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No Jeans Allowed: The Golfer’s Dress Code

Golfers Dress Code

My motto is to look good in order to play well.

You can see the proof in Tiger Woods, who is 82 times champion. He is a man who never looks bad, and has one of the highest winning percentages in history.

Coincidence? It could be, but more confidence comes from looking good. 

Confidence is key to playing better golf. Don’t get me wrong, looking good isn’t everything but it sure can help. Even if you play badly, you still look good.

The dress code is the one thing that frustrates many new golfers. While the game’s governing bodies have relaxed their dress codes, they still require players to maintain a professional appearance. Many golf courses have strict rules regarding what you can and cannot wear.

Not all golf courses are created equal. The sport is constantly evolving and new courses are added. Keep reading to learn about golf dress codes when you’re playing golf.

Golf Dress Code – Everything You Need to Know

Before you get dressed and head to the course, it’s a good idea to check the dress code ahead of time. Every golf club has a dress code of some sort and there’s nothing worse than showing up with the wrong attire. 

We’ll help you find the right attire for your next round so you look good and blend in with the crowd. But before doing so, let’s dive into golfers attire and the history behind it since it doesn’t really exist with most other spots. 

History of Golf Attire

I’m pretty sure some of the old time golfers would be rolling in their graves right now if they saw how golfers dress on the course. You will see a vastly different look today than what you see in old footage of golf in early 1900s. There were no loudmouth pants, hoodies or mock collars. If you wore those items, you wouldn’t have even made it to the first tee. 

In the past, players wore trousers and button-down shirts with ties. The attire has become much more casual and informal over the years, as you can see. As the game continues to expand its global footprint and  attract new golfers, the days of a collared button down shirt with a tie are long gone.

Golf Course Dress Code for PGA & LPGA Players

Now that you know a little bit about how much times have changed with fashion on the course, let’s talk about what the pros wear. The good news is that you don’t have to dress like a PGA or LPGA Tour player at most local golf clubs.

The PGA Tour players must wear pants and a collared shirts. While a hat may be optional, almost everyone wears one. In colder areas, they will usually add a jacket, vest or sweater. 

In the last few years, they’ve added a provision that allows them to wear shorts too, but only in practice rounds. Since they tend to play in the best weather throughout the year, this is a nice benefit for the guys because it’s very hot and muggy in some areas. But they still can’t wear shorts in formal rounds that take place Thursday-Sunday. 

The LPGA Tour has different rules for their competitors. 

Professional women golfers wear pants, skirts, and shorts. However, they are not permitted to wear leggings or racer back tops. They may also wear designer caps or sunglasses to protect their skin from the sun.

Proper Golf Attire For Male Golfers 

What should male golfers wear on the course?

Being the gender who doesn’t care about style nearly as much as the other, it’s pretty simple for guys. Men wear a collared shirt with shorts and pants. But some clubs don’t even require collared shirts anymore and it really depends on where you’re playing.

In general though, you can’t go wrong with a polo shirt and golf shorts or pants. Most courses allow you to tee it up on any day of the week.

While some courses require you to wear long pants, this is rare at more exclusive clubs. It is important to confirm with your buddy that you are allowed to go to his private course. 

Collared shirts have evolved to include a mock collar, a traditional polo and a casual collar. To complete the look, you should also tuck in your shirt and wear a belt. 

It’s also a good idea to wear golf shoes with or without spikes as well. Regular tennis shoes are not recommended, and may not be allowed in the facility.

You can wear regular or golf socks. In general, you want to avoid high socks if you’re wearing golf shorts as it doesn’t look great. To avoid blisters, I strongly recommend that socks be worn.

Finally, don’t forget about golf hats either. Men often wear bucket hats, straw or baseball caps to match their golf outfit.  Although most clubs allow them to be worn in restaurants, some have strict rules.

You might need turtleneck tops, windshirts, sweaters and other gear depending on the weather. Vests over a polo shirt are also acceptable and a favorite with players in the early spring when it’s brisk in the mornings.

Golf Dress Code – What Not to Wear

What should men wear on the golf course? Many golf clubs do not allow:

  • Sandals.
  • Tee shirts
  • Cut off shirts 
  • Rugby shirts
  • Take off your jeans
  • Cowboy hats.
  • Denim jackets.
  • Running shoes
  • Basketball shorts
  • Shoes with metal spikes
  • Cargo shorts that are large and bulky. 
  • Tank tops or sleeveless blouses.
  • Blue jeans, depending on the golf course

This apparel should be avoided in order to look professional on the golf course.

Check out our top picks for golf clothing brands before you make the erroneous mistake of wearing jean shorts.

Women's Golf Dress Code

Proper Golf Attire For Lady Golfers 

What should female golfers wear?

The golf dress code for ladies is very different from the one for men. While polos are a common choice for women golfers, sleeves may or may not be required. 

They typically wear blouses, capris or shorts. Some courses do require shorts or golf skirts (skorts) to be a specific length as well so it’s always a good idea to check ahead of time. 

Seriously, I was playing once when a member complained about someone. The head pro came out to measure the member’s shorts. It was awkward and uncomfortable, but hopefully that’s in the past. 

Many women wear a lot more athletic wear than ever before, including yoga pants and tops. Polos are not required for all women. It also depends on the course. 

Golf Dress Code – What Not to Wear

What should women avoid on the golf course?

  • T-shirts.
  • Flip-flops.
  • Sun dresses.
  • Street shoes
  • Take off your shirt. 
  • Shorts/skorts
  • Shoes with metal spikes
  • Clothing that is extremely tight fitting
  • Shirts that show the midsection. 

Remember, each course dress code is different so it’s always good to look on their website or call ahead.

FAQs on Golf Attire: Men and Women

Do you have any questions about what to wear on the golf course? 

If so, please see the frequently asked question section below. 

Are all golf courses required to follow a dress code? 

Most golf courses have dress codes. Some are much more formal than other golf clubs and really depend on the type of golf course.

Private golf courses that are members-only tend to have different rules than public golf courses. A private golf club won’t allow blue jeans and might require shorts or skirts as specific lengths. 

For public courses, they might allow jeans but not require that you wear shorts or skirts. If it’s a really relaxed club, they might not even have a dress code at all and allow pretty much anything. 

It’s always important to check with the golf club ahead of time. That way you don’t have an awkward first encounter with the course and possibly have to buy new attire from them. It is a hard start to the day. Additionally, nicer courses have higher prices for their apparel. 

Does a mock neck count as a collared shirts?

In the past few years I’ve noticed that mock collared shirts are making a comeback (just in time for Tiger Woods). Mock collared shirts count as a collared shirt even though they don’t have a collar. Tiger Woods wore one of these shirts in the early 2000s. 

He won many big championships with his iconic red mock collar shirt, but it was met with doubts by many when he first wore the shirt. Brooks Koepka is one of the many golfers who have brought this fashion sense back to the course. 

Do you have to wear golf footwear?

At many clubs, it’s required to wear golf shoes instead of everyday casual or athletic shoes. It looks professional and makes the game so much more enjoyable.

Shoes made for the game make it easier and more fun to swing because your lower body is free to move. No matter if you wear spikes or not, spikes still provide more traction than regular shoes. This allows you to swing faster and with more confidence because you know you won’t slip out during your swing.

There are many options. Our guide will help you navigate the shoe industry. 

Are hoodies allowed on the course? 

This is a great question, as hoodies are officially on Tour at the moment. Official tournaments see players like Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy wearing them. But just because they are wearing them doesn’t mean everyone is a fan.

A lot of people including the media and old school golfers don’t like seeing them on the tour. Many of them still live in the past when this type of attire was not acceptable. They are worn by the PGA Tour’s men and Nike makes them, so why not?

The only thing with hoodies for me is to make sure it doesn’t affect your swing. That’s why it’s important to buy golf specific hoodies as they are thinner and made for golf. Other hoodies might be too heavy and get in the way of your swing.

What should you wear to the driving range

It all depends on where you are driving. If it’s an establishment that is just a driving range and not a golf course, the dress code is usually much more casual. On sunny days, you might be allowed to wear a shirt but it all depends on the dress code.

I recommend wearing normal golf attire and soft spikes if you are going to a course. 

Final Thoughts on Golfer’s Attire

While golf fashion isn’t what it once was on the links, the sport still does require specific golf clothing. The founders of golf want players to maintain the integrity of the game and a professional image.

Men can wear full-sleeve shirts, shorts, or athletic pants to the office. Golf shoes are also acceptable. For women, a polo style shirt (with or without collar), golf dresses or pants or shorts, and you’ll be good.

For most courses, women and men should avoid wearing t-shirts and athletic shoes. If you aren’t sure, always make sure to check out the website or call ahead to avoid any awkward situations in the clubhouse.

You can also learn more about the etiquette of golf by clicking here.