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Is cotton good to wear on the golf course?

Explore the performance of cotton apparel on the golf course and decide if it's the winning choice for your game. Uncover the comfort, breathability, moisture management, and overall suitability of cotton attire, and discover valuable insights to level up your golf wardrobe game with style and ease.

25 May 2023 Words by Anniina 13 minute read Is cotton good to wear on the golf course?

Table of Contents

  1. The importance of comfort on the golf course
  2. The Benefits Of Cotton Golf Clothes
  3. Potential disadvantages of wearing cotton on the golf course
  4. Types Of Cotton Golf Attire
  5. Comparing Cotton And Other Fabrics For Golf
  6. How To Look After Cotton Clothes
  7. Golf Dress Code: Dos And Don'ts
  8. Choose The Right Fit With Glenmuir
  9. Final Thoughts
  10. FAQs

Choosing the right clothing for the golf course is essential for both performance and comfort. But, with so many varying materials available on the market, it can be pretty challenging to determine which is the best fit for you.

One natural material that has been a staple in golf fashion for years is cotton. But, is cotton really a good option for golfers?

From breathability and flexibility to durability and style, come join us as we explore everything you need to know about cotton golfing attire.

The importance of comfort on the golf course

When it comes to playing your very best on the golf course, comfort is key. As an activity that involves lots of standing, walking, swinging, bending and general movement, it's important to choose your clothes for the course carefully.

Weather conditions on the golf course also vary, from sunny one minute to windy and overcast by the 9th hole. That is why you want golf clothes that can keep you comfortable throughout the day.


Golfers require attire that will allow them to move freely all the while feeling good to wear. If you've ever been unlucky enough to have the misfortune of wearing uncomfortable golf clothes, you'll know how much it can affect your game - and not in a good way. This is why it is crucial to prioritise comfort when choosing what type of attire to wear.

The most common way clothing can interfere with your golf game is by affecting your swing. If your clothing is too tight around the waist, arms, shoulders, or all of the above, your swing will be restricted, thus preventing you from taking a solid shot.

The same goes if your clothes are too baggy or loose. This fit of clothing will get in the way of your posture and overall form making a good swing practically impossible.

So, remember, not too tight and not too loose.

Is cotton good to wear on the golf course?


Any golfer, either a pro or an amateur, will know how important concentration is to the game. So, if you aren't comfortable, it's logical that your focus is going to take a bad hit. Clothes that don't quite fit or feel right can be a source of distraction and annoyance, making it harder to focus on the task at hand.

When your clothes are comfortable, however, it allows golfers to feel more confident, since you're dressed for comfort. This can only add to your performance on the golf course.


Endurance is another reason why you should choose comfort on the course. Golf takes a lot of physical stamina. No, really it does. While we golfers are often the butt of many jokes, namely golf is just a good walk ruined, it is a game where endurance is a must.

Wearing clothes that don't feel right isn't going to do your fatigue levels much good, and can lead to losing energy and focus throughout a game. On the other hand, when you're wearing agreeable golf clothes, you can focus on the things that really matter, because you are free to play your very best.


In addition to these performance-related factors, comfort is also important for the overall enjoyment of this wonderful game. After all, golf is meant to be a leisure activity to be enjoyed, and wearing irksome clothes can completely and wholeheartedly detract from the experience.

The Benefits Of Cotton Golf Clothes

As a soft, fluffy, and natural fibre, cotton is a popular choice of clothing material for just about any event, whether it's for a work's do, a quiet drink with friends on a Sunday afternoon or a spot of friendly competition on the golf course.

Let's look at some of the benefits of wearing cotton clothes while golfing:


Considering it is a natural fibre, cotton is great at absorbing sweat. Although it doesn't have the moisture-wicking technology of many of the synthetic blends, it does a pretty good job of keeping you dry when you require it most on the golf course.

Golf is a physically demanding sport that involves a lot of movement, and usually, it is played on a lovely sunny day, so it's natural that a golfer will sweat - especially on those humid days. And, coupled with the stress and adrenaline certain situations can conjure, a fabric like cotton can be a lifesaver.

The idea of walking around in sweat-soaked golf shirts may not sound appealing - but that is another benefit of cotton. It absorbs sweat from our bodies and exposes it to the air, where it evaporates. No more sweaty armpits - just a cool, collected and comfortable golfer.

Breathable material

Cotton is also brilliantly breathable, but what does this mean in reality? It means that this fabric can help your body to regulate its temperature due to the ample amount of airflow that moves through the material, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable for longer.


Another clear benefit of wearing cotton on the course is its softness and sheer comfort. This natural fibre is smooth and slightly cushiony to the touch, which means that it won't irritate even the most sensitive of skin or cause chafing, which can result in a miserable experience on the green.

Cotton is also a hypoallergenic material, which means those suffering from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis will remain itch-free while playing golf.


One of the major bonuses with cotton is how many different colours and designs it comes in. Whatever you want, whether it's golf shirts, shorts, skorts, trousers or pullovers, all will come in a cotton variety. These can be easily mixed and matched to create unique outfits that perfectly suit your personality.


Cotton is well known for its resilience, meaning it can withstand a high degree of wear and tear. It's a great investment for those golfers that hit the course multiple times throughout the week.

Potential disadvantages of wearing cotton on the golf course

Moisture Retention

While cotton is known for its absorbent fabric, its downside is its ability to retain lots of moisture. This is especially true when it comes to humid climates. If you are a heavy sweater, or for example, you suffer from hyperhidrosis, or if you choose to play in wet conditions, cotton can become a little uncomfortable and heavy.


Cotton golf clothing is sometimes known to wrinkle. While this is completely natural given the material, it can be off-putting for some golfers who want to appear as polished as possible on the golf course. Therefore, it can be quite bothersome and distracting for some. Fortunately, a quick iron or steam before the golf round can fix this problem.

Lack of Stretch

Cotton is inelastic, which can be a disadvantage to those golfers who require stretch in their golf clothes. In these cases, those individuals tend to prefer synthetic blends, such as polyester.


Cotton has the ability to fade over time, particularly in the event that it is repeatedly exposed to sunlight (unlikely here in the UK, but we thought it worth a mention) or washed frequently. When cotton is worn out, it looks rather unsightly and can, therefore, diminish a golfer's overall look.


Although cotton is very durable when it comes to wear and tear, synthetic blends and performance fabrics tend to win this round. Cotton, over time, will break down eventually, and fast if it is put through high-temperature spin cycles coupled with harsh chemicals.

Is cotton good to wear on the golf course?

Types Of Cotton Golf Attire

When it comes to selecting the right cotton golf attire, there are plenty of options out there. Let's take a look at some of them:

Popular types of cotton for shirts

Mercerised cotton

Mercerised cotton is a kind of fabric that undergoes treatment with caustic soda to enhance its strength, sheen, and capacity for absorbing dyes. It is frequently used in golf attire, such as polo shirts, owing to its toughness and its ability to maintain its shape over time.

Mercerised cotton is also recognised for its unique shine, which gives it an elegant and polished appearance, making it an ideal choice for golfers who want to look their best on the course. For a refined and classic look, many golfers prefer mercerized cotton golf shirts, which can be matched with a variety of bottoms to create a stylish and versatile outfit.

Cotton pique

Cotton pique is a textured knit cotton, with added elastane which is ideal for helping you move more freely. Cotton pique also offers protection against sunrays by absorbing radiation, providing +40UV protection. 

Pique knit lends itself to solid colour clothing like our g.KINLOCH polo, which is available in a range of colours. 

Cotton sweaters

Cotton sweaters are the classic item of golfing attire, available in an array of styles and fabrics. Known for their softness - and comfort - cotton sweaters are a go-to choice for those golfers who want to stay warm on cooler days.

Often paired with collared shirts, particularly in a v-neck style, cotton sweaters offer a timeless and sophisticated look that can be customized to suit any golfer's preference, like more contemporary style zip necks. And, with a wide variety of colours and styles to choose from, cotton sweaters are a versatile and indispensable component of any golfer's wardrobe.

Lightweight and breathable, cotton sweaters are an ideal option for layering when the weather is changeable.

Cotton trousers

Cotton is a favoured fabric for golf trousers thanks to its breathability, durability, and comfort. Golfers can choose from a variety of styles and colours to discover the perfect pair to suit their preferences and needs on the course.

Cotton golf trousers are a beloved option for golfers who value comfort, durability, and style while playing. These trousers offer numerous benefits that make them a versatile and necessary component of golfing attire.

If you want a bit of stretch in your golf outfits, you can opt for cotton blended with polyester. This blended fabric is moveable and incredibly easy to clean - perfect for rainy golf days.

Cotton socks

Cotton socks are a popular choice for golfers due to their comfort, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties. As cotton is a soft and pretty absorbent fabric, it helps to keep feet cool and dry on the golf course.

Not only is this important when it comes to comfort, but it's also important for preventing blisters, hot spots, and other nasty foot-related issues. Not to mention, due to the absorbency of cotton socks, they'll go a long way in helping feet feel dry and fresh.

Comparing Cotton And Other Fabrics For Golf

When it comes to choosing the right fabric for your golf outfits, there are a variety of options of material to think about. Here are just a few you might want to consider:

  • Polyester: One of the most widely used synthetic fabrics, polyester is great for clothes that need to mop up sweat, while remaining durable. It also easily withstands ageing and the demands of the golf course. As well as this, it has excellent stretch which allows for lots of flexibility, meaning your swing will never be impeded.

  • Spandex: Spandex is well-known for its stretch and flexibility. Often blended with other materials, such as cotton and polyester, it can improve mobility and swing on the golf course. Therefore, it's perfect for those golfers who want a full range of motion.

  • Nylon: Another synthetic fabric that's popular with golfers is nylon. Known for its incredible durability, nylon golf attire, whether it's golf shirts or trousers, will go the distance and easily withstand wear and tear.

  • Merino Wool: Merino wool, like cotton, is a natural fibre well-regarded for its softness, comfort and breathability. For this, it's often used when creating golf attire as it can easily regulate a player's body temperature and, thanks to its moisture-wicking properties, get rid of sweat with ease. It also has natural odour-fighting properties, so if you do work up quite the sweat, you're covered.

  • Rayon: Rayon, a synthetic fabric, is a popular choice in sports including golf. This is largely due to its superior breathability and moisture-wicking technology. As well as this, it's extremely soft and pleasant to wear, making it a great choice for many golfers who want to stay looking and feeling fresh at the golf club.

How To Look After Cotton Clothes

To ensure that cotton golf clothes maintain their quality and performance, it's important to take proper care of them. Next, we'll discuss some tips and best practices for looking after your cotton golf clothes.


The first step to looking after your cotton golf clothing is to wash the items properly and with care. Keep cotton separate from other materials when you are doing a wash in the washing machine. Certain types of fabrics can shed their fibres when going through a spin cycle, and this can cause cotton to pill.

Furthermore, don't forget that overloading a washing machine causes friction, which ultimately leads to damage to your favourite golf fits.


Once you've washed your cotton golf clothing, it's time to dry it. You can choose between two methods: tumble drying and air drying. If employing the former, stick to a low to medium heat. Any higher, and you could shrink the clothes. Air drying, however, is the best method to protect your clothes, helping them to keep their shape and not stretch (or shrink!).


Ironing is an effortless way to get rid of unsightly creases, lines and wrinkles. But, ironing isn't without its risks to clothing, cotton fabrics included. To get the most wear out of your cotton clothes, iron them on no higher than a medium heat. Too much heat applied for even a short amount of time can scorch the fabric.

One great way to avoid any mishaps is to iron cotton when the cotton clothes are still a small bit damp. Not only does doing so help to prevent damage, but it also makes them easier to iron, too.

If you don't want to risk burning your clothes with a hot iron, you can always invest in a steam iron for this purpose. You simply hang your clothes up on a hanger and go over them with a handheld steamer to get rid of any creases. Of course, using a steamer will not give you that ironed crease down the front of the pants leg if this is something you want.


Finally, correct storage is very important for maintaining the quality of your cotton clothing. Ideally, they should be put away in a cool, dry location, out of the way of any direct sunlight. An airing cupboard is ideal, as repeated exposure to sunlight often causes fading and discolouration, regardless of the quality.

One small word of warning: avoid storing cotton in any form of plastic, whether a container or bag. Moisture can quickly build up and spoil your clothes. Bacteria is able to survive on cotton at room temperature, so best to hang it somewhere dry.

Other Tips

To keep your cotton golf clothes in tip-top condition, here are some handy hints and tips to keep them looking as good as new for longer:

  • Steer clear of using bleach to get rid of stains. While many people swear by using the chemical on white clothes to get rid of stains, on cotton it can cause damage to the fibres.

  • Instead of using bleach, get a good-quality stain remover. Treat grass and dirt stains as soon as possible, which will help the stain from setting deep into the cotton fabric.

  • Avoid heavy handling of your cotton garments. Twisting or wringing out cotton shirts or trousers is a big no-no. Doing so when wet can cause them to stretch.

  • If you have golf clothes that are embroidered or embossed with a design, steer clear of ironing directly over the design, as this can lead to irreversible damage.

Golf Dress Code: Dos And Don'ts

Golf is a sport that is steeped in tradition, and one of those traditions is a (sometimes rather strict) dress code. A dress code will inevitably vary from course to course, but there are some general guidelines that golfers should follow, so they can be confident they are dressed appropriately.

Let's take a look at some of the biggest dress code do's and don'ts for most golf courses:

DO: Wear a collared shirt

It's usually a good idea to wear a collared shirt. For many golf clubs, this is the preferred attire for men, yet women often wear them too. A collared shirt can come in the form of a button-up shirt or a polo shirt and is created with a range of fabrics, including, of course, cotton.

DON'T: Wear a T-shirt

Leave the T-shirts at home: they are generally considered much too casual for most golf clubs. Stick to a golf shirt instead.

DO: Wear golf shorts or golf pants

Golf shorts or golf pants are a great choice for both men and women golfers. Shorts should be knee-length or longer, and golf pants/trousers should not be overly tight or loose in order to adhere to the general golf dress code.

Women are welcome to wear skirts or skorts (short-skirt combinations) on the course, as long as these are knee-length and not too tight.

DON'T: Wear gym clothes

Athletic shorts, such as basketball shorts or gym leggings, are not appropriate for golf. They are considered overly casual and do not meet the dress code requirements of most golf courses.

DO: Wear golf shoes

Golf shoes are designed to provide the necessary traction and support on the course. They should have soft spikes or rubber nubs on the sole to prevent slipping. Golf shoes are a must for both men and women golfers.

DON'T: Wear trainers or sandals

Trainers and sandals are not appropriate for golf, as will often be stated on many a golf dress code. As well as being too casual for the course, they also don't provide the necessary support and traction required. Instead choose to wear golf shoes; these are specially designed to support your feet during play, and not damage the course as you swing and move about.

DO: Wear a hat or visor

A golf hat or visor can provide some much-needed protection from the sun and add a stylish touch to your golf outfit. Both these forms of headwear are a great choice for both men and women golfers.

DON'T: Wear a baseball cap

While hats and visors are encouraged, a baseball cap is not something you should be seen wearing alongside the rest of your golf apparel. Why? Being too casual a piece of headwear, golfers that do wear these caps will instantly stick out like a sore thumb on the green.

DO: Dress for the weather

It goes without saying that golfers should dress appropriately for the weather conditions. In warmer weather, lightweight and breathable fabrics are a must, while in typical cold UK weather, layers and warm fabrics will be very welcome.

DO: Use proper golfing accessories

When we say accessories, we do not mean bling, chains and large rings. Instead, we are referring to crucial golfing accessories that will benefit you on the course. If you see the weather predictions are indicating a spot of rain, make sure to pack rain gloves to not lose your grip.

Other suitable accessories for the course include golf club head covers, appropriate golf socks (try to avoid bright colours), and an understated golf towel that can clip to your golf club bag.

Is cotton good to wear on the golf course?

Choose The Right Fit With Glenmuir

Looking for high-quality golf clothing that offers both style and functionality? Look no further than right here at Glenmuir, the home of golfing attire since 1891.

With over 130 years of experience, under our belts, we are the trusted golf brand that offers a wide range of golf clothing materials to suit any golfer's needs, from crisp, classic cotton to state-of-the-art performance-enhancing polyester.

Whether you're looking for a sophisticated polo shirt, a casual, cosy sweater, or a pair of stylish statement trousers, Glenmuir has you covered. Check out what we have to offer on our site today and get ready to elevate your golf game to new heights with the very best golf clothing around.

Final Thoughts

Cotton is an excellent choice of material to wear on the golf course due to its many advantages. These include comfort, breathability, and durability. The natural fibre allows for easy movement and flexibility during the golf swing. It is also really versatile, as it can be worn for practically any golfing occasion, as well as a few rounds on the 19th, too.

However, while cotton is a great choice for golfers, there is an assortment of other great materials that offer unique benefits. For example, polyester is a popular choice for golf apparel, thanks to the moisture-wicking properties it boasts, which helps to keep golfers dry and comfortable during hot and humid weather.

As well as this, nylon is another material that is popular for golf clothing due to its durability and resistance to stretching.

Ultimately, the choice of material for golf clothing will depend on your personal preferences, the weather conditions, and the dress code requirements of the country club, golf course or event.

The bottom line is, it's important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of different materials, including cotton, and to choose clothing that is comfortable, functional, and stylish.


Is cotton appropriate for both men and women golfers?

Yes, cotton golf apparel is ideal for both men and women.

Regardless of gender, cotton golf clothing offers a range of benefits for golfers, such as keeping the body cool and comfortable during play, absorbing sweat and moisture, and being easy to care for and maintain.

Additionally, cotton is a natural and sustainable fabric choice, which may appeal to environmentally-conscious golfers.

Can cotton be worn for both casual and formal golf occasions?

Yes, in general cotton can be worn for both casual and formal golf occasions. However, it ultimately depends on the style and cut of the clothing.

For casual golf occasions, cotton is a nice choice because it is snug and easy to wear. Golfers can wear cotton polo shirts, shorts, and pants for a laid-back and relaxed look. Yet, cotton is versatile and can also be dressed up with the right accessories. For more formal golf occasions, cotton clothing with a more structured and refined look can be appropriate.

For example, golfers may choose to wear cotton collared shirts with dress pants or skirts, which can be dressed up with a blazer or sweater. In this case, the cotton fabric should be of a higher quality and be wrinkle-resistant to maintain a polished appearance.

Can cotton be worn in all weather conditions on the golf course?

Cotton can be worn in a variety of weather conditions on the golf course, but it may not be the most ideal choice for extreme temperatures or wet conditions.

In warmer weather, cotton can be a great option because it is lightweight and breathable, which allows air to circulate and helps to keep the golfer cool. However, in very humid conditions, cotton can absorb sweat and become heavy and uncomfortable to wear.

In cooler weather, cotton can provide some insulation and help to keep the golfer warm. However, in very cold conditions, cotton may not be sufficient on its own and may need to be layered with other insulating materials.

Will cotton shrink or stretch after washing?

Cotton is a natural fibre that is known for its ability to shrink and stretch, especially when exposed to higher temperatures during both the washing and drying processes.

When cotton is exposed to high heat, the fibres can become tighter and shorter, causing the material to shrink. This is why it is so important to read and follow the care instructions on cotton clothing labels before you wash them for the very first time.

Does cotton provide enough flexibility for the golf swing?

Cotton can provide some flexibility for the golf swing, but it may not be just as flexible as some other fabrics that are specially designed for athletic performance. Cotton is a natural fibre that has some stretch and give. However, it's not always as super stretchy as synthetic fabrics like polyester or spandex.

Does cotton offer any UV protection for the golfer?

Cotton does offer some level of UV protection for the golfer, but it is not as effective as other fabrics that are specifically designed for sun protection. Cotton has a natural SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of around 15, which means it can block out about 93% of the UVB radiation from the sun.

While this might sound like a lot, this level of protection is not sufficient for prolonged and repeated exposure to the sun. This is especially true during peak hours when the sun's rays are the strongest.