Dressing for the Golf Course

Whether you play golf in Iowa, Oregon, or Georgia, the dress required on the golf course is subject to some basic etiquette strictures if you play at any but a public course.

Sports teams typically ensure that attire is neat, consistent, and appropriate for the types of movement required by the sport through the use of team uniforms. Golf is played by individuals rather than teams, so the role of appearance is different, but considered important. Wearing appropriate golf attire is considered a matter of good etiquette that is underpinned by rules.

Individual golf courses that are either private or semi-private and those located at resorts generally have strict dress requirements for members and their guests. These rules don't impose uniformity, but do rule out the most casual types of attire and require that players give some thought to how they dress for the golf course.

Why So Strict?

In golf, numerous individuals share a playing field, so individual fashion sense is aided by this dress code in order that the sport may have a sense of dignity. People may go to a golf course that they may have paid a large sum to attend without having their sensibilities offended.

At minimum, a golf course is likely to have two rules. The first is a "no denim" policy for men and women, which often translates to khaki pants or shorts for men and cotton or blended pants, shorts, or skirts for women. The second rule for the golf course that imposes minimal requirements is generally that men wear collared shirts, rather than t-shirts. Women's tops need not have a collar, but t-shirts are generally frowned upon.

In addition to clothing rules, a golf course often has specific rules about footwear.

Golf courses with a more developed set of rules may include bans on the following on the course:

o shorts or skirts that are "too short"; a measurement of how far above the knee they may be is often provided

o any clothing that is "too revealing," such as swimwear, tube tops, halter tops, tank tops, and any attire that shows the midriff

o any attire that is see-through

o jeans and other denim

o cargo pants and shorts

o cut-off shorts, gym shorts, and lacrosse shorts

o sweat shirts and sweatpants

o jogging suits

o clothing that is not clean and wrinkle free

o clothing that has holes.

Some facilities might also require that shirts be tucked in, that pants not be too tight, and that hats be worn with the visor facing forward.

Courses have different rules about where the dress code applies. It may apply in the clubhouse and practice areas as well as on the course, and be even stricter in dining areas by banning hats, for example. It may also apply to non-playing guests as well as members.

The best approach to take with golf course attire is to check before going to a course for the first time. Public courses may have more lenien policies and allow for a much wider range of attire.

Don't think that just because you follow the dress code you can't be chic. A reporter pointed out that Stacy Lewis won the Kraft Nabisco, the first LPGA major of 2011, wearing Fila Golf attire and looking very fashionable.

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Chapeau Noir Golf. (2011, April 5). Stacy Lewis can't lose wearing Fila Golf. Retrieved from http://www.chapeaunoirgolf.com/chapeaunoirblog/2011/4/5/stacy-lewis-cant-lose-wearing-fila-golf.html Fox Den Country Club. (n.d.). Club dress code. Retrieved from http://www.foxdencountryclub.com/About-the-Club/Club-Dress-Code-137.html North Hempstead Country Club. (n.d.). Dress code. Retrieved from http://www.nhccli.com/Club/Dress-Code.aspx

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