When it comes to golf, it can be difficult to know what to wear, particularly for women.
While golf attire has evolved a little over time, there’s still a strict dress code that underpins the sport - which can often be a little ambiguous and difficult to gauge. Not only this, but dress codes can differ between clubs, and some may be stricter and more explicit in their rules than others.
Some female golfers are advocating for a relaxation of these rules, as they believe that strict dress codes are a barrier to the sport for many women. However, check your club’s guidelines first to avoid any embarrassment - whether you agree with their rules or not!
If you’re new to golf, you might have particular difficulty in trying to figure out what you can wear on the course - and what you can’t. While you may be haunted by knee-length shorts and khaki, fear not, as modern golfing attire for women does exist - and it’s actually far more chic, stylish and comfortable than you’d expect.
We’ve put together a handy guide of all the elements you need to consider before hitting the course - including the DOs and the DON’Ts, the essentials, and the latest trends.
Generally speaking, most golf courses expect women to wear polo shirts, turtle necks, or crew neck tops.
Short-sleeves may be fine, so long as your shirt has a collar. While some smaller courses may be more relaxed in their rules, private or resort-style clubs won’t be too pleased if you rock up wearing a halter or tank top, as these are generally considered inappropriate.
While a lot of general sportswear for women tends to be sleeveless, there are a range of golf tops out there that come in fun, bright colors or patterns - such as these cute ones from Joe’s USA, or Rdruko.
You’ll also want to go for something that’s made of moisture-wicking material, which is usually a lightweight polyester, to keep you cool and comfortable during a long day of golfing in the sun.
What to wear on your bottom half can be trickier than the top, as there’s still quite a lot of controversy over what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
Traditionally, women golfers would wear slacks, and these are still widely worn, particularly during the cooler fall and winter months. These ones are PGA tour-approved and are slim-fit yet flexible for a smart-casual look.
However, increasingly women golfers can be seen in skirts, skorts, or shorts, and these can be great during the summer. Though again, it’s best to check your club’s guidelines on these, as many have old-fashioned specifications such as ensuring these fall below the knee.
If you are allowed to wear something more modern, this skort from Libin is sleek and practical, thanks to its multiple pockets and protective UPF 50+ protective material. For something more colorful, Ekouaer offers a range of fun prints for the course.
Some of the big sports brands like Nike and Puma now offer some stylish golf dresses, however, some stricter or more exclusive clubs may not be too keen on these, particularly if they’re shorter styles.
Consult your club’s dress code first, and if you can wear a dress, this Nike one is made of dri-fit material to keep you cool in the heat and minimize sweat patches, plus it has a collar to mimic traditional golfing styles.
Jackets and sweaters
You won’t be able to rock up in a denim jacket on cooler days, so it’s best to invest in a proper long-sleeved golfing sweater or jacket that can be layered over your polo should the weather take a turn for the worst.
For additional coverage, a collared button-down shirt, light jacket, or wind shirt is a great option and will keep you warm without looking too casual. You also don’t want anything too heavy, as you’ll be moving a lot and will get warm regardless of the weather.
Shoes and socks
Almost every golf course will require you to wear proper golf shoes. Golf shoes have spikes on the bottom to grip the ground and provide added balance and traction. They’re also designed to be comfortable while you’re walking around the course for hours, and yep, you guessed it - they’re designed to look smart and presentable, too.
Most courses will require that your spikes be non-metal or soft. While at one point metal spikes were the norm, these are now considered unacceptable, as they leave marks on the greens that might disrupt putts. Most women will wear no-show socks if they’re wearing skirts, skorts, or shorts, whereas with longer pants it’s best to opt for a crew sock of the same color.
Accessories can add a pop of color to your golfing outfit, but they’re practical, too. Golfing gloves are worn for added grip and protection and are usually made of a breathable mesh.
While you may think that golfing gloves are plain and uninteresting, this pair from Birdie Town Jupiter is available in a fun, tropical print for an added splash of color.
A belt is also a simple way of tying your outfit together and making it look extra smart.
Opt for a sporty web belt like this one from Nike, or keep it traditional with a sleek leather one, like this one from Falari, available in a range of colors.
It’s important to ensure you’re protected from strong UV rays while golfing, particularly during the summer when the sun’s rays are stronger. Most women go for a cap or visor, like this one from SAAKA, however, it’s worth noting that while these can look great, they don’t actually protect your entire head and face.
If you burn easily or simply want to minimize the health risks associated with excessive sun exposure, his wide brim sun hat from GearTOP provides UPF 50+ sun protection and is tested and proven to keep you safe from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
While many professional golfers don’t wear sunglasses, if you do decide to wear them on particularly sunny days where your vision is impaired by the sun, it’s best to go for a pair that are polarized, with a high nanometer rating that will effectively block UV rays.
It’s also important to opt for a wrap-around style that won’t slide off while you’re playing.
Golfing attire is all about striking that balance between smart-casual and fitted yet flexible.
Your outfit shouldn’t be baggy, as this will make it difficult for your swing, however, equally, you don’t want your clothes to be clinging to your skin, as this will not only be hot and uncomfortable, but it will restrict your range of movement, too.
Price and Quality
While golfing clothes needn’t break the bank, they should be good quality, as you’ll be wearing them for hours on end and will want them to last. The best golfing clothes and accessories are made of high quality, moisture-wicking fabric that can easily be washed, and should be fitted, yet comfortable and easy to move in.
As more and more women get involved in golf and the gender barriers start to break down, we’ll see an expansion of the market, with more options for women’s golf attire available at increasingly competitive prices.
Dos and Don'ts
Check with your golf club’s dress code before investing in the latest golf trends - the more exclusive the club, the more traditional its rules are likely to be, which usually means longer hems and less skin on show.
Keep an open mind. Even if your club does require more traditional styles of attire, you can still mix things up by opting for more modern styles in neutral colors, or more conventional golf wear but in bold, bright colors or patterns.
Have a few different styles and options in your golfing wardrobe. Have some long-sleeved tops for cooler days, and some short-sleeved polos for the summer months, and the same goes for pants and skirts.
Ultimately, wear what you feel comfortable in. You are the best judge of what is acceptable and what isn’t. Your gut instinct will usually tell you if something is a little bit too revealing for the golf course. At the same time, don’t feel pressured to wear the latest modern trends. Wear the colors and styles that suit YOU, and best fit your personality.
Flout the rules of your club - this won’t go down well at all, and will probably result in you being refused onto the course, which will be embarrassing for you. If you truly disagree with the dress code at your club, look for one that is more casual and relaxed, as they will probably have a less strict dress code.
Turn up in your everyday clothes - while the sport is evolving, golf has always maintained a smart-casual dress code and this underpins the game. If you turn up in a tank top and jeans, the odds are that you’re not going to be allowed to play.