Spring is in the air, and the golf course is calling. Before you grab your clubs and head out the door, you may want to consider the clothing you’re wearing. While many golf course dress codes aren’t as rigid as they once were, there are still some basic rules to follow to make sure that you’re able to play your best.
Golf Attire: What Separates The Good From The Bad
When it comes down to it, the best attire for a round of golf will allow you to perform at your best. You need nonrestrictive clothing that won’t hinder your range of motion, so stretchy materials are key. You also need clothing that’s capable of handling the elements, since you’ll be spending so much time out in the open. Not to be overlooked, your clothing also has to adhere to a dress code.
Golf Course Dress Codes: The Basics
You’re probably familiar with the old-school golf uniform: khakis and a polo, maybe with a visor or a hat. For the most part, things have stayed more or less the same — however, as the sport tries to adapt to a rapidly-changing world that demands less rigid rules, this traditional uniform is evolving.
Whereas it used to be forbidden to wear a hooded sweatshirt on the golf course, nowadays, you’re likely to see at least one or two fashionable hoodies (like our Carrollton Lightweight Hoodie) gracing the green.
That’s not true everywhere, however — while plenty of municipal golf courses have done away with rigid requirements about apparel, many country clubs still enforce strict dress codes. If you don’t want to get kicked off the course for breaking the rules, here’s what you need to know
Collared Shirt, Tucked In
If your golf course has a dress code, odds are that they require collared shirts — so crew-neck t-shirts won’t do. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear a starchy button-down, though; wear a sensible polo to allow the breeze to brush your arms — and be sure to tuck it in.
While your favorite pair of jeans might go with you everywhere, they may not be allowed on the golf course — many courses and country clubs have a strict No Denim rule, and that’s honestly for your benefit. You want to wear clothing that won’t get in the way of your game, and heavy jeans might limit your ability to play at your best — especially on a hot summer day.
While it may sound a bit specific, many golf courses have a ban on cargo shorts. In order to play it safe, be sure that your shorts are simple and classic, like our Motion Travel Short.
What To Look For In Golf Shirts
While it seems simple at first glance, there’s actually a lot that goes into choosing the perfect shirt for a day on the green.
Best Types Of Material
Since playing golf requires a wide range of motion in your upper body, the material that comprises your golf shirts should be extremely flexible. Look for materials that offer 4-way stretch capabilities so that no matter how difficult the shot, your shirt won’t get in the way.
While there are plenty of synthetic materials that make for flexible fabrics, these synthetics are often treated with harsh chemicals that give them their performance capabilities. So try to stick to fabrics like bamboo rayon, which is stretchy and comfortable but doesn’t have to be treated in order to get those performance benefits.
What Kind of Fit Is Right For You?
There are always conflicting schools of thought when it comes to how shirts should fit. Some people like looser, more relaxed fits, while others prefer a cleaner, slimmer cut.
While people’s opinions differ greatly in regards to how fitted they like their shirts, golf shirts should err on the side of formality in order to adhere to the dress code. So even if you wear your shirts extra baggy, you may want to opt for a slimmer fit than usual. That doesn’t mean that you need to wear a skin-tight shirt, but be sure that there isn’t too much fabric that might get in the way of your backswing.
Breathability refers to a fabric’s ability to allow air and moisture to pass through its fibers. This is an important factor to keep in mind when shopping for any sort of athletic apparel, as you don’t want to be stuck in the hot sun in clothing that doesn’t let your body regulate its temperature.
Be on the lookout for clothing with moisture-wicking capabilities. Moisture-wicking fabric has been engineered to draw moisture (i.e., sweat) away from your body and rapidly dry it on the surface of the material. When you’re out on the course in the hot summer sun, you want the clothing you’re wearing to keep you dry and comfortable for as long as possible.
When it comes to allowing air to pass through material, some fabrics are much better than others. Bamboo fabric is extremely breathable due to micro gaps in its fibers, and it also naturally wicks moisture, making it perfect for use in athletic apparel.
What To Look For In Golf Pants
Having the right golf attire doesn’t stop at golf shirts — the pants that you choose are equally important.
Just as with golf shirts, the material that makes up the pants you wear on the course is very important. Moisture-wicking, breathable materials will keep you dry and comfortable for as long as possible, which is important when performing physical activities outside in the sun.
Speaking of the sun, it’s necessary to protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays — especially when playing a round of golf, which requires you to be out in the open for hours. To stay safe in the sun, look for material that provides UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) protection. While some synthetic materials are chemically treated to give them this protection, those chemicals eventually wash out — leaving you unprotected.
Bamboo, on the other hand, provides natural UPF protection without any harsh chemicals — and that protection won’t wear off as time goes by.
Length And Fit
The length of your pants isn’t as important for gameplay as it is for style. You don’t want to be the guy at the clubhouse wearing high-water pants, and you also should be careful of wearing pants that are too baggy. While loose-fitting khakis may have been the ideal back in your grandfather’s day, today’s fashion calls for a slightly slimmer fit that shows a bit more of the natural line of your leg.
So, the age-old question: pants or shorts?
Depending on the temperature, you might prefer to wear shorts rather than pants. Even the strictest golf course dress codes usually allow for shorts, so don’t worry about whether you’re breaking the rules. Just make sure that they’re not too short or too long — dress codes may require the hem to be within a couple of inches of your knee.
While it’s never ideal to golf in the rain, we can’t control the weather — and a surprise shower can make for an uncomfortable ending to a round of golf. If you’re wearing water-resistant clothing, you can comfortably keep playing (or at least make it back to the clubhouse) without getting soaked.
There are many factors to keep in mind when shopping for golf attire, and it can be a bit intimidating to try to adhere to a dress code, but as long as you know what to look for, you have nothing to fear. The most important thing when it comes to your golf attire is that it helps you perform at your best under any circumstances. As long as what you’re wearing supports your game, you’ll be all set.