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The History and Evolution of Men’s Golf Attire

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
the history of golf attire

Adam Scott photo by Monte Isom

Since the late 19th century, golf has been an established sport in the US, and for much of that time golf attire as a whole has been a popular topic of conversation, more so than any other sport.

Unofficially conceived in Scotland, North American golfers have historically taken their fashion cues from the sport’s founding fathers, wearing knickers, heavy tweed coats, and starched shirts as evidenced by this advertisement for golf attire in 1915. Over the years, typical golf course attire has become more comfortable and practical for the long days on the links and the physical demands on the players as evidenced by Nike’s Golf Club Dress Code line.

Golf attire in the early 1900’s

Golfers in the early 1900’s regularly wore knickers four inches longer than the standard, also called “plus fours”. They topped those with long-tailed white shirts, a single-breasted jacket- and on cooler days – a waistcoat. Long socks and golf shoes completed the outfit, which remained a staple for over a decade. Even as fashion trended toward longer pants, golfers did not conform, continuing to tuck their pants into their long socks on the course.

From plus fours to long pants

In the 1930’s, men began moving away from the traditional outfit of knickers or plus fours to plain flannel pants which they could wear straight from the office. They were, of course, still tucked into their socks. The formal jacket disappeared from the scene, as did the long necktie – which, for some, was replaced by a bow tie.

A drastic move towards comfort

The extreme heat wave during the 1933 U.S. Open forced the players to rethink their clothing, and many of them opted for lighter weight pants, thinner cotton shirts, and no ties. This event sparked a shift in acceptable golf attire, with players gradually foregoing the heavy-weight pants, jackets, and ties.

Bare knees were the bee’s knees

As the 30’s gave way to the 40’s, short sleeve shirts with long tails and lightweight pants became commonplace on the golf course. Golfers donned brimmed hats and waterproof “Eisenhower” jackets, made popular by the President himself. Shorts finally made an appearance, typically khaki… but some golfers with a bolder style were often seen in checkered Bermuda shorts, much like the ones of today.

the history of golf attire

The bold patterns seen in 1950's

The fabulous 50’s

At long last, gone were the days of brown tweed suits and grey flannel slacks on the golf course. In their place, men began sporting brightly colored pants, bold patterned shorts, and lightweight knit short-sleeved shirts. This new injection of color into their wardrobe seemed to bring with it a sense of overcompensation for the wardrobes of their predecessors.

The contest seemed to be less about who get the ball into the hole in fewer strokes, but more about who could wear the most ridiculous color combinations, or the greatest number of clashing patterns. Golf “fashion” quickly turned from stately and reserved, indicative of the status of the players themselves, into the laughing stock of the apparel industry.

Golf’s saving fashion grace was the King of golf himself, Arnold Palmer, who opted for more subdued selections, such as tan pants, short-sleeved Lacoste cotton shirts, and Oxford shoes with spikes. Many golfers followed suit, paving the way for today’s typical attire.

the history of men's golf attire

LoudMouth offers a wide selection of wild prints and colors

Modern-day golf attire: A healthy mix of yesterday’s tradition and today’s comfort and style

The evolution of golf attire has been nothing if not painful. From the heavy tweed pants and jackets of the early 1900’s to the loud, obnoxious prints of the 50’s and beyond, to the clean lines and neutral colors and patterns of today, the industry has seen some wild shifts. However, don’t for a minute think that the golf course is filled with tan pants and white cotton shirts.

Today’s golfer might just as well be in a pair of knickers and long plaid socks as he’d be in khaki shorts and a mint green polo.

Companies such as Loudmouth, who boasts wild patterns and bright colors in their clothing lines, compete for retail space right alongside Nike, known for their casual professional clothing lines, demonstrating the vast field of play today’s golf attire companies occupy.

Nike Dunk NG Golf Shoes

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Saddle shoes have their place, but so do the new Nike Dunk NG golf shoes.  The Dunk NG golf shoe is one of the few street style golf shoes that carries a two year waterproof warranty and comes equipped with tri-lock Scorpion Stinger Spikes.  The Dunk NG is offered in a wide variety of colors and sizes and we expect demand to be very high so pre-order your pair today!!!

Ping Leather Belts

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Designed with the help of Florsheim, Ping’s new leather belt collection is going to be a huge hit!  We are proud to announce that we will be stocking a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes.  Orders will begin to ship as soon as next week!  Below are some of my favorites!

Nike Golf Tour Flat Brim Hat

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Anthony Kim has been rocking the Nike Tour Flat Brim Hat all year and now it’s your turn!  They just hit the door and we have them in every available color and size!  Check em’ out!

Adidas Tour 360 ATV Golf Shoes

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

New for this fall, the Adidas Tour 360 ATV golf shoe takes off where last year’s Tour 360 left off!  The Tour 360 ATV still features Adidas’s patented 360 wrap and the THINtech low profile technology that gofers have grown to trust,  however traction has been greatly improved thanks to their new ATV technology.  ATV stands for all terrain versatility and this improved traction on all surfaces is made possible by a ground adapting outsole that offers unrivaled forefoot flexibility and zonal traction elements.  Premium full grain leather upper is standard as is the FitFOAM insole for a rich look as well as lasting comfort and support.  The Tour 360 ATV is scheduled to be released in early October and will be available in a wide variety of colors and sizes!

New Puma Belts for the Fall!!!

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Check out Puma’s new line of belts that will ship this November!  Supply of these belts will be limited so pre-book a few new belts today!!!

Puma Cell Fusion Golf Shoe

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

If you are looking for style and performance, check out the new Cell Fusion Golf Shoe from Puma.  The Cell Fusion is Puma’s premier golf shoe and it is constructed of high quality full-grain leather that carries a two-year waterproof warranty.  Puma’s patented iCell cushioning is located in the heel and forefoot of the shoe and provides comfort and stability for the duration of the round.  Besides the flashy looks and comfortable ride, perhaps the greatest feature of the Cell Fusion is the PVC free out-sole that is equipped with Puma’s patented Smart Quill Spikes.  The Smart Quill spikes have directional tracking technology that provides exceptional grip in both dry and wet conditions.  If you want a stylish golf shoe that actually performs, check out the Cell Fusion

12 Days of Christmas Sales Event

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

This year we wanted to do something different for the holidays and offer our valued customers something else other than a good shipping deal.  Budget Golf is pleased to announce our 12 Days of Christmas Sales Event.  For the next 12 Days, we will be offering 12 deals a day for 12 straight days!  The special list of sale items will change daily and the deal is only valid for the day it is offered at that price, so act fast.  Be sure to check our site tommorrow for the 1st day of 12 Days of Christmas!

Asher Death Grip Golf Glove

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

2010 has been the year of breaking all traditional golfing norms in terms of style and technology.  Golf bags and apparel have gotten bolder, drivers more adjustable, and we are now seeing high performance golf shoes without spikes.  Well, for those who want to push the limits even further and turn the noses of stuffy country clubbers, all you have to do is bring the new Asher Death Grip Golf Glove to the course.  The Asher Death Glove features a skeletal print on the back synthetic portion of the glove and the leather palm is adorned with a skull.  If you want something that will definitley make an impression on your playing partners, give the Death Grip golf glove a try!

Mizuno DualFlex Golf Gloves

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Looking for a great deal on gloves?  Look no further than the new Mizuno DualFlex Golf Gloves.  For a limited time, Budget Golf is offering two gloves for the price of one!  The Mizuno DualFlex Golf Glove is a hybrid glove tht combines the softness of cabretta leather with the performance features of a synthetic breathable upper.  The palm of the glove is constructed of cabretta leather for a natural feel and grip and the upper portion of the glove is made of a high quality synthetic fiber. (more…)