PGA Clothing Rules: A Guide to Golf’s Dress Code and Style Etiquette

Colin McCarthy

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pga clothing rules

Golf isn’t just a game; it’s a tradition steeped in etiquette and style. While some players enjoy the casual comfort of jeans and a T-shirt, the PGA Tour sets a higher standard for its participants.

According to the PGA Tour Handbook, players must present a neat appearance in both clothing and personal grooming. This means you’ll often see professionals sporting khakis, chinos, and collared shirts, even in sweltering heat.

Understanding these clothing rules isn’t just about following guidelines; it’s about embracing the spirit of the sport. The PGA Tour doesn’t explicitly ban items like shorts or collarless shirts, but it leans heavily towards a more polished look.

Whether you’re a casual player or aspiring pro, knowing these rules can help you fit in and show respect for the game.

PGA Clothing Rules Overview

PGA clothing rules ensure that players maintain a professional and respectful appearance on the course.

Importance of Adhering to Dress Codes

Following the PGA dress code emphasizes the serious nature of the sport. Players respecting these guidelines demonstrate their dedication and regard for golf traditions.

A neat appearance, including items like collared shirts and golf trousers, not only projects a professional image but also contributes to the game’s integrity.

Historical Evolution of PGA Dress Codes

PGA dress codes have evolved significantly over the years. In the early days, players wore formal attire, including suits and ties. As the sport grew, the dress code relaxed, permitting more comfortable yet still refined clothing like khakis and polo shirts.

Modern advancements now allow for performance fabrics and tailored designs, ensuring that players look sharp while also enjoying functional benefits on the course.

By understanding these rules, you can show respect for the sport’s history while staying current with contemporary trends.

Men Wear To The PGA Championship

Adhering to the PGA Championship dress code is crucial. It reflects respect for the game and ensures a professional appearance.


Selecting the right shirt is essential to comply with the PGA’s dress code. Opt for collared shirts like polo shirts or golf-specific shirts. Avoid wearing T-shirts, tank tops, and collarless shirts, as they are prohibited.

For example, the gPERTH Cotton Golf Shirt or the gBRODY Performance Golf Shirt are excellent choices that offer both style and comfort. Neutral colors or subtle patterns keep your look polished and aligned with the dress code.


Choosing the correct trousers is equally important. Khakis or chinos are always a safe bet. However, in warmer weather, lightweight golf trousers are ideal. Options like the gROSS Lightweight Stretch Performance Trousers provide comfort and a refined appearance.

These trousers typically come in neutral shades such as beige, navy, or grey, making them versatile for various outfits. Shorts are generally not allowed, except in specific state tournaments for professionals.


Outerwear becomes necessary when the weather is cooler or rainy. A quality golf jacket or sweater keeps you comfortable without compromising your look.

Items like a lightweight windbreaker or a moisture-wicking pullover are practical and maintain the professional standard set by the PGA. Remember to avoid overly casual outerwear like hoodies, as they do not meet the dress code requirements.

Women Wear to The PGA Championship

Women have many stylish and practical options when dressing for the PGA Championship. It’s essential to choose attire that’s both modest and comfortable, keeping in line with the event’s atmosphere.


Choose classic styles for your shirts. A cotton golf shirt, like a short-sleeved polo, offers a timeless look that fits well with the reserved atmosphere of a golf tournament. Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics to stay cool on the course.

Neutral colors or subtle patterns present a polished appearance and prevent drawing undue attention.


Select comfortable and functional trousers. Lightweight golf trousers are ideal as they offer comfort in warm weather and still look refined. Consider Glenmuir Ladies Performance Golf Trousers for their practicality and style.

Avoid tight-fitting or overly casual pants, like jeans or leggings, as they don’t align with the event’s dress standards.

Dresses and Skorts

Choose dresses and skorts that combine style with functionality. A sundress or a skort paired with a breathable shirt can be both comfortable and chic. The gPHOEBE Ladies Lightweight Stretch Performance Golf Pedal Pushers offer great coverage and comfort.

Avoid overly revealing options like strapless tops or mini skirts, and stick to classic cuts that adhere to the modest dress code.


Prepare for varying weather conditions with suitable outerwear. A lightweight jacket or sweater can keep you warm if temperatures drop. Consider options like a water-repellent jacket that provides both style and function. Stick to neutral colors to keep your look cohesive and elegant.

Remember, your PGA Championship outfit should blend tradition with contemporary style, ensuring you feel comfortable and look polished throughout the event.

Spectator Dress Guidelines

PGA events require spectators to follow specific dress guidelines to maintain the spirit and tradition of the game. Observing these guidelines helps create a respectful and professional atmosphere.

General Recommendations

Spectators at PGA events should dress in a manner that’s both comfortable and respectful of the game’s tradition. Avoid overly casual attire like jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops.

Opt for collared shirts, khaki pants or shorts, and comfortable, golf-appropriate shoes. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics suitable for spending the day outdoors.

Specific Requirements for Major Tournaments

Some tournaments may have stricter dress codes, especially for high-profile events like the PGA Championship. Ensure your attire is neat and presentable. Men should wear collared shirts and avoid denim. Women should consider wearing classic tops, skirts, dresses, or tailored pants.

Both men and women should avoid clothing with large logos or slogans. Following these guidelines ensures a polished and respectful appearance, aligning you with the professional standards of the sport.

Accessory Regulations

Accessory regulations ensure players and spectators maintain a professional appearance on the golf course.

Permissible Footwear

Footwear must be both functional and appropriate. Golf shoes with soft spikes are required; metal spikes are not allowed. Sneakers are acceptable if they provide adequate support.

Sandals, flip-flops, and other casual footwear aren’t permitted. Always check specific event guidelines for any updates.

Allowed and Prohibited Accessories

Choosing the right accessories enhances your professional look. Golfers can wear hats, visors, and sunglasses, but these should be clean and in good condition. Stylish belts, watches, and simple jewelry are fine.

Items like large chains, loud-colored accessories, and headphones detract from the professional atmosphere and aren’t permitted. Always prioritize accessories that complement your attire and respect the sport’s heritage.

Controversial and Unusual Dress Code Incidents

The incidents of dress code violations in golf have indeed sparked significant debate, reflecting the ongoing tension between tradition and modernity within the sport.

Here’s a closer look at the notable incidents mentioned:

2017 LPGA Tour Leggings Incident

One incident that drew attention occurred on the LPGA Tour in 2017 when a player was fined for wearing leggings without a skirt or shorts over them.

This incident highlighted a stricter interpretation of dress codes for female athletes, emphasizing traditional attire norms that have historically been more stringent for women in golf.

2014 PGA Tour Cargo Shorts Incident

In 2014, a golfer received a reprimand for wearing cargo shorts during a PGA Tour event. Cargo shorts, considered too casual for the professional image upheld by the PGA Tour, sparked discussion about the appropriate balance between comfort and maintaining the sport’s prestige.

This incident underscored the PGA Tour’s emphasis on aligning player attire with traditional professional standards.

Support for Stricter Dress Codes

Supporters of stricter dress codes argue that they uphold the sport’s traditions and maintain a professional atmosphere on the course.

Traditional attire, such as collared shirts and tailored trousers, is seen as integral to respecting the heritage of golf and projecting a certain image of professionalism and respect for the game.

Conversely, there is a growing push for modernization to reflect contemporary fashion trends and accommodate changing comfort preferences among players.

Advocates for modernization argue that relaxed dress codes could make the sport more accessible and appealing to younger generations and casual players.

Complexity of Enforcing Dress Codes

These incidents illustrate the complexity of enforcing dress codes in golf. Golf’s governing bodies must navigate the fine line between preserving tradition and adapting to modern expectations.

Balancing the respect for heritage with the need for inclusivity and comfort presents an ongoing challenge for golf’s administrators.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can PGA players wear denim on tour?

Denim is prohibited. Male participants must wear slacks and are not allowed to wear shorts on club property unless permitted by the hosting Section. If allowed, participants can wear professional-looking golf shorts.

Are tattoos allowed on the PGA Tour?

Yes, tattoos are allowed on the PGA Tour. Rickie Fowler, for example, has several visible tattoos on his hands and arms, which are small and carry sentimental value.

What do spectators wear to a PGA golf tournament?

Spectators should dress for the weather, including lightweight clothing for sunny days or water-resistant attire for rainy days. Sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are recommended. Comfortable shoes are essential due to extensive walking.

What not to wear to a golf tournament?

Avoid wearing graphic tees, tube tops, spandex, jeans, heels, and flip-flops. Male spectators typically wear khakis, golf shirts, or button-downs with loafers or tennis shoes. Gym shorts, cut-offs, and t-shirts are not recommended.

Can I wear jeans to the Masters?

No, jeans are not allowed. Augusta National requires gentlemen to wear collared shirts and slacks, while ladies must dress modestly without revealing clothing or sleeveless shirts. Comfortable shoes are advised for walking the hilly terrain.


Navigating the PGA clothing rules requires a keen understanding of both tradition and modernity. As a golfer or spectator, adhering to these standards not only shows respect for the sport’s rich history but also ensures a professional and polished appearance.

While debates around dress code flexibility continue, maintaining a balance between heritage and contemporary trends is crucial. By following the established guidelines, you contribute to the sport’s integrity and help preserve its esteemed legacy.

Moreover, dressing appropriately can enhance your performance and comfort on the course. Remember to always check the event-specific dress codes, as they may have unique requirements.

By doing so, you not only respect the game’s traditions but also enjoy a seamless experience, free from unexpected interruptions.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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