You may dream about driving the ball like John Daly, chipping like Rickie Fowler, and putting like Ian Poulter, but you don’t want to dress like any of them – at least not off the golf course.
Though wild color combinations and odd fashion statements may fit in if the golf course is your office (and you’re being paid to wear such outlandish outfits), they aren’t acceptable at downtown or even “dress casual” offices. Besides, you don’t want your plaid pants, knickers, or day-glow orange golf shirt to announce the fact that you are slipping out a couple of hours early for a tee time.
Ideally, you want the ability to go from an early afternoon staff meeting straight to the first tee without changing clothes. Although you suit-and-tie guys may have access to a locker room for a quick change, those with more relaxed dress codes or “Casual Fridays” want outfits that fit in at the office and on the course.
It’s really not that hard to find a dual-purpose wardrobe. Anyone can pick up a pair of solid-colored khakis and a tasteful short-sleeve polo shirt, but there’s more to assembling office-appropriate apparel that is not only serviceable, but also superior on the links. Comfort is even more important than convenience when it comes to playing golf.
The most important part of the golf ensemble is the shirt. The windshirts you wear in the winter won’t cut it in the summer heat, so a nice short-sleeve shirt is a must, preferably without a gaudy logo that might be frowned upon in some work environments. Cotton is the preferred fabric since it breathes better in the heat and blends in best at the office.
Traditional upscale shirt-makers such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Bobby Jones still make quality, stylish golf shirts that work in the office and on the course. Ralph Lauren makes lightweight cotton shirts made specifically for golf. The more upscale Bobby Jones line’s prices have actually gone down over the last decade for the company’s top-of-the-line, off-the-rack shirt.
Other industry leaders like Cutter & Buck and Izod Lacoste continue to make nice cotton shirts as they have transitioned to more and more lightweight, “performance” synthetics. All the major sports apparel companies have synthetic golf shirts complete with a name for their unique material. Golf names such as Ashworth, Cutter & Buck, Callaway and TaylorMade have gone that direction, too.
Be sure to avoid loud colors or patterns; solid muted colors provide great workplace camouflage. You may want to go up one size to allow for plenty of room for the flexibility needed for a full swing.
Pants are pretty simple. Khakis work just fine. But stick to solids in beige, blue or black, and save the red and green ones for weekends. Cotton is best for work, but a well-made synthetic is fine.
Finally, we come to footwear. In the days of metal spikes, there was no way to avoid changing shoes at the course. Today, numerous options are available that function well on carpeting and hardwood while providing traction on the turf. Keep the socks simple solid colors that also breathe well while you’re playing 18.
All the major golf shoe brands now offer shoes that can go from the boardroom to the tee. Some even offer dress-like designs such as winged tips. The best have small, non-replaceable cleats giving you a level sole. And driving to the course, the small non-replaceable cleats serve much like driving moccasins.
With the increased competition for the golf market, shoppers now have lot of choices from a wide variety of outlets – online, men’s stores, department stores, sporting goods retailers and discount chains – to find the fashion and function you are looking for. Best of all, these outfits will come in handy when you book your golf package to Myrtle Beach.