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How to Play Better Golf in the Fall: Dress for Success

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on
Layering is key when playing in the fall. (Photo by David Puente/PGA of America)

Layering is key when playing in the fall. (Photo by David Puente/PGA of America)

Remember when pullovers were called “quarter-zips.” The Q-zip revolution has come and with it comfort in golf clothing. Fall days present such a dilemma when deciding what to wear. Most of the country must play midday as the mornings are cold and the evenings are dark. On an average fall day in the northern states, we alter our outfit at least once per nine holes. Whether we are shedding layers or adding them, having a plan to stay comfortable is important. 
Heavy sweaters and jackets have gone away, and technology has taken over. Golf has embraced the fitness feel of clothing and we are better for it.
Look good, feel good, play good. (Photo by David Puente/PGA of America)
Look good, feel good, play good. (Photo by David Puente/PGA of America)
Many courses have changed their tune when it comes to how we can dress in 2022 and beyond. It is an exciting age in the fashion industry of golf. Newer tech fibers hold their shape better. They last better through the laundry process and honestly make us feel good. 
One new trait in clothes we all can get used to is the weight. Layering items, shoes and even hats are lighter. Over the course of 18-holes, we all can save a little energy by not having to carry around heavy cotton.
Much of this may seem new and just like changing leaves overwhelm you with color options. Have no fear, it's a PGA Coach's job to help his students play better with a little Coaching.
  • Look for solid layers - I know those Q-zips look cool in a variety of colors and patterns, but if you are building a fall wardrobe start with basic colors in your layers. Chances are they come off to reveal that favorite shirt anyway. 
  • Match your sizes - The common thinking used to be if you wore a medium shirt, then you should buy a large outerwear piece. Don’t do that, make sure you wear mediums throughout. Vendors have adjusted their cuts a little for layers to go together. If we wear clothes that don’t fit properly, we don’t perform properly. 
  • Hats are key – Owning a fall hat or beanie makes a big difference. More than 60% of your body heat is lost through your head. Keep it covered with something warm. We all hate playing in layers, keep that head covered and you’ll be able to shed a body layer and swing better. 
  • Shop for shoes – Most golf shops need to move a little inventory at the end of the year. If you see a shoe your size, seize the moment and grab it. Chances are you might get it on sale.  
  • Jackets are useful – Golf jackets used to make us look like a crossing guard. Those days are thankfully behind us. Most golf clothes can be worn on your kids sideline as well as the course. Check out the soft and warm options. They aren’t nearly as heavy, and again solid color choices make the most sense.
  • Hold off on the hoodies – They make look cool, but the fall can be windy and having the hood blowing around is a distraction. Save the trendy outerwear for after golf and grab a tech fabric sweater instead. 
(Photo by Gary Kellner)
(Photo by Gary Kellner)
The best way to enjoy your golf this fall season is to embrace the changes in our game. Maybe you added music to your foursome this year. Take that same innovative and fun thinking and apply it to the closet. You’ll be pleasantly amazed at your options and better yet the way new clothes feel when playing.