It is widely accepted that golf as we know it today was invented in Scotland during the Middle Ages. Over the years the game itself has evolved, as well as the designs of the golf ball and the club. The clothing that people wear to play golf in has also changed dramatically over the years.
The Early Years
In the eighteenth century, golfers often simply wore kilts and animal skins to keep them warm on the cold and blustery Scottish greens. They swapped to Knickerbocker type trousers that ended just after the knee when they realised that they kept their legs warmer. Today the bright plaid and tartan patterns that you see are harking back to this period in golfing history.
The 19th Century
The game of golf had really taken off and was becoming popular, but as conservative Victorian values had become the norm, golfers dressed in full formal attire. This meant that women golfers played in full regalia, including corsets and bonnets, and men wore full trousers (tucked into puttees or stockings) and morning coats. Being respectable and stylish was more important than practicality and comfort was. The game of golf was seen as masculine, and even though women played it too, they were only allowed to putt- anything else was seen as too manly and they couldn’t swing as they were too restricted anyway!
The 20th Century
In the beginning of the 20th century, golfers still played in their formal attire, but when war broke out people other than the richest began playing golf too. The rigid social classes and gender roles began to break down and formality wasn’t as important to society as it used to be. Golfers swapped their suit jackets for shirts and bow ties. In 1933 women’s golf was turned upside down when Gloria Minoprio wore trousers at a major championship.
The Fifties and Sixties
Golfers like Arnold Palmer and Gary Player helped golf move from still being very conservative to more practical and functional as well as being more playful. They wore khaki pants and polo shirts for freedom of movement.
The Seventies and Eighties
During this period the colours became more lurid and loud, with golf players sporting colours such as bright pinks, blues, oranges and yellows all together in one outfit. Patterns also became popular, and the louder the better.
The 21st Century
Today, golf professionals wear clothing that is specifically designed for golf; clothing that protects them from the elements on the course, but allow them freedom of movement and to be comfortable. www.golfposer.com offers a wide range of golf clothing, from shirts and knitwear to belts and bags from designers as well as their own collection.