Evolution of Golf Shirts and Golf Apparel through the Years

Posted by:Anthony Olson Posted on:Sep 19,2016

When you hear the word golf you immediately think preppy, starched golf shirts. You also think cute golfing outfits for women and sweater vests for men. But golfing apparel did not always look this fabulous. Take a look at the evolution of the clothing that men and women used to wear during the early stages of golf and find out if preppy and cute still applies.

Golf was invented in Scotland by shepherds who were supposedly bored with what they are doing that they decided to make a game out of pushing a small ball into a hole in the ground using sticks. In Scotland, it is normal to see men wearing checkered skirts called kilts as part of their everyday wear, so naturally they also wore these while they are playing golf.

The golf attire of choice during the 1700s when golf was invented  up to the 1900s was a kilt or some knickerbockers, knee high socks, a coat or some heavy tweed jackets and a shirt. They also wore neck ties and tweed caps of similar fabric as their jackets. Knickerbockers were kinds of pants that ended below the knees and were used to guard against strong winds.

Around the early 1900s to 1920 the English picked up the sport –

Soon, the kilts were replaced by trousers that have been tucked in long socks. Heavy jackets and ties still remained though. How they were able to play during the very hot months was a mystery for no one dared to remove any of their thick clothing.

Golf Shirts From 1921 to about 1930 the people who played golf seemed to have seen the error of their ways and started shedding their heavy clothing in favor of lighter clothes. They got rid of their heavy jackets which made a significant difference in how they play their game. The tucked in pants and the ties are still there. If a player feels chilled during the game they opt for a light V-neck sweater to ward off the cold. At that point in time, they’re still a long way from the comfortable golf shirts that golfers wear today.

In 1933 the US Open was conducted during a heat wave which greatly influenced the choice of clothing of all the participants. The golfers let go of their usual golf garb and replaced them with clothes made of lightweight material to feel cooler while they are playing. From that point forward golfers started wearing a more casual ensemble.

During the ‘70s golfers seemed to have felt that over the years their clothing has become boring and sober so they tried to inject a dose of color and unusual patterns to give the golf fashion more interest. You’ll see golfers sporting colorful slacks with unusual patterns, shirts and pants of the most bizarre color combinations and eye catching designs. You’ll see argyle patterns and clashing bright colors on the green and yet no one would bat an eye at the golfer wearing such flamboyant apparel.

Thankfully that period also ended and from the 1990s onwards, the designs of the golf apparel are no longer made to get attention. Manufacturers of golf apparel consider clothes for their function as well as their style.

Golf Apparel

Gone were the brightly colored, plaid patterned trousers –

They were replaced by high performance slacks and pants that have moisture-wicking capability to prevent sweat from remaining on the player’s skin. Gone were the unusual color combinations and neon colored apparel.

People today prefer their golf shirts to have less attention-grabbing colors, opting for neutral colors, grays, navy blues, tans, blacks and whites. Moisture-wicking technology has also been applied to shirts and other tops as well. On occasion some designers would bring back the old bright and eye catching designs from the 70s but most golfers remain loyal to the neutral colored apparel.

Golf shirts have also become a place where sponsors can add their logos and are able to gain publicity while the player is on the TV. People also started wearing shorts in some competitions.

At you’ll find lots of golf apparel to choose from. You can choose from hundreds of selections of shirts, pants, sweaters and vests. There’s something for everybody. You’ll also find golf accessories like caps, gloves, shoes, socks and many more. There’s clothing for men, women and children. It’s your one stop golfing shop.


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Anthony Olson

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