What To Wear for Golfing If You Don’t Have Golf Clothes

Silhouette of woman golfing with sunset on horizon

Maybe you are testing out golf as a new sport and don’t want to spend money on expensive gear, or you aren’t well-versed in golf apparel do’s and dont’s and so don’t want to break the bank on the wrong clothing. In any of these scenarios, you can pull staple pieces from your closet and have it work just as well on-course as other newly-bought, golf-specific gear.

It's completely normal to panic a bit about what to wear on the golf course, especially considering that there is in fact a dress code and the fashion manual on the course has the reputation of being strictly professional and streamlined.  We are here to help you out with curated pieces from our collection, which you can see here, and match to your existing closet and look just as profound an athlete on your first day as those who have been playing for years!

The Generally Preferable Uniform

Women in apparel SwingDish

Tops: Everyday Tops That Work For Golf

The rules of golf apparel aren’t nearly as rigid as some people make them out to be, so you still have the liberty of playing around with a multitude of colors and patterns for a pop of personality. The first article of clothing you should focus on wearing to tick all the right boxes is a shirt with a collar, preferably made from moisture-wicking, light material. This is necessary to ensure sweat absorption to let you continue unchecked with the game. Great non-golf-specific options are a classic button-down (ideally with some stretch), a bomber jacket, windbreaker or sport pullover, a light sweater, a short sleeve or sleeveless collared shirt. These days, even a mandarin collar or a ruffle collar would work at most courses. If it has SOME sort of collar, it will probably work. Don’t wear things that are too tight since they constrict your movement. Don’t wear anything too loose since it is likely to flap around in the wind and distract you from keeping your eyes on the game. These suggestions are based on what would be allowed at majority of clubs from an everyday wardrobe but it doesn’t hurt to check your specific club’s regulations to avoid getting turned away from playing. 

 Check out SwingDish styles for everyday looks.  You can also shop all SwingDish  tops here.

Display of options of pants or bottoms to wear to golf 3 images of women in SwingDish golf apparel

Bottoms: Closet Staples That Work For a Day of Golf

If you own a pair of breathable, neutral-colored slacks, those are a pretty safe bet for a day at the club, but you want to make sure they have some stretch or allow freedom of movement to bend over or squat down without issue. Shorts acceptable too, given that they are non-denim and not a workout style gym short. Just make sure they are an acceptable length and again, provide freedom of movement. You can also wear a skirt with a pair of undershorts for coverage unless you have a skort on hand. Wearing a skirt with no undershort is not recommended as there is a lot of bending and squatting to pick up your ball and place your tee and you'll want the coverage to avoid any unwanted exposure. Colors are something you can play around with in golf. While the standard khaki, navy, black, white, cream, tan, and beige remain staples of golf fashion, you can have a lot of fun dabbling in colors and patterns. In fact, in recent years, it has become the norm to be more playful and wear flirty golf clothes to show your personality a bit. SwingDish offers a variety of bold colors and printed bottoms as well as the perfect neutrals that are perfect on or off the course if you aren't an avid golfer and are not interested in purchasing golf-specific pieces. Check out SwingDish bottoms here

Summer Accessories and SwingDish Shoes

Shoes and Accessories

If you are playing during the summers, moisture-wicking options from sportswear brands are key. Choosing the correct pair of shoes are also fundamental to your success on the course. Running shoes with soft spikes of rubber and plastic are suitable for gripping on while you swing your arms and prevent slippage. If you only plan to play once, you could get away with any pair of tennis shoes but you should know that if you stick with it, grip from your shoes is key in a good swing and successful round. If you have visors or baseball caps from playing other sports, you can use them to keep the sun out of your eyes. However, avoid large cowboy or broad summer hats. A simple wrist watch to remind you of the time is a preferable accessory to wear on the course. Much of your game is spent looking toward the sky to watch where your ball ends up making sunglasses a must to avoid spending 4 hours squinting. Socks are also instrumental to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Opt for a performance sock made of a breathable wicking material. You'll also want to have a few other key items in your bag: A good SPF 45+ sunscreen (re-apply every 90 minutes or so), a blue-tooth radio, if allowed, to keep your game fun and not let you get to into your own head. A ballmarker, or some small quarter-sized item to mark your ball on the green. You could also keep wet wipes, sanitizer, lotion, lip cream, a light jacket, a koozie, etc. on hand so that you are prepared for anything! Most likely, someone you are golfing with will be happy to let you borrow something you may need, like a range finder or divot fixer, during your round but we feel like this list is a great jumping off point to show you prepared for your day. 

We hope this guide has helped you pull out the right pieces from your closet to make an excellent impression for your first time stepping out on a golf course. Read on for some solutions to more inquiries that you may have:

 Do you have to wear golf clothes to play golf?

This is both a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answer. While it is preferable that you wear golf clothes, given that they are made with specifications keeping in mind dress code regulations and have specific properties to keep you comfortable and flexible, you can substitute golf clothes with regular clothing. While there is broad consensus among what constitutes the correct golf attire, it is always helpful to read the guidelines of the club you are playing in to understand better what you should wear. The best bet is Chinos, slacks, pleated skirts of the correct length with collared polo shirts.

 What should you not wear when golfing?

There are some very specific don'ts of golf attire, and they are: no denim, sweats, yoga pants, no very short pants or very wide-legged loose pants, don’t wear frayed or cuffed trousers of any kind, don’t wear sandals, dress shoes, boots, or slippers of any kind, avoid beanies and hats, and also very heavy, dangling jewelry.

Can you wear tennis clothes for golf?

You can most certainly substitute tennis wear for golf since it has added features that make it conducive to tennis's higher intensity. Tennis dresses, for one, are a fantastic option to pull out on the golf course for a great fashion statement. I would keep in mind that some tennis pieces may not have the collar required by many courses. Click here to check out some great tennis options to start you along the journey. 

What do I wear if I don’t have golf clothes?

Well-fitting (though not too tight), neutral-colored polo shirts, and moisture-wicking, designed-for-sport trousers are the route to choose if nothing in your closet is made specifically for the golf course. You shouldn’t feel compelled to go on a spending spree to start out in golf. Flexible and breathable clothing that follows the guidelines as mentioned above will do just as well.

What pants are acceptable for golf?

The first cardinal rule on any golf course: no jeans. Not only are they forbidden in many golf courses, but they’re also not conducive to free movement and agility. Skirts, skorts, and shorts are eons more comfortable, given that they leave your legs free from fabric, but you should keep in mind that they must not be too short to prevent discomfort as you continually tug the hem down.

 

 




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