standard measurements include waist size and leg length, but some sites will offer calf measurements.
There are different options available for all shapes and sizes but, essentially, golf pant design drills down into two fits.
The skinny fit golfing pant is more tapered to the leg and provide a slim silhouette. They are best suited to skinny or narrow wearers; otherwise, they are too tight and uncomfortable, restricting that all-important movement.
Skinny fit golfing pants have a slimmer crotch and a narrower leg which tapers down to a narrow cuff.
Waist sizes start at around 32” and increase in 2” increments. Most designs will offer three lengths, starting at 29”, then 31” and 33”.
Traditional or Regular Fit
A traditional or regular fit has no tapering throughout the leg length to the cuff. The leg is wider and straighter and gives a looser feel and appearance without looking too baggy.
This fit is ideal for players with generous thighs or wide hips, which traditional or regular fit pants accommodate with ease, ensuring comfort during long hours of play.
Regular or traditional fit is also ideal for taller players.
Regular fit has a roomier crotch, which is better for getting in and out of golf carts.
Sizing and measurements are similar to a slim fit with waist sizes starting at 32” and increasing in 2” intervals. Again, three leg lengths are offered as standard; 29”, 31” and 33”.
But if you are unsure of the size, always buy a size up and head into the tailor for the ultimate fit!
Golf pants are designed first and foremost to perform a function. They are a piece of sporting apparel and need to fit well while allowing freedom of movement and keeping the wearer dry and free from moisture. Don’t get hung up on pattern and color before hammering these important basics.
Choose your style carefully – this will depend a bit on whether you walk your rounds or ride on a cart. Be honest about your shape – there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable in a pair of golf pants that are too tight or restrictive. That will do nothing for your game!Measurements matter but the cut and fabric will be the ultimate dictator of the fit. Stitch Golf sells premium, high-end golfing apparel, including a range of golf pants focusing on design, wearability, and style.