There is probably nothing more embarrassing than to be turned away by golf courses for wearing inappropriate attire.
Often, ladies will play at a small local golf club in jeans and a simple T-shirt. However, this golf attire is unacceptable at most private and resort-style courses.
Also, unlike male golfers, women’s golf clothing does not match business casual attire. Instead, you might be required to dress more conservatively than what you wear in the office.
Some of the women’s golf attire is not even suitable for certain exclusive golf courses.
All these factors make it more confusing for women to dress for a day of golfing.
But fret not, ladies!
Although proper golf fashion varies among clubs and courses, most dress codes are standard.
To guide you, we will discuss the appropriate golf attire for women golfers. Not only do these golf clothes allow you to play in private clubs, but they also offer style and comfort.
Below, we will also include a list of the prohibited golf clothing that you need to avoid. It will help you avoid the embarrassment of being turned away by clubs.
So what do women wear to golf? Let us find out below!
- A Brief History of Women’s Golf Clothing
- What Do Women Wear to Golf
- Golf Dress Code for Women: What to Avoid
- Frequently Asked Questions
A Brief History of Women’s Golf Clothing
Women’s golf outfits were less comfortable and stylish in the past than what we see today.
The first U.S. Women Open Champion, Patty Berg, was dressed up in a thick sweater and long wool skirt when she claimed her first trophy in 1946.
Meanwhile, the latest winners of the tournament donned more laidback golf apparel like polo shirts and golf pants.
Below, we will briefly review women’s golf apparel from the 1950s to the present to show how they evolved throughout the years.
1950s – Breakaway from Restricting Fashion
This decade marks the beginning of fashion freedom for women.
Female golfers started wearing less restrictive clothing and shorter hemlines such as skirts above the ankle and long shorts. This women’s golf fashion offers increased mobility on the golf course.
It is also common for women players to wear sleeveless blouses, which they can layer with a cashmere sweater in colder weather.
Besides the hem and sleeves, the waistline was also a topic of dispute among female golfers. Although dresses with no waistlines, also known as sack dresses, were expected, some ladies choose to don a frock with a waistline.
1960s – Period of Striking Patterns
Fashion in the 1960s vary greatly, but they continued the trend from the previous decade.
Female golfers started to prefer shorter hem lengths such as flowy culottes and knee-length skirts. These golf clothes offer more comfort when playing the sport.
Striking patterns and bold colors were also introduced to women’s golf attire. These were apparent from professional female golfer Sandra Spuzich. She paired a classic white top with patterned Bermuda shorts when she won the U.S. Open Championships in 1966.
1970s – Making a Unisex Fashion Statement
By the time the 1970s rolled around, bright colors were still in high demand. However, there was a slight shift in women’s golf clothing.
Instead of culottes and shorts, the ladies began donning suits as a statement of equality to their male counterparts. Slacks replaced the short hems, and waistline-accentuating attire made a comeback in women’s golf wear.
1980s – Color-Coordinated Outfits
Besides big hair and shoulder pads, another iconic fashion statement during the 1980s is high-waisted pants.
The trend hit its peak in this decade, which also influenced women’s golf fashion during this time.
It is common to see color-coordinated tops and bottoms with sleek belts on the golf course. Ladies also accentuated waistlines to create a more chic look.
Jan Stephenson is one of the most notable names in the golf industry that led this fashion statement. She embraced a glamorous approach to golf and proved that you can still play great while looking good.
1990s – Neutral Shades
Unlike the previous decades, women’s golf wear in the 1990s was more subdued.
Female golfers left the flamboyant hues behind and opted for neutral colors. They also like to pair classic pleated khakis with oversized polos for a minimalist fashion style. The ladies even wore a wide brim visor to complete the look.
2000s – The Return of Colors
The first decade of the new century brought some color back into fashion.
Women golfers wore a range of vibrant hues in the course, from fuschia pink to bright yellow. They also started to push the boundaries of golf fashion by choosing both comfortable and functional fabrics.
As such, breathable and moisture-wicking clothing, such as polyester golf shirts, were common alongside visors.
2010s – Rise of Athletic Styles
Athletic styles, popular in the previous decade, continued to grow in the 2010s.
Women demanded stretchable golf attire for maximum comfort when playing golf. They also preferred versatile golf clothing that they can wear to either play or work.
Thus, many sports apparel manufacturers started to enhance fabric technology for more breathable and flexible golf clothes.
What Do Women Wear to Golf
By now, you probably have a basic idea of what women wear when playing golf. But if you want to make sure you are wearing the proper golf attire, below are the acceptable golf clothes for the ladies.
Most golf courses and clubs require women to wear short and long-sleeve shirts or sleeveless blouses when golfing. As a rule of thumb, these tops must have a collar.
Below are the popular tops for the ladies when golfing.
Johnny Collared Shirt
Female golf shirts usually feature a standard pointed collar that fits close to the neck. This type of collar is known as a johnny collar. When laid flat, it has a front split that looks similar to a V-neck button-down top.
It offers a minimalist look that you can easily pair with any type of golf bottoms.
Peter Pan Collared Shirt
A top with a Peter Pan collar is another golf shirt women players can wear when golfing.
Although this collar type is common on formal blouses and shirts, it is also suitable for sports. It has round edges and lies flat around the neck. Thus, it adds a more feminine touch to your polo shirt.
Besides polo shirts, turtleneck tops are also accepted in golf clubs. They are often made from polyester fabrics that offer breathability and moisture-wicking properties.
They also feature a fabric under the chin, which you can either scrunch up or turn down depending on the weather.
There is also another variation of turtleneck shirts called a mock turtleneck. It has a shorter neckline than the standard turtleneck.
Overall, turtleneck tops are a popular alternative to traditional collared golf shirts.
As for the bottoms, most women opt to wear slacks or trousers as they are comfortable regardless of the weather.
Women’s golf attire also includes shorter pants, such as capris and cropped trousers. These types of clothing offer further comfort, ideal for warmer days on the golf club.
Skorts, which is a combination of a skirt and shorts, are also popular fashion choices for women when golfing. They are comfortable to wear and offer far more breathability than golf trousers. As such, they are suitable for the summer months.
However, take note that a golf skort must be long enough for playing golf. Make sure it passes your fingertips when standing up straight. This is the acceptable skirt length for most golf courses.
A golf dress is a more fashionable alternative to the typical polo-shirt-and-pants combo. It is available in an array of colors and styles for a more fashionable golf game.
It also features soft, breathable fabric and a streamlined silhouette for easy movement when golfing.
A golf dress even comes with pockets that make it easy to carry golf balls and tees.
What’s more, some manufacturers include spandex golf shorts that you can wear underneath the dress.
Most golf clubs require all players, whether they are a female or male golfer, to wear shoes on the course.
However, wearing golf-specific footwear is not usually a requirement. Thus, you can use other types of shoes, like sneakers, tennis shoes, and walking shoes.
With that said, you should wear golf shoes for the best performance on the course. You can enjoy more stability in the grass than running footgear.
Below are the different types of golf shoes.
Spiked or Cleated
As their name suggests, cleated shoes have spikes on the sole. They offer better stability and traction when swinging golf clubs.
Most models also provide breathability, comfort, and water resistance for female golf players.
But take note that, unless you are a pro, you should avoid using metal spikes because they damage the courses.
Instead, look for golf shoes with non-metal or soft spikes so you can play golf without a problem.
Spikeless golf shoes are a more comfortable and lightweight alternative to cleated shoes.
Instead of the non-metal spikes, they use rubber studs or dimpled soles for stability and traction in the grass. These women’s golf shoes are also ideal for walking on firm surfaces, such as the driving range and the 19th hole.
Besides cleated and spikeless shoes, women’s golf footwear also includes a golf boot.
Similar to a hiking boot, this pair of boots offers increased water protection while still providing great traction. It is ideal for the winter months of golfing.
The only con is that these boots can be heavier and more expensive due to the thick material.
Women playing golf should also wear socks with their golf shoes.
If you are wearing shorter pants, skorts, or a golf dress, it is best to pair them with low or no-show socks.
Meanwhile, choose crew socks with longer golf pants. They can either be white or any color that matches your pants.
Women golfer’s attire does not require gloves.
You can play golf just as well without them, but consider wearing them if you want to enjoy a better grip.
You can also choose to wear only one on your non-dominant hand. With that said, you are also free to use two gloves if you are a beginner.
There are different types of golf gloves available on the market.
Leather is the most commonly used material for golf gloves. It offers an excellent grip that feels like a second skin. It is also moisture resistant and can stay soft, even after extended use.
Synthetic golf gloves feature a more stretchable and lighter fabric than leather. As such, it offers optimal flexibility in the joints of the fingers. It is suitable for the ladies who prefer an adaptable glove.
As their name suggests, all-weather gloves are ideal for golfing in either wet or humid conditions. It can keep your hands warm when golfing in the winter months and dry from sweat on warm days. It also uses breathable synthetic fabrics to offer a better grip.
Thermal gloves are an excellent option for ladies who want to play golf in cold weather. They often feature a thick knitted or thermal material to warm your hands during the winter months. As such, they can offer a better grip in cold temperatures.
Similar to gloves, women’s golf dress code does not require a hat while golfing.
However, it can be useful if you are playing in the summer heat. Not only does it protect your head from the heat, but it also reduces glare in your eyes.
Female golfers can choose from different types of golf hats.
The standard look for both men and women golfers today is the baseball-style golf cap. Professional players in the PGA Tour commonly wear this type of golf hat. Just make sure to wear it properly and never backward.
Visors are a stylish alternative to baseball caps. They do not mush your hair down, making them a popular choice among the ladies.
Bucket hats are also acceptable in most golf courses. They can protect your ears and nape, perfect for all-around sun protection.
Sunglasses are not a requirement when golfing. But consider wearing them since they can protect your eyes and eliminate glare from the sun. These help you see the golf ball and hole with ease.
Golf Dress Code for Women: What to Avoid
Most golf clubs require certain golf attire for men and women on the course. It is best to know the basic golf dress etiquette that you should never break to avoid embarrassment.
But if you are still clueless, fret not!
Here is a brief list of the clothing to avoid when golfing.
T-Shirts and Revealing Tops – Ladies should not wear t-shirts, tank tops, or any informal clothing when playing golf. You must also avoid tops showing cleavage as they are improper.
Jeans and Athletic Pants – Do not dress up in jeans, sweatpants, leggings, yoga pants, and other athletic pants as they are inappropriate.
Short Bottoms – Cargo and denim shorts are not allowed in golf clubs. And for ladies wearing a golf skirt or skort, you must ensure that the hem length is not too short. It should hit between mid-thigh and the knee, around two inches above the knee.
Metal Spiked Shoes and Sandals – Do not wear metal cleated shoes as they can damage the course. You should also never play golf in sandals.
Long Necklaces – Avoid wearing long accessories or dangly earrings that can get tangled when golfing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a dress code for golf?
Most golf clubs require proper dress etiquette to maintain game decorum. It sets high standards in the appearance and behavior of the members. Thus, it represents golf’s upper-class history.
Do you tuck in your shirt for golf?
Yes, you must wear your golf shirt tucked in your pants. Dressing up this way looks more professional when golfing. It is hard to appear polished when your shirt is hanging loose out of your trousers.
Is golfing barefoot legal?
Golfing without shoes does not violate the official rules of golf. But golfing barefoot is not allowed in most clubs and courses as they deem it unprofessional.
Women must wear appropriate golf clothing to show respect for the sport. Although dress code varies in courses, female golfer outfits are pretty standard and easy to remember. You can choose from different colors and designs for playing in style. When in doubt about the apparel, call the club first before golfing.