What to wear for golf if you don’t have golf clothes

Even the most experienced woman golfer struggles with the question of what to wear for golf. But, here’s a little secret: You don’t need golf clothes to dress for golf.

image of empty closet

Notice that the stringent new LPGA dress code does not require professional tour players to wear “golf clothes.” In fact, and the golf clothing manufacturers would rather you not know this, a woman can dress appropriately and comfortably for golf without ever purchasing a golf shirt, skort or rainsuit.

This is good news in a sport where equipment costs a lot of money and green fees can be exorbitant. What to wear for golf needn’t cost the typical woman anything at all. You probably already have everything you need for a round of golf.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR GOLF: LOOK IN YOUR CLOSET

First of all, think about what you wear for school or work. Eliminate blue jeans, boots and the oxford button-down and look for:

  • Comfortable long pants, capris, skirt or shorts with pockets. If you’re playing a public course, non-blue-denim jean styles are OK, and so are shorts or skirts of any length. At private courses, skip the jean styles and short-shorts. Just choose bottoms that are comfortable and washable.
  • A stretchy shirt that moves easily with you. This might have a collar or mock turtleneck for a private course, and have short or long or no sleeves depending on the weather.
  • Instead of both of the above, a dress! Yes, if you have a stretchy, knit dress that is comfortable to move in, you can wear it for golf. If it’s short or the weather is cool, put some leggings under it.
  • Comfortable undergarments. It’s best to choose a bra without wires, and panties that aren’t inclined to ride anywhere.
  • A sweater, pullover or jacket in case the weather changes. The classic fabric is wool, which will keep you warm and fairly dry. But things you wear to the gym or to run or bike might have more sophisticated weather proofing.
  • Tennis/sports/walking shoes. No matter what you hear about “golf shoes required,” nobody will notice that you are wearing a favorite pair of Skechers or cross-trainers. Simply tread lightly on the greens until you decide to spring for real golf shoes.
  • Socks.¬†Even if they are minimal, you will be grateful for them after your first trip into a bunker.
  • Hat and sunglasses. A baseball cap qualifies as a golf hat and you can secure your hair through the hole in the back. Glasses you wear for driving a car work for driving a golf ball.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR GOLF: SHOP CONSIGNMENT

Plenty of women who play golf part with barely-worn clothes early to buy the new seasonal offerings. So a large consignment store in an affluent neighborhood might carry women-centric golf labels. Look for Tail, EP Pro, Antigua and Cutter & Buck’s popular Annika label, plus the big names of Nike, Callaway and Puma.

About the only piece of apparel you might want to purchase new is your glove. Even this is not essential to enjoying your first few rounds of golf, but it might help you feel like you fit in to your new surroundings.

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