Golf Shirt vs Polo? (No They are Not the Same!)

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While people often don’t realize it, there are some subtle differences between polo shirts and golf shirts. But what are they?

Well, the best way to look at it is that golf shirts have been designed specifically for use out on the course, while polo shirts can be worn on the golf course, as well as in other settings.

So, to ensure you can tell the difference between golf shirts and polos and to help you choose the right shirt for your requirements, we run through the differences you need to be aware of in the following sections.

Can I Wear a Polo Shirt to Golf?

Yes, a polo shirt is an ideal jersey to wear on the golf course. Golfers have worn polo shirts for a long time because of the rules stipulating that players should wear collared shirts on the golf course.

However, in recent times, many golf courses have relaxed their attire rules, permitting different types of shirts on the course. You only have to tune into a professional golf tournament to see players wearing a huge variety of styles!

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But if you want to play it safe on the golf course, a polo shirt is the ideal jersey to wear. What’s more, you can wear a polo shirt away from the golf course without issue, and it’s a stylish addition to any wardrobe.

Why Do Golfers Wear Polo Shirts?

For several reasons, a polo shirt is an ideal attire for golf. Firstly, it looks smart and presentable, which is something that is important in the sport. But equally, it’s not too formal and strikes the ideal balance.

What’s more, many golf courses stipulate that players must wear a collared shirt when playing. As polo shirts have collars as standard, they’re an ideal choice to ensure you adhere to the rules and etiquette of the game.

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Another reason why polo shirts are ideal for golf is that they’re lightweight and breathable, and they allow flexibility when swinging the club. Polo shirts are also extremely comfortable, ensuring you can play for several hours without any issues.

Ultimately, polo shirts are perfect for golf for lots of reasons. And even though some golf clubs have relaxed some of their rules about attire, many golfers still wear polo shirts by choice.

Are Golf Polos Business Casual?

Yes, golf polos are regarded as business casual and are a must for any man’s wardrobe. They’re a step up in formality from a t-shirt but are nowhere near as formal as dress shirts, making them the perfect choice for a business casual occasion.

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You will also need to bear in mind the design and color of the polo shirt that you opt to wear as part of your business casual outfit. A garish, bright green polo with patterns might not fit the bill, but a neutral, smart golf polo will be more appropriate.

So, if you’re planning to wear a golf polo to a business meeting, you should think carefully about the style and color that you opt for. You don’t want your clients getting the wrong idea!

If you play golf regularly, there’s no harm in buying several polo shirts so you can mix things up when you head out to play a round. There are so many brands, styles, and colors to choose from, so feel free to get creative with your choices!

What’s the Difference Between a Polo and a Golf Polo?

The main difference between golf shirts and polos is the material. Most golf shirts are made from polyester blends with moisture-wicking components, helping golfers stay dry in hot and humid conditions.

Standard polo shirts are usually made from cotton and other materials that aren’t always suitable for use out on the course. This is because you can easily overheat when wearing them, particularly if you go for shirts with a knit fabric.

Another difference is that some golf polos come with a chest pocket on the right side of the shirt, while standard polos don’t usually include one. Of course, there are golf polos without pockets, but they are typically a feature of golf shirts.

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So, you can wear a polo shirt on the golf course if you wish; just be mindful that it might be a little heavier than most golf shirts.

Are Golfers Required to Wear Collared Shirts?

Historically, golfers have been required to wear collared shirts. The rules of golf also state that men should wear smart trousers or tailored shorts, while women should wear skirts. However, in recent years, golf attire has changed significantly.

If you tune into a golf competition on TV, you will see players wearing a broad range of outfits that would not have been permitted just a few years ago. For instance, players are now allowed to wear hoodies on the golf course.

The key thing to remember is that every golf course has its own rules regarding attire. Some still require collared shirts, while others might be more flexible when it comes to the clothes that players wear.

Our advice is to check the rules of a golf course before booking a tee time, so you’re permitted to play the course! If you want to play it safe, you can’t go wrong with a golf polo.

Notable Golf Polo Shirt Brands to Check Out?

There are so many brands to consider when looking for a golf polo. One of our favorites is Under Armour, as they’re lightweight, super breathable, and really stylish. Under Armour is the brand of choice for many pros, too, including Jordan Spieth.

Other classic golf brands include Galvin Green and Lyle & Scott. They both have a rich history of creating Tour-level apparel, and although they’re relatively expensive, you can be sure of the quality when buying from these brands.

For something a bit left of field, you can check out Chubbies Golf. Their performance polos are smart, sleek, and super popular and make a change from some of the more traditional golfing brands.

Of course, you can also find golf polos from Nike, Adidas, and Puma, among others, so you can search the market for a style, color, and fit that works well for you.

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Are PGA Tour Polos Good?

The PGA Tour polos are popular and of good quality. Specifically, the AirFlux Mesh golf shirt is made from a ventilated mesh fabric that keeps you from overheating during your round. It also boasts moisture-wicking technology and is extremely breathable.

What’s more, every PGA Tour polo is treated with sun protection, ensuring the UV rays don’t ruin the shirt. Therefore, the PGA polos are perfect for wearing in all weather conditions, come rain or shine.

In spite of their name, they’re actually more popular with recreational players than Tour professionals. Tour players usually have brand deals with the likes of Under Armour or Nike and don’t actually wear official PGA Tour merchandise when playing.

Still, if you’re looking for a high-quality golf polo at a great price, the PGA Tour polos are a great choice and are available in several colors and designs.

Can I Wear Golf Polos to Work?

Yes, Golf polos are regarded by most people as business casual, meaning you can wear a golf shirt to work if it’s in keeping with your company policy.

Golf shirts are not meant to be a replacement for smarter dress shirts, so if your workplace requires that you wear a shirt and tie to the office, you shouldn’t wear a golf polo instead.

While we would love to give you a generic answer here, we’d recommend checking in with your boss before rocking up to work in a golf polo, particularly if you haven’t seen anyone else in the office wearing one.

While they are undoubtedly smart and comfortable, you don’t want to upset your boss by wearing something that isn’t permitted by company policy.


As you now know, golf shirts are slightly different from traditional polos. They are lightweight, breathable, and have moisture-wicking properties, while standard polo shirts are a little heavier.

Still, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear standard polo shirts on the golf course. However, if you play regularly, it’s worth investing in a golf shirt, as it will help you stay comfortable out on the course.

Overall, golf polos are smart, lightweight, and perfect for wearing on various occasions, making them a wardrobe winner for any person.