Golf has its origins in medieval Scotland, and the first golf uniforms reflected this history. Tweed suits, woolen socks, and thick-soled leather shoes designed to keep a person warm during time out in cool, rainy weather.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, golf began gaining popularity across the globe. It reached America in the late 1800s and was adopted by wealthy businessmen during the roaring 20s. Its appeal was similar to today: golfers could engage in a sport, while also socializing with fellow players.
Today, golf is one of the few sports in which players will encounter a dress code. Many courses, especially the more expensive ones, require men and women to dress to fairly stringent requirements. Men are expected to wear slacks or nice shorts that end just above the knee, long socks, and a shirt, usually a polo or button-down, that has been tucked in. Women wear slacks, or a skirt or nice shorts that end just above the knee, long socks, and a blouse, which should be tucked in unless the style is specifically designed to be worn over pants. In general, clothes attempt to be classy but also practical. Golfers are not generally required to wear hats. However, since golfers typically spend many hours in direct sunlight, most wear some sort of brimmed hat, or at the very least, a visor.
Professional golf uniforms follow these general guidelines. The typical professional golf uniform consists of a polo, usually either monochromatic or striped, long semi-formal slacks, worn with a belt, and a baseball cap or visor. Professional golfers are less likely to wear shorts than amateurs, but still might make an exception in hot weather, and many pro women do wear skirts.
Golf shoes are laced and look similar to sneakers. Because golfers must be able to posture and pivot themselves to strike the ball in an ideal way, it is important for pros to find a brand and style that is both comfortable and well fitted. Some golf shoes come with spikes, which allow the golfer to get the best possible grip on the turf. However, not all golf courses allow spiked shoes. Spikeless shoes nonetheless have rubber treads designed to get good traction when out on the course.
While golf players do not sport the kind of branding seen on, say, Nascar racers, many golf polos will feature the sponsor of a tournament. Additionally, companies that make golf attire, such as Nike and Adidas, can get a lot of attention through golf. In the 2016 Olympics, Adidas designed the USA golf uniforms. These outfits, which embraced the traditional polo, hat, and slacks look in bright patriotic colors, were mass-produced and sold to golf fans, and can still be found for sale on the PGA website.