Why Does Golf Have A Dress Code?

Golf is one of the popular games for people of all ages. Everyone has their own perspective. Someone plays for relaxation, to enjoy the open air, someone schedules business meetings in a peaceful environment, and someone takes it competitively.

Whatever your reason is, when you enter a golf course, you have to maintain its terms and regulations. Wearing a proper dress code is one of them. There are very specific attires for the game. But why does golf have a dress code?

There is a rich history behind the golf dress code. It is not only a matter of looking good, it creates a respectful field for all participants. It allows you to move comfortably, protects you from the elements, and contributes to the maintenance of the golf course.

History Of Golf Attire

The origins of golf started back in the 15th century in Scotland. As golf gained popularity, its dress code drew inspiration from the attire of other traditional sports like tennis and cricket, which emphasize decorum and sportsmanship. 

The formal and refined clothing worn in these sports, such as polos or collared shirts, tailored pants or shorts, appropriate footwear, and a hat. It became part of the golf dress code. 

The influence of traditional sports attire on golf’s dress code continues to this day but in a modern way. Yet, the dress code reflects the sport’s historical roots and upholds the traditions associated with the game.

Why Does Golf Have A Dress Code?

Why Does Golf Have A Dress Code

At present, fashion in golf is much expended. Today, you may hardly see knee-high socks with shorts or shirts with ties.

Golfers are more seen in cut and fit apparel which is more trendy and classy. The sport of golf has moved with time and fashion. But still, you need to follow a dress guide. The reasons are: 

1. Sports identity 

The dress code in golf helps to establish a distinct identity for the sport. The dress code preserves golf’s identity.

Sports equipment that signifies the activity of each player in almost all other sports. Everyone can tell what players have done if they walk back from the field.

So golfers should proudly wear golf attire. The dress code creates a sense of unity and belonging among golfers, fostering a shared identity and pride in being part of the golfing community.

You can pick up any style like loose or tight-fit, garnished or muted colors, or get a sporty look. 

2. Looking good

It’s a belief that when you look good, you feel good, and you perform better. The dress code encourages players to dress in a manner that exudes confidence and professionalism. It enhances your mental focus and overall performance on the course. 

Presenting yourself well in proper golf attires can contribute to your self-assurance and mindset during gameplay. So it is worth investing in stylish golf attire. 

3. For comfortable movement

Golf dress code is designed by taking consideration of golfers comfort in mind. Golf-specific attire is typically made from lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow for ease of movement and comfort during play. 

Since golf is an outdoor game, you spend hours on the course encountering all sorts of weather. The day and your game will be enjoyable if you wear all-purpose fitting clothes.

Functional clothing, such as collared shirts and tailored pants or shorts are excellent for this game. It ensures that you can swing their clubs freely without any hindrance

Also, the dress code includes footwear. Appropriate footwear with non-slip soles helps you maintain stability and traction on various terrains. You will need the necessary grip and support that prevents slipping while swinging. 

4. Inspiring beginners

The dress code plays a role in inspiring and educating the younger generation of golfers. By setting standards for appropriate attire, golf promotes a sense of professionalism and respect for the game.

Young players learn the importance of presenting themselves in a respectable manner, both on and off the course, and understand that golf is more than just a physical activity—it is a sport with a set of traditions and values.

Proper Golf Attire For Men

Golf  Attire for Men

Every golf course has its own dress code. Private courses are stricter than public courses. So it depends on where you play.

Different golf clubs or courses may have variations in their dress code requirements. Some clubs may be more relaxed, while others may have stricter guidelines. 

It is always a good idea to check with the specific golf facility beforehand to ensure compliance with their dress code regulations. It’s simple for men. 

Shirts: Men are generally required to wear collared shirts while playing golf. T-shirts, mock shirts, tank tops, and sleeveless shirts are usually not permitted.

The shirts should be neat, presentable, and tucked into pants or shorts. However, polo shirts are widely acceptable in these courses. 

Pants/Shorts: Golfers have the option to wear either pants or shorts, depending on the specific rules of the golf club or course. If shorts are allowed, they should be tailored and of an appropriate length, typically just above the knee. But some courses strictly recommend wearing long pants

Footwear: Proper golf shoes with soft spikes or spikeless are commonly required. These shoes provide traction, stability, and protection for the golfer and the course. Sneakers, sandals, or street shoes are typically not permitted.

Socks: While not always explicitly mentioned in dress codes, it is customary for men to wear socks that are suitable for golf shoes. Ankle socks or crew-length socks are commonly worn.

Headwear: Hats or visors are often allowed and can provide protection from the sun. However, it is important to follow the specific rules of the golf courses regarding the type and style of headwear.

What dress is not allowed?

When it comes to golf dress codes for men, there are certain items that are typically not permitted or considered inappropriate. Here are some common examples of what not to wear:

  • Denim: Jeans or denim pants are generally not allowed on the golf course. 
  • Athletic Shorts: Athletic shorts like basketball or gym shorts are generally not acceptable.
  • T-shirts: They are typically not allowed as they are considered too casual for the golf course.
  • Cargo Shorts/Pants
  • Sandals/Flip-Flops: Open-toed shoes, such as sandals or flip-flops, are typically not considered suitable golf footwear.
  • Offensive or Inappropriate Clothing: Clothing with offensive language, graphics, or symbols is not appropriate for the golf course. 

Proper Golf Attire For Women

Golf  Attire for Women

It’s important to note that golf club dress codes have variations, and some courses may have more relaxed guidelines. Here are some typical recommendations for women:

Tops: Women wear collared shirts or golf-specific tops. Sleeveless tops are generally acceptable as long as they have a collar. And some may require sleeves.

Bottoms: Women have the option of wearing golf skirts, skorts (a combination of skirt and shorts), or tailored golf shorts or pants. These should be of an appropriate length and fit comfortably. Denim shorts or pants are generally not allowed.

Footwear: You can wear both soft spikes or spikeless shoes on the golf course. Avoid athletic shoes or sneakers, which are usually not permitted.

Hat: Depending on the weather, women can wear hats or visors to protect themselves from the sun. If you plan to wear headwear to a golf course, check the rules ahead of time to see if there are any specifics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a dress code for the PGA?

Yes, the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) has a dress code. It is typically stricter compared to casual play on recreational golf courses. One can wear collared shirts, short or long pants, and a hat is optional. 

Do Public Golf Courses Have Dress Codes?

Yes, they have. While the dress codes at public golf courses are not as strict as those at private clubs or professional tournaments.
Typically, they still aim to maintain a certain level of decorum and professionalism in the game. The specific dress code requirements can vary from course to course. 

Can you wear jeans to play golf?

Wearing jeans to play golf is generally not considered appropriate or in line with regular golf attire. Most golf courses both public and private facilities have dress codes that discourage wearing jeans on the course.


The golf dress code is designed to ensure comfort, ease of movement, and protection from the elements. Also, golf attire inspires you to look good on the course that increases your confidence level, and helps you to achieve a good score.

Whether at private clubs, professional tournaments, or public golf courses, you must follow the dress code. It creates a respectful and enjoyable environment for all golfers.