Ladies, tee up!
It’s time to up your golf game style because this sport is on trend and the ladies are bringing their A-game! According to the National Golf Foundation, no segment of the game of golf has seen as much growth since the pandemic began in March 2020 than female golfers. In 2021, the percentage of women on courses hit 25%, an increase of 6% over a decade prior. Girls accounted for 35% of junior golfers, up from just 15% in 2000. So, to the links, ladies! It’s a great opportunity not only to participate in a truly unique game but also to hone your social and networking skills for more impactful connections. In this blog post, our lookingGLASS fashion stylists will give you the tips you’ll need to feel confident that you know what is expected of you with regard to dress and conduct. Whether you’re a spectator or player, dressing confidently and stylishly will help keep you on your game.
Golfing Events Are a Great Place to Network
Skip those boring (and let’s be honest, awkward) networking events and hit the golf course! To many, golf is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable sports. It’s a chance to be outdoors, enjoying beautiful scenery, and whether you’re a spectator or a player, to hone skills that can be useful in other areas of life, including business. In addition to getting to know the game better, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some great food, and meet interesting new people, maybe even sports personalities and celebrities. People tend to relax and be more open to chatting or new ideas when they are doing something they consider fun or a leisure activity. Bonding over a shared passion creates deeper and more meaningful connections — and is certainly more memorable than receiving business cards to total strangers.
There is another reason to consider a venture into the world of golf that is in keeping with a lookingGLASS core value: empowering women and girls. Think of it. According to the PGA of America, ninety percent of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf. And, the study shows that more than half of all businesspeople believe golf is a valuable networking tool. In 2020, 25% of female golfers were new to the sport and tried it for the first time because of the pandemic. Learning the game and the traditions of golf can translate into valuable life skills that can help women and girls grow their confidence and compete in the marketplace.
Dress Code Conundrum
I’m in! you might be thinking. So, what do I wear to a golf tournament? We’re glad you asked.
Being outside and on the move in beautiful scenery is one of the things that makes golf a unique sport. Another distinction is that golf has a more traditional attitude than many other popular sports. Two of the defining tenets of the world of golf are tradition and decorum—think “behavior in keeping with respect for self and others” —think “guidelines to widely accepted standards,” specifically, as to conduct and dress. Yikes! Talk about a slippery slope subject matter these days.
Here are a few tips to help you walk that fine line.
The "You Do You" Era:
Seriously, in the era of you-do-you, it’s easy to think that things like tradition and decorum, if not dead, may be on life support. With red carpets and runways oozing with naked dresses and f-bomb-saturated Hollywood leaving parents of preschoolers neurotically curating their children’s screen time, it can be hard to know what exactly constitutes appropriate standards for mere mortals engaged in everyday living. Like, say, attending a golf tournament.
Be Our Guest:
One way to think of the rules and traditions of golf is that you are a guest at the facility (think of offering respect over indulging in individual expression) and will be expected to adhere to your hosts’ standards, including how you dress. While some strict dress codes may seem antiquated (and many are) they do offer the opportunity to remind ourselves that we are guests being honored with an invitation to a private event that means a great deal to those who are hosting it. Adhering to a dress code is a way of offering your support and gratitude. At some courses, rules are strictly enforced, so don’t leave yourself open for an invitation to leave for wearing, or carrying, the wrong thing. So, back to golf’s tradition and decorum.
Dress Code Gamut:
Enter the dress code. (You may remember our recent post on what to wear to a gala that featured tips on understanding dress codes for more formal occasions.) In golf, dress codes vary depending on the course. On the one hand, many private clubs and exclusive golf courses tend to have dress codes that are more traditional and are strictly enforced. On the other hand, you have country music legend Willlie Nelson’s golf course, located just outside of Austin in the famed Texas Hill Country. Rule #11, speaks for itself with regard to the other end of the dress code spectrum. Rule #11: “No bikinis, mini-skirts, skimpy see-through, or sexually exploitative attire allowed. Except on women.” Ha!
Examples of Typical Don't's
Some courses do not allow denim or jeans, cargo shorts, yoga or athletic leggings, tank tops, tee shirts, cropped tops, flip flops, so you might want to leave these at home.
The key to showing up confident in a great outfit that is functional, fashionable and appropriate is knowing ahead of time what’s expected. If still in doubt, throw on a cute polo and skort and you’ll fit right in. Easy peasy!
Go-to Golf Style
If you’re playing, the best tops for golf are versatile and comfortable. They often come in performance fabrics that are breathable, moisture-wicking and lightweight for complete freedom of movement, and are generally low maintenance without ironing required. Styles are plentiful, with options for bold colors or soft pastels, standard or mock collar, zip or buttoned plackets, and regular and slim fits. And don’t forget to stay on top of the weather forecast. If things look iffy, you’ll find plenty of layering options to keep you warm in chilly weather or dry in the rain.
If you prefer golf pants as a spectator or player, look for options that are comfortable, breathable and functional. You’ll find selections ranging from cool and casual to high-fashion at various price levels, including joggers, ankle pants, capris, shorts, skorts and skirts in various fabrics, from stretch twill to—yes, if you can believe it—even cashmere!
If dresses are your thing, check out the cute options featured below.
If you’re a player, cleated golf shoes come in a variety of options, from luxury styles to the highly affordable. Whether player or spectator, look for footwear that is breathable, durable and lightweight. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so comfort is key. Keep it cute but functional. You don’t want blisters spoiling your day.
This Polo Mini Dress from Abercrombie & Fitch is a great choice for warm weather golf tournaments. Its lightweight fabric makes it comfortable to wear, even on the hottest days. The cut of the dress is super flattering and accentuates all the right places, and the pink color make it perfect if you’re going for a more feminine look. Pair it with white tennies and a cute visor, and you’re definitely in the game.
Looking smart at your tournament can be as simple as this cute black romper.
It’s soft, lightweight knit makes for a comfortable, flattering fit. The zipper closure and drawstring elastic waistband assures that it’s quick to jump into and will move with you as you take your swing or walk around the course. Pair this up with white tennies, a cute hat and some understated jewelry and you’ll be walking the links in style.
This cute black romper is a great casual option for a golf tournament. It’s lightweight and has a flattering fit. This pairs perfectly with white tennies and a cute hat.
The basic cut and neutral color assure you can’t go wrong with this mid-rise athletic skirt from Lululemon. Consider this piece a perfect go-to for a sports event like a golf tournament. A big plus, you can easily dress it up or down with a top that features pastel or bold colors, or pair it perfectly with a cute crop and a white half-zip draped on the shoulders. If you’re bursting with Spring energy and want to ramp it up a little, choose one of the many color options, don your tennies and visor and head to the links.
If you feel like dressing up your golf tournament look a little, we love this Abercrombie & Fitch brown checkered mini dress. Throw on a cute pair of white tennies and you’ll have the perfect blend of casual and chic. Big bonus, this piece is an all-around great wardrobe addition. Super versatile, with a quick change up of accessories and footwear, it could easily go from links to office to after-hours events. There might be better options if you’re actually playing the course, but, otherwise, yes, please!
Golf is a Sport of Tradition and Concentration
When it comes to what folks wear to a lot of our favorite sports games, like football, basketball and soccer, you might expect just about anything, especially if it’s team-themed. And nobody will be surprised if things get noisy. Golf, not so much. The golf world takes etiquette very seriously for both players and spectators, and for good reason. Beyond just the time-honored traditions, golf is a game of concentration, especially in a tournament.
The traditions of golf are built on the foundations of conduct, honesty and integrity. Players can be disqualified for misconduct and spectators can be invited to leave. One of the most sacred rules of golf for players: you must play the ball as it lies. In other words, play by the rules and the spirit of the game. English author and humorist, P. G. Wodehouse, perhaps captured that spirit best when he said, “Golf… is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.”
Do's and Don't's
Here are some guideline do’s and don’t’s that will have you feeling like a pro in the know.
- Take your lead from seasoned spectators when it comes to
- Staying at least 25 yards behind the golfers and
- Staying away from the fairways, greens and tee boxes
- Dress appropriately.
In addition to checking the dress code, check your course’s tournament rules. Golf is a game of concentration. Most tournament rules pertain to not distracting the players.
- Don’t make noise while play is going on.
- Don’t let your shadow fall in a player’s line of sight or actually on them or on their ball.
- Don’t call out player’s name or try to give them advice.
- Don’t move when player is about to take a shot.
- Don’t move on to the next tee until all the players in the tournament have finished putting. (If you are new to spectating, you can take your cue from other spectators.)
- Don’t dis a player after a bad shot. Cheer, don’t jeer! (Spectators have been removed for such behavior.)
- Don’t (ever!) touch the ball during play (even if it goes outside the ropes and lands at your feet!).
- Don’t take or make cell phone calls or take photos while spectating. (Many tournaments ban cell phones and picture taking at some major tournaments.)
- Don’t block other spectators’ view.
- Don’t touch another spectator’s temporarily-vacant chair.
- Don’t use foul language (remember, golf is a game that values courtesy and respect, and since spectator crowds can be tight, others may not be able to easily move away from you).
- Don’t over imbibe.
A note about bringing kids to a golf tournament. The sport is eager to interest younger people in the game and generally welcome kids to tournaments. Just be sure they are old enough to know how to be still and quiet and understand that they must not touch the ball!
A good rule of thumb for course and tournament etiquette is to use basic common sense, be courteous and considerate, and follow what the seasoned spectators are doing.
Be in the Know
- Birdie: Completing the hole in one less stroke than the par.
- Bogey: Completing the hole in one more stroke than the par.
- Double Bogey: Completing the hole in two more strokes than the par (catch the trend?).
- Eagle: Completing the hole in two fewer strokes than the par.
- Fairway: The stretch of shorter grass that directs you to the hole (it’s where you want to be)
- Fore: What golfers yell (hopefully loudly) when they hit a bad shot to alert the golfers in the area where their ball is headed. Generally translated as “duck and cover.”
- Gimmie: A putt so short that you wouldn’t miss it, so your golf buddies give it to you. The rule of thumb for measuring gimmie is often “in the leather” which is the length of the grip of your putter.
- Handicap: Refers to a number given to players that determines their “potential” average score in relation to par.
- Green: The area of finely trimmed grass at the end of each hole (it’s where you want to end up).
- Hazards: The crap golf course architects put in your way like water, sand traps, and tall grass.
- Hole-in-One: Hitting it in the hole on your first shot; a moment a golfer, nor their bar tab, will ever forget. Note: any golfer achieving this feat is expected to buy all patrons of the 19th hole a drink upon finishing the round.
- Hook: A golf shot that moves severely right to left for right-handed hitters and the opposite way for lefties, not to be confused with Peter Pan’s nemesis.
- Lie: The way the ball has come to rest on the ground. The ball may on a “good lie” in short grass on the fairway or a “bad lie” in deep grass in the rough. You may have a sidehill lie, where the ball is either above or below your feet.
- Match Play: A one vs. one format where golfers compete against each other on a hole-by-hole basis.
- Mulligan: An unofficial “re-do” or “re-hit” that is undoubtedly a golfer’s best friend.
- Out of Bounds: Golf’s point of no return; white stakes designate an area that is out of play for golfers.
- Par: The number of strokes the powers that be determined a golfer should take to complete the hole.
- Pin or Flag: The object used on the greens to give you hope
- Ranger: The woman or man who drives around in the cart monitoring the speed of play. You do not want to be visited by the ranger, that means you are a slowpoke which will not win you fans on the golf course.
- Rough: The areas of longer grass that line the fairway (it’s where you don’t want to be).
- Sand Trap: The sand-filled pits of despair that line fairways and guard the greens. Slang for bunker.
- Slice: A golf shot that moves severely left to right for right-handed hitters and the opposite way for left, which also happens to be the most common shot shape in golf.
- Starter: The woman or man stationed at the first tee who makes sure you tee off on time.
- Stroke: What you have when you miss a short putt; just kidding, refers to the act of making a swing.
- Stroke Play: A format in golf (common for professional tournaments) where players count all their strokes to determine a final score (the).
- Tee Box: The designated area that marks the beginning of each hole (It’s where you tee off from).
- The Beach: Another name for the bunker/sand trap. Pass the sunscreen.
- Three-Putt: When it takes you three putts to get your golf ball in the hole; also the quickest way your putter earns a trip to the time-out closet.
March kicks off the start of golf season. Interested in attending a tournament? Here are a few helpful links.
Dell Match Play (Austin, TX)
WM Phoenix Open (Phoenix,AZ)
“Comfort, functionality and appropriateness are the key here and, as these awesome lookingGLASS featured pieces show, no need to skimp on style. Remember to check for dress codes and hit the links feeling confident and ready to have fun!”
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