Golfers have a very identifiable style of dress. When you hit the golf course, you’ll notice that many people are wearing a variation on the classic golfer outfit. If you don’t want to stick out while you’re playing, you’ll want to dress to fit in. Even if you’re not going to play golf that often, you might still like the style and want to create an outfit that screams “golfer!” If you’re not sure of the essential elements of a golf pro, don’t worry—we’ll outline everything you need to dress like you’ve been playing golf for years.
Have you seen a golfer wearing a t-shirt? Maybe amateur players, but most professionals wear collared shirts that are either pullovers with a few buttons at the top or a button-up. The sleeves generally stop about three-fourth of the way to your elbows, leaving your lower arms free to move without any issue. Your elbows should never be covered by your sleeves. Oh, and it should go without saying, but never pop the collar.
In addition to these required sleeve lengths, you want to make certain that the shirt fits you. Baggy shirts are out—you want to make certain the shirt fits nicely without being too tight or too loose. You also want to always tuck your shirt in. Every pro golfer does this, and it transforms their look.
Many, many golfers wear khaki pants. They’re almost the foundation of any golfer outfit, but they’re not your only option. You do want to go for a pant made from lightweight material, not jeans, because you’re going to be outdoors for three or four hours. You also need to be able to easily move your hips when lining up your shots and swinging your club. Your pants should fit well and should reach the top of your shoes, but shouldn’t be any longer.
Shorts are another option. You don’t want shorts that are too short or too long, though. Ideally, your shorts will stop just at or slightly above the kneecaps. Note that short shorts are not acceptable golf wear, and some courses may have a dress code.
For color, if you’re not a fan of khaki, that’s okay. Dark and white pants are fine, though white pants can end up with grass stains on them if you fall or kneel down often. If you wear bold colored pants or shorts, make sure the shirt you pair them with is more of a neutral color without a pattern to it. Otherwise, the overall look may be a bit much. Golfers aren’t on the course to show off their fashion or to pull attention away from the game.
For golfers, a belt is a necessity, even if it’s more for show and less for function. If you don’t want to draw any attention to your waistline, go with a neutral-colored belt that doesn’t contrast that much with your pants. For example, with khakis, wear a brown belt. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the attention, a belt that contrasts with your pants and shirt can add a nice pop of color to an outfit. When trying to decide on a belt, go with what looks the best with your shirt rather than your pants.
Invest in a good pair of golf shoes that fit well, and be sure you maintain them. This is especially true if you’re wearing white shoes. No one wants to see dirty shoes that have never been cleaned, and they can ruin your overall look. Clean your shoes after every game if possible or at least clean them regularly.
As far as socks go, if you’re wearing pants, it doesn’t really matter since no one should see them. If you’re wearing shorts, though, ankle socks are the best option.
Now that you have an understanding of the basic parts of a pro golfer outfit, it’s time to put it all together. The idea is to look nice without really standing out or drawing attention to anything. Patterned shirts or pants are okay, but if you’re going to do both, make sure the patterns complement each other and that neither is overpowering. The colors should work together to create a cohesive look. For example, if you’re wearing blue pants with thin red stripes, find a shirt in the same red.
Generally, if you’re going to do a patterned shirt, match it with a plain pair of pants or shorts. If you’re going bold on your pants, wear a simple shirt. Otherwise, it can be too much.
These are the basics of a golf pro’s outfit and will help you start building up your own golfer's wardrobe. Of course, if you’re ever in doubt of what to get, simply look at what professionals are wearing on the course. You can’t go wrong with following their lead.