The Dress Code
Throughout the history of golf there have always been some pretty interesting fashion statements on the course. Starting in Scotland, where golf originated with kilts, to Bobby Jones sporting a button down shirt and a tie, to the knickers that were worn by legends like Gene Sarazen and Payne Stewart, and the plaid pants worn by most players from the 60’s and on, the list of styles seen on the course is endless.
Golf is one of the only sports that you do not have to wear any sort of uniform and everyone will look fairly different. If you are playing on the professional circuit the dress code is very specific and strongly enforced. Most private clubs also have dress codes that are specific and strongly enforced but there are plenty of public or municipal courses that are pretty open about their dress code policy. Dress codes commonly consist of the following: collared shirts, pants, shorts that fall just above the knee, no denim and nowadays no metal spikes. Some courses also make you tuck in your shirt.
Golf has always been considered a “gentleman’s game” and looking neat, clean and professional was part of playing the game. Now with so many different types of people playing it, it is more difficult to enforce these policies unless you are a private club. The current dilemma is whether it is more important to get people on the course playing golf or to alienate those who do not want to follow a dress code that has been in place since the 1800’s.
My advice is this, find a course to play that suits your needs. Is it a casual environment or is it formal? Is it a t-shirt, shorts and tennis shoes or collared shirts, khakis and golf shoes? There are many options out there, some are relaxed and some strive to preserve the old ways, but whatever your fit may be don’t let the dress code influence whether or not you want to play this great game. Do some research and find your sweet spot!