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While not an absolute “must-have,” golf shorts make playing a little more comfortable and allow you to perform better by allowing your legs warmth and freedom of movement while not constricting you too much.
Have you ever wondered when golfers started wearing shorts? Golfers have been playing the game for centuries, and they were wearing pants or knickers when they first began.
In fact, one of the oldest examples of golfing fashion is a set of 18th-century purple knickers belonging to John Drummond.
But on July 24th, 1902 William Patterson wore a pant-less outfit at the Open Championship in Hoylake England, and has been credited with starting the trend.
Here’s A Brief History Of Golf Shorts
The shorts are not even mentioned in the first edition/version of The PGA Of America’s The Official Rules of Golf (1917). Could it be that some players were too fashion-conscious to wear them?
The earliest mention of golf pants I’ve found thus far is in the 1964 revision of the Official Rules. It reads: “The player must wear either trousers or slacks of a solid color, to be selected by the Committee.”
Not surprisingly, this was changed in 1999: “All players must adhere to the Standards of Apparel and Equipment Certification set forth below. . . .The trousers and shorts worn by both men and women must be of the same basic color, which must be white or a solid dark color (such as black, navy blue, or brown).”
And the 1999 revision of the Official Rules added a new passage: “The Committee may reject any clothing which, in their opinion, is dangerous to the player or others.”
The U.S.GA.’s new dress code (2002) gives a few more specifics about shorts: “Clothing is worn when playing must be approved by the Committee and conform to its guidelines for color, material, and style.”
It’s almost comical how much these organizations are obsessed with making sure that we wear acceptable golf attire when we play golf. So if you are thinking of wearing cargo pants to this year’s tournament, think again.
By the way, golf shorts are not allowed in the United Kingdom.
But golf pants have been playing a role in golf fashion since at least 1964.
Golf Shorts Today
Today there is a lot of variety in golf pants, ranging from Argyle Knickers and tartan pants to white pants in hot weather.
Golfers are very fashion conscious these days, and golf shorts are no exception; the styles vary from solid colors to argyle even plaid.
The advent of polyester has brought us the ability to produce shorts of all kinds, colors, and patterns. I’m not quite sure where the Hawaiian shirt craze comes from, but it could be that tropical climates encourage wearing them.
Types Of Golf Shorts
There are a few main types of golf shorts that you may see on the course and it is important to know what they are so that you know what type will be most useful for your needs.
The best golf shorts will have an anti-odor finish and lightweight material (for example, nylon,) making them easy to move around without feeling restricted.
It’s all about finding the best pair that suits you
These come in many different lengths, such as regular or short, where they fall about halfway down your thigh to flow a cool breeze through while playing.
Nylon Cargo Shorts
These are boxier than khaki shorts and have a much more casual look to them, but are good for golf.
Dri-Fit Golf Shorts
These are breathable and lightweight shorts designed to wick away moisture and dry quickly, generally made from polyester.
Brushed Cotton Golf Shorts
These shorts are a little heavier and warmer than nylon shorts and give you more “luxury” when playing out on the course.
Pleated Golf Shorts
These shorts are very lightweight and made from polyester or nylon so that they can be worn in warm weather. They generally have one to three vertical (pleat) pockets on each leg to store things like balls, tees, or other items.
To know our best types of golf shorts to use on the course, you must check out this article.
How To Wear Golf Shorts
Wearing golf shorts is a personal choice, and you should wear what makes you most comfortable.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you have longer legs, purchase the regular length khaki shorts as opposed to the shorter ones as they will allow more room for your leg muscles to move around.
Most shorts are not designed to be worn with a belt, but some styles will allow you to wear one if you choose. If you plan on wearing a belt with your golf shorts, consider the amount of material and whether it could interfere with your swing.
It is a good idea to have a few pairs in your closet so that you can choose which one you would like to wear on any given day. You should wash them by hand and let them hang dry to extend their life.
While the type of golf shorts you purchase will depend on your personal preferences and the amount of money that you want to spend, an average pair will cost between $40 and $80 dollars.
You can purchase high-end shorts with more features and top-quality material for $100 or more.
Popular Golf Shorts Brands
Ralph Lauren has been a proponent of relaxed clothing in the golf world for years now. It used to be that golfers would dress up in a suit when they played, but nowadays, people want to feel comfortable when they play, so many wear Ralph Lauren shirts and shorts.
Speedo swimwear has also had an influence on golf fashion; they are made out of Lycra which is very stretchy and allows a great range of motion. I’m not sure how well that material would hold up on the course, but it is a nice look.
The variety of golf shorts has increased greatly since the year 2000. Most of them are 100% polyester and have two pockets on each leg which are large enough to fit a range finder and/or an extra tee.
Some companies, such as Nike, take it one step further by having a pocket with a small plastic window in it so you can see where your ball is at all times.
Appearances can be important in golf, and that’s why some high-end companies such as Ralph Lauren produce their own line of clothing, including shoes. It is no longer necessary for you to search for Nike shoes if you want the “Nike look.”
Another new addition to golf fashion is white pants, which are worn in hot climates or as part of the players’ “look.” These are typically sleeveless and are meant to help golfers stay cool, but some players wear them even in sub-zero weather.
I guess we can all agree that the advent of polyester has sure changed golf fashion forever.
Other Golf Clothing That Pairs With Shorts
Shorts are not the only type of clothing essential for playing golf, as you may want to invest in some other pieces of clothing like polos, sweaters, hats, or jackets if you play often or are planning on competing.