You’ve decided to hit the golf course only to ask yourself “do I really have to tuck in my shirt while I am making all of these golf swings?”
Most golf courses don’t require golfers to have to tuck their shirts into their pants while playing. However, nicer golf courses might have apparel requirements such as to wear slacks and a tucked-in shirt or a skort and a tucked-in shirt.
Who tucks their golf shirts in?
Many of golf’s traditions are well over 100 years old. In those days, golf was a gentlemen’s game where the men acted and dressed proper. In many ways, these same traditions still exist, just look at the guys and girls on TV. They all are wearing slacks or skorts and have their shirts tucked in. This old tradition is also usually upheld at country clubs/private golf courses and higher-end public courses to maintain an image of high status. insert snooty rich joke here..
Also, you might think I am crazy but a lot of people tuck in their golf shirts because of the fashion of it. Tucking your shirt in means that you have to have a nice, cool belt and pants to go along with the “golf look.” (more on this below) Sometimes people just want to look good even when they’re game isn’t!
What if you don’t want to tuck it in?
The good news for those wanting a more comfortable look at the golf course is that most golf courses don’t really care if your shirt is tucked or un-tucked. Yes, air it out!
With that being said, it is important that you know if the course has any dress requirements before playing. I recommend observing the course website or just giving the pro shop a call to ask what their dress requirements are. This is an important step especially if you are on vacation and might be playing some “nicer” golf courses to see what they would like you to wear when playing.
What counts as a golf shirt?
A golf shirt is basically any collared shirt most often made of breathable, polyester material.
During my travels and conversations with other golf professionals, most would say that wearing a collared shirt is far more important than if it is tucked or un-tucked. Again going back to tradition, golf courses want to portray a reputation of success and wealth even if the course is quite affordable. Most golf courses enforce this apparel requirement so make sure you read down below on where to purchase golf shirts if you don’t already have one!
So think of golf as a chance for you to pretend to be rich wearing your nice, fancy collared shirt. Or if you are already rich, just be yourself and try and hit the ball!
Where to purchase “affordable” golf shirts
Before we dive into where to buy “affordable” golf shirts, I want to share a story as to why I say “affordable’.
Many years ago before I got into the golf industry, my friends and I went to play golf at a nice course in Northern Michigan. One of my friends was new to golf and was wearing an Under Armour type shirt when he walked into the pro shop to pay for the round. The golf pro working saw this and told him that he had to have a collared shirt in order to play. So being hours from home in the middle of nowhere, he decided to buy the cheapest shirt from the pro shop costing nearly as much as his round of golf!
The moral of this story is that golf courses take appearances seriously, especially the more upscale courses. So to avoid paying for an expensive shirt at the pro shop, try these places below!
- Dicks Sporting Goods – They always have great deals going on (especially during the offseason)
- Golf Galaxy – Selling only golf merchandise, Golf Galaxy has a wide variety of styles you can choose from
- Amazon – Duh. Of course, Amazon is going to mention. They have literally everything you want on there. If you want to see some suggestions, you can check out my post here on what to wear playing golf
“Don’t be like my friend and save some money wearing your collard golf shirt to the course”
What aren’t you allowed to wear on the golf course?
Many golf courses have similar dress guidelines that they want the public to follow in order to play. Here are a few of the no, no’s that most golf courses frown upon people wearing:
- Flip Flops or open-toed shoes. Golf sandals are fine
- Tank Tops – Even courses that allow non-collared shirts are probably not ok with tank tops. sorry you’ll have to tan those arms somewhere else
- Metal spiked shoes– Most golf courses now are outlawing metal spiked shoes because of the damage they cause to greens. If you are curious about golf shoes, check out my article on different golf shoes using this link
- Short Shorts – Sorry ladies (and some men) but many golf courses will not be happy if they see you wearing too short of shorts. Again going back to the “clean” image that golf courses want to project to others.
- Denim- Jeans and denim shorts are usually not allowed to be worn when at nicer, upscale golf courses. If you must wear denim, I recommend you double-check and contact the course before playing.
- Backward Hats- This one is pretty 50/50 in my experience going to various golf courses. Basically, most country clubs will say something to you if you wear a backward hat while in the pro shop about turning it around. The same goes for nicer public courses. However, when you are out on the golf course, it’s up to you if you want to switch your hat backward. I haven’t seen too many rangers confront someone to change the direction of their hat!
These are the main areas that golf courses don’t usually allow their customers to wear. I’m sure there are some more that I missed but the point is to think before you go to the course on what you are going to wear and if it feels questionable, just give them a call. I get these types of calls all the time so don’t feel embarrassed.
Useful golf apparel additions to make your friends think you’re cool
Pretty much everything else is alright to wear out on the golf course. Shorts, hats, sunglasses, skirts, skorts, bucket hats all are fine and accepted at most courses.
I have put together some of the most popular golf fashion accessories down below that you can browse from if you wish!
Most often, it’s pretty sunny out on the golf course. So to protect your eyes and help you see your golf ball better, many golfers choose to wear sunglasses when playing.
Golf belts come in all styles and colors. My favorite golf belt is the Nex Belt. It is one of the cool belts where you cut to your desired length which means, a perfect fit. To view more details, you can check it out on Amazon here for all the nitty-gritty.
Now I know this isn’t for everyone but bucket hats are fun. I wear them when out on the driving range because it helps block the back of my neck and ears from getting burned Here is a good example of a bucket hat you might want to add to your golf wardrobe.
Golf shoes are very stylish in 2020. You can barely even tell that they are made for golf anymore. My personal favorite are Sketchers golf shoes. They are extremely comfortable and reliable in all weather conditions. I wrote an article about them you can check out here if you have the time.
What to wear under a golf shirt?- Most golf shirts are made from breathable, polyester material to give your skin more air out while playing so no undershirt would be necessary. During colder months, golfers wear thermal long-sleeve mocks under their golf shirts to keep in their body heat.
Do you have to wear shoes out on the golf course? – The majority of golf courses won’t allow golfers to play if they are not wearing shoes. This is to protect both the golfer and the golf course itself from any potential incidents that might happen to a person’s bare feet.
Can you wear a Hawaiian shirt playing golf? – Wearing a Hawaiian shirt has become popular because of professional golfer, Rickie Fowler. He has been known to wear a Hawaiian shirt untucked while playing in some of his matches. So it short, yes you can wear a Hawaiian shirt playing golf but it is best to check with the course before playing just in case they have any apparel restrictions.