#Golf Knowledge
Jan 08, 2022
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

What Do I Wear If I Don’t Have Golf Pants? A Quick Guide

It isn’t always necessary to wear an actual pair of golf pants, although there is an etiquette for what you should and shouldn’t wear on the driving range and during tournaments.

The golfing code for dress dates back to the game’s origins in the 18th century and is pretty traditional. Following the dress code is a matter of respect for the game and other players.

Like all other golfing apparel, golfing pants must be practical, comfortable, and look the part.

There are different dress codes for men and women golfers, but what you can also wear partly depends on where you are playing. Unsurprisingly, there are different rules for the driving range compared to the fairway.

Most seasoned golfers have a selection of pants, but you don’t need to buy expensive branded golfing pants. 

Regular Pants for Men

There is a surprising amount of leeway regarding alternatives to regular golfing pants for men. 

The United States Golfing Association (USGA) is the primary arbiter of the game’s rules, but dress choices may come down to the decision of your local club.

Choose a polyester blend or cotton pants – cotton is a natural fabric and will manage moisture and temperature changes better than artificial fabrics for those long days on the fairway.

Chinos and slacks can be worn but may be too formal and uncomfortable for extended play.

Whatever style or fabric you choose for a plain pair of pants, remember that your golf shirt must be tucked in, so choose a design with an appropriate waistband. An untucked shirt not only looks untidy but can interfere with your golfing performance.

Pockets are preferable for that stray golf ball or tee. Most golfers will choose pants with a belt to keep some sense of classic style.

What Should the Male Golfer Avoid?

The main thing to avoid wherever you are playing is jeans and cargo shorts

Don’t choose too long pants as this can cause you to trip and interfere with your game. 

Also, pants which are too tight will be uncomfortable and restrict movement after hours of walking the course.

Options for Lady Golfers

Ironically, women tend to have more leeway in apparel than their male golfing counterparts.

Women can wear shorts, slacks, skirts, cropped pants, or capris as an alternative to golfing pants. Long pants are also an option. Most courses accept colored or khaki pants and capris for lady golfers.

A popular choice among female players is a skirt with tights attached inside. This gives a soft, feminine look but allows for maximum freedom of movement and comfort without a skirt’s drawbacks. 

Skirts can catch the wind on exposed courses, and a longer, more fitted skirt, which avoids this problem, does not always allow enough freedom of movement. 

Whatever pants or shorts you choose, make sure they have belt loops. A belt will help keep the garment in place and ensure your shirt stays tucked into the waistband.

What Not to Wear for Lady Golfers

If you choose full-length pants, then avoid jeans, yoga or sports pants, cargos, and jeans. Whatever the style, denim is not a permitted fabric.

Whether your preference is shorts, a skirt, or long pants, the knees must be covered entirely. Skirts falling to the knee are often tolerated, but most private clubs have a dress code that does not allow anything shorter. 

Although some clubs will allow tennis skirts, miniskirts or booty shorts are a no-no.

Always Check Out the Dress Code

Men and women should always check the dress code to play at a new club or course. However, the rules are usually pretty relaxed on the driving range.

Golf dress codes are in place to level the playing field, not remove freedom of expression. As long as you fit within the standards outlined by your course, feel free to have fun with patterns and designs. The course is your place to show off your unique style!


Whatever you wear on the course, the main thing is to choose a breathable fabric that will cope with temperature variations throughout your game and a flexible and comfortable design to move easily. Remember, you could be walking a long way! 

Don’t feel pressured to buy expensive golf pants if you are a newbie. You are bound to have a suitable pair already in your wardrobe.

Experienced golfers develop their pant preferences based on what works for them. 

Stitch Golf can advise on the latest designs, fabrics, and colors if you are looking for your first pair of golf pants or fancy an upgrade or new look.