From its beginnings, golf has had a reputation as a sport for the snazzy dresser. I love this quote “Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps”
I am not sure that remains the case anymore. According to a report compiled by the National Golf Federation of America, golf is played in 206 countries in the world. The full report Golf around the World 2015 is on the R&A website.
The British Golf Industry Association estimate that “The number of golfers in Great Britain who play on a full-length course remains just under the 4 million mark. This figure is supplemented by recreational golfers who do not play at full-length courses, pushing the total number of adults in Great Britain who play some form of golf to just over 4 million. This equates to a participation rate of approximately 8% of the adult population”.
Golfs a sport played by millions across the world, a big business with an ever-increasing profile on the television networks. Look at what the tour players are wearing, the days of long socks and balloon pants are over, well for most anyway. You still see the odd fashion nightmare out there but generally, golfers take a lot of care putting their outfits together.
Modern golf clothing is functionally made of great materials and fashionable, its ok to play like a clown but you don’t want to look like one.
Golf shoes are an essential part of your golf gear and although you could get away with wearing normal shoes or trainers in some golf facilities like driving ranges, most courses will require that you have a pair of golf shoes. They do serve a functional purpose by preventing foot slippage during the golf swing, so not just a fashion item.
As well as considering the color and design of the shoe you might also check:
- Spiked golf shoes – preferably plastic rather than metal spikes as many golf clubs insist on the plastic version.
- The material – leather, waterproof lining, or synthetic materials
- The lacing system – traditional shoelaces, Velcro, or mechanical lacing
Top brands include:
· New Balance
Although your personal branding will be an important part when choosing your shoes, the most important thing to remember is you are going to be walking a lot in them.
Multi-layering of golf clothing will help to ensure your comfort, freedom of movement and ultimate protection from the elements when playing. There is an amazing choice of golf clothing on the market. Things to consider as part of your selection process:
· You must like the style and feel comfortable wearing your outfit.
· You will need to cover your bases with regards to weather conditions keeping yourself comfortable whatever the temperature.
· I am fair weather golfer nowadays, but you might consider a good waterproof jacket and trousers.
Most golf clubs will require that you wear a shirt with a collar. Polo shirts are the norm, the brand you select is a purely personal choice. The top brands have a great selection made of modern materials which will help you stay comfortable.
You will also need a pair of trousers or tailored shorts (additionally, golf skirts or skorts for women). Some clubs still require men to wear socks with shorts, but I have to say I don’t and have never been challenged on the courses I have played so far.
It would be a good idea to have a warm top as well just in case the weather is cooler. Most of the golf clothing companies have a great range of products to choose from.
Top Brands Include:
· Calvin Green
· Oscar Jacobson
· Under Armour
CAPS & VISORS
There is not normally a specific requirement for you to wear a golf cap or visor in the dress code rules. However, lots of people do wear them for good reason. A full round of golf is going to take you about 3 or 4 hours. That’s a long time to be in the sun without any protection for your head and face. So, if you are playing in the summer especially, I would strongly advise you to wear a cap or visor.
I would say most golfers wear a golf glove, particularly in hot weather. Gloves help to create more friction between the grip and the gloved hand. Wearing a glove will help to prevent the club from turning in your hand and ruining your shot. Golf is hard enough without any unnecessary impairments.
In the winter I also have a pair of golf mittens that I wear to keep my hands warm between shots, especially if I am pushing my trolley. I do take them off when playing a shot, you would not be able to take a good group with the mittens on. This might seem a bit of hassle but it’s well worth it. Trying to play golf with cold hands is almost impossible and no fun.
I understand the importance of looking and feeling good on the golf course. Being dressed well in comfortable clothing that helps maintain temperature and allows for freedom of movement and ultimate protection from the elements when playing, will help you play better golf.
So, enjoy the experience of putting your golf outfit together. Buy the best quality within your budget as it will last longer and provide a better experience. I hope that this post helps you and look forward to writing more pieces to help you play your best golf.