8 Top Reasons Why Golf Have a Dress Code – Your Ultimate Guide

So you have decided to start or pick up golf a hobby? Well, let me start by congratulating you for that bold over. As a beginner golfer, the journey ahead for you will be interesting. It is for me, and I am glad to know that we are in this together. If you have visited any golf course in your neighborhood, then you have been told about how you should dress. But why does golf have a dress code? If you are like me, you have wondered about this too.

The good news is that I decided to research on this and ask a few golfers. This is the information I intend to share with you here.

So most of the golf clubs have a dress code and they expect that you as a member dress accordingly. The real question to me is, why does golf have a dress code in the first place? Let us discuss this.

My goals with this resource is so that you will be in a better position to understand why golf has a dress code.

So, why does golf have a dress code?

The golf sport has a dress code because wearing the right golf attire is considered a matter of good golfing etiquette.

Like in business, having a dress code in golf speaks volumes about you as a golfer or even as a spectator. It is a way to ensure there is some form of uniformity in the golf course.

As Oscar Wilde once said, “you can never be over-dressed or over-educated”.

Golf has long had a dress code and etiquette that players must adhere to. This has been a way to keep new golfers as well as veterans of the game in line with the traditions of the game. Each course and golf competition has its own rules on dress code. The rules are set by R&A and the USGA.

8 Reasons Why Golf Has a Dress Code

There has been discussion about why golf courses have a dress code. In order to understand why this discussion is always heated, you should go back to the basic reasons we have the golf dress code.

The following are the reasons why golf has a dress code;

  1. Promotes professionalism.
  2. Creates long-lasting impressions.
  3. Establishes good reputation.
  4. Enhances credibility.
  5. Commands respect.
  6. Instills productivity.
  7. Visual uniformity
  8. Boosts confidence.

Playing a round of golf is a very refreshing thing. It provides an opportunity to achieve several things like taking a walk and also networking for your business.

Let us look at these reasons why golf has a dress code.

  1. Promotes Professionalism

Like in business, having a dress code promotes professionalism.

It is the same for the golf industry. Having a dress code helps to ensure that there is a high level of professional golfing etiquette.

Can you imagine if every golfer or anyone at the golf course is wearing whatever they wish?

It would be a disaster and would not look so good.

  1. Creates a Long-lasting Impression.

As a golfer, you would not want to give a bad first impression to other golfers or members of your golf club.

Sticking to the prescribed golf dress code creates a long lasting impression on the people you come across.

It is important to remember that golf provides a very good platform for both social and business networking.

Adhering to the laid down gold dress code shows that you respect others and that you also follow instructions.

These are good indicators for someone who might want to engage with you or do business with you.

  1. Establishes Good Reputation

Your golf dress code says a lot about you or the company you work for.

I know it should be the case, but still people judge you by what you are wearing.

It is therefore very important that you follow the dressing code in golf clubs or golf courses. You do not want to be thrown out or denied entry at such a golfing facility.

It is embarrassing.

  1. Enhances Credibility 

The power of dress code fashion can go beyond looking dapper. It can also play a part in influencing outcomes by giving you a slight edge of credibility.

This is true in golfing.

You should ensure you have regard for the laid down rules, and have the discipline to follow the golf dress code.

  1. Commands Respect

They say that respect is not given but earned.

But in order to earn it, one must establish that they deserve it.

In golf, the best way to earn respect is through following the golf dress code. It shows that you respect procedures and rules.

Going back to the first point, there is something very professional about someone who follows the dress code.

  1. Instills Productivity 

There is relation between what one wears and the productivity. This is trust in business and iot is true in the golf course too.

If you just wear randomly to the golf club, it might affect your game of golf.

With that in mind, it is important to note that golf dress code helps in ensuring you are productive, either in playing golf or in your social or business networking.

  1. Visual Uniformity

Having a golf dress code helps in ensuring there is some form of uniformity in the golf club or course.

When everyone is on the same page about what you can and cannot wear increases a feeling of unity.

This is important in ensuring that every golfer or member of a golf club feels at home. It also creates a kind of a level ground for everyone.

  1. Boosts Confidence

When you look good, you feel good. Having a golf dress code improves the golfing environment.

I do not know about you, but attending a golf tournament where people turn up in great dress code is always refreshing.

What Dress Code to have at a Golf Course

In most cases a polo shirt with collar is expected and no jeans, tracksuit or fluorescent clothes are appreciated. As a player you need golf shoes, golf gloves and a rain suit or umbrella preferable for the rainy seasons.

Especially that rain suit and maybe a warm winter hat suddenly gives the whole of dress code a different overview. When everybody is walking around in his or her colorful rain suit,  then the whole dress code is ‘of the record’.

I have already heard about situations where players were refused the entrance to a course, because their Bermuda shorts were too short. After these players put on their rain suit, in a 35 degree sun shine, it was approved and they could enter the course.

What does proper golf dress code mean?

Gentlemen; Shirts with a collar (Mocks are acceptable) and golf slacks/shorts are considered appropriate attire. Shorts must be of conservative tailoring and no more than 3” above the knee.

Ladies; Dresses, skirts, slacks, golf shorts, blouses and golf specific t-shirts are considered appropriate attire.

What should you not wear when golfing?

Do not wear denim, cargo shorts, jeans, sweatpants, yoga pants or other athletic pants. You should not wear either your pants or shorts too long. It is considered sloppy.

You are also advised not to wear pants with cuffs or pleats. You should look good.

If wearing shorts, do not wear them too tight or short.

What dress code is appropriate for golf courses?


Most golf courses mandate that men must wear a collared shirt. Women must wear modest looking shirts, which can include collared tops.

No t-shirts are allowed.


Most courses require men to wear trousers when playing. Knee-length shorts are generally allowed as well.

However, jeans shirts, jeans or cargo shorts are not permitted. Players should not wear any type of workout or fitness clothing.


Golfers must wear either soft spikes or traditional metal spikes to play on the courses.

Trainers, running shoes and the like are not appropriate for most golf courses.


Traditionally, golf courses require socks to match the player’s full attire.


Golf courses usually only permit baseball caps (clean and not beaten up) or straw hats to be worn by players.

Your golf attire is one way to prepare for the game. Another way to look great on the course is to improve your game.

Why do a lot of golf courses have dress codes prohibiting blue jeans?

In general, most golf courses do not allow jeans or denims. Specifically, there is a prohibition in golf courses of the blue jean.

The reason is simple; it is a throwback to a time when golf was played primarily by a group of people who wanted to maintain a certain appearance. Blue jeans did not fit into that image.

You have to be aware of the origins of the golf for you to put into context this prohibition of jeans.

In early days, golf was played in membership-based country clubs. Mostly, the members were the rich and wealthy in the society.

Under such circumstances, it was considered ‘cheap’ and ‘not classy’ to wear jeans. So, it was banned in most golf clubs.

That tradition has stuck with us up to date.

The question is, should golf clubs drop this requirement and allow members to wear jeans?

When golf courses started letting the general public in, many of the old Country Club policies remained. “Collared shirts and no denim” was one legacy dress code that still survives.

It is gradually changing and most “muni” courses allow jeans and shirts without collars.

In the six years I have played golf, I have never seen someone denied access because of what they are wearing.


In conclusion, I do hope that this information has helped you understand why dress code for golfers is important.

Being able to dress the part is critical to the success of any professional, whether in sport of in business.

There is a great deal of conversations on whether golf should continue insisting on having a dress code. Truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages to a golf dress code.

It is something that specific golf membership clubs should decide on, given the time and composition of the club’s members.

The world is changing and maybe golf should also adapt to the new world order of things, while still maintaining some rules for the game.