Golf Fashion Dos and Donts for the Next Time You Hit the Links
Every sport you consider playing has its own set uniform, or attire that has become quite particular to the sport, while the dilemma attached to what one should wear while golfing is as old as the sport itself. The common prototype of a “golfer” is the dated look of a polo shirt and slacks in either boring, basic colors or prints that are anything but exciting. We firmly believe that female golfers can very much be stylish, comfortable and athletic while wearing appropriate golf attire. Athletes in other sports have begun to use fashion as a form of expression, which in some cases garners as much attention on the courts as any of their athletic prowess. For example, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, celebrated tennis player, wears bright, splashy colors and thick black eyeliner, quite the sight to behold when she’s within the muted blues, greys, navies, blacks and whites of her tennis-playing counterparts.
Women golfers, historically, weren’t able to put much thought in their attire because they didn’t have the variety of fashionable options available to them today, and so they dressed in whatever was considered within the dress code if they wanted to be taken seriously. However, with brands like SwingDish, a perfect balance of stylish, appropriate and comfortable is guaranteed. Considering that golf etiquette, particularly where dress codes are concerned, are enforced strictly across golf clubs and competitions, we bring to you some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to attire on the golf course. This guide assures you that you can wear golf-appropriate attire, that is both fashionable and shows your personality, have it fit you just right and still be taken seriously in what used to be a sport dominated by men.
The Guide to Golf Tops
Do: There are some things to keep in mind when selecting tops to wear for the golf course. The first is to wear preferably collared, polo-style shirts. The material of the shirt you choose is instrumental to your success on the course, so only select cotton, polyester-blend, or microfiber shirts to absorb sweat and keep you cool and well-aired. These can be whatever color you’d like, and whatever style you’d think would be the most flattering and the most comfortable. If you’re confused as to what’s a fashion “yes” in the golf market, check our tops out here.
For cooler days, layer your clothes- sweaters are perfectly acceptable and so are vests. Just make sure your arms have enough room to swing and enable you to have your best game without the wind eating into your skin. Slim-fitted, collared, button-down shirts, like this one are also a smart route to take with a roomy jacket or windbreaker on top.
Don’t: There are some fashion “don’ts” when it comes to golf tops- the first is to avoid tops like tank tops, tube tops, t-shirts, halters, midriff bearing crops, or bathing suit tops. Golf is still quite the conservative sport with very particular apparel guidelines that you will have to follow when playing with clubs and teams. Also avoid all kinds of streetwear like sweatshirts, bomber jackets, or denim jackets. There are exceptions to this rule. You will find some municipal type courses that are not as strict on dress-code but, if your goal is to be prepared to play with any golfer on any course, it’s best to stick to the general dress-code rules.
The Guide To Golf Bottoms
Do: The ground rules when it comes to pants are quite simple. Slacks are welcome, jeans and cargo pants are not. Shorts, skirts, skorts, etc. are all fine too. Selecting the correct material for your bottoms from among your favorite golf apparel brands ensures that you are comfortable on the course and also in tune with the environmental conditions you are playing in. For this reason, select pants or skirts made of airy cotton and light polyester or nylon blend, although we prefer a polyester blend as cotton tends to pill with any friction and doesn't offer the benefits of a performance poly-elastane or nylon-elastane blend. A fashion ‘do’ of golf is to contrast the color of your shirt with your pants, for example, a dark shirt with beige or off-white pants. You can find a great selection of fun, coordinated styles here. When the sun is out, we recommend opting for skorts, shorts, capris, and our favorite option, which has recently skyrocketed in popularity - golf dresses - to keep you cool and comfortable.
Don’t: One thing to avoid is revealingly short skirts and shorts. The wind and your activity is sure to cause some uncomfortable moments on the course. To avoid the distracting act of pulling down your skirt every few minutes, a mid-thigh skort is a safe length to go with, keeping in mind that some more conservative courses require much longer. You should also avoid wearing things like yoga pants, bell bottoms, and jeans.
The Guide To Golf Footwear
Do: The correct footwear can be the be-all, end-all of your time on the golf course, but it can very much also be an individualistic fashion statement. Golf shoes are most often characterized by hard rubber or plastic soles to hold on firmly to the ground and prevent imbalance and slippage. Shoes with metal spikes are a big no-no at most tournaments and clubs since they cause damage to the course. Plastic spikes or the newest trend, a spikeless sole, are your best bet. If you don’t have golf shoes, you can purchase some or wear sneakers and trainers with a firm grip.
Don’t: Dress shoes, boots and sandals are completely incompatible with the course. Not only will they be uncomfortable, but it’s also hard to make a fashion statement if you are sliding and stumbling every time you take a shot! Many clubs actually prohibit sandals. Although you can find golf sandals with spikes on the market, they don’t fall in line with most dress code requirements.
The Guide To Golf Accessories
Do: Appropriate headwear includes visors, straw hats, sun hats, and caps to prevent sunlight from distorting your vision. Be prepared to mark your ball with a cute ball marker (all of our pants, shorts and Olivia skorts come with a custom ball marker attached!). Show your fashionable side by getting golf gloves that coordinate with your outfits! And keep all your gear organized and handy with our Bring It Bag that handily attaches to the arm of your golf cart and rides securely keeping your gear on hand and all together.
Don’t: Always avoid long, heavy jewelry to prevent distraction while playing. Calluses and sores are a golfer’s plight, but that can be mitigated by buying good-quality golf gloves.
Women’s golf apparel has drastically changed for the better over the last decade. You can follow the specifics of the golf-attire rule book. But you can also feel free to let your personal taste and sense of fashion shine through by purchasing clothing from top fashion-forward brands like SwingDish, Lucky In Love, Tory Sport, J. Lindeberg, and more!
Here are a few answers to common questions that we hope will set you up for success on your next round:
What is the best golf apparel brand?
SwingDish offers a luxurious, comfortable, and fashion-savvy range of golf clothing for women that fits perfectly into your everyday wardrobe as well. Designed specifically for a woman’s active lifestyle on and off the course. Other top brands you can check out are Tory Sport, J Lindeberg, Ralph Loren. You can also find some great options from brands like Lucky In Love, Lululemon, Athleta, as well as sports giants Adidas and Nike.
What are the best golf shirts?
The best golf shirts are those that don’t restrict movement, wick sweat away from your body, dry quickly and make you feel confident. Our women’s golf tops keep it chic and comfortable and are available in varying colors and cuts, so you don’t have to stick to the old style polo if you want something a bit more feminine and fun.
Do’s and Don’ts of Golf
There are a plethora of etiquette rules associated with the sport, like avoiding walking across another player’s putt on the green, not driving on the green, not talking during another golfer's backswing. You can check out our Beginner’s Guide To Golf series to learn more and make sure you are ready for your first real round. If you are looking for the do’s and don’ts that will make you a better golfer, Do work on your grip, bend from your hips, and keep your head angled towards the target. Do choose clothes that are comfortable and give you a boost of confidence, when you feel good you play better - very scientific. And finally, Do have confidence in your game! Don’t stress too much, the more frustrated you get, the harder it is to take a great shot. Don’t skip the range - practice is the best way to be a better golfer.
What should you not wear when golfing?
You should always check the dress code of the course you are visiting but as a general rule, avoid sandals, jeans and general street clothes. Avoid heavy jewelry or anything that will restrict your movement or distract you during play (a really baggy windbreaker that flaps as you swing for example).
What is acceptable golf attire?
The answer to this is simply based on where you are golfing. Beach resorts may allow their traveling, casual golfers to wear things that high-end, more conservative courses would frown upon. Know your audience and follow suit. No one says you can’t wear fun colors and show personality, as a rule, just know that golf shoes or a tennis-style shoe will be best, no jeans or denim of any kind, and a collar is almost always required for both male and female. Lucky for you, a folded, classic collar isn’t your only option, we love the mandarin collar on many of the SwingDish tops. As long as the club you're headed to doesn’t have a very specific dress code detailing length of skirt and that a folded classic collar is necessary, have some fun with it!
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