What to Wear for Golf if You Don’t Have Golf Clothes

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Have you recently been invited to play golf with a friend or thought about taking up golf as a hobby but aren’t sure what to wear? It’s a great question to ask because it turns out, you can’t just wear anything you like on a golf course. There are dos and don’ts when it comes to dressing up for golf.

If you don’t have specific golf clothes, you can wear comfortable long trousers, capris, shorts, a skirt, a polo shirt, and a sweater on the golf course. Many golf clubs have a dress code for all players and club attendees to abide by. Check your local golf club regulations on dress code etiquette before arriving.

Having dress code regulations makes it easier to decide what to wear, so it’s best to look up and call the golf club in question to check what their dress code is to avoid embarrassment or discomfort when you get there. Luckily, we also have the answers for you here. Read on to find out the dos and don’ts of how to dress for golf.

Can You Wear Tennis Clothes for Golf?

Tennis clothes are very similar to golf clothes and are therefore mostly okay to wear on the golf course. There are some instances where tennis clothes are not advised, such as women’s skirts.

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has a strict rule on skirts not being any shorter than 14 inches and must include attached spandex shorts. You’ll hear some calling this a “skort”. Tennis skirts can be as short as 12 inches, so if you have a tennis skirt in the wardrobe you’d like to wear, measure it first and make sure it fits within skirt regulations.

A shorter tennis skirt will be allowed if tights or spandex are worn underneath.

For men wanting to wear their tennis shorts onto the golf course, just like women, you also have to consider the length of your shorts. Shorts cannot be too long, looking baggy and unkempt, and can’t be shorter than approximately 4 inches above the kneecap.

Most sporting retailers will have designated sections for each type of sport. If you have time and money to go shopping before hitting the golf balls, take yourself to a local sports retailer to check out their selection of golf clothing. You’ll be able to compare the clothing items and assess the differences in how each sport designs their clothing for better comfort.

Is It Ok to Wear Jeans for Golf?

Under no circumstances do we recommend wearing jeans to a golf club or on a golf course. Although many golf clubs have been known lately to be easing their restrictions on dress code regulations, jeans still appear to be the no-go on the green.

Even if jeans were allowed, we wouldn’t recommend them for comfort reasons and because the pockets aren’t usually great for holding larger objects like spare tees and golf balls.

Denim isn’t the most comfortable material to wear whether it’s too hot and sunny or whether it’s raining. Imagine walking miles around the green, in denim pants, with the sun beating down on your back, while you’re trying to accomplish some mild exercise and activity. I ask you; would you go to the gym to sweat in your denim jeans?

Can you Wear Leggings to Golf?

Athletic workout and yoga pants aren’t typically allowed on the golf course for men and women alike. Although leggings have become fairly appropriate in many other scenarios, and some golfing clubs will allow appropriate leggings, there are still some clubs that say no to leggings.

We recommend calling and asking if leggings are an appropriate clothing item to wear to the club first before rocking up and finding that they, unfortunately, don’t fit in with the dress code regulations.

Leggings have become a popular everyday clothing item because they’re comfortable, allow for great flexibility, and can be dressed up or down for any occasion. If your leggings are long, slim-fitting, comfortable, and look nice, they should be fine to wear on the green.

You might not see women on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) wearing leggings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! However, we do usually recommend wearing trousers, shorts, or skirts, that have accessible and deep pockets for spare tees and balls. Unfortunately, leggings don’t usually offer this.

The Do’s and Don’ts for Men and Women

There are different rules for men and women, and it can get confusing when looking up what to wear and finding too much information. It’s already overwhelming trying to decide what to wear so we’ve created an easy-to-read guide on the usual do’s and don’ts of what to wear on the golf course.

Here is a guideline on what is typically worn and what isn’t recommended for golfers’ outfits:

Top HalfCollared Shirt, polo is usually required–no tee-shirtsCan wear sleeveless and collarless shirts and blouses. V-necks and button-downs are usually fine
 Denim shirts and jackets are not allowedDenim shirts and jackets are not allowed
 Sweaters, light jackets, and windbreakers are allowed over the collared or polo shirtCardigans and sweaters are fine
 No sweatshirts and no hoodiesNo sweatshirts and no hoodies
 Hats, sunglasses, and gloves are optionalHats, sunglasses, and gloves are optional
Bottom HalfNo cargo shortsNo cargo shorts
 No yoga or athletic pantsNo yoga or athletic pants
 Belts are optionalBelts are optional
 Polyester blend or cotton trousers preferredTights or spandex shorts under skirts are recommended
 Capris and slacks are recommendedDresses are allowed but some clubs don’t tolerate anything above the knee
 Shorts to be no less than 4 inches above the kneeSkirts to be no shorter than 14 inches – no booty shorts or mini skirts
 No denim jeans or cut-offsNo denim jeans, cut-offs, or skirts
 Accessible and deeper pockets are recommendedAccessible and deeper pockets are recommended
 Closed-toe shoes and socksClosed-toe shoes and socks
 No bootsNo boots
 No shoes with metal spikes – soft spikes are recommendedNo shoes with metal spikes – soft spikes are recommended
 No backpacksNo purses

Try to wear sweat-friendly clothing and tighter-fitting jackets and shirts that don’t get in the way of your swing but also be mindful of non-stretchy materials that restrict your movement.  

Cotton and polyester blend or 100% polyester is a great type of shirt material to wear on the golf course and here’s why:

  • Is lightweight
  • Durable
  • Ideal material for any purpose,
  • Less prone to wrinkling
  • Responds well to activity and exercise with faster drying and absorbing qualities
  • Keeps you warmer on cooler days

We also recommend minimal jewelry so there’s less to get in the way of your swing.

If you do happen to have golf shoes or are considering buying them, they aren’t for streetwear and are best put on at the golf club.


The golf dress code isn’t as strict as it once was. Yes, it is known as a “gentleman’s sport” but that doesn’t mean clubs don’t want new members to join up and be afraid to attend the club because of what they can and can’t wear. The golf world is evolving to appropriate trends in clothing items for light exercise and inclusivity of older and new members alike.

You most likely have something in your wardrobe already that is more than appropriate for the golf course. To save yourself some time, we recommend calling the club beforehand just to be sure of their dress code regulations.