The History of Fashionable Golf Clothing


As any golf enthusiast knows, golf clothing is quite distinct. Today’s modern golfer will typically wear a pair of smart trousers in a range of colours and patterns, and a polo shirt of sweater which either matches nicely or clashes horribly. Either way, golf clothing is possibly some of the most distinct in the world.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why golfers dress the way they do, but if one delves more closely into the history of golfing fashion, a distinct chronology begins to emerge.

Golf Clothing in the 1800s

Golf rose to prominence after new rail links in the UK resulted in speedy transport between Scotland and England. As the game gained in popularity, golf players of this era began to dress in more formal attire, such as tail coats, rather than the animal skins which would have traditionally been worn.

Early 20th Century

By the 1900s, it had become widely accepted that proper golfing attire was quite formal in nature. Golf, as a sport, was considered to be more of an ‘upper class’ pursuit, and would be played in a gentlemanly fashion by men wearing long trousers, formal jackets and impeccable ties.

War Time Golfing Attire

In the years of rationing, it was no longer appropriate for golfers to be seen wearing formal attire simply to play sport. Instead, golfers wore short sleeves, and compromised by tucking their fashionably long trouser hems into their stockings. Bow ties are still worn by some golfers today.

The 1950s and 60s

After the second world war, golf once again rose to the forefront of popular sport. The conservative fashions of pre-war golf long gone, golfers began to dress in the fashions that we still see today. The formal jacket was abandoned in favour of V-neck sweaters, and bow ties replaced the more formal ties.

1970s and 80s

During the glam years of the 70s and 80s, a penchant for bright colours and eye catching patterns began to filter into golfing fashion. The continuing rise of the celebrity golfer meant that, for the first time, golfers were wearing brand name clothing which had been specifically created to get them noticed during play. Golfers who were uncomfortably hot with their trousers tucked into their socks abandoned the trend in favour of full length trousers.

Modern Golfing Attire

The modern golfer is very much a product of both the long history of golfing fashion and the new trend for major label sponsorship. Almost all professional golfers are sponsored, in some way, by major sporting labels such as Nike and Adidas. And, due to their continuing celebrity status, most golfers will make an effort to appear fashionable whilst they’re playing, by selecting attire from leading stockists such as

Not only is fashion still important in the world of golf clothing, but new and innovative technologies are also being increasingly incorporated into their attire. This means that golf clothing is continuing to evolve, albeit at a rate which had never been experienced in the years before the Millennium.

April 25, 2013 3:09 PM | Golf

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