Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.
The terms golf shirt and polo shirt are used interchangeably; the question is, should they be?
Many golfers ask us whether or not a golf shirt vs. polo shirt are the same things. The simple answer is that they are not the same; the more involved answer will show you that most people can’t tell the difference anyway!
What Are The Differences In The Golf vs. Polo Shirt?
The biggest differences you will find in a golf vs. polo shirt are that the golf shirt has longer sleeves, is more formal, and is made with different materials.
Formal Golf Shirts
Even though golf has potentially gotten a bit more laid back in style, the golf shirts are still supposed to be formal enough that they can be worn to dinner and for other events aside from golf. It’s important to understand that some standard polo shirts are a bit more casual and may not even be the best option for what to wear to a golf tournament.
Golf polo shirts are also made with finer quality material that can work quite well for golfers, but they also have a more premium look and style to them.
Materials Built for Golfers
One of the most important things that golfers look for in a golf shirt for the course is moisture-wicking material. Moisture wicking encourages the golf shirt to dry faster and ensures that players don’t stay wet even on those warmer days on the course.
One thing I’ve always said about golf, and I still believe it to be true, is that when you look good, you play well.
There is no question that looking good to go out, and play gives you more confidence and helps you shoot lower scores. It may seem like a simple concept, but you take my word for it that it works!
Also check out our guide to the best straw golf hats to help keep cool!
Longer Sleeves That Don’t Interfere With The Swing
The traditional polo shirt and the traditional golf shirt both have short sleeves. However, if you are purchasing a golf polo shirt, expect that the sleeves are going to be a little longer, and the total length of the shirt is also a little longer.
The extra sleeve length is more suitable for golfers that want to ensure the shirt does not get stuck as they swing through the ball.
In addition, the longer shirt length can help to keep the shirt from coming out when golfers swing.
Golf shirts are generally less restrictive than polo shirts. With a golf shirt, you can expect a full range of motion in your golf swing.
The fabrics used are stretchy, and golfers have an easier time turning and feeling as though they can swing through the ball without the shirt holding them back.
In fact, if you play golf with a traditional polo shirt that does not have this full range of motion, expect that you may end up with some poor swings simply from playing with improper gear.
What To Look For In A Great Golf Shirt?
If you are searching for a great golf shirt and want to ensure it is not just a polo shirt, there are a few important things to keep in mind. These things will help you understand what to look for and how to ensure you maximize comfort and performance on the course.
- Breathable fabrics
- Moisture-wicking technology
- UPF protection
- Easy care instructions
- Little to no restrictions in the golf swing
- Premium Materials
- Golf brand name manufacturers
- A collar that stays firm and holds up after washing
This video shows features from a great golf shirt as an example.
Frequently Asked Questions
The golf vs. polo shirt issue brings up some questions about performance, what to purchase and whether or not you really need to specifically shop for golf-specific shirts.
I can tell you that a golf shirt will always hold up better and perform better on the course. These shirts are made for everyday play and will outlast any of the polo shirts you purchase.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind.
Are polo and golf shirts the same?
Polo shirts and golf shirts are not the same. Golf shirts are made with specific materials to support golf, while polo shirts are designed more for off-the-course wear.
Some people might not be able to see the clear differences between golf and polo shirts, but when you look at the overall materials and the fit, you will notice the differences.
Is a golf shirt considered a polo?
A golf shirt is considered a polo shirt, but it is a type of polo shirt. If you are going to wear something to play golf, you should make sure that it is a golf-specific polo shirt.
Can you wear a regular polo to golf?
A regular polo will have a collar that will make it acceptable to wear on the golf course. However, this will not always make the polo the best solution for golfers.
You should find something that has the material and the fit that will hold up well on the golf course. Traditional polos may be worn to a baseball game or to a BBQ, but they are not necessarily the best for the golf course.
Can you wear golf polos casually?
Golf polos have premium fabric and a fit and feel that most people enjoy. If you find that you want to wear your golf polo outside the golf course, you would not be the first one to think of this concept!
Golf polos are worn for dinner and casual occasions all the time.
Hopefully, you can now tell the difference between a golf shirt and a polo shirt. Overall the two are very similar.
However, you must remember that even though a golf shirt is a polo shirt, it’s a specific type of polo shirt built for a golfer.
When you are a serious player that gets a lot of golf in, make sure you wear clothes that will support you the entire time you are on the course. Looking good and feeling good have a big impact on the way you score.