Proper golf attire for men includes collared shirts, long pants or knee-length shorts, shoes and complementary socks. For women, attire should include modest shirts, trousers, capris, shorts or golf skirts, golf shoes and complementary socks. Despite golf's staid image, there is considerable flexibility when it comes to patterns and colors. Also, standards are more relaxed at public courses than they are at private clubs and courses.
While most golf courses require traditional collared shirts for men, many also allow mock-turtleneck styles. Golf shirts should be loose-fitting; tight, form-fitting styles are inappropriate. Women may wear collared or uncollared shirts, as long as they are not too revealing. Sweaters and sweater vests are acceptable for both men and women.
Men and women may wear long pants or knee-length shorts. Knee-length knickers are also appropriate, although they are not as popular as they once were. Denim, short shorts and athletic wear are all considered inappropriate.
Golf shoes are available in a number of styles and colors. They range from traditional saddle oxfords to sneaker-like shoes in bright colors. All golf shoes have spikes to stabilize the golfer during the swing. Metal spikes were once common, but they have been replaced by plastic spikes because plastic causes less damage to delicate greens. It is considered poor form to wear golf spikes in the clubhouse at upscale golf clubs and courses.
While a golfer is unlikely to be sanctioned for her socks, the socks should complement the overall outfit. The same standard applies to hats and caps.