Is Proper Golf Attire Still a Thing in 2020?

I played golf today. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but I live in a state where golf courses are still closed and I’ve been deprived of the game I love for far too long. How did I pull it off? I drove to another state, just forty-five minutes down the road, and played eighteen at a great course called Raceway Golf Club. It’s in Connecticut and I’m a North Central Mass guy, so I was a little concerned about culture, but I found the place to be warm, welcoming, and filled with blue collar guys just like me.

Despite my humble roots, I’m a golf purist. Wearing jeans to the golf course in not in my DNA. I wore black chinos, a golf shirt, and proper shoes, not sneakers. Since it was 33 degrees out when I teed off, I also put on a pullover, a fleece, and a winter hat. To top off the ensemble, I slipped on a pair of gloves designed for cold weather golf that served the dual purpose of protecting me from potentially contaminated surfaces. All in, I was dressed in “proper golf attire” and fully compliant with Covid-Safe Golf Rules.

Guidelines for Proper Golf Attire

Most of the other guys were wearing jeans and hoodies. Don’t get me wrong. I work from home and spend most of my days in casual clothing. When I go out, I throw on a pair of comfortable blue jeans, a t-shirt, and my favorite hoodie if it’s cold. It’s just not what I wear to the golf course. According to Golf Digest, the following are the guidelines for proper golf attire:

  • Wear a golf shirt. Sleeves should be three quarters to the elbow
  • Keep your collar in if you’re wearing a crew neck sweater
  • The bottom of your trousers should touch your shoes
  • Shorts should fall just above the kneecaps
  • Outer ware should be trim, not long or too baggy
  • Socks should not rise above the ankles
  • Match your belt to your shirt, not your shoes
  • Khakis are the foundation of any golf attire
  • Keep your colors in the same palette
  • Shirts should be tucked in, not untucked
  • No cargo shorts. Many courses don’t allow them

All Else Fails, Just Play

Okay, now that you know the rules, feel free to break them. I’ll never feel comfortable playing in jeans, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. The guidelines above are strictly adhered to at many private clubs, but the public courses that many of us play simply don’t care. No one got kicked out of Raceway this morning because they weren’t dressed properly. If you can play golf, play, no matter what you’re wearing. Having been deprived of the game for a while, I have a much deeper appreciation for being out there.

The pandemic that we’re all living through has brought about some pretty major changes at our golf courses. Please respect these new guidelines and be respectful of your fellow players. Let’s prove that we can play safely and continue to provide a healthy outlet in these trying times. Hopefully, you have the same love and respect for golf that I do. Your clothing doesn’t project that. Your actions do.

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