GOLF DRESS CODES and unwritten attitudes make it difficult for women golfers to know what to wear when they’re playing at an unfamiliar golf course. Here’s GottaGoGolf’s advice for what to wear for golf in warm weather.
What women should wear on a golf course in summertime varies, of course, with the level of course. A busy, inexpensive municipal course will accept any outfit. More upscale courses and most country clubs expect a woman to wear golf clothes. And then there are the Stodgy Elite Courses — we’ll call them SECs here, with a giggle — that might whip out a measuring stick to make sure your golf outfit has not revealed too much leg.
Generally, women have to balance their desire to look like a golfer against their wish to look like themselves. They have to balance the comfort factor of fitting in to a culture against their idea of comfortable clothes.
Here’s help in finding your own golf style in the summer.
You do not have to go to a golf course to buy a golf shirt. Even on the racks of your local Goodwill, there are stretchy sleeveless and short-sleeve shirts with collars. For summer, go sleeveless if you are comfortable baring your arms. And if you want even less coverage, perhaps with armholes cut farther in or a little belly showing, just know that SECS might frown but everyplace else gives leeway as long as there is that collar.
Do not ask why women have to have a collar on a golf shirt. That is a discussion for another day. In summer, think of it as sunscreen for the back of your neck.
If the collar bothers you, all but those stodgy country clubs permit non-collared shirts with sleeves in the golf dress code. Look for something more interesting than a T-shirt and you will feel comfortable with other golfers.
Want to take a chance and wear a tank top? Do a cleavage check by setting up in your stance in front of the mirror. If you’re OK with what you see, the local muni probably will be too.
At the local muni, anything goes, with the possible exception of cut-off blue jeans. In a club, league or charity tournament, to meet the golf dress code you’ll want to wear shorts, skort or, if you want to hide your legs, capris.
A golf skort is a skirt with built-in undershorts. These tend to be more flattering and to run shorter than golf shorts, the most popular of which are narrowly cut and almost to the knee. Capris come to just below the knee, above the calf.
An alternative to both top and bottom is the golf dress, which usually has a collar and usually comes with undershorts.
No matter your bottom, make sure you have at least one pocket for your tees, markers and extra ball. Many bottoms made for golf also have a rear pocket meant to hold the scorecard.
If you are taking up the game and plan to play more, visit the clearance racks at the big golf stores and find a comfortable pair of golf shoes in a neutral color, preferably white. If you play in one tournament a year or want to minimize luggage, tennis shoes are perfectly OK. Even at the SECs, no one is likely to notice, as long as the rest of your outfit meets the golf course dress code.
With your shorts or skirt, you probably will want to show as little sock and as much ankle as possible, so pick up some soft anklets for golf. Again, you’ll see them in golf shops, but you can also find them at Ross or Marshalls for much less.
Hats are not required in any golf course dress code, but do wear one. It will keep the sun off your head and your hair out of your face. Many women like baseball-cap styles because the brim covers the face and the hole in the back holds a ponytail. In high-heat, a hat with a full brim adds sun protection to the ears.
Women with great hairstyles often like visors, which shade the face without smooching up the ‘do.
Note that at SECs, men are not allowed to wear their hats at the 19th hole. Women probably should visit the clubhouse ladies room, where they can remove their hats and repair their hat heads before joining the men.
GottaGoGolf also recommends sunglasses for eye protection. If you want to look like a golfer, find a pair designed for the sport. Otherwise just choose something with good coverage and staying power.
GottaGoGolf recommends avoiding underwires, in case of electric storms. The endowed will want the support of a sports bra of some kind, to counter the bounce of the golf cart suspension or the vigorous walk.
But, thankfully, not even the SECs and the most extreme golf dress codes police what you wear under your golf outfit.