As a lady golfer, I spend a lot of time on the golf course and much of that time, not naked. So whenever I’m window-shopping for clothes, I’m always thinking, “Can I wear this on the golf course?” because that’s where I spend most of my time out of the house, not naked.
I always keep a keen eye out for anything I’d actually want to wear on the course, but things are dire out there for female golfers. Not only are there dress code restrictions (read more about the dress code crackdown here) but it seems that the bulk of designers for women’s golf-specific clothes think women want a skirt to go from just under their boobs to just below their knees.
If you’re a dude, dressing for golf is disgustingly simple. If you need some tips, just follow these 3 easy steps!
- Grab a polo shirt. This shirt can be sun-damaged, too small so your belly hangs out, it can even have those terrible distressed patches that belong on an 80s school backpack – literally any polo will do.
- Throw on shorts without cargo pockets (this rule should always apply every day, always) or trousers that aren’t jeans.
- That’s it.
As a golfing male you’re also pretty much guaranteed to be 100% surrounded by other guys so you don’t feel like you even have to make an effort. And why make the effort? Your golfing prowess as a 34 handicapper speaks for itself…
So what makes good, wearable female golf clothes?
In my opinion, it’s not that hard. Women’s golf clothes need two things: function and fit. What does that mean?
Make it work
- Good materials that don’t make you sweat or shimmy. Breathability and comfort so you’re not adjusting your skirt hem or sleeves after every swing, shimmying around like 80s music video. EASY!
- Materials and fibers and junk that aren’t restrictive (read: “not un-stretchy”) and stay in place. EASY!
- A design that won’t leave you with stupid tan lines. This is just a personal requirement but trust me, it’s key. EASY!
Make it fit
- I want to wear something that doesn’t make me look like a LEGO person, a dude, or an old lady.
- I wanna look good AND be able to swing a club (before I’m too old to wear short skirts and I can no longer swing a club).
Examples? Here’s my Pinterest board full of golf stuff I LOVE but of course, are no longer available to buy because images live on Pinterest for eternity but product lines don’t.
So with all the enforced restrictions (must have a collar, must be a certain length, must keep elderly heart rates down!) and the few things that I want in golf clothes, where can you find anything that works?
Finding decent golf clothes for women
Unfortunately it’s almost never in the Pro-Shop – at least not in any I’ve been in. I don’t know who buys for these shops but nothing ever fits anyone with a human-based shape. In the past I’ve found some things that work from very non-golf sources like H&M or ASOS but in the current style cycle it’s increasingly difficult. More recently all you can find is an over-saturation of generic activewear.
So after searching high, low, inside and out, here are a few brands that are getting it right when it comes to golf clothes for women.
I’ve ordered a couple ‘skorts’ from these guys and they’re actually fantastic. All their skirts are sport-ready with comfortable inner shorts, they work well in the heat, fit great and look feminine. You can search by sport or by type of garment (their skort collection is very appealing, despite the name). Their designs are comfortable and unrestrictive and I’ve won many a golf comp in the aptly named “Tee Time” skirt. My only beef with them is that they’re a division of The Gap, Inc. which was just disappointing when I thought I’d found a smaller company with good design.
Speaking of smaller brands with good design, I recently came across Sportivo, a new sports clothing company that designs and makes all their clothes in the USA. Their collection is small but it’s like a capsule wardrobe where everything can be worn with everything – I got myself an outfit (top, skirt, jacket and sports bra) and all their pieces already go with all my other golf clothes. I was really impressed with the fit and quality of the pieces – the tops were super flattering and lengthened my look rather than boxing me out and were extra airy in the heat this summer. The skirt almost feels like there’s nothing on, which, after a few holes is more invigorating than “oh my god where are my bottoms?!”
Most importantly, the design is actually progressive and feminine, just what the sport needs. It pushes the limits while staying just inside the lines of what’s acceptable on the course – the Sambo top for example has a modern-style collar that’s very edgy and sporty looking without having the typical boring ‘golf collar’. The zippered Grace jacket is a nice thick yet stretchy active material that has the perfect shape and fit right out of the box – flattering and also immediately feels like it would actually keep you warm on the course without restricting your swing. A great find and exactly the kind of design we need more of on the golf course! I’ll be keeping an eye out for more clothes from them for sure.
I can’t speak for all their clothes, but I was really drawn to the Nike Flex skirt. It’s probably the most rule-bending skirt in terms of length, but it has good under shorts and stays super cool in the heat, so screw it. It has a straight flat ‘serious’ skirt look in front and fun pleats in the back that move when you move – it’s like the mullet of golf skirts and that makes me love it more.
Tory Sport ($$$$)
When you want to get that super-haughty retro-luxe golf look, I can’t think of any better brand. I haven’t tried their clothes personally but I really like their style, and the cut of a lot of their more straightforward pieces looks solid in terms of how they’d look and perform. An expensive price tag to go with the Country Club look though!
Pinks and Greens ($$$)
This website looks a little hit-and-miss in terms of design taste but there are quite a few gems in here. I haven’t had tested these personally but there are a few items I’m definitely keen to try as the designs look different, fun and functional. Here are some of my favorites:
Creative searching on internet…. ($ but expensive in time-wasting)
The internet is a huge place. Even Etsy is a behemoth when comes to finding golf clothes. Here’s just a sampling of the kinds of treasures Etsy has in its annals:
Lastly, if you’ve found something you love and it’s running out of life and you can’t find a replacement, you can always find a local seamstress to replicate, remake or repair your favorite worn-out item. I’ve got a couple of things I’m planning on having Frankensteined because I just can’t bear to say goodbye to my favorite bits of good golf garb.