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In the past, the phrase “golf clothes” called out for adjectives like “dorky.” But as more brands acknowledge the glory of athletic dresses, our choices for golf attire are greater (and more stylish) than ever before.
Playing 18 holes of golf can take several hours, which is why comfort should be your key requirement when shopping for golf clothes. “When choosing a golf dress, my biggest priority is the quality of fabric and movability,” says Meghan Tarmey, founder of The Caddy Group. “When swinging a golf club over 100 times in a round, I want something breathable with stretch stitching. If it is form-fitting without riding up too much, that is an added bonus.”
While a golf dress can be worn for other sports (and vice versa) and plenty of everyday occasions, golf dresses tend to be longer than tennis dresses, and they are specially designed for rotating and bending and often have collars and/or sleeves. “Golf dresses are more likely to coincide with the dress code and etiquette of country clubs,” says Tarmey. (More on that later.) Although dress codes have loosened in recent years, be sure to check the rules of every course before you play.
Adidas Frill Dress
Detached shorts, plenty of pockets, and moisture-wicking fabric make this dress ideal for dedicated golfers.
The Adidas Golf Frill Dress lands at the top of our scorecard for a number of reasons, starting with the look: a sporty, classic, polo-style dress gets extra flair with a ruffle on the hem. The tailored silhouette radiates a polished essence that will be suitable for most courses, without sacrificing mobility. The detached shorts allow for more bending movement than built-in shorts, and the dress features two front pockets plus one in the back for all the storage you need.
The Frill Dress dress won’t look out of place at the office or at lunch, but the performance fabric makes it breathable and moisture-wicking on hot days. As an added bonus, the twill is made from recycled materials. This dress is available in standard and plus sizes, though it’s not as size inclusive as some of the others on this list. We also wish it came in a few more colors besides black and two shades of navy blue.
Price at time of publish: $90
The Details: Recycled polyester twill | Sizes: XS – 4X | 3 color options
Outdoor Voices The Exercise Dress
Although strappy dresses have only recently begun to show up on the golf course, golfers swear by the versatile Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress. Available in an extensive range of sizes, this dress has adjustable straps and a built-in bra. You’ll find the only pockets on the attached shorts, which have a super-sticky hem to keep them in place. Though the sleeveless style won’t pass muster on every course, this basic dress looks great paired with the brand’s Birdie Polo or the SolarCool Tourist Shirt.
Price at time of publish: $100
The Details: LightSpeed performance fabric | Sizes XXS – XXXL | 8 color options
Best Relaxed Fit
Halara Cloudful Air Fabric Collared V-neck Golf Dress
One of Tarmey’s favorite brands — “it’s where I get the majority of my golf dresses” — Halara has a ton of different styles that are soft, stretchy, and cool. I especially love the retro, swingy silhouette of the Cloudful Air Fabric Collared V-neck Golf Dress. Available in four two-tone color combinations, this dress has detached shorts (for added mobility) and four pockets (two on the dress and two on the shorts).
Price at time of publish: $50
The Details: Cloudful performance fabric | Sizes XS – XL | 4 color options
G/Fore Pleated Contrast Collar Pique Polo Dress
My luxury-leaning golfing friends swear by the G/Fore brand, including this coveted Contrast Collar Pique Polo Dress. I adore the neon-rainbow collar and cuff detail, which adds a playful bit of flair to this otherwise classic polo-style dress. Plus, it really stands out amid the standard navy blue and khaki golf wear. Though this dress barely looks like activewear, it has sporty technology, including breathable pique fabric and side pockets with zippers.
Price at time of publish: $225
The Details: 91 percent polyester, 9 percent spandex | Sizes XS – XL | 1 color
PGA Tour Apparel Mesh Color Block Sleeveless Golf Dress
If you’re just starting out and you want just one golf dress, this Color Block Sleeveless Dress from PGA Tour Apparel has just about every feature you’ll need. The navy-blue fabric offers both moisture wicking and UV protection (though don’t forget sunscreen on your shoulders). I really like the flattering placement of the angle mesh panels, which allow for extra breathability. One caveat: this dress is on the longer side but doesn’t come with shorts, so you might want to invest in a pair.
Price at time of publish: $24
The Details: Polyester | Sizes XS – XXL | 1 color option
Baleaf Women’s Golf and Tennis Dress
As someone who owns a few Baleaf pieces, I can attest to the fact that the quality is surprisingly high considering the relatively low price. This slim-fit sleeveless dress is fairly basic, with a few touches of flair, like the multicolored ribbon trim and the small lower-back cutout. But where the Baleaf Golf and Tennis Dress really stands out is in the pockets — two on the dress and two on the separate shorts — which are deep and plentiful enough to store a phone, tees, and a ball or two.
Price at time of publish: $41
The Details: 91 percent polyester, 9 percent spandex | Sizes XS – XXL | 4 colors options
Wilson Sleeveless Club Dress
We’re consistently impressed with Wilson gear, and this Sleeveless Club Dress is no exception. With a zipper from neck to waist, this dress is easy to change out of in a hurry, and the breathable, four-way stretch fabric feels good even in the heat. While this dress is on the longer side, it does not come with liner shorts, so you’ll have to buy your own. We especially like the hidden but roomy pockets.
Price at time of publish: $69
The Details: Tricot | Sizes XS – XL | 3 color options
Nike Dri-FIT Advantage
Although technically a tennis dress, the Nike Dri-fit Advantage Dress has most of the features you’d want in a golf dress, including side-slit pockets and a mock-neck collar. The skirt is a little shorter than most golf dresses, but just add liner shorts for more coverage. We actually like that this dress doesn’t have a lot of extra layers; it’s lightweight, with a lower-back cutout, so it’s extra cool. Combined with the sweat-wicking fabric, this is the hands-down choice for rounds in super-hot weather.
Price at time of publish: $90
The Details: 80 percent polyester, 20 percent spandex | Sizes XS – XXL | 1 color option
Best for Cold Weather
Calia Women’s Long-sleeve Mock Neck Golf Dress
When the temperatures drop, you’ll want some extra protection from the chill and wind. The Calia Long-sleeve Mock Neck Golf Dress offers full upper-body coverage but also features sweat-wicking technology and SPF (because sweat and sun don’t go away just because it’s winter). This dress comes with detachable shorts, though it would also look great paired with a fleece vest and leggings.
Price at time of publish: $110
The Details: 88 percent polyester, 12 percent spandex | Sizes XS – 3X | 1 color option
Jack Smith Sleeveless Golf Dress with Shorts
Designed for golf or tennis, the Jack Smith Sleeveless Dress has a few stylish details that set it apart — in particular, the polo collar and the drop-waist, pleated skirt. Although this dress doesn’t have pockets, the built-in shorts have one on each side, big enough to fit a phone, tees, or golf balls. While this list features a fair number of sleeveless dresses, the preppy style of this one makes it look especially at home on the golf course.
Price at time of publish: $25
The Details: 80 percent polyamide, 20 percent elastane | Sizes S – XXL | 2 color options
Outdoor Voices Birdie Polo Dress
Though golfers have traditionally worn polo dresses, they are getting harder to find lately amid the popularity of sleeveless styles. The Outdoor Voices Birdie Polo Dress has a classic look crafted from a modern, quick-drying fabric. You get the comfort and cool of a T-shirt dress but with the polish of a polo collar. This dress would look equally cute on the golf course, while traveling, or running errands, but if you’re teeing off, you’ll need to add some shorts and a sports bra.
Price at time of publish: $98
The Details: Pique | Sizes XXS – XXXL | 4 color options
Calia Women’s Golf Woven Sleeveless Dress
Not only is the Calia Woven Sleeveless Dress incredibly lightweight, the fabric is also stretchy, wrinkle-resistant, and sweat-wicking. Don’t worry, though: despite appearances, the white option isn’t transparent; just pair it with a skin-tone bra. The built-in shorts provide extra insurance, though you will have to undress completely to use the bathroom. We really love the fitted waistband of this dress, which gives it a tidy silhouette despite tons of storage: three pockets on the dress and two pockets on the shorts.
Price at time of publish: $110
The Details: 86 percent polyester, 14 percent spandex | Sizes: XS – 3X | 2 color options
Tory Burch Sport Performance Pleated Dress
If you want a preppy pleated look, opt for the classic American style of Tory Sport. This Performance Pleated Golf Dress is tucked at the waist before giving way to perfectly laid pleats on the skirt. We love the high-end tailoring on this dress, including the cute striped collar, but it’s also highly practical, with four-way stretch and front and back pockets. Just note that the size range isn’t particularly inclusive.
Price at time of publish: $248
The Details: Polyester-spandex blend | Sizes XS – XL | 4 color options
Best Size Range
Girlfriend Collective Lola V-Neck Dress
While the Girlfriend Collective Lola V-neck Dress is designed for any type of sport, the length and shape make it perfect for golf, even if you need to add an extra layer on top. With a built-in unitard, all you need to pack is this one item, making it great for travel. We love that this super-soft dress comes complete with a racerback bra and your choice of regular or compression liner shorts.
Price at time of publish: $88
The Details: 90 percent recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 10 percent spandex | Sizes XXS – 6XL | 3 color options
Best for Tall Women
Baleaf Women’s Lyocell Short-sleeve Polo Dress
Another winner from Baleaf, this short-sleeve, A-line polo dress is a great alternative to some of the more expensive preppy styles on this list, with an added bonus. The soft fabric is designed to drape smoothly without wrinkling. Although you could pair this dress with shorts, the modest length and opaque fabric means you don’t need another layer — and it offers UPF 50+ protection.
Price at time of publish: $55
The Details: 30 percent cotton, 30 percent Lyocell, 40 percent polyester | Sizes XS – XXL | 3 color options
Best for Petite Women
Athleta Advantage Dress
As a 5-foot-1 woman, I buy most of my golf and tennis dresses at Athleta, because they offer petite lengths for many of their styles. The Athleta Advantage Dress — designed for golf or tennis — has an extra-short skirt already, but the petite length ensures this hits me at the waist as well. We love the quirky design, the teal color option, and the micro-pleats on the skirt, though with the peekaboo built-in shorts, this can feel like a lot of fabric on hotter days.
Price at time of publish: $75
The Details: 75 percent recycled polyester, 25 percent lycra | Sizes XSS – XL in regular, tall, and petite lengths | 3 color options
Lilly Pulitzer UPF 50+ Luxletic Silvia Dress
If you find yourself bored by the black and navy dresses dominating this list, then avert your gaze to the bright-neon prints of the Lilly Pulitzer UPF 50+ Luxletic Silvia Dress. This incredibly flattering dress comes in four colorful prints, complete with ruffles on the shoulders. Though this fabric is a bit thicker than some of the others on this list, it’s comfortable and surprisingly flattering on different types of bodies.
Price at time of publish: $188
The Details: 95 percent Meryl nylon, 5 percent spandex | Sizes XXS – XXL | 4 color options
Adidas Long Sleeve Golf Dress
If you prefer long sleeves but are worried about feeling too restricted, then the Adidas Long-sleeve Golf Dress offers a sleek but comfortable fit. Though the sleeves are fitted, this dress doesn’t feel tight when you’re swinging a club, thanks in part to the split hem and roomy skirt. The zip neckline allows you to let in some air if you get too warm, and plenty of pockets make this dress exceedingly practical.
Price at time of publish: $100
The Details: 100 percent recycled polyester twill | Sizes XS – XL | 3 color options
Best Short-sleeved Dress
Penguin Performance Veronica Dress
While there are other cute short-sleeved dresses on this list, We love the unexpected details of the Penguin Performance Veronica Dress. It offers stretch and structure, function and fashion. The contrast piping gives this dress a classic look, but the slightly see-through sleeves and flutter hem make it extra fun. The sleek silhouette means you sacrifice pockets, though there are small pockets on the liner shorts.
Price at time of publish: $120
The Details: 56 percent polyester, 30 percent recycled polyester, 14 percent elastane | Sizes: XS – XXL | 2 color options
Alo Airbrush Real Dress
If you’re looking for a soft, simple dress that you don’t have to worry about, the Alo Airbrush Real Dress looks great on and off the course. We really like the touch of lift provided by the bodice, with its V-neckline and racerback. Plus, it has built-in shorts, so it’s a ready-made ensemble. You might just want to add another layer if you need to cover your shoulders, and fair warning: this skirt is particularly short, which may feel a little exposed on taller or bigger bodies.
Price at time of publish: $118
The Details: Airbrush performance fabric | Sizes XXS – L | 3 color options
Tips for Buying a Golf Dress
Prioritize flexible, comfortable materials
Given the time it takes to play 18 or even nine holes, comfort should be your biggest concern. “A golf dress should have decent stretchability and comfort,” says Meghan Tarmey. Look for materials with four-way stretch if possible, and breathability and sweat-wicking capabilities if you’re playing in very warm climates. You also want to make sure the dress allows for plenty of movement throughout your play, from swinging a club to bending down to retrieve your ball.
Check measurements carefully
One bonus to shopping for a golf dress is that there really are lots of options for different body types, including curvier figures and tall and short people. But because it’s a one-piece item, you’ll want it to fit at the waist and in terms of length. Most retailers offer very detailed size charts tied to your measurements, so we recommend taking your measurements to ensure that your dress will fit comfortably and correctly.
Consider the best skirt length
Golf dress hemlines are getting shorter, so make sure to pay extra attention to skirt length if you want more coverage when you’re bending over for a ball. Many dresses come with built-in or separate liner shorts, which come in handy for shorter skirt lengths. However, not all dresses come with shorts; you may have to purchase them separately. Just remember that built-in shorts mean fully undressing every time you need to use the toilet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a dress code for golfing?
“The majority of public and private courses do have dress codes,” says Tarmey. “While the game is evolving over the last decade and decreasing restrictions on attire, courses often require a polo/collared shirt and forbid denim or anything too revealing. Proper footwear is also required.” Be sure to check the dress codes at your course before arriving, just in case you might need to bring an extra coverage layer. Some courses even have skirt-length requirements for women, though this is increasingly uncommon.
What is the difference between a tennis dress and a golf dress?
While a golf dress can be worn for other sports (and vice versa), golf dresses tend to be longer than tennis dresses and especially designed for walking, rotating, and bending. Because golf doesn’t require as much side-to-side motion, golf skirts tend to be less flouncy than tennis dresses. Many golfers also prefer detached shorts (better for twisting and bending over) while most tennis dresses have built-in shorts.
How should a golf dress fit?
Most important is the length, which should hit at the knee or above, depending on your comfort level and course requirements. You’ll also want to make sure the waist falls at your natural waist and that the arms and shoulders are fitted but not restrictive.
Why Trust Travel + Leisure
For this story, lifestyle writer Nancy Einhart drew on her extensive golf and tennis knowledge, as well as her familiarity with the included brands. She also spoke with expert Meghan Tarmey, founder of The Caddy Group, about what to look for in a golf dress.
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