So it’s your first time playing golf, and you’re wondering what to wear? As golf is a very traditional sport, you might be concerned about wearing the proper golfing attire.
Depending on where you’re playing, different clubs have different rules on what players can and cannot wear around the golf club. The general rule for most clubs is to look smart, wear collared polo shirts, chinos or shorts, and appropriate footwear.
In this guide, we’ll be walking you through what you should wear for your first golf lesson and the general rules on golf etiquette when it comes to attire. Let’s jump in and find out what the professionals recommend you wear to your first golf lesson.
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What Should I Wear To My First Golf Lesson?
It’s OK to wear something a little casual for your first golf lesson. You’ll likely be spending most of the time on the driving range, where it’s mostly normal to dress a little informal. But I would advise you to use this time to get used to wearing all your equipment, particularly your golf shoes.
Assuming you’ve never played golf before, it would be unreasonable for your coach to ask you to spend lots of money on the latest golf gear and equipment. Perhaps the most important things you need as someone new to the game are your clubs and a pair of golf shoes. When practicing, golf shoes can make a massive difference to your shots, giving you more grip and comfort as you swing through the ball.
A lot of golfers have problems with getting blisters from their golf shoes, to know how to stop this from happening and what comfortable golf shoes you can see our article.
You’ll likely probably already have some smart clothes back at home, and all you’ll need then are a pair of chinos and a polo shirt, and you’re ready to play. In the modern era of professional golf, attitudes are a little more relaxed to dress codes from ten or 15 years ago. But if you’re having lessons at a good golf club, you’ll still need to double-check the dress code regulations before playing.
For more information on what to bring to your first lesson and first club fitting, be sure to check out our information pages here.
What Should You Not Wear When Golfing?
Although usually left to the discretion of the golf club you’re playing at, golfers should not wear clothes that can assist them in their swing, and neither should they wear casual clothes such as jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, or sweatpants. As a rule, make sure to read your local club’s dress code.
Golf is a sport that is steeped in history and tradition. And although fashion is something that is constantly changing, you’ll have a hard time changing the mind of your local club’s members if you turn up for your round in jeans and a hoodie. Unfortunately, the irritable attitudes of many golf members can sometimes mean you are getting ejected from the course, even if you don’t wear the right color socks!
It is essential to research your club’s dress code before you head down to play to ensure you can focus on your game and not have to worry about receiving a complaint about your clothes. Golfers need to be presentable, so that means it is OK to wear your Rolex on the course, but you also need to factor in that you’re playing a high endurance and heavily physical sport here. Here are six golf fashion mistakes to avoid when you’re going for your first lesson.
For a complete guide on everything you need to know about golf lessons please check out my helpful article.
1.Don’t Wear Restrictive Clothes
Most professional golfers wear loose-fitting polo shirts that are cut just above their elbows, which allows them to get a full rotation through the shot and does not hold them back if they’re looking to get more power or shape on the shot. Having that extra bit of stretch in your clothes can help you swing freely through your shot and can also prevent your clothes from chafing on your body.
That also goes for sweaters(jumpers)and raincoats. The tighter the sweater is on your body, the harder it will be to swing, so think carefully about the size of clothes you’re looking to wear.
When it comes to your lower body, most golfers need to wear loose-fitting chinos, shorts, or a skirt that allow you to flex at the waist and the hips. Flexibility in the lower half of your body is vital; if your pants are too restrictive, you’ll fail to get the same momentum through each shot and will lose distance, accuracy, and spin as you follow through on the golf ball. Plus, there’s also more chance of you tearing a hole in your trousers if they’re too tight, and no one wants to see that!
Especially for your first lesson, make sure to wear comfortable-fitting golf clothes that are warm and weatherproof for the days when it gets cold and wet on the course. But before you get out on the course, check out our guide on how many lessons a beginner golfer needs before they can start playing.
2.Don’t Wear Performance-Enhancing Clothes
The US Golf Association (USGA) prohibits players from wearing articles of clothing that can assist the player’s swing under Clothing Rule 4.3. The rule states:
“Articles of clothing must not incorporate features:
- designed to assist the player with his alignment; or
- that might otherwise assist the player in making a stroke or in his/her play.”
The rules state that players can wear compression tops and temperature regulating thermal garments to help the player stay warm and dry during the winter months. But any other ‘swing-enhancing’ garments should be avoided as they give the player an unfair advantage over their competitors. Plus if you’re taking lessons, you shouldn’t be wearing any clothes that can give you an advantage because that will take away from having lessons; that is to develop better technique.
3.Don’t Dress In Casual Attire
T-shirts, hoodies, and sweatpants are a massive no-no at most golf courses. As too are football jerseys, sports tops, and gym shorts. Although you are playing a sport, golf etiquette requires you to respect the club, the course, and the other members around you by playing in smart attire.
In saying that, there is a lot of leeway around beginner and junior golfers on the driving range and at more family-natured clubs. You’ll only see dress code rules being enforced at proper, 18-hole golf courses that have a lot of members. That means you can get away with wearing smart-casual clothes, but to avoid disappointment, it’s always a safe bet to dress appropriately for the course.
If you’re taking lessons, too, you’ll likely be in and out of the clubhouse, meeting members and working with a PGA tour-approved coach. That means you will need to be wearing the proper attire. Plus, your coach may have planned that you’ll be going out on the course to work on your game management, and in that instance, you’ll need to be prepared and ready to play golf in the correct articles of clothing.
For ideas of essential pieces of equipment, you should keep in your locker at the clubhouse see our article.
4.Don’t Wear Sneakers(Trainers)
For beginners getting into the game, there is a little bit of leeway in wearing the appropriate footwear. Ultimately golf is an expensive hobby. As clubs are starting to grow the game more to get younger people more involved in the sport, less attention is being paid to traditional dress codes, meaning sneakers(trainers) are a bit of a grey area at times.
But if you’re playing 18-holes at a PGA registered club, the general rule is not to wear trainers, sandals, or flip flops. Trust me; you don’t want to play golf in sandals – you’ll tear your feet to shreds! Purely from a comfort perspective, golf shoes are perhaps one of the most critical pieces of equipment to purchase.
Although expensive, you can’t put a value on a sturdy, well-supported pair of golf shoes that can give you a good grip when you swing through your shot. Particularly if you have outdoor lessons, golf shoes are a must to help you keep your feet dry in the rain. If you do not have outdoor lessons, find out why they might be beneficial to help you improve your golfing game.
5.Don’t Wear Short Socks
Long socks have long been a tradition of golf. In the 1800s, golfers rolled socks to their knees and tucked their trousers into the socks. This tradition hasn’t died just yet. Although golfers don’t tuck their trousers into their socks anymore, long socks are still a staple of many golf courses, particularly if you’re wearing shorts. I know many golf courses that will turn players away from wearing ankle socks or shoe-liners, and so make sure to put a long pair of socks on if you’re booked in for a lesson.
6.Don’t Forget To Wear A Belt On Your Shorts Or Trousers
Wearing a belt isn’t a must in golf, but it certainly helps. With players having to walk around 7 to 9 miles(12 to 15km) on a round of golf, you don’t want to have to keep pulling your pants up if they keep falling. Likewise, while you’re swinging through on your shot, you also don’t need your shorts slipping down and distracting you from hitting a clean sweep through the ball.
It’s, therefore, advisable if you’re playing or going for your first lesson to always ensure you buckled up with a belt. Not having to think about your pants slipping down can give you more time to focus on your golf and your lesson.
Gloves are a key piece of golfing equipment, but many players run into the issue of their gloves becoming dirty or useable. To know how to keep your gloves fresh so they last longer see our complete guide to glove care.
Can Ladies Wear Leggings For Golf?
Ladies can wear leggings to play golf. Similar to wearing trousers, leggings are a more comfortable and athletic alternative to trousers that can be used for the driving range or on the course.
Many LPGA Tour professionals like Michelle Wie wear leggings regularly on the course and the driving range. Leggings are a great piece of kit to have, particularly when the temperatures drop over the winter months. They are comfortable playing in and allowing the great player flexibility to swing through the shot and complete a great range of movements.
Is It Ok To Wear Jeans On A Golf Course?
It is not OK to wear jeans on a golf course. It can be acceptable to wear jeans on the driving range, but blue jeans and black jeans should not be worn when playing 18-holes. Jeans are not proper golfing attire and are very restrictive and uncomfortable to play in.
I know many golfers who have been ejected from golf clubs because they turned up to play 18-holes in a pair of blue jeans. It is something golf courses are strict on, particularly if you’re wearing blue jeans. There are several funny exceptions when you can play golf in jeans, but generally, due to golf’s strict traditions and the smart dress codes in place across many golf clubs, you should avoid playing in jeans when playing 18-holes and even when attending your golf lesson.
Do I Need To Wear A Glove When I Play Golf?
Golfers should wear gloves to help them get a good grip on their club. Wearing a glove has become a bit of a fashion must of the golf course, with some clubs ejecting players for not wearing a glove. Ultimately, wearing a golf glove is your own choice.
Some golfers will wear two gloves, mainly when playing in cold and wet conditions, and that gives them a better grip on the club in slick wet conditions. When going to the range to practice, it’s particularly advisable to wear a glove as you will be hitting multiple golf shots, testing the power on each, and will need that added protection on your hand to stop the club from causing blisters. For beginners, it’s also advisable to wear a glove when attending your first lessons. The color of the golf glove also does not matter.
Wondering why golfers take their glove off between shots? It’s not just so they can work on their tan lines! Find out the real reason here!
The 19th Hole
As golf is becoming a modern game for all players, fashions are slowly changing, and many clubs are becoming more relaxed when it comes to enforcing the traditional dress codes of golf.
More recently, PGA Tour Pro Tyrrell Hatton has been seen playing in a hoodie at multiple Tour events this year. At the same time, Tommy Fleetwood regularly turns up to play in a pair of Nike AirMax. Times are changing, and golf clubs are realizing if they want to start getting more people into enjoying the sport, they need to let go of a lot of their old traditions.
Although many of those traditions will persist going forwards, for example, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be allowed to wear jeans on a golf course, but that is an inherent part of the game. So when you’re going for your first golf lesson, make sure to look at the part, which will help you feel the part and ultimately play better.
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