For anyone taking up golf the do’s and dont’s when it comes to the game can feel pretty overwhelming.
The numbers of decisions you seemingly have to make about all aspects of the game are numerous and some of these even come down to what you can and can’t wear.
And what golf clothing you can wear also seems to change depending on whether you are on the course, in the club house or just going to the driving range.
So to help in this article we’re simply going to focus on what you can wear when you go to the driving range for a spot of practice, a golf lesson or even on a date.
At the driving range you can almost always wear any casual clothes you want. Clothes that don’t restrict your shoulder, arm and leg movements when you swing are best and if it’s colder lots of light layers work well. As for shoes you need ones with enough of a tread pattern to give you some grip.
While the guidelines about what you can wear to the driving range are much more relaxed compared to what men and women should wear on the golf course and in the clubhouse it’s still worth taking some time to check what you’re going to wear to the range to let you enjoy yourself.
Because however relaxed you want to be at the driving range if you plan to hit a few golf shots, and hit them reasonably well, you’re not going to manage that very well in certain types of clothes.
At the Range it’s Good to Stay in the Comfort Zone
Deciding what you should wear to the driving range to hit a few golf shots depends on a couple of things:
- Where the driving range is, and
- What the main purpose of your trip to the driving range is.
Firstly, and most simply, if you are going to a driving range which is attached to a private members golf course, you should wear the golf clothes you would wear as if you were going to play on the golf course.
In other words proper golf attire.
If you are going to a public driving range however, which is the focus of this article, the good news is there is no formal dress code and you can pretty much wear whatever casual clothes you want.
Saying that, even if it is a public driving range there are probably a couple of other things that are worth checking. For example:
- Driving ranges attached to golf courses – Even if the golf course which the range is attached to is a public rather than a private member’s one it’s probably worth double-checking all casual clothes are ok. It’s unlikely there will be any dress code but some of these facilities may require you to be a bit more presentable and not allow sports shirts for example. A very select few may even have a requirement to wear proper golf clothing.
- Stand-alone driving range – At a stand-alone driving range, with maybe a mini-golf putting course or batting cage attached, however you can pretty much wear anything you want that won’t get you denied service. Nobody is really going to care.
But this is where the second point comes in as what the main purpose of your trip to the driving range is.
As what you decide to wear may change depending on whether you are going to the driving range for a lesson, to practice your long or short game, or just going to hit a few golf balls for a bit of fun and maybe even on a date.
Getting better at golf requires deliberate practice and part of this means replicating and getting expert feedback from the pro on your swing in as close to the same conditions as you play on the course.
How you swing in your jeans and trainers is not going to be the same as you do when you wear looser fitting chinos or khakis so what’s the point in getting feedback on a swing you are not going to have on the course?
Assuming you’re heading to a stand-alone driving range though to simply hit a few balls and blow off some steam after a tough day at work or just to have some fun pretty much any casual clothes are fine.
Workout clothes, t-shirts, sports jerseys, jeans, sweat pants, hoodies, workout clothes, cargo shorts, sneakers and even military boots will not be a problem.
My father for example used to head from his work in his suit to hit a few balls at the driving range and just tucked his tie into his shirt.
The key point is if you’re not really bothered about the quality of practice you’re going to put in and just want to have some fun hitting a few balls then whatever you’ve got on that day will be absolutely fine.
The more concerned you are about how well you’re going to hit the ball the more you should consider wearing what you would as if you were playing on a course.
At the very least look for comfortable clothes that won’t restrict your swing movement.
You need to be able to twist your shoulders and legs freely in whatever you choose to wear so select clothes you can be active in and don’t restrict your movement too much.
However if you’re at stand-alone range never worry too much about what others are wearing.
I’ve seen people at driving ranges looking as if they’re about to play a round at Peeble Beach or St.Andrews while others look like they’re ready to play soccer or baseball rather than golf.
It doesn’t matter and the only thing that does is you have some fun and enjoy your time at the range.
Driving Range Outfit Examples for Men And Women
Unless you’re going to a driving range attached to a golf course where it’s probably worth double checking there are no dress code requirements you can wear anything you want when you go to a golf driving range.
Unless you are entirely indifferent to how you hit the ball when you’re there though we would recommend whatever you choose it’s not too tight, especially around the waist and shoulders and arms to let you twist your body and legs when you swing the club.
Very baggy or frilly clothes, especially on your upper body, aren’t a great idea either as you may get the club tangled up in them.
The driving range is not really a fashion show but pretty much anything goes within reason including all of the following clothes which will all have been seen on a driving range at one stage or another:
- T-shirts, blouses – sleeved or sleeveless, polo shirts, formal shirts, sports jerseys, hoodies.
- Capri or cropped pants, sweat pants, tracksuit bottoms, leggings, khakis, chinos, wrap dresses, skirts or skorts.
- Jeans, including cut offs but very tight waisted ones are probably not a good idea
- Shorts – tailored, tennis, baseball, soccer, basketball, running, board even swimming shorts! Swimming briefs are probably a step too far though!
One thing to bear in mind also may be the cold.
Golf is a sport that is not the most physical, especially at a driving range where you’re standing stationery most of the time, so think about having a few light layers with you if it may get cold.
Sweaters, light jackets, hoodies are all good although demin jackets, blazers or bulky tops are not a great idea if you want to be able to swing the club whilst wearing them.
Just always remember comfort is the key if want to try and hit a few balls well and avoid where you can clothes that are constantly going to untuck as you swing the club.
And don’t worry about the dress code. Driving ranges are not a venue you need to worry about being ‘dressed to impress’.
What Shoes Should You Wear to the Driving Range?
Although you don’t need to worry about what clothes you’re going to wear to the driving range what shoes you should wear is probably worth a bit of thought.
Because however relaxed you are about your practice session at the driving range if you are planning on hitting a few decent shots you are going to need a bit of grip on your feet.
Now that doesn’t mean for example that you have to wear golf shoes however you do need a good grip on the ground when you swing the club.
Wearing shoes with enough tread on the soles to give you grip when you swing the club are best to wear to the driving range. Trainers, sneakers or loafers for example are a good choice if you don’t have or want to wear golf shoes but sandals, flip-flops, work boots and heels are not recommended.
If you swing the club a bit fast and hard you may find your feet move a bit when you swing the club if you don’t wear golf shoes but for beginner and high handicap golfers for example, who typically have low swings speeds, it is fine whatever shoes with some grip they choose to wear.
Most spikeless golf shoes are in reality just sneakers with extra grip on the soles so whatever trainers you wear will be fine.
Some people can feel a bit self-conscious wearing their golf shoes with basketball shorts or tracksuit bottoms or jeans but that’s a fashion consideration rather than golfing one.
Sandals, flip-flops and heels are out though. Also men’s working boots are probably not a great idea.
One thing to bear in mind also if you do decide to wear your trainers is if you’re going to practice regularly at the driving range you may not want to wear you best pair all the time if you want to keep them looking pristine.
On the astroturf mats which you play off at the vast majority of driving ranges they will scuff up, particularly around the toe area after you complete your swing.
Better therefore, if you want to keep your sneakers or trainers looking as good as new for a while yet, to go for an older or more durable pair which you don’t mind maybe getting a bit scuffed up.
If you’re going for a golf lesson by comparison though I would always wear the same shoes I wear on the golf course. You want the pro to give you feedback on your swing in as close to the same conditions as you play on the course.
And if you wear golf shoes on the golf course you should wear them to your lesson at the driving range.
The height difference in the sole between your golf shoes and your trainers could make a difference as to how you hit the ball at the range compared to the course so the pro may not give you the best feedback for your game because you’re swinging differently when he sees you.
One final little thing I’ve also found over the years when wearing golf shoes at the driving range is that by virtue of having soft spikes on my feet to raise them a little off the ground my feet stay a bit warmer in the winter than they do when I wear trainers!
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