Can you golf shirtless? What to wear explained 2022!12 min read

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Can you golf shirtless? Explained

It is a common question among the golfing community whether or not it is acceptable to play golf shirtless. To answer this question, we must first understand what constitutes a golf shirt and what are the rules of golf.

  1. A golf shirt is a uniform with the following properties. It must be of a specific fabric, color, and type (striped, polo, long sleeves, or short sleeves), and it must be collared. If these conditions are met then the garment can be called a golf shirt.
  2. The rules of golf define that it is acceptable to wear casual clothing when playing the game. However, there are specific requirements for what constitutes casual clothing which will be discussed shortly.

Due to these two facts, it is entirely up to the player whether or not they choose to wear a golf shirt. If a player decides not to wear a shirt, it does not violate golfing customs and rules in the slightest. However, golf shirts are the preferred method of dress for most players.

However, if a player wears alternative clothing other than what constitutes casual clothing described by the rules described below, they are forfeiting their right to participate in golf.

Understanding playing golf shirtless

What are some reasons to golf shirtless?

Golfing shirtless is more conducive to comfort. If a player’s skin gets sweaty while playing, they have the option of taking off their shirt and continuing to the next hole as opposed to being forced to put it back on.

This is especially helpful in hot weather where a player might be inclined to take off their shirt regardless.

Additionally, some players choose not to wear golf shirts because they are uncomfortable wearing them or are otherwise not fans.

What are some reasons not to golf shirtless?

Wearing a golf shirt has several benefits. If worn correctly, it will protect the player from the sun and insects. It does this because the shirt’s fabric is constructed to be wind resistant and wick moisture away from the body.

This protects against sunburns and insect bites which can be very painful when they occur on areas of skin not covered by clothing.

Additionally, due to the restriction on clothing, if a golf shirt is worn correctly with shorts or pants, it can help identify the player as a golfer.

Shirtless dad
Shirtless dad

What are the clothing alternatives to golfing shirtless?

The rules of golf have plenty of stipulations determining what clothing is acceptable when playing. On this topic, they give the below recommendations.

  • Players must not play wearing anything that might cause injury to other players. It is recommended that players wear suitable protective clothing.
  • Players must not play wearing clothing that might cause injury to themselves.
  • Players must not play in the nude or in undergarments.

These rules define what is acceptable when it comes to golfing clothes, and if a player does not wear attire as described by these rules, they forfeit their right to participate. A violation of this nature might be considered flagrant, leading to the player being disqualified from the game.

Let’s discuss the alternatives available for players playing shirtless. They should wear suitable protective clothing.

Casual wear

Casual clothing includes a polo shirt or cargo shorts. On the other hand, a sweater or turtleneck sweater is not casual wear.

In golf, other casual wear includes :

  • Shorts/pants: Shorts should be no longer than the calf and, of course, should have no holes in them. They can be any color, but most men prefer blue or black, or khaki. Pajama bottoms are not acceptable.
  • Polo shirts: In most golf courses, polos and short sleeve shirts are acceptable and recommended. Plain t-shirts or even colorful and printed t-shirts are not accepted as casual wear.
  • For ladies: Capri pants, shorts, and skirts are acceptable. It is not recommended that women wear jeans, leggings, or sweatpants.
  • Shoes: One would be well served to wear shoes that are more appropriate for the game such as golf shoes. There are many options available. You can choose white or black ones and have leather uppers that would fit the bill perfectly.
  • Shoes (for shirtless players): If the player decides to go shirtless, they can wear sandals or shoes. The best option is sandals as they provide the highest comfort level and protection from the weather.
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Smiling woman standing on golf course
Photo by Jopwell on Pexels

As a side note, we have previously discussed the best golf shoes for walking.

  • Undergarments: This category is open to interpretation. The rules of golf state that it is not acceptable to golf in undergarments. In most golf courses, this is construed as being indecent or immodest.
  • Socks: Socks are optional, and you can choose whether or not to wear based on your personal preference. We recommend you wear socks to prevent blisters and protect your feet while walking on the course. However, if you choose not to wear socks, then be sure to wear footwear that you are accustomed to walking in.

What about a tuxedo?

Tuxedos are not acceptable. In fact, they only serve to denote that one is mocking the game of golf. It is considered to be a symbol of one’s lack of knowledge regarding the rules of golf.

If you see a golfer wearing a tuxedo, ask them why they are wearing it and what the rules are regarding golfing wear.

Is it okay to golf shirtless? – Conclusion

In golf, there are clothing requirements that players should follow to avoid any complications. Moreover, many golf courses have strict rules regarding acceptable attire during gameplay, and wearing a shirt is strongly encouraged and recommended.

If you decide to go shirtless while playing a round of golf, make sure you consider the above suggestions and recommendations for better enjoyment of your game.

Man walking carrying black and red golf bag on green grass field
Photo by Jopwell on Pexels

Frequently asked questions related to golfing shirtless

What considerations should you make to golf shirtless?

In golf, the decision to golf shirtless or not is entirely up to the player. However, there are considerations which you should take into account before deciding if you should play this way.

  1. Put lots of sunscreen – You will have to deal with the sun exposure on your skin more often than if you were wearing a shirt. Make sure your skin is well protected from the sun with sunscreen or something more suitable for the hot weather. This can be really dangerous as getting a sunburn can lead to skin cancer.
  2. Always be respectful and decent – While you will have better physical freedom and a greater degree of comfort as opposed to any other kind of clothing you can wear while playing golf, you need to ensure your fellow golfers are comfortable with you being shirtless.
  3. Shoes instead of sandals – in many golf courses, you may have to wear shoes instead of sandals if you do not want to be disqualified from playing. Your footwear needs to protect your feet from injury and allow you to walk comfortably on the golf course without causing any blisters or injury.
  4. Follow the rules – Ensure that the golf course you are playing on allows for shirtless players. Some golf courses are quite strict in their rules and will disqualify you from playing if you do not abide by them.
  5. Prepare your body for your shirtless golf appearance – many people do not like the idea of being shirtless and may be a bit bothered by their appearance. Therefore, make sure you have trimmed your chest and armpit hair if you intend on being shirtless.
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What are the consequences of golfing shirtless?

There are no consequences for golfing shirtless. Golfing shirtless is not a violation of the rules of golf. Players can wear whatever they want, and there is nothing wrong with it.

However, if a player wears something that is not allowed by the legal rules as discussed above, they may be subject to be disqualified from the game. Alternatively, they could even be fined by the club.

Can you wear a shirt to golf?

Yes. You can wear a shirt to golf. It is recommended that you wear one even if you are not wearing pants.

Wearing a shirt to golf can offer the following benefits:

  • Protects the player from sunburn and insect bites. Even though it may be sunny out, the time spent in the shade of trees or under umbrellas provides enough protection from these elements.
  • Allows other players to easily identify another golfer as such, which makes conversing with more ease.
  • Helps prevent injury by keeping the player’s skin protected.
Two men crossing arms while standing near golf carts
Photo by Jopwell on Pexels

Can I wear sandals to golf?

Yes. You can wear sandals to golf. Sandals are an acceptable option for golfing shoes. However, it is recommended that you wear shoes or sneakers that will provide more comfort and protection against the sun and the rough ground of a course.

Keeping the shoes clean is essential as it will help prevent blisters. The best way to clean sandals is by using a damp cloth and cleaning with clean water. Wearing comfortable shoes will help prevent blisters and chafing, especially during long walks.

We have previously discussed the best golf shoes for walking. You can also read our review of ECCO golf shoes and Skechers golf shoes.

Do you have to wear golf clothes to play golf?

No, you do not have a wear specific golf clothes. The guidelines for golf state that most casual wear is allowed. For men, you can pick a collared polo shirt with either shorts or pants, and you would be good to go. For ladies, pick a polo shirt, with either capri pants or shorts, or a skirt.

Specific golf clubs may have different rules, so check out with the club before you start playing.

If you are unsure, ask a club professional, and they will provide the needed information about what is permissible if not required by the course. If you are playing in public courses, it is best to wear appropriate casual wear.

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In some clubs, t-shirts are acceptable, and other clubs may avoid this type of clothing altogether because of its lack of protective features or indecency.

Do you have to wear a polo for golf?

No, you do not have to wear a polo shirt for golf. However, it is recommended that you do so even if you are not playing in a formal course. Because casual wear is allowed by the rules of golf, wearing a polo can offer protection from the elements.

Wearing a polo shirt helps prevent sunburn and insect bites and has other benefits, such as helping easily identify another golfer, which makes conversing easier.

You can also golf shirtless. Most clubs’ rules do not explicitly disallow playing golf shirtless. However, you might want to check in with the club rules to make sure you stay on the right side.

What do I wear if I don’t have golf clothes?

It is not recommended to play golf in a t-shirt and jeans. However, if you have some clothing items similar to the recommended golf attire (polo shirt and pants/shorts for men and capri pants/shorts and a polo shirt for women), it would be possible to get away with wearing them.

Worst case, you can choose to golf shirtless too. However, it is highly recommended that you wear a polo shirt with casual clothing not to violate the rules of golf.

In any case, you should always ask the club professional if you are unsure about what is allowed.

Why can’t you wear jeans on a golf course?

Jeans do not protect from the sun, and neither are they comfortable to wear for long periods. Jeans are not appropriate golf clothes.

The main reason jeans are not allowed on a golf course is that they do not conform to a club dress code or even regulations that apply to golf.

Jeans are often considered to be too casual, and their color is not appropriate. Golfers should wear colors that differ from the green of a course not to confuse it with the typical color of golf grass.

Jeans do not protect you from the sun and may make you vulnerable to sunburns.

Final thoughts on playing golf shirtless

Golf is a fun game to play, especially shirtless. It is probably the first sport that attracts the attention of many people not only because of their looks, but also because of its popularity.

Some men who are very confident in their looks and appearance will play golf shirtless whenever they get the chance. We have discussed how you can play golf shirtless with no legal restrictions or consequences for doing so.

You can play golf shirtless if you want to. However, it is recommended that you ask the club professional or any other official before starting your game of golf shirtless. Always ask if it is permitted to be shirtless during your round of golf, and don’t forget to have fun playing this sport.

We hope that this post was informative. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading, and best of luck out on the course!

Michael G

I love investing in people! Michael is on a mission to help organizations and individuals become better. Michael has had a distinguished 10-year career spanning through non-profit and the corporate world. Michael's life purpose is in helping to simplify complex problems to define actionable solutions, which is why through public speaking, Michael is focused on inspiring and impacting people towards the right personal growth formula and generating sustainable business growth.

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