Now that the winter’s over, your golf bag is begging to be taken for a long walk (or a ride in a golf cart). But what should you wear? What are you allowed to wear? Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the rules of appropriate golf apparel are changing all the time—so it’s good to stay on top of them. Luckily, we’ve got the perfect guide for you to understand all you need to know about what to wear (or what not to wear) when you go golfing.
The sometimes stuffy world of golf is starting to loosen its rules and regulations in an attempt to bring in more golfers (and money), so people who don’t want to adhere to a strict dress code may be in luck.
However, dress codes vary depending on the policies of the golf course that you’re playing—some may be very lax, others may be incredibly strict.
Many municipal golf courses do not have dress codes, but there are still plenty of more selective country clubs and golf courses that are strict about what you’re allowed to wear. As a general rule, the higher the green fees, the more likely there is to be a dress code.
As is true with many company rules, the best way to find out if a golf course has a dress code is simply to check. Visit the course’s website or call the main office ahead of time—that way, you avoid the embarrassment of showing up to play with your friends and being turned away because of your jeans and tank top.
While there are plenty of golf courses that don’t have a dress code at all, there are still many that require you to adhere to their rules regarding apparel. But don’t let that stop you from playing!
Although many golf courses have strict dress codes, they aren’t too hard to follow—you just need to know what their rules are before getting to the golf course. And it never hurts to have a few options in your closet ready for whatever those rules might be.
While it’s unlikely that anybody will demand “off with their head!” there are some penalties for being underdressed at the golf course.
First and foremost, you’ll be approached by somebody who works at the course or country club. Depending on the rules, they may give you a couple of options: go home and change or buy some of the approved apparel for sale at the shop (which can be expensive, unfashionable, or both).
Ultimately, this isn’t the worst thing in the world—but you don’t want to be with your boss or a potential client when you’re hit with a ticket from the local fashion police.
Generally speaking, you’re usually safe with a polo shirt and a pair of khaki slacks or shorts (although the appropriate length of those shorts can be a point of contention at many courses).
Many courses require collared shirts, so polos are a fine choice and are a preferable option to a stuffy button-down—not only for comfort in the summer breeze, but also because you want your arms to have a full range of motion.
One common rule that many younger people might find a bit constraining: many courses require you to tuck your shirt into your pants. And you’re out of luck if you favor the French tuck—you’ve got to tuck the whole thing in, front and back.
There’s often a strict no denim rule at many golf courses, which is honestly for your benefit as much as it is for the country club’s sense of formality. It can get pretty hot walking around in the sun (or driving a cart around in the sun), and even the most fashionable pair of jeans won’t be of much assistance once you start sweating.
Khakis are a more formal alternative that is much more breathable than a thick pair of jeans, but there are plenty of options on the market that incorporate more modern styles and technologies. These days, some of the best pairs of golf pants out there are much more light and stretchy than khakis—and they’re often made from moisture-wicking, antimicrobial materials that keep you dry and stink-free.
When it comes to apparel that’s acceptable on the golf course, Willy California has you covered. We offer several options that are fashionable enough to wear anywhere—from shirts that provide a full range of motion for your backswing to pants and shorts that provide plenty of all-day comfort for your (ahem) back nine.
Although golf dress codes can seem restrictive, you actually have more options than you might think at first glance, especially when it comes to pants.
Everybody needs at least one pair of nice dress pants that they can wear to work (hopefully, many more than one—or you’ll end up doing a lot of laundry). Our Nicer Pants were designed to be the perfect pair of pants to wear to the office, but which are still comfortable and breathable all day long.
While we designed our Nicer Pants to be the perfect pair of work pants, our City Pants are all about play. We set out to create a lightweight, more comfortable alternative to jeans—and we succeeded.
The City Pants are light, breathable, and stylishly cut. They’re perfect for date night or drinks with the guys, but were designed to adhere to even the strictest of golf course dress codes—so you can wear them to the course with no worries. And because they’re made from moisture-wicking, antimicrobial, 4-way stretch fabric, they’re the perfect pair of stylish athletic pants.
Like our Nicer Pants, only shorter, our Nicer Shorts were designed to be a stylish alternative to their longer counterpart. If your workplace allows shorts, these are great for taking your lunch break in the park and letting the summer breeze hit your calves.
While some golf courses may require long pants, there are plenty of courses that allow shorts; if your favorite course doesn’t mind seeing your legs, these are the perfect shorts for a round of golf. Lightweight, breathable, and incredibly stretchy, they’ll keep you comfortable all day long.
Courses often tell you that you need to wear a collared shirt, but they don’t tell you how you can make that work in all the different seasons. Luckily, Willy California has you covered when it comes to options for all weather.
Since collared shirts are often a requirement in golf course dress codes, we have to mention our Nicer Polo. Classy enough for work but light and stretchy enough for play, The Nicer Polo is perfect for a round of golf.
Similar to the Nicer Polo but a bit more on the sporty side, our Athletic Polo was designed to be a classy alternative to the office classic. Made with the world’s finest Peruvian Pima cotton, it feels more like your favorite tee than a collared shirt.
Like its short-sleeved counterpart, our Long Sleeve Athletic Polo is a classy-yet-casual option that adheres to all golf course dress code requirements while still being stylish enough for drinks at the country club after a round of golf.
Perfect for throwing on when the sun starts to sink behind the trees and evening breezes start to blow across the fairway, this is one of our favorite long-sleeved options. Before wearing a Zip-Up Hoodie to the course, make sure that hoodies are allowed…some courses still have a strict anti-hoodie rule.
A golf course dress code is no reason to be afraid. While many courses are starting to lift their dress codes, or at least making them less strict, these rules aren’t too hard to follow once you know what you’re allowed to wear. Nobody’s going to make you wear a tuxedo on the fairway (you’re free to give it a try if you feel so inclined, but you may get some odd looks).
When it comes down to it, you should play by the rules when you have to—but you should never sacrifice your comfort and style when it comes to your game. So adhere to the dress code, but do so on your terms.