Golf Course Etiquette and Attire

One of the most important elements of our mission statement is to help educate our members about proper conduct and golf course etiquette.  Below are three articles (1) Pace of Play, (2) Show Your Best Behavior and (3) What to Wear.  They will help you feel more confident on the course!

PACE OF PLAY: Keep up the pace when you’re on the course!


* Keep up with the group ahead!

* Allow shorter hitters to tee off first

* Hit when ready and safe to do so

* Move quickly to your ball

* Do pre-shot duties, like planning your next shot or lining up your putt while others are hitting or putting

* Use continuous putting (go ahead and finish putting rather than marking your ball again)

* Never leave carts in front of the green – always take the cart to an area alongside or behind the green 

* Wait to write scores down until you have moved away from the green

* Time yourself - you should not take more than 30 or 40 seconds to hit the ball (including pre-shot routine, practice swings, and hitting the ball). You don’t have to rush the shot to keep things moving!


YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR:  You Can Bring a New Level of Dignity and Respect to Women's Golf


Always remember that golf is a game of honor. Your actions and behavior can be a direct reflection upon the association and women's golf in general. Help us bring a new level of dignity and respect to women's golf by reviewing and adhering to the following rules.

  • Always arrive at the golf course in plenty of time to be prepared for your golf game (at least 30 minutes before your tee time).
  • Before heading to the first tee, make sure that you have everything you need. (plenty of balls, tees, ball markers, etc)
  • Compare golf balls with your playing partner in order to differentiate one from another.
  • Try to apply "ready play" whenever possible. BE READY to hit your ball the moment another player has completed her shot.
  • Take several clubs with you if you need to depart from the cart to avoid the necessity of walking back to your cart. Make sure you and your partner communicate who should drive the cart.
  • When confined to cart paths, always park your cart just a little ahead of where you hit the ball so you don't ever have to walk back.
  • Help each other spot your balls when they head for the woods to reduce the amount of search time.
  • Never spend more than 3 minutes looking for lost balls (and even less on a crowded golf course).
  • ALWAYS keep up with the group in front of you. If you find your group is lagging behind, take the initiative to suggest everyone speed up in order to catch up.
  • When asked by the ranger to speed things up, accept and respond to his request graciously. He wouldn't be asking if the golf course didn't need to be thinning out. A little trimming of time here and there can make for a more playable day for everyone on the course!
  • Always park your cart on the side of the green closest to the next tee to allow for the group behind you to play immediately upon holing out.
  • Never record your scores while at the it at the next tee.
  • Whenever stopping for food and beverage, whether at the beverage cart or at the turn), try to avoid any delays on the course. Don't expect to take a break and then jump back in whenever you're done. It's just like cutting in line, and nobody will appreciate your dilemma.
  • Make every effort to keep track of your own shots as you go along.

(Courtesy of the EWGA Member Benefits Handbook)

WHAT TO WEAR: I am planning to get serious about golf.

How do I dress?


To get started, you'll need a couple of pairs of pants and tops.  Just stick with the dress code that is widely accepted by golf courses:

  • Slacks (Docker style), long shorts, skorts or ankle-length pants. Try to wear garments that have pockets.
  • Collared golf or sports shirt (such as a polo-style shirt)
  • Athletic or tennis shoes

When in doubt, call the course you to find out the golf course’s dress requirements.  

Keep Reading for more  “do’s” and “don’ts...

Management at private, semi-private or resort style golf courses will require players to wear what is considered proper golf attire. Although the requirements may vary slightly among courses, most dress codes are pretty standard.  Apparel should never contain offensive messages or images. It is almost always safest to adhere to the following tips:


At most courses, women are asked to wear blouses with sleeves or sleeveless blouses with collars. The most popular top for female golfers, however, is the polo-style shirt. These tops come in an array of colors and designs including button down, V-neck and zip-top in both short and long sleeves.  Turtleneck tops are also widely accepted. Inappropriate tops for the golf course include T-shirts, halters and tank tops. Make sure the midriff isn’t exposed while swinging.

Sweaters and Jackets

Dressing in layers is common for golfers. Wearing a vest or sweater over a turtleneck or polo shirt is one option on a cool day. You may also wear a collared button-down shirt, light jacket or wind shirt for additional covering. Denim jackets or sweatshirts are unacceptable.


In the early spring or fall, slacks are most commonly worn by women on the golf course. On warmer days, shorter slacks such as capris, crops or shorts are advised. Shorter pants should be knee length or longer.  Skorts (a combination of a skirt and shorts) and golf dresses are also popular choices (non-mini).   Jeans, sun dresses, sweats or athletic pants are all considered improper.

Head Covering and Other Sun Protection

To protect your skin and keep the sun out of your eyes, a cap or visor is advised on sunny days.   Sunglasses are recommended. “Sun sleeves” like what bicyclers can also be worn.

Socks and Shoes

Few if any courses require you to wear actual golf shoes, so sneakers or other athletic footwear will do. However, many courses have banned metal spikes, so if you wear golf shoes make sure they have the plastic kind (soft spikes).   There are also golf sandals available with soft spikes. With shorter pants, skorts or golf dresses, low (or no-show) socks are most popular. With a longer pant, crew socks in colors that match the pants can be worn.


Golf gloves are optional, but typically right handed golfers wear a golf glove on their left hand.  Lefties wear the glove on their right hand.  For sun protection, sun gloves may be worn on the opposite hand as well.  For cold weather, there are also specially designed sets available.


Often brand new golfers will ask if they should bring their purse to the course.  If you are taking a lesson and not bringing your clubs and golf bag, then it is best to just bring a small wallet or id case.  They typically have a clear window to clearly display your photo identification, a zip pouch for your cash and credit cards, and a durable key chain.  Otherwise, most golf bags have a pocket that can hold a small purse.


One of the more popular stores in Sacramento is the Super Shop at Haggin Oaks Golf Course.  Haggin Oaks is the home course for the Sacramento Chapter of the LPGA Amateurs Golf Association and will be offering special shopping days with discounts for members.  If you cannot find what you need there, most golf course pro shops carry clothing for women.  Some sporting stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods carry women’s golf apparel.  A vast selection can be found at a variety of online stores, including LPGA, TGW, and Amazon.

Don’t be afraid to express your personal style. There are so many different ways to individualize your wardrobe – such as Bling, Sports, Elegant, and Preppy.  Have Fun!