Golfing Etiquette: Dressing The Part

golf tourCorrect methods of playing golf entails more than a perfectly working swing. It also encompasses an understanding of how the game of golf is meant to be, aesthetically speaking.

Imagine the following situation. Your superior invites to a few holes of golf at his own country club which comes along with its brand of exclusivity. You may be shaking with trepidation or be optimistic about progressing further up your company’s hierarchy.

If you’re used to playing golf casually on public courses, where there are no restrictions on attire and you have a laugh while others are busy lining up their putts, then your trepidation may not be completely undeserved.

To put things into perspective, more than eighty percent of the CEOs from Fortune 500 companies play golf and take golfing holidays. Firms and their management are accepting that golf is a great method of ascertaining the potential of an employee, and it has nothing to do with how well you play.

Below are a few pointers towards correct golfing attire and etiquette.

It’s important to look presentable, especially if there are people from the workplace playing along with you. Do not think of it as a completely casual event, bring a subtle hint of professionalism along with you to the course.

Private courses and clubs generally have rules and codes regarding what to wear and what to bring along. These regulations are largely the same between courses.

Shirts: Tee-shirts are allowed but ensure that they are collared. If you’re unsure of whether your shirt is permissible or not, purchase a few shirts from known brands such as Callaway.

Bottoms: It is alright and acceptable to play in your shorts, however, these have to be shorts that are specifically designed for golfing. Don’t show up to the course in your khaki three quarters or your gym shorts, you will most likely be turned away. Jeans and other denim based trousers are also not permissible. An important detail to note is that your bottoms should have belt look and no cuffs as they tend to collect dirt. Wear a belt as well, preferably made of leather.

Color: You will find quite a few colorful choices when you go looking for new golf clothes, indeed, you may spot a dash of pink on the course itself. However, be careful while pairing colors. Do not wear too many bright colors, you may end up looking like a rainbow. Pair a bright color with a sober color such as black or navy blue. Plaid and patterned trousers are quite the rage as well, but wear only one piece of clothing which is patterned.

• Golfing Shoes: Running shoes, sandals or loafers are not allowed. These are not just aesthetic restrictions but functional restrictions as well. Do not buy shoes with metal spikes as they are not permitted around courses anymore. You do get soft spikes and built-in treads. If you’re on a golf holiday, then you’ll probably have a pair of street shoes as well, bring them along for lunch or drinks in the clubhouse. Remember to change shoes in the locker room.

Socks: Trousers require color coordinated socks. You will know if your socks stand out for the wrong reasons. They should also be comfortable, as you’ll be walking around the course and the ground is quite often, damp, hence your feet become wet with the socks becoming soggy. This can cause discomfort and not allow you to enjoy your game. There are socks available for the golf course and these provide ventilation as well as repel a certain amount of water.

Hats: Straw hats or baseball caps are generally recommended. They keep the sun out of your eyes and help you play the game without you having to squint to see where your hitting the ball.

• Tee-times start from 6 AM, so it may be a bit chilly on the golf course. A sweater, vest or a jacket is a practical option to choose.

This is of course, required clothing if you’re playing in cold weather.


Leslie Ward is a former amateur golfer turned sports writer. Leslie has travelled across the world to visit some of the greatest golf courses today. His travels have brought him a wealth of experience which he readily shares with fellow golfing enthusiasts. Contact him for tips on planning the perfect golf holiday and the perfect attire to wear to a golf course.