The fashion of golf clothing has gone through several severe transitions over the years. In the earliest days of the sport, gentlemen and professionals played golf in heavy woolen plus fours with jackets and ties. A more athletic look inspired by polo uniforms developed in the '30s and through the '60s, ultimately reaching the loudest crescendo of color, pattern and flared slacks in the 1970s and early '80s. Women's golf fashion has followed a similar trajectory from long, heavy dresses in the 1900s to the high fashion of short skirts and vibrant colors of today. Golf still offers each player a unique opportunity to express individuality unlike any other sport.
Men's Shirt Style
Golf shirts come in virtually every style imaginable. From classic cotton polo to high-tech lightweight fabrics in European colors and designs, golfers have never had more choice, even down to the unfortunate short sleeved mock turtleneck. Take it beyond the usual polo shirt and pull out a lounge shirt buttoned all the way up the front. They're available in a range of colors and patterns, most famously Hawaiian prints, but you might want to be prepared to discuss your club's dress code.
Slacks and Shorts
The old Sansabelt slacks belong back in a bygone age. Dress up your look on the course with classic slacks like the pros wear, made of lightweight wool or wool blends, or try even lighter slacks and shorts made of modern microfiber. If you'd really like to make a unique statement, think about taking the Payne Stewart route and slip on a pair of plus fours with long socks to show off your legs. Most recently, players like John Daly are bringing back the loudest days of golf with bright, colorful patterns not just anyone can wear well.
Join the battle against the baseball cap and think about pulling out a shadier lid for your next round. Put on a straw panama for summer, a felt fedora for fall or a playful pork pie for a unique statement on the links. If the wind gets up, there's nothing better than a classic flat Irish or Scottish cap in wool or linen to fit securely on your head. They're available from all sorts of golf retailers and men's clothiers--use your imagination and personal sense of style.
Perhaps the easiest way to broadcast your own sense of style is through an unusual pair of shoes. Many brands step outside the usual beyond their technically advanced mainstream lines. FootJoy classics, Ecco GTX and Callaway put out a variety of interesting colors from solids to textures to two-tone spectator shoes.
Women have fortunately never really been penned in by the traditional men's golf club dress codes. Unlike men's golf shirts that usually require collars, women's golf shirts come in summer styles without sleeves and in every neckline imaginable from crew to v-neck to zippered styles. Throw on a colorful sweater to stave off the cooler temperatures. With women taking up the game in huge numbers, more and more designers are taking women's golf clothing seriously in both fashion and function.
Skirts have made a huge comeback in women's golf over the past few years. While before women were limited to basically slacks, shorts and capri pants to play the game, many clothiers have found that lighter technical fabrics lend themselves to attractive, colorful and versatile skirts in short to mid lengths that even women at the top level of the game love to play in.
While women's golf often received short shrift from equipment and clothing manufacturers for generations, in recent years, the most interesting, colorful, playful and just plain fun shoes in the game have been available only in women's styles. With Anika Sorenstam, one of the best golfers ever to play the game, in it's stable of staff players, Callaway in particular has designed dozens of shoes with unique patterns, textures and color combinations to accent any outfit. Let's face it, you play better golf when you feel good about the way you look.