More now than ever, we’re seeing women take an active interest in the game of golf. And if you ask me, that’s a good thing. For far too long, golf was a sport reserved for well-to-do men. The sport provided an outlet for men to get away from their wives, talk smart, and pretend they were better than they really were.
While there’s still plenty of the latter that goes on in golf, it’s become more and more common to see women out on the course with their friends, and their significant others.
As such, one of the most common questions we get from women, especially those that are new to the game, is “what should I wear?”
Seeing as this isn’t my area of expertise, I asked my wife as well as our Golfer’s Authority female readership for their input. Their collective feedback was substantial.
Keep reading to hear what they had to say.
What is the Golf Dress Code for Women?
On the surface this seems like a straightforward question, but it’s layered.
Generally speaking, women are asked to wear a collared shirt, just like men. For bottoms, shorts, non-denim pants, and skirts are the norm.
But a lot of this depends on where you play. If you’re a member at a private club, chances are the dress code is going to be defined in the club’s bi-laws and therefore strictly enforced.
However, if your home course caters to all different kinds of people, chances are the dress code will be a little more relaxed. You can probably get away with denim on a cold day, maybe even wear a shirt without a collar.
As a general rule of thumb, your best bet is to err on the side of being a little more conservative.
But. . .
Is Women’s Golf Apparel Getting More Progressive?
The answer is YES! Just like everything else with golf, women’s golf garb is slowly coming into the 21st century. As I’m a fan of saying, the days of pleated khakis are becoming more and more a thing of the past.
Today, women are wearing skirts and skorts, and they’re a little shorter than they have been in the past.
Golf dresses are coming into the fold as well. We’re talking about dresses that are designed specifically for golf, not the spaghetti strap black numbers you’d wear to a Friday night cocktail party.
Women’s golf clothes today are designed to be both fashionable and functional.
What Should You Consider When Choosing Your Golf Outfit?
There are a number of factors you should consider when making this all too important decision.
Where are You Playing?
As we mentioned above, dress codes for both men and women vary widely depending on where you’re playing.
If you’re headed to a course you’ve never played before and are unsure what to wear, it’s a good idea to call ahead and see what the dress code is.
Again, some private clubs require shirts to be tucked in and shorts and skirts to be of a certain length.
What’s the Forecast?
More than any other sport, golf attire is dictated by the weather. If there’s a chance of rain, it might be a good idea to leave that sleeveless top and pair of shorts in the closet for another day. Conversely, if it’s going to be 80 degrees and sunny, you can probably shelve that long-sleeve sweater and opt for something a bit more comfortable that allows your legs and arms to catch some rays.
Comfort and Fit
My wife says that you have to look good to play well. While there’s certainly an element of truth to this statement, your golf apparel needs to be comfortable too.
You have to remember that you’re going to be outside walking and swinging for a few hours. It’s best to choose materials that fit well and allow you to swing freely. While baggy, loose-fitting clothing isn’t a great option, neither is something that fits too tight and limits your range of motion.
Golf can be an expensive sport. And that includes your apparel. That doesn’t mean you can’t find deals on high-quality stuff, however.
If you’re looking to add to your golf wardrobe, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare prices. All the major manufacturers feature their latest clothing on their website, and there are always discounts to be found if you look hard enough.
Another good place to look is the clearance rack at your local course. As seasons change, Pro Shops bring in new apparel. More often than not, they will have a number of selections left over that they need to move and therefore discount heavily.
Just as important as cost when considering the right golf clothing, is its function.
As a general rule, golf clothing should be lightweight and breathable. Do your best to avoid garments that are thick and cause you to get hot. No one wants to be sweaty out on the course, and bulky materials restrict your range of motion too.
If you’re going to be playing on a cold day, it’s best to opt for a number of thin layers rather than a single one that’s overly stuffy and restrictive.
Your Personal Style
When it comes to style, everyone is different. Some women like the look of more traditional golf attire and there’s plenty of that to go around. Others prefer clothes that are a little more flashy and eye-catching. Story checks out here too.
The most important thing is that you feel comfortable in the clothes you wear. They’re an extension of who you are, and you should wear them with pride.
Mixing and Matching
If you’re looking to replenish your golf wardrobe, we don’t recommend doing it all at once. While the thought of a day filled with retail therapy might sound alluring, it can get expensive quickly, and chances are you won’t be happy with everything you end up purchasing.
Instead, it’s best to go through this process bit by bit.
If you’re coming out of winter and the temperatures are starting to get warm, keep your eyes peeled for some skirts, shorts, and dresses that catch your eye. And if you come across a cute top that goes well with that colorful belt and white shorts, have at it.
When temperatures start to cool, you’re going to need some outerwear that’s both stylish and comfortable. While it might not be as “cute” as the stuff you wore all summer, there are plenty of options available in the form of vests, sweaters, and jackets. Just remember what we said about thin layers and breathability.
We can’t stress enough that the process of filling out your golf wardrobe should be an organic one, not one that leaves you having to take out a second mortgage on your house after a single swipe of your credit card.
Increased interest from women in the game of golf is a good thing for everyone involved. Anyone that says otherwise can be written off in my opinion.
Apparel manufacturers have noticed this trend and adapted accordingly. Now, more than ever, there are women’s clothing options for every taste and style. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you.
If you consider some of the factors above and go about filling out your golf wardrobe the right way, you’ll be swinging freely and having fun in no time at all.