Alexandra Fitzpatrick on golfing style

Long gone are the days, when you’d only find bored old men (with enough disposable income) on the putting green – golf is now a game for the young and playful! With increased interest from the press, more TV coverage, worldwide growth in the number of courses and a massive investment dedicated to course shops and their rental opportunity, combined with an increase in leisure time, the popularity of the game has soared.

Certainly, golf has a reputation for producing some of the worst dressed athletes in the world, and unfortunately the ‘fashionable’ element is always going to be compromised as the clothing has to be, first and foremost, practical, as the golf is the priority.  However, technology has not only changed the way golf is played, but also the way it looks.  The entry of companies like Nike into the golf market alongside dedicated fashion designers (such as Stella McCartney) has introduced well-cut polo shirts and smart, tailored trousers and skirts.

I could write pages on the history of golfing attire dating back to the early 1700s, but what use would that be? What fashionistas want to know is what to wear now. Well, let me enlighten you.

To begin with, at many of the top clubs, shorts must be long and skin is not in. Golf is an elegant game, and ladies should dress like ladies. We’ve all seen the mistakes with eye-jarring colours, cuts, fabrics and designs – Ian Poulter and John Daly – although arguably their style is more tongue in cheek.

Here are some pointers:

  • Try not to be a fashion victim.  The style of golf should remain businesslike: smart and tailored.
  • Be practical with suitable fabrics and cuts. Cashmere, windproof, waterproof and cotton fabrics are all a must. Polo shirts, trousers, skirts and shorts should all be made from natural materials – the same should really be said for any piece of day-to-day clothing – ditch the viscose and polyester.  If you have the lean body for it, the climacool sporting fabrics are allowed.

Now down to style, which of course changes from season to season.  Seeing as golf is mainly a summer game, try bright colours! But be careful of bright prints. Lime green goes nicely with dark purple or navy, and pastel pink with grey or stone. If you’re too scared to try bright colours then opt for a bright belt for a splash of colour.

Golf can be ‘fashionable’ for men too. The dreamy Adam Scott dons Burberry and Aquascutum, and Hugo Boss are renowned for their sports range aimed at golfers. The world number one Luke Donald is keen for Ralph Lauren, but again be careful of the ostentatious oversized logos they have splashed all over their polo shirts these days. Smock-neck shirts look good in the winter under round neck cashmere jumpers, or even under a polo-neck shirt for those extra-cold and windy days on the links.


Alexandra Fitzpatrick 

Image – Fevi Yu