Few things can be as disheartening as being denied entry to a golf course due to inappropriate attire. While some local golf clubs may tolerate ladies wearing jeans and simple T-shirts, this won’t cut it at most private or resort-style courses. Women’s golf clothing doesn’t align with typical business casual attire either. In fact, you might find yourself needing to dress even more conservatively than your office wear, especially at exclusive golf establishments.
Navigating the world of women’s golf attire can indeed be perplexing, but fear not, as we’re here to provide guidance. We’ll outline the suitable golf attire for women, which not only ensures you gain access to private clubs but also offers both style and comfort. Moreover, we’ll provide a list of prohibited golf clothing items that should be avoided at all costs. This information will help you sidestep any potential embarrassment when facing strict club dress codes. So, what should women wear when golfing? Let’s explore the answer below!
A Brief History of Women’s Golf Clothing
The evolution of women’s golf attire over the years has brought forth significant changes, making today’s outfits both comfortable and stylish. Reflecting on the past, we can observe a stark contrast in the clothing worn by champions like Patty Berg, the first U.S. Women’s Open Champion in 1946. She secured her victory clad in a thick sweater and a long wool skirt, a far cry from the more relaxed golf apparel seen on recent tournament winners, who opt for polo shirts and golf pants. In the following sections, we’ll take a brief journey through the decades, from the 1950s to the present, to highlight the remarkable transformation in women’s golf fashion.
1950s – Breakaway from Restricting Fashion
The 1960s heralded a new era of fashion liberation for women in the world of golf. During this decade, female golfers embraced a more relaxed dress code, opting for less restrictive clothing and shorter hemlines. Golf attire for women now featured skirts above the ankle and long shorts, providing increased mobility on the golf course.
Another notable trend was the popularity of sleeveless blouses among women players, which offered versatility for layering with cashmere sweaters in colder weather. While the fashion landscape was shifting, the waistline also became a point of discussion among female golfers. While some adhered to the expected dresses with no waistlines, often referred to as sack dresses, others chose frocks with defined waistlines, reflecting the evolving preferences in women’s golf fashion during this decade.
1960s – Period of Striking Patterns
The 1960s continued to witness shifts in women’s golf fashion, building upon the trends of the previous decade. Female golfers increasingly favored shorter hem lengths, embracing styles like flowy culottes and knee-length skirts. These golf clothing choices provided greater comfort and ease of movement during play.
Notably, the era introduced a vibrant palette of striking patterns and bold colors to women’s golf attire. This departure from traditional golf fashion was exemplified by professional female golfer Sandra Spuzich, who made a statement by pairing a classic white top with patterned Bermuda shorts when she secured victory at the U.S. Open Championships in 1966. This bold and stylish approach marked a departure from the more conservative golf attire of previous decades.
1970s – Making a Unisex Fashion Statement
The 1970s continued to embrace the trend of vibrant colors in women’s golf attire, but a notable shift in clothing style emerged during this decade. Women golfers began to opt for suits as a symbol of equality with their male counterparts. Slacks replaced shorter hemlines, and attire that accentuated the waistline made a comeback in women’s golf fashion.
Moving into the 1980s, color coordination became a prominent feature in women’s golf outfits, mirroring the broader fashion trends of the era, which included high-waisted pants. This trend reached its zenith during this decade, exerting a significant influence on women’s golf fashion. On the golf course, it became common to see color-coordinated tops and bottoms paired with sleek belts, and waistlines were accentuated to create a more chic look.
Jan Stephenson, a prominent figure in the golf industry, played a pivotal role in promoting this fashion statement. She embraced a glamorous approach to golf, demonstrating that players could excel on the course while looking stylish and put-together.
1990s – Neutral Shades
The flamboyant styles of previous decades, women’s golf attire in the 1990s took on a more subdued and minimalist approach. Vibrant and bold colors gave way to neutral tones, reflecting a shift towards simplicity and sophistication. Female golfers favored classic pleated khaki pants paired with oversized polo shirts, creating a timeless and understated fashion style on the golf course. To complete their look, many women opted for wide-brimmed visors, adding a touch of elegance and practicality to their attire.
2000s – The Return of Colors
The first decade of the new century witnessed a resurgence of color and style in women’s golf fashion. Golfers embraced a spectrum of vibrant hues, introducing fuchsia pink and bright yellow to the greens. This era also marked a departure from traditional materials as women sought comfortable and functional fabrics. Breathable and moisture-wicking clothing, particularly polyester golf shirts, became prevalent on the golf course, offering both performance and style. Visors continued to be a popular accessory, providing sun protection while complementing the colorful ensembles.
2010s – Rise of Athletic Styles
The 2010s, the trend of athletic-inspired golf fashion continued to gain momentum among women. Golfers sought out stretchable golf attire that offered unparalleled comfort during their rounds. The desire for versatile clothing that could seamlessly transition from the golf course to work further fueled this trend. Consequently, numerous sports apparel manufacturers invested in fabric technology, producing golf clothing that was not only more breathable but also exceptionally flexible, catering to the demands of modern female golfers.
What Do Women Wear to Golf
By now, you likely have a fundamental understanding of the appropriate attire for women when participating in a game of golf. To ensure that you are adhering to the proper golf dress code, the following section outlines the acceptable golf clothing options for female golfers.
The majority of golf courses and clubs typically mandate that female golfers wear either short or long-sleeve shirts, as well as sleeveless blouses, while partaking in a round of golf. It is important to note that, as a general guideline, these tops should feature a collar. Here, we highlight the favored shirt options for women when enjoying a game of golf.
Peter Pan Collared Shirt
For women golfers, a shirt featuring a Peter Pan collar is another stylish option for the golf course. Despite being a traditional choice for formal blouses and shirts, this type of collar is also well-suited for sports attire. Characterized by its round edges and flat, close-fitting design around the neck, it imparts a distinctively feminine touch to your polo shirt.
In addition to polo shirts, turtleneck tops are considered acceptable attire at golf clubs. These tops are typically crafted from polyester fabrics, known for their breathability and moisture-wicking properties. They often include a fabric section beneath the chin, which can be scrunched up or turned down to suit the weather conditions.
Another variation of turtleneck shirts is known as the mock turtleneck, featuring a shorter neckline compared to the standard turtleneck. Overall, turtleneck tops provide a popular alternative to traditional collared golf shirts.
When it comes to lower attire, many women prefer the comfort of slacks or trousers, which are suitable for various weather conditions.
Women’s golf fashion also encompasses shorter pants options like capris and cropped trousers, providing added comfort and being ideal for warmer days on the golf course.
Skorts, which combine the features of a skirt and shorts, have gained popularity among women golfers for their comfort and breathability, especially during the summer months. It’s important to ensure that a golf skort is of an appropriate length for playing golf, typically extending beyond your fingertips when standing upright. This length is generally accepted at most golf courses.
A golf dress offers a stylish alternative to the traditional polo-shirt-and-pants combination. Available in a variety of colors and styles, it enhances your golf game with a fashionable touch. These dresses are designed with soft, breathable fabrics and a streamlined silhouette to facilitate easy movement while golfing. Many golf dresses also come equipped with pockets for convenient storage of golf balls and tees. Additionally, some manufacturers offer spandex golf shorts that can be worn underneath the dress for added comfort and coverage.
While most golf clubs mandate the use of shoes on the course, they typically do not insist on golf-specific footwear. Therefore, alternatives such as sneakers, tennis shoes, and walking shoes are generally acceptable.
Nevertheless, for optimal performance on the golf course, it is advisable to don golf shoes. These shoes offer superior stability on the grass compared to regular running footwear. Here are various types of golf shoes to consider:
Spiked or Cleated
Cleated shoes, as their name suggests, are equipped with spikes on the sole. These spikes significantly enhance stability and traction, particularly during golf club swings.
Many cleated shoe models also prioritize breathability, comfort, and water resistance, catering to the needs of female golfers.
However, a crucial note for all golf enthusiasts is to steer clear of metal spikes, unless you happen to be a professional. Metal spikes have a tendency to inflict damage on the golf courses. Therefore, it is recommended to opt for golf shoes equipped with non-metal or soft spikes to ensure a seamless golfing experience.
Spikeless golf shoes offer a comfortable and lightweight alternative to their cleated counterparts. These shoes utilize rubber studs or dimpled soles, which provide the necessary stability and traction on the grass. Moreover, they are versatile enough to handle firm surfaces like the driving range and the 19th hole, making them an excellent choice for women golfers.
In addition to cleated and spikeless shoes, women’s golf footwear options also encompass golf boots. These boots, resembling hiking boots in design, offer enhanced water protection and excellent traction, making them well-suited for golfing during the winter months. However, it’s worth noting that golf boots may be heavier and pricier due to their thick materials.
Women golfers should complement their golf shoes with appropriate socks. When wearing shorter pants, skorts, or a golf dress, opt for low or no-show socks. For longer golf pants, choose crew socks in either white or a color that matches your pants. Matching your sock length to your attire ensures both style and comfort on the golf course.
Women golfers have the option to wear gloves for an improved grip during play. While not mandatory, they can enhance your game. You can opt for a single glove on your non-dominant hand or wear two gloves if you’re a beginner. Various types of golf gloves are available to suit your preferences and needs.
Golf gloves are predominantly crafted from leather, a material renowned for providing an exceptional grip that mimics a second skin. Leather gloves are moisture-resistant and maintain their softness even with prolonged use.
Synthetic golf gloves utilize a lighter and more stretchable fabric compared to leather gloves. This design provides excellent flexibility in the finger joints, making it an ideal choice for women seeking an adaptable glove.
All-weather gloves, as the name suggests, are perfect for golfing in various weather conditions. These gloves are designed to keep your hands warm during winter rounds and prevent them from becoming sweaty on hot days. They utilize breathable synthetic fabrics that enhance your grip for a comfortable and versatile golfing experience.
Thermal gloves are a great choice for women golfers looking to enjoy the game in cold weather. These gloves typically incorporate thick knitted or thermal materials to keep your hands warm during winter rounds. They provide an improved grip even in chilly temperatures, ensuring your comfort and control while playing.
While a hat is not mandatory in the women’s golf dress code, it can be quite beneficial, especially during summer rounds. Wearing a hat shields your head from the scorching heat and helps reduce glare in your eyes. Women golfers have various options when it comes to choosing the right golf hat to enhance both their style and comfort on the course.
The classic choice for both male and female golfers in contemporary golf fashion is the baseball-style golf cap. This style of golf hat is frequently seen on professional players participating in the PGA Tour. When wearing a baseball-style golf cap, it’s essential to ensure it is worn correctly, with the brim facing forward and not backward. This not only adheres to golf etiquette but also ensures optimal sun protection and visibility during your rounds.
Visors offer a stylish and hair-friendly alternative to traditional baseball caps. Many female golfers prefer visors because they don’t flatten or mess up your hair, making them a popular choice for ladies on the golf course. Visors provide effective sun protection and help keep you comfortable during your rounds while allowing you to maintain your preferred hairstyle.
Bucket hats are another acceptable choice for golf attire on most courses. These hats provide excellent sun protection for your ears and the nape of your neck, making them ideal for all-around sun safety during your rounds of golf. They offer a unique style and practical functionality for female golfers looking to shield themselves from the sun’s rays.
Sunglasses are not mandatory for golf, but they are a wise choice to consider. They offer eye protection and help reduce glare from the sun, enhancing your ability to track the golf ball and spot the hole with greater clarity. Wearing sunglasses can significantly improve your overall golfing experience.
Golf Dress Code for Women: What to Avoid
Golf clubs typically have specific dress codes for both men and women to maintain a respectable atmosphere on the course. To help you avoid any fashion faux pas, here’s a concise list of clothing items that you should steer clear of when golfing:
- T-Shirts and Revealing Tops: Ladies should refrain from wearing t-shirts, tank tops, or any overly casual attire while playing golf. Avoid tops with revealing cleavage as they are considered inappropriate for the golf course.
- Jeans and Athletic Pants: Denim jeans, sweatpants, leggings, yoga pants, and other athletic-style bottoms should be avoided as they are not considered suitable golf attire.
- Short Bottoms: Cargo shorts and denim shorts are generally not permitted at golf clubs. For women wearing golf skirts or skorts, ensure that the hem length falls within the acceptable range, typically between mid-thigh and just above the knee, approximately two inches above the knee.
- Metal Spiked Shoes and Sandals: Golfers should refrain from wearing shoes with metal cleats, as they can potentially damage the golf course. Additionally, playing golf in sandals is discouraged for safety and comfort reasons.
- Long Necklaces and Dangly Earrings: It’s advisable to avoid wearing long necklaces and earrings with dangling components that could become entangled during your golf game, potentially causing distractions.
By adhering to these clothing guidelines, you’ll ensure that you’re dressed appropriately for a round of golf and won’t run into any issues related to the golf course’s dress code.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a dress code for golf?
Dress etiquette is a fundamental requirement at most golf clubs, serving as a cornerstone of decorum during games. It upholds a tradition of excellence, setting stringent standards for both the conduct and appearance of club members. In doing so, it reflects the storied heritage of golf as a sport associated with the upper echelons of society.
Do you tuck in your shirt for golf?
Indeed, it is essential to tuck in your golf shirt into your pants while on the course. This attire not only exudes a more professional appearance but also helps you maintain a polished and put-together look while golfing. A loose, untucked shirt can detract from the overall impression of professionalism.
Is golfing barefoot legal?
While golfing without shoes technically doesn’t contravene the official rules of golf, it’s worth noting that many golf clubs and courses frown upon playing barefoot. Such a practice is often regarded as unprofessional and is typically discouraged in these settings.
Female golfers should always prioritize wearing suitable golf attire to demonstrate their respect for the sport. While dress codes may vary from one course to another, women’s golf outfits tend to adhere to standard guidelines that are simple to remember. There is usually room for personal style, allowing you to select from a variety of colors and designs. However, if you are uncertain about what to wear, it’s advisable to contact the golf club in advance to ensure you are dressed appropriately for your game.