Breaking the Code - Dress Code on a Golf Course

Golf may seem as simple as hitting a white ball into a hole, but scratch the surface a bit and you will find lots of social implications. Originally, golf was aimed at socializing, especially among upper class families. Therefore, dress codes were established to appeal to the social elite.

Back then (and even in many places today), the standard golfing garb for women was a blouse, jacket (soon replaced by a knit cardigan sweater) and a floor length skirt; men were required to wear long pants with a shirt and jacket. Slowly, the outfits evolved a little to be more functional for the game and slightly more fashionable. With more sophisticated fabrics and design, both men and women golfers started to actually look pretty good!

Best Dressed Golfers

Even still nowadays, most golf courses require that golfers wear a collared shirt, appropriate shoes, socks and – heaven forbid – no denim jeans.
But there is a good reason for mandatory golf dress. Running a golf club is a business and in order to set a good impression, both the golf course and members should look good. This will help keep existing clientele and attract new members to their establishment.

As an image consultant, I compare this situation to dress codes in companies such as banks or insurance where employees must wear appropriate clothes to establish customers’ trust and gain new clients. The power of the first impression…!

So should we be surprised or disappointed to have a dress code on golf courses? Many sports have dress codes too for a variety of reasons, practical, social, security (soccer:knee length socks, shirt tucked in, cleated shoes…martial arts: with the white gi etc…baseball, football, tennis…)

After consulting with several men and women golfers, I found out that all were unanimous that in order to avoid a degradation of the sport, dress codes should be mandatory. No doubt, most golfers do comply with the rules and don’t want to change a single thing.

John Daly

To end with a tip, I would recommend that, just as in any formal occasion, even when there is no written dress code, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and inquire about a dress code before heading to the party – or even to a golf course you haven’t played before!

What is your dress code on the golf course?

This guest post is written by our friend Chantal Cadorin, image consultant at 3C Conseil en image

Images by Druids Health Golf Club, Chris Breikss, GIO in T.O.
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If you enjoyed this post please leave us your comment below

My Green Jacket January 25, 2011

Have to agree. Sometimes it’s a pain to have to stop in at home for a collared shirt on the way from the range to the course, but I think I would feel strange in a t-shirt. The better you look the better you feel, and feeling good helps your game.

Glad the requirement for knee-length socks is on the way out though!


Brandon Beaver January 26, 2011

I think dress codes are pointless! You see PGA Tour players wearing short sleeve mock turtlenecks which are nothing more than a t-shirt which by the way do have collars, a crewneck collar. So why are they allowed? Plus, you see people wear a nice pair of jeans to a social function all the time. Some jeans cost more than a pair of slacks. Now I don’t won’t to see someone wearing cutoff shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt but you can look nice in a pair of jeans and t-shirt. I have a Callaway Golf t-shirt that is navy blue with a small Callaway log over the heart. Is it not a golf shirt? I understand some golf courses are mainly for the rich and a dress code is suitable but not all courses need a strict one.


Moto January 27, 2011

Merci pour cet article très intéressant ! bonne continuation.


Tommy Priest January 29, 2011

Nos remerciements pour votre remarque. Si vous avez des idées pour autres articles, contactez-nous!
Bonne journée.


skinny jeans March 9, 2012

It comes to a point they look like clowns..


Tommy Priest March 21, 2012

I know some of those clowns!


Isaac March 31, 2012

It depends whether you are going to call golf a game or a sport. If it is simply a game, then you can maintain as many silly rules and keep as many ridiculous traditions as you want. If you are going to allow golf to be a sport, then you have to allow the athletes to wear whatever garb is going to give them the best opportunity to succeed at their craft – even if that be wearing a speedo (swimming) or a leotard (gymnastics). I imagine that if this was the case in golf, that you would see a lot more lightweight breathable t-shirts and shorts on the course.


Tommy Priest April 13, 2012

We appreciate your comment – and in our opinion, golf is something more than a game – or a sport. It is a lifestyle, combining behavior, well-being and self-achievement.


FMX June 1, 2012

Nice pics ! I like this style =)


Tommy Priest July 11, 2012

Thank you!