What are golf clothes, anyway?

DEAR MOLLY: I want to fit in, but I refuse to spend money on clothes I can’t wear anyplace but on the golf course. What can I wear for golf if I haven’t bought any so-called “golf clothes”?

MOLLY: Guys, did you spot Moonshine Golf’s Ozark hybrid golf/fishing/outdoor shirt at the Denver Golf Expo? Buttoned-down good looks you could wear on date night, but in a lightweight, breathable, and STRETCHY fabric that need not be tucked in to look sharp. Gals, have you checked out Kinona’s go-anywhere Smooth Your Waist Crop Golf Pants at Nordstrom? Fashioned from a lightweight, sun-protective, STRETCHY Italian fabric, these are the pants to pair with strappy heels and a fancy blouse on your next cruise.

Get the point? There aren’t any golf clothes that you can’t wear someplace else! And ever since Freddie Couples made Eccos suitable for the office, even golf shoes are being designed for streetwear! I’ve got a pair of Cole Haans that I put on before I leave for the golf course and wear right through the 19th hole and the drive home.

Granted, I just name-dropped three rather pricey items. The shirt: $89. The pants: $139. The shoes: $150. But each piece multitasks, which adds value, and each piece meets the strictest of golf course dress codes, for when you get that invitation to play the private course you’ve been dreaming about. They’ll go from the city golf course, where anything goes except cutoffs and tank tops, to local private courses that prohibit denim and require collars on men’s shirts.

If you want to get more casual, just stick to municipal courses that generally don’t have dress codes and will let you play in sneakers. If you want a more traditional look, hit the PGA Tour Superstore. There, guys can find a mind-boggling range of collared shirts they probably can wear to work, for video calls and even on dates, with lightweight but tailored shorts or slacks; gals have loads of leeway that includes skorts, shorts, pants, shirts with or without sleeves, and even dresses.

“I think there’s definitely some flexibility, depending on the facility you’re going to,” says Ben Pennymon, CommonGround Golf Course’s new Director of Operations. “I think golf is moving in a direction of inviting more groups of people to wear items that are golf-appropriate but fit into their lifestyle and their culture, which I think is great. You can see it in the way the hoodie has made its way into golf apparel.”

Ben has to wear long pants whenever he plays, because he’s a member of the PGA of America. He’s found lightweight, breathable golf slacks that keep him cool on the course and that he never has to iron.

But you don’t have to wear pants, and you don’t need a logo or a golf company label to look like a golfer. Kristen Benson, the buyer for the South Suburban pro shops that include Lone Tree, South Suburban and nine-hole Family Sports, says her men’s golf shirts range from $45 to $90. The difference? Says Kristen, “It’s mostly about the labels.”

So don’t feel compelled to buy “golf clothes.” Just make sure you’ve got room to move—and a pocket for your tees.

CLICK HERE to head over to PGATSS in Westminster and Greenwood Village and get $50 off your in-store purchase of $250 or more!

Molly McMulligan, created by golf journalist and CGA member Susan Fornoff, is the CGA’s on-the-course advisor on how to have more fun on the golf course. She deeply appreciates the experiences and relationships golf has brought her as she’s played everywhere from famed Cypress Point to a remote Scottish nine that had an honors collection box at check-in. Trust us, you don’t want to take swing lessons from Molly. But if you’ve got a question about etiquette, relationships or the culture of golf in Colorado, Molly will find the answer. Send your questions along HERE.