Women’s Guide to Dressing for Golf - NZ and Australia

Women’s Guide to Dressing for Golf - NZ and Australia

One of the most commonly asked questions for women when it comes to playing golf is what should I wear?

If you are new to playing golf then there can be so many rules to get your head around and no one wants to be embarrassed by turning up to the clubhouse in the wrong clothing!

That’s why we’ve put together this definitive guide for what women should wear when playing golf.

This article is specifically for women playing golf on courses in Australia and New Zealand, if you live in other parts of the world then please let us know in the comments if this is different or the same!? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

We have a range of ladies golf clothing to suit all courses and levels of ability. These are made in Christchurch, New Zealand and have been tried and tested by players throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Four women wearing Forewinds golf polos in navy, ice blue, white and poppy looking at the camera

Know the dress code
First things first, you should find out what the dress code is at the club you are going to be playing at. Most clubs nowadays have this on their website so a quick google and a look at their website should tell you what level of dress is required.

Tip: sometimes this is described as dress code etiquette if you’re searching for it on their website.

Another option is if you are playing with friends at their home course then you can ask them what the dress code is for women. They will know what is expected and what other women regularly wear on the course so will be able to make sure you don’t make any fashion faux pas!

The next step is understanding what the dress code means. Some clubs include specific examples of what to wear/not wear on their website which is really helpful . A really common one is ‘smart casual’.

Smart Casual Women's Golf Clothing

Here’s what we recommend for a women’s smart casual golf dress code:

  • Tailored shorts, skirts or pants
  • Collared shirt or blouse
  • Socks that match with the rest of your outfit

Neat & Tidy
This is also often a description used for golf dress codes. What it means is your clothing should be clean, fit well and not have any rips, tears or frays.

You should think about how your clothing will look when put together as a whole outfit to ensure everything matches. We’ve designed our accessories to match with the rest of your Forewinds outfit which will give your golf outfit that little bit of extra coordination.

Here's an example of a ladies smart casual golf outfit where she is matching her collared top to her socks with a neutral navy golf skort and matching cap

Woman wearing petal collared golf top, navy golf skort chipping the ball towards the camera

You can shop this look here

Neat and tidy also means making sure you don’t have any loud or obvious logos on your clothing. For example, our women’s golf clothing range is designed with discreet branding for example with a small label in the side seam, rather than a big logo splashed across the back!

Some of the most common questions we see about golf dress codes are can I wear leggings or jeans? So let’s look at that next.

Can you wear leggings to golf?
Generally most New Zealand and Australian courses don’t mind women wearing leggings or yoga pants on the golf course. But it always pays to check the club’s website before you arrive just in case!

We think that black leggings can look really smart and be a comfortable option with layers during winter, or they can look really cute when paired with a golf skirt.

Can you wear jeans to golf?
Again, most clubs in New Zealand and Australia have a relaxed attitude towards wearing jeans on the golf course. That said you should still check the club website first as some have a strict no denim policy!

But if it isn’t explicitly said on their website then you’re good to go in your jeans (so long as they aren’t ripped or have holes in them!).

Keep in mind that you do a lot of walking while playing golf and some jeans won’t be comfortable if they are too tight or restrictive.

Also keep in mind that most clubs have different dress codes for when you’re playing to when you’re in the club house. Again you will need to check with each club but some common ones are:

  • Make sure you don’t wear your golf shoes inside the club house (the spikes can damage the floor and also bring in dirt and grass). Best thing to do is to bring a change of footwear for the clubhouse after your game. Some clubhouses specify this needs to be a closed toe.
  • Don’t wear hats or sunglasses in the clubhouse. None of us like showing our hat hair so if you need it then make sure to pack a hairbrush or maybe some dry shampoo with your clothes for after your game!

Tip: remember to check the golf club website for the dress code if it’s your first time playing there.

What shoes should you wear for golf?
When you are starting out you can normally play golf in any flat covered lace up shoes for example your runners or normal walking shoes. It’s important that these are comfortable walking in as you will be covering some ground.

Before arriving though you should check if the club you are playing at specifies the use of soft spike golf shoes while on the course. These are often not a requirement, but they do help to reduce the amount of damage to the greens so many clubs support their use.

You’d be surprised at how wet your feet can get especially if you’re playing in the morning while there’s still dew on the grass or soon after the rain. Proper golf shoes are waterproof and will keep your feet dry as well as a pair of golf socks which are designed to come up over your ankle bone and not roll down while you’re playing.

If you are going to be playing a lot of golf then you should definitely look at investing in a pair of women’s golf shoes. We really like the Ecco and the Footjoy range. 

Consider the weather
Nine holes of golf can take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours while 18 holes can take up to four hours. Everyone knows that the weather can change a lot during that time so if you went out in a polo and a skort you might find yourself running back to your car for a jacket after a few holes!

Another thing to consider is that women’s body temperatures generally run lower than mens and of course depending on your age / stage women can run a lot warmer from time to time too! So if you’re playing with men they may not feel the temperature in the same way as you and it pays to be prepared for a change in the weather or if you warm up after a few holes.

All this can mean that when planning what you will wear to play golf in, we recommend keeping in mind a couple of key things that will help you with changeable weather or temperature:

  • Layering, layering, layering!
  • Easy to change on the course
  • Harness the superpower of merino
  • Make sure you have good sun protection

Layering, layering, layering!
When playing golf we always recommend that you bring a couple of layers that you can pop on if you start getting cold. Our go-tos are a nice warm beanie and an extra jersey which we can throw on if the weather changes.

Easy to change on the course
You don’t want to be spending too long adjusting your outfit or changing your clothing while you’re out on the golf course so we recommend choosing things that are easy to take on or off (while keeping your modesty!). So building up layers on top of each other will make this easier, rather than needing to take a base layer off if you start getting too hot halfway around!

The zips on our Condor Polos are super helpful for adjusting your golf outfit because they make it really easy for you to your temperature while you walk to find your ball.

Harness the superpower of merino
Merino is a bit of a super material. We love wearing merino to play golf in because it’s so great for regulating your temperature whether it’s a hot or cold day (or a bit of both!).

It’s amazing at keeping you warm as well as cooling you down and wicking away sweat from your body - which trust us, your golfing mates will thank you for after 18 holes!

Make sure you have good sun protection
Given how long you spend in the sun while playing golf it’s really important to consider sun protection as part of your golf clothing. Caps and hats are great ways to keep the sun off your face, and collared shirts such as the Eagle Polo help to protect your neck too.

It pays to include a block of sunblock in your golf bag just in case you get caught out unexpectedly, no one wants to end a game of golf with a bad sunburn! We love using the Emma Lewisham skin shield sunblock for daily use on our face and the Cancer Society sunblock for our arms and back of the neck.

Another great item to have in your golf bag is a pair of UV sun sleeves. We like these ones because they come up to your bicep as they can be easily pulled out and put on while you’re out on the course if the sun comes out unexpectedly. Plus they have the added bonus of being cooling so will make you feel cooler.

Tip: try pouring some water from your bottle onto your sun sleeves before putting them on for an extra cooling effect!

What is comfortable for you?
The most important thing for women when thinking about what to wear to play golf in is ensuring that you are comfortable! Nothing is going to distract you from your game, or be more annoying, than needing to constantly fidget or readjust your outfit. Or that you feel self conscious in while you are playing.

We recommend when looking for womens golf clothing that you consider how it will look and feel during the movements you make while playing.

Some final key things to think about when choosing a comfortable golf outfit are:

  • What is the length of the top? Will it show your stomach when you swing? You may not mind if it does but some people prefer to have everything covered so it’s worth checking how the fabric moves with you.
  • How comfortable will your golf outfit be for long periods of walking? Do those shorts give you chaffing or does that top rub under your arms? If that’s the case then you may want to give that piece of clothing a miss. Nothing will distract you more from the enjoyment of the game than an uncomfortable rubbing or scratching.
  • Are you comfortable bending over in your golf skirt or skort? You spend a lot of time bending over in golf, to pick up your ball, tee or to grab the rake for the bunker and the last thing you want to be thinking about is accidentally flashing your playing companions! A specially designed golf skort with undershorts can be good for preventing this. We have two lengths a 20 inch and a 22 inch skort for those who like a little extra length..

So there you go, that’s our definitive guide to dressing for women’s golf in New Zealand and Australia. What do you think? Is there anything we missed?

Let us know in the comments below.

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