Female Golf Dress Code Explained - Appropriate Country Club Wear for Ladies

While golf has historically been a male-dominated sport, the influx of female players in recent decades has ushered in a new era of inclusivity and aesthetic consideration on the links. Indeed, some experts estimate that as many as 25 percent of players at golf courses are now women. As women continue to make their mark on the greens, decoding the nuances of women's golf dress codes becomes increasingly important. After all, golf isn’t just a sport: it's a culture – one that comes with rules, regulations and guidelines for appropriate dress.

Below, we dive into why golf dress codes exist, what they mean for women’s golf outfits, and the essential pieces you need when curating your on-course wardrobe.

About the Golf Course Women’s Dress Code

Golf course regulations often emphasize the importance of "proper etiquette.” In terms of your wardrobe, this translates into attire that balances respectability with functionality and comfort.

At its core, women’s golf dress codes help safeguard the essence of the sport. And while they may seem restrictive or even strict, the main reasons for these regulations are:

  • To respect the heritage, history and traditions of the game
  • To enable players to feel a sense of belonging, camaraderie and community
  • To reduce distractions or confusion on the course for all players

In other words, embracing a golf dress code isn't just about adhering to rules; it's about honoring the legacy of the game.

Different Golf Course, Different Dress Code

When it comes to golfing in style, one golden rule reigns supreme: always check the dress code before you hit the green.

No two golf courses are created equal, and neither are their dress codes. Some clubs – generally older or more historic ones – uphold strict standards, while others embrace a more relaxed vibe. Typically, swankier golf courses (those that are more expensive or prestigious) lean towards a stricter code, but this is more of a guideline than a rule.

Why the fuss? It's all about maintaining the refinement of the game and respecting the spirit of the sport. So, as you prepare for your next tee time, be sure to acquaint yourself with the club's specific dress code. A great game of golf begins with dressing the part.

A Women’s Golf Outfit Primer

Whether you are a seasoned player or a novice getting ready for your first game, there are a few basics when it comes to appropriate women’s golf attire. For starters, everything you wear should fit properly and be comfortable – golf is a game that uses your whole body, so freedom of movement is especially important. Anything too restrictive will distract and detract from your game.

Second, choose golf-specific clothing: think women’s golf shirts  or golf skirts designed specifically for golf, from suitable materials for the conditions you’ll be playing in – not just a collared shirt you might otherwise wear to the office.

Here are the key women’s golf fashion pieces every wardrobe needs.

Golf shirts

The golf shirt is one of the biggest differences when it comes to men’s golf dress codes and appropriate women’s golf outfits. For men, a collared shirt is the standard and required. This isn’t the case for women, though many women’s shirts do tend to be collared. Like men’s golf shirts, women can choose from long sleeve and short sleeve, however, sleeveless options are also acceptable and often preferable in warm weather.

Mock collars are also acceptable, while crewnecks and even turtlenecks may be suitable depending on the golf course. Regardless of whether you choose a style with sleeves or without, avoid slogans, distracting prints, halter tops or racerbacks and anything that reveals too much cleavage.

Golf jackets and pieces for layering

If you’re hitting the links in the early morning or the weather’s on the cooler side, definitely bring a women’s golf jacket  with you. Not only will this provide you with warmth if you need it, it will also ensure you stay comfortable on the course, so you can concentrate on your swing – not whether the sun’s coming out.

Sometimes, of course, especially in the trans seasonal months, a jacket can feel too heavy for a game of golf. In these instances, opt for a lightweight, breathable mid layer, which may be just the protection you need, or a windbreaker that’s lighter than a jacket but helps shield you in gusty weather.

Golf pants and shorts

Although it’s a fairly traditional, preppy game, women golfers are by no means restricted from wearing pants or shorts on the course. Indeed, golf pants or shorts are the most common bottoms for both men and women.

Look for smart, tailored styles with a touch of stretch or even cropped, capri lengths – these are a great way to add a touch of personality to your golf outfit while keeping you comfortable. Women can also choose between a slim-fit or more relaxed silhouette when it comes to golf pants: both are acceptable.

Golf skirts and dresses

Gone are the days when golf skirt were always plaid – though golf skirts are still a great, more feminine option for women. What’s more, they are usually designed with inner shorts and tend to offer less restrictions on movement; they also pair beautifully with both short sleeve and sleeveless golf tops, making them surprisingly versatile and a cute choice overall.

If you want to take things even further – or simply prefer to throw on a single piece and go, a golf dress is always an option, too. Look for a style made from performance fabrics to help support your game.

Rainy weather? No problem

Don’t let a spot of bad weather prevent you from the game! Rain simply requires special golf clothing—pieces that will keep you dry and comfortable on the links.

It may seem obvious, but women’s golf clothing for rainy weather should be 100% waterproof. Beyond that, however, what you might choose depends on how cold it is as well: if it’s just drizzly but relatively warm, an unlined, lightweight women’s golf rain jacket should do the trick, while cold, wet weather calls for pieces that are both waterproof and lined for extra warmth.

You can also add thermal base layers if the mercury has really dipped; these are styles made to keep you warm and comfortable without padding or excessively bulking out your golf.


Shoes are perhaps the area where men’s and women’s golf dress codes converge. The bottom line? Proper golf shoes are a necessity. Forget sandals, open-toed shoes, or heels: closed-toe, sturdy shoes are essential.

If you’re not ready to invest in proper golf shoes, check if your golf course allows sneakers, trainers, tennis or running shoes.

Hats and other accessories

Dressing for golf isn’t merely about showcasing your swing; it can also be an opportunity to marry traditional elegance with contemporary flair, and one of the most effective ways to do so is with your golf accessories and golf headgear.

Perhaps you’re a fan of the classic golf cap or love the look of a visor: either way, a good hat – one that’s breathable and has an adequate brim – is essential golf attire. Not only does it provide sun protection, it will also shield and protect your eyes while on the course.

Women’s golf dress code: final thoughts

How to look cute on the golf course while sticking to the rules? It’s easier than you think. First and foremost, choose pieces designed and made specifically for golf – these will be fashioned from fabrics that will help, not hinder, your game.

Second, stick to the formula: if you’re going with separates, opt for golf pants, shorts, or a skirt, then pair them with a short sleeve or sleeveless shirt. Finish with a jacket if needed, choosing the one that’s best suited to the weather conditions (rain? Wind? Both?) where you’ll be playing.

Of course, these are the basics of women’s golf dress codes; different, usually stricter rules apply for golf tournaments. If you’re playing in a tournament, be sure to check the rules as there are likely to be specific guidelines around colors, patterns, and logos.

Looking to hit the course? If you’re going with friends, suggest that they start with the basics – What to Wear Golfing: Golf Dress Codes and Appropriate Fashion is our primer on the general rules – and be sure to check out these cute golf outfits if you’re looking for even more inspiration.