What To Wear Golfing For The First Time: Dress Code Tips

Not every golfer has seen professional golf or has visited a course to see what people are wearing. It can be daunting not knowing what clothes are appropriate the first time you step foot on the links to play a round or hit the range.

This article will explain how to dress like a golfer and depict different outfit ideas so you can look fly on the course. It will also describe what not to wear while playing golf.

1st Thing First: What Not To Wear On Golf Course

It’s important to wear the proper attire when playing golf. There are certain golfing outfits and articles of clothing that should never be worn and may be deemed inappropriate.

Not all golf courses have a dress code but many at least require a collared shirt

For shirts: This means don’t wear t-shirts, sleeveless shirts, athletic shirts without a collar, sports jerseys or an overly large shirt. Also, make sure the top fits properly.

For women, it is appropriate to wear sleeveless golf shirts. They can easily be found at sporting goods stores. 

For bottoms: Don’t wear basketball shorts, jeans, cargo shorts with a lot of pockets, athletic pants or sweat pants. 

In terms of outwear: Don’t wear denim jackets or nonathletic sweatshirts. 

Hoodies have become a trending topic on the PGA Tour and among the golf community. Some golf courses don’t allow hoodies but for the most part, they are usually permitted. 

Golf hoodies are being produced by golf apparel brands and have been seen on PGA Tour players such as Justin Thomas, Tyrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele. 

It’s advisable to not wear a thick and poofy fashion jacket either. Not only will it be bulky and heavy, it just doesn’t look right for the golf course.

It’s important to know what shoes to wear golfing. The best option is to wear golf shoes with a good grip on the bottoms so you don’t slip and you remain balanced while swinging the club.

You want snug shoes so you don’t swing out of your shoes, literally.

There are both soft-spiked and spikeless golf shoes made by brands such as FootJoy, Adidas and Ecco which are good for walking and keeping you grounded. 

Regular athletic shoes are also usually allowed at courses.

Be sure not to wear metal spikes because they will tear up the course and damage the greens. Also, don’t wear boots or sandals.

Some golfers like to wear accessories such as jewelry on the course. Just make sure if you’re going to wear a necklace to tuck it in so it doesn’t bother you while swinging, especially if it’s a long necklace. 

Dangling earrings can also get in the way. Some golfers enjoy wearing watches. It definitely adds a classy touch to their look in most cases.

It all comes down to preference with watches and how they feel on your wrist while swinging, chipping or putting. 

Many tour pros don’t wear watches during rounds. Only after during the trophy presentation or if they know they’re being interviewed so they can show off the watch brand that sponsors them. 

💡 Golfible Tip: When wearing outerwear it’s important to not wear clothing that fits too tight because it can restrict and affect your swing. The same goes for if it is too large because it can get in the way of your swing.

What should a first-time golfer wear? (Men)

What do golfers wear? Many of us have seen the PGA and LPGA Tour players decked out from head to toe in fancy golf attire.

The following section will provide answers to what you should wear on the course.

Collared Polo Shirt

Collared athletic shirts are the typical top for golfers to wear on the course. You can wear a polyester moisture-wicking polo or a cotton polo depending on the weather. If it’s super hot out, try not to wear a thick cotton shirt. 

It’s often recommended when you’re trying to have a matching outfit to wear either two opposite solid colors such as a blue solid top and light blue, white or khaki shorts for example.

If you’re going to wear a patterned shirt or shorts, make sure one is solid and the other is patterned. It wouldn’t look right to wear both with patterns. Even John Daly knows this fashion rule.


Bringing a waterproof pullover to the course is smart if there is a chance of rain in the forecast. You don’t want to get soaked and have to walk around the course in a heavy wet shirt.

Should the weather be cold, a vest or warm pullover is also another great option. An athletic long sleeve sweater vest can also work.

As we mentioned earlier, a golf hoodie in most cases should be fine. If you’re at a fancy country club with many rules, it’s recommended to check first.

Slacks or Shorts

Khaki-style, dress-looking shorts are ideal shorts for the golf course, especially on hot days. If they are lightweight and breathe well, you’ll be more comfortable too.

Slacks are good for the course. There are slacks sold by certain companies that are flexible and can be worn both on the course or in the office. 

Many people ask: Is it okay to wear jeans to play golf? Many courses prohibit them and on a hot day it just isn’t a good idea to wear them. 

Golf Shoe

It’s important to know what shoes to wear golfing. As we mentioned earlier in the article, the safest and smartest option is to just wear normal golf shoes so you have a good grip on the ground during your swing. 


It really doesn’t matter what type of socks you wear on the course. You can wear medium-lengthed ones that go right above your ankles or shorter ones. If you’re trying to match and be stylish, make sure to coordinate the sock color with the shoes.


Examples of accessories include hats, golf belts, gloves, sunglasses and jewelry. 

Golf hats are commonly worn on the course to protect players from the sun. Baseball-style caps are the most popularly worn. Visors, bucket hats and breathable cowboy hats such as the type Greg Norman and Rory Sabbitini wear can be seen as well.

Since you’ll most likely be tucking in your shirt during your round, (you should be) your belt will be shown off.

Some people like matching their belts to their shorts, pants, shoes or caps. One look that is a little flashier is if you have a certain-color hat and shoes then wear a belt that is the same color to match.

Golf gloves can be any color but the common matching colors are white and black gloves. 

Sunglasses are permitted on the course. Oakley sunglasses can often be seen worn by tour players. 

Jewelry can be worn on the course, just make sure it doesn’t get in the way of your swing. 

📢 Need To Know: During the mid-2000s, white belts were extremely fashionable on tour. Belts that are popularly seen nowadays are multicolored mesh belts to match outfits and belts with a logo on the buckle such as the three stripe logo from Adidas.

What to wear golfing for the first time (Ladies)

We will breakdown below beginner and casual golf attire for ladies.


For ladies, it is appropriate to wear a collared short-sleeve polo or a sleeveless polo. The rules aren’t as strict about collars as they are for men. Women don’t always have to wear a collared shirt. 

Many female golf apparel brands design shirts without sleeves. Lydia Ko is often seen showcasing this style.


Shorts, skirts and pants are all acceptable to wear for women on the course. 


It’s up to the golfer themself what accessories they wish to wear on the course and what they feel comfortable swinging with as mentioned earlier.

World No. 1 Nelly Korda can often be seen wearing bracelets, a watch and sunglasses while she plays golf. 


The shoe rule is the same for women and men. Soft spikes and spikeless shoes are fine for the course.

📋 Keep in mind: Metal spikes are prohibited on many courses since they can tear up the grass and are only allowed for the pros. 

Are leggings acceptable for golf?

Leggings are acceptable on the golf course. If you show up in them at an out-dated country club with primarily senior members, you might get a few dirty looks. In recent times, leggings have become extremely popular to wear anywhere.

FootJoy even created their own golf-style leggings for women. 

Is There A Driving Range Dress Code?

There isn’t a specific dress code for driving ranges in general. It depends on the range itself. If you’re going to a driving range at a country club or nice course, there’s probably a dress code for the entire golf facility. 

If you’re going to a casual range or Topgolf-style range, you can probably get away with not wearing typical golf attire.

The easiest way to find out is by calling and asking or looking on the range’s website. 

What do you wear to an indoor/outdoor golf lesson?

For an outdoor lesson, you can wear normal golf attire as we described earlier in the article. Just be sure to dress correctly for the weather. You want to be comfortable while trying to learn. 

For an indoor lesson, a collared flexible shirt is a good idea with shorts or slacks. 

Companies with indoor lessons will likely be laxer in terms of dress code rather than receiving a lesson at a course.

A logical thought for people going to their first lessons who have never swung a club is what to wear golfing if you don’t have golf clothes. 

In this case, a comfortable flexible collared shirt and some lightweight shorts or pants along with tennis shoes is appropriate.


How strict is golf dress code?

Golf dress codes can vary depending on the course, but generally, they are quite strict. Golfers are expected to wear collared shirts, pants or shorts of an appropriate length, and golf shoes. Some courses may prohibit denim, cargo shorts, and athletic wear.

Can you wear sneakers golfing?

Yes, you can wear sneakers while golfing, but it depends on the golf course’s dress code policy. Some courses require golf shoes with soft spikes or cleats to protect the greens, while others may allow sneakers or other types of athletic shoes. It’s best to check the course’s dress code policy beforehand to ensure you’re dressed appropriately.

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with Augusta.com. He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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