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.
Going to a professional golf tournament is a really fun experience. However, if it’s your first time, you may be a little lost as to what to wear.
There is no reason to worry; we have you covered.
We have been to dozens of tournaments over the years and can tell you what works and what doesn’t from a dress code standpoint. In addition, we have some golf tournament etiquette that is a must-read before your next professional event.
What To Wear To A Golf Tournament (Like the PGA Tour)
We will provide some specifics as to what to wear to a golf tournament and what not to wear for men, women, and children.
However, if you want a really basic and quick piece of advance as to what to wear, simply dress like a golfer.
If you dress like you are going to play golf, chances are you will be appropriately dressed for a golf event.
Men’s Golf Tournament Attire
Men’s golf tournament attire should be easy to piece together from your closet. Even if you are not a golfer, chances are you have an outfit that will work for the golf tournament.
Short on Time? Here is a brief overview on what to wear to a golf tournament for men:
|Golf Shorts, Slacks, Or Khakis
|Collar T-Shirt, Button Down, Or Golf T-Shirt (1/4 Zip if it is cold)
|Baseball Cap or Wide Brim Hat
|Sneakers (ideally waterproof)
Pants or shorts can be worn to a golf event; check the temperature for the day and make a decision based on the conditions. One benefit of wearing shorts as opposed to pants is the wet grass that you might be walking through.
When you watch a golf tournament, you will stand in the rough, which can be a bit thicker. Pant legs that get wet and then take a while to dry are uncomfortable to wear on the golf course.
Golf joggers are one stylish option that you could wear to help keep you comfortable.
Pants should be more like golf slacks or khakis. Exercise pants, cargo pants, and jeans are typically discouraged. The shorts you wear should be more like golf shorts or casual chino shorts, not bathing suits or surf shorts.
Choose something comfortable, as you will probably be walking a few miles catching up to your favorite players.
The most popular shirt to wear to a golf tournament is a golf shirt or polo shirt. You really can’t go wrong if you wear a golf shirt. For those with premium seating or a spot in the grandstands, a button down shirt is also appropriate.
Many golfers will also wear a t-shirt to watch a golf tournament. This is more a level of preference for you and what feels appropriate.
If you watch golf on TV, you can see that fans where a variety of different outfits, and sometimes a T-shirt with golf sayings or golf theme can be really popular.
Similar to the golf pants, make sure you are wearing something that is moisture-wicking or the proper fabric to match the weather. If it’s cold, a ¼ zip or sweater is also appropriate.
Most professional golf tournaments do not require you to tuck your golf shirt in, but some golfers still choose to do this. Wearing a hat is appropriate and encouraged.
If you are going to spend alot of time in the sun, sunglasses or a straw golf hat are also a good idea to consider. Bringing a foldable rain jacket can also be a good idea in case you run into some rough weather on the course.
Your footwear decision could be the most important one you make. We recommend sneakers that have good waterproof features.
Golf shoes can also work well, but they must be soft spikes or spikeless. Metal spiked golf shoes are almost always on the prohibited items list for a golf tournament. (See our article on if golf shoes really make a difference.)
Wearing flip-flops or sandals can work if you are going to watch from one location the entire day, but it’s not recommended for being able to maneuver around the course.
Women Golf Tournament Attire
Similar to how golf courses handle attire rules for women, professional golf tournaments are also a bit lenient regarding what women can wear. The list of appropriate attire for women is typically longer than it is for men watching a golf tournament.
We highly recommend dressing as if you are going out to play a round of golf. If you wear clothing like this, you won’t have any trouble with a dress code restriction when you make it to the course.
Short on Time? Here is a brief overview on what to wear to a golf tournament for women:
|Golf Shorts, Slacks, Skirts, or A Dress
|Sleeveless Shirt with a Collar, T-Shirt, Or Blouse(1/4 Zip if it is cold)
|Baseball Cap or Wide Brim Hat
|Sneakers (ideally waterproof), Or Golf Shoe
For women, pants, skirts, shorts, and dresses are acceptable during a golf tournament spectator experience. The big thing to stay away from here is denim and to ensure that the length of the dresses or skirts is not too short.
Some golf courses have restrictions on the length of shorts or skirts, and you won’t want to run into an issue with that when making it into the event. Most of the time, anything sold by a golf company like Tail, Polo, Peter Milar, Fairway and Greene, or Adidas is appropriate.
Women may also want to consider the coloring of the pants they wear. Remember walking through thick rough and sitting on grandstands that have been sitting out for weeks can be really tough on white pants.
The typical golf dress code for women is that they must wear either a shirt with sleeves or a shirt with a collar. This means that a sleeveless shirt with a collar is acceptable, but a sleeveless shirt without a collar is not.
Women can wear plain t-shirts out on the course with a pair of nice shorts. In addition, a more ornate blouse or shirt can be worn, as long as it is comfortable for you to wear while walking through the course.
Accessories like jewelry and bags are typically not a problem at the golf course. We would, however, recommend considering a hat.
The sun exposure for a long day at a golf event can be intense, and without a hat, you can get a really bad sunburn.
It’s best if women do not wear any type of heels while going to watch a golf tournament. The sneaker or golf shoe is the best overall choice. You will be walking quite a bit and in thicker grass that will get your feet wet.
If your shoes have some type of waterproof technology, they are a better choice than a mess shoe. First thing in the morning, golf courses can be really wet, and if you spend the rest of the day with wet shoes, you may end up with a blister.
Kid’s Golf Tournament Attire
Professional golf tournaments are supposed to be family-friendly events. Sometimes one of the best ways to get your kids interested in the game of golf is to let them see the professionals.
Professional golfers can really inspire young kids. If you are going to bring your kids to a golf tournament, it’s wise to dress them appropriately for the day.
Short on Time? Here is a brief overview on what to wear to a golf tournament for kids:
|Golf Shorts, Slacks, Or Khakis
|Polo Shirt, or Golf T-Shirt for Autographs (1/4 Zip if it is cold)
|Baseball Cap or Wide Brim Hat
|Sneakers (ideally waterproof)
Kids should also consider wearing golf-type clothes. For kids, you don’t need to purchase clothes from a specific golf clothing manufacturer. A pair of navy or khaki shorts will work just fine.
Stay away from anything that is uncomfortable or looks dirty or sloppy.
Kids should also consider wearing a polo shirt. Many kids like to try and get autographs after the pros finish for the day.
Golf shirts are typically the proper weight and style to make your child comfortable, and when they are dressed like little golfers, they get more attention from the pros. I can tell you this from experience growing up and going to golf tournaments as a kid.
Kids should really consider wearing sneakers for a golf tournament. A great pair of shoes with a hat will help encourage comfort and less complaining that you will have to listen to!
What To Bring To A Golf Tournament
Prior to heading out to a golf tournament, you will want to take a quick look at the things you are allowed to bring. Many golf events will limit what you are allowed to have with you.
This is especially the case if you are heading to an event like the Masters, where rules are just a bit different.
A golf tournament can be a full-day event. This means you will be out on the course for hours enjoying the golf and sometimes forget about the sun.
Choose a strong sunscreen that you can reapply partially through the day if you need to.
Sunglasses not only protect your eyes, but they also make it easier to see the golf tournament.
Sometimes during a tournament, you will be sitting in the grass where the bugs also like to hang out. Use a bit of bug spray to keep you from getting mosquito or gnat bites as you watch the event.
Bringing a rain poncho or a jacket will help improve overall comfort on the course. Some fans like to bring a rain poncho-type jacket that will help with staying dry in case of rain.
It’s not always easy to get a great seat to watch a golf event. If you are concerned with being able to see which players are coming up to the tee or green next, a small pair of binoculars can work.
Small Camera or Cell Phone
There is quite a bit of debate about whether or not a camera or cell phone is necessary on the golf course. You will have to decide if you want to be involved in watching the event or recording it.
Portable Folding Chair
A small portable folding chair is a good option; if you can’t find seating in the grandstands, you can at least take a load off. Walking an entire golf course is likely going to be five miles or more; you may need to rest.
Bring some money for a souvenir or a shirt. The PGA Tour sets up really nice merchandise tents at many of the big events.
Some items are prohibited during golf tournaments. Again, this will depend on whether you are at a PGA Tour event, a Monday Qualifier, a Korn Ferry event, or even a local USGA event.
Here are some of the common prohibited items that you should avoid bringing when you are going to a professional golf event.
- Electronic devices (depending on the event)
- Large backpacks, bags, or purses
- Outside food and beverage
- Golf shoes with metal spikes
- Periscopes (depending on the event)
Golf Tournament Etiquette
In addition to being appropriately dressed for a golf tournament, it’s important to follow the proper etiquette as well. Of course, in golf, some of this etiquette is assumed and not necessarily written, so we wanted to clear that up.
Again, depending on the event you are going to, you may see changes in acceptable attire and prohibited items, but golf etiquette is always going to remain in place.
Golf tournaments are supposed to be fun, and you should be able to enjoy time with your friends in addition to watching the golf. However, you must stay aware of what is going on in the event.
If you and your friends are talking and a golf ball comes your way, or you are speaking when players are trying to hit, this is not good etiquette. Instead, stay aware of what is going on around you.
Follow The Ropes
The tournament coordinators spend alot of time putting out ropes that players are supposed to follow. These ropes must be respected.
Don’t try to get on the other side of the ropes; the players that have made their way to these events have earned the other side of the ropes.
There is no reason to raise your voice on the golf course when watching a professional event.
If you stay quiet throughout the day, the chance of distracting someone or causing a problem on the course is significantly reduced.
For those in the grandstands, it can be a little easier to make noise as you wait for each group to come through. However, when looking along the fairways, it can sometimes be difficult to see if a player is nearby, ready to swing.
Keep your voice down throughout the day, and you should not have too many issues.
Keep Cell Phone On Silent
Your cell phone should NEVER have the volume on when you are on the golf course. Keeping the cell phone on silent is the only way to bring your phone to an event.
If you don’t trust yourself with this, don’t bring the phone!
No Phone Conversations
In addition to keeping your cell phone on silent, try to refrain from having cell phone conversations. This is not only rude to the players but also to those spectators around you.
People are all trying to enjoy their day, and they don’t need to hear about your work problem or what groceries you need to pick up on the way home.
Look For Lost Golf Balls
If a professional golfer hits a shot that is tough to find, help them look for it.
When a ball comes your way, pay close attention and see if you can help the golfer out. This is a helpful way to assist a player.
Once you find the ball, get out of the way so the golfer can make their decisions.
We hope you now feel a bit more prepared for what to wear to a golf tournament. The best tip of advice we can give is to dress as though you are heading out to a round of golf.
Although the dress code may not be as strict at the golf event as it is at your local club, you will know that you are going to look appropriate and fit in with other spectators that are also watching.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a dress code at golf tournaments?
Some golf tournaments have a dress code that can be researched on the tournament information website. However, if you dress as though you are heading out for a round of golf at your local golf course, chances are you will meet the requirements of the dress code.
What should I wear to watch a golf game?
It’s best to wear a collared shirt and golf shorts or pants when you go to watch a golf game. Wearing denim or clothing that is not considered professional will be discouraged.
What should I wear to the US Open golf tournament?
The US Open golf tournament and all other golf Majors are exceptional events on the PGA Tour circuit. Most fans will wear one of their nicer golf shirts and shorts with a belt and golf shoes or sneakers.
Do Korn Ferry Tour events have a dress code for spectators?
Korn Ferry Tour events are similar to the PGA Tour events when it comes to dress code. Try to look professional, clean, and neat while going to watch a Korn Ferry Tour event. A golf shirt, golf shorts, and golf shoes (without metal spikes), or sneakers are appropriate.