Golf Clothing: Be Stylish, Comfortable, and Functional On The Course

by David Walters - Date: 2006-12-12 - Word Count: 819 Share This!

Golf clothing should not just be stylish; most important, it needs to be comfortable and functional. There are no specific rules relating to general dress on the course, although most private clubs and country clubs do have stringent standards. Trainers, denim jeans, shirts without collars, short shorts and sleeveless shirts for men are generally forbidden. Some clubs insist that men wear long socks with shorts. Others forbid ladies in the clubhouse in shorts or even trousers. Dress codes vary from country to country and club to club. Be prepared to respect them.

You need to wear clothes that allow you totally free movement of the various parts of the body essential to the basic shots. There is no shortage of choice when it comes to shirts, sweaters, trousers, shorts, slacks and skirts. It's a good idea to wear several layers that you can peel off in changeable weather.

Bear in mind that you will be out on the course for several hours at a time, during which there may well be a dramatic change in conditions. If the weather looks changeable, make sure you have enough extra clothing to keep warm, since cold limbs and joints are your worst enemy when playing golf, and pack waterproofs in your golf bag in case it rains.

When choosing waterproofs, remember that you are unlikely to find any garment that is totally impervious to water. The cheapest rainwear is usually lightweight nylon, which although not particularly chic does have the advantage of being compact enough to fit into any bag.

At the other end of the market is the expensive breathable fabric suit. It takes up far more space in your bag and tends to be more suitable if you are likely to play a complete round in the rain.

Whichever waterproofs you choose, look for slacks with legs wide enough to go easily over golf shoes, preferably with zippers at the bottom of the legs, which you can tighten to prevent the bottoms from flapping in the wind. Make sure that the jacket is loose enough to allow you to swing freely and try to get one with as few seams as possible. Another point to remember is that you want a suit that does not make a lot of noise as you move in the shot.

Headwear is also important, particularly in the wind or rain. Look for something to keep your hair from your eyes, to keep rain off glasses and to stay on firmly when the wind blows. The variety of hats is enormous. Golfers tend not to look their most glamorous in the rain. You see everything from stocking caps to hats with built in ear flaps. Fashion may have to take second place to function! Equally, on a nice day you need to keep the sun out of your eyes with a peaked cap or visor.

A good pair of shoes is essential for firm gripping and effective footwork. The most expensive tend to have leather uppers and leather soles with spikes. But they can be very stiff, and if the soles don't bend freely, you can end up with blisters at the back of your feet.

The ideal combination for most players is a leather upper, which will breathe, combined with a rubber sole with either spikes or 'pimples'. Again, the soles need to be suitably flexible to encourage good footwork. Stiff soles can not only be uncomfortable, but can also cause problems in the swing.

Look for shoes with solid toe caps. This again encourages good footwork for the right foot to come through onto the end of the toes. Shoes that are too flexible will not give proper support.

Also bear in mind that the heel height can vary slightly, which can affect balance and legwork. High-ish heels can push the weight forward onto the ball of the left foot through impact, instead of allowing you to get back onto the heel.

When you buy a pair of spiked shoes, loosen all the spikes and drop in a little machine oil to prevent them from rusting. Lightweight tennis style shoes are increasingly popular, as they are much easier on the feet during a long day on the course. Modern shoes often have 'soft' plaster spikes.

Most players wear a left hand glove to encourage a constant grip. Leather tends to be very expensive, and although it arguably gives the best feel, it may not be as durable as some of the best synthetics. A glove with an extra pad at the base of the hand can reduce wear and tear. It should fit tighter than a normal glove. Take care when putting your glove on, slide it on the fingers and thumb, rather than pulling it on from the wrist.

In winter, wearing a pair of thick mittens over your golf glove is usually easier than playing in a pair of gloves. Special trolley mitts are available to cover both the trolley handle and your hands.

Related Tags: golf, golf clubs, clothing, golf clothing, golf equipment, golf ball, golf balls, golf club, golf kit

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