What Are Golf Pants? (What to Look For!)

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Putting together your golf wardrobe isn’t easy as there’s so much to think about. One thing that you can’t afford to get wrong is the pants that you wear on the golf course.

But what’s the deal with golf pants? Can you just wear everyday chinos? Or do you need to invest in an actual pair of golf pants from one of the big brands?

In this article, we explain why golf pants are a wardrobe essential and answer some of your most pressing questions about how to choose the perfect golf pants for your upcoming round.

What are Golf Pants Called?

Throughout history, golf pants have been referred to as plus fours or knickerbockers, which were both common in the early 20th century. Today, golf pants are simply standard trousers that in the US are called golf pants.

The beauty of golf attire is that players can showcase their unique styles, providing their clothing is in line with the rules of the course.

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For this reason, you may have seen players like Rickie Fowler wear the most outlandish pants imaginable! And although they’re pretty out there in terms of design, they’re just standard pants.

Most golf courses today have relatively strict rules in relation to dress code, so you will need to check before teeing off.

Typically, you can get away with wearing chinos, dockers, or slacks on the golf course, but almost all courses prohibit denim and sweats.

Now you know the basics, let’s take a closer look at what type of pants you can wear on the golf course to ensure your golf wardrobe is primed and ready to go for the start of the golf season this year.

What are Standard Golf Pants Made of?

Most golf pants are made from cotton and polyester. Some designers incorporate microfibres into their golf pants and other moisture-wicking materials to ensure players don’t overheat while they’re out on the course.

When choosing a pair of golf pants, you need to think about the weather conditions. After all, cotton pants are typically much thicker than those made from polyester and other synthetic materials and might make things a little uncomfortable out on the course.

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The good news is that there is so much choice when it comes to golf pants that you can choose a material that is lightweight and breathable.

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Another material that is popular with golfers is elastane, which is stretchier than cotton and allows for greater flexibility when you’re executing your golf swing.

It’s a good idea to pick up several pairs of golf pants made from different materials, so you’re covered for all seasons. After all, there’s a great deal of choice out there, so you can easily stock up your wardrobe with the necessary kit.

What is Special About Golf Pants?

Golf pants are unique because of the way that they’ve been designed. For instance, most golf pants are made to be flexible, moisture absorbent, windproof, breathable, and more durable than recreational trousers.

To break it down in more detail:

  • Stretchy fabric: Rotation and flexibility are key for golfers, which is why most golf pants incorporate fabric that can stretch. This makes things much more comfortable when you’re out on the course!
  • Wicking: Moisture-wicking technology is another important part of most golf pants. Most golfers perspire during their rounds, and wicking tech fabric ensures your legs don’t overheat when you’re walking the course.
  • Windproof: Some golf pants consist of windproof technology that reduces the chill factor when you’re out on the course. This is particularly important for winter pants and for golfers who play when the weather is far from ideal.
  • Breathable: Breathable golf pants allow for water vapor to pass through the pore of your pants. In other words, you don’t need to worry about your pants sticking to your legs out on the golf course.

Some recreational golfers simply wear chinos or slacks out on the golf course, but it’s definitely worth investing in some actual golf pants.

This is because they’ve been uniquely designed to be worn out on the course and are ideal for comfort and performance.

What are Good Pants for Golf?

The best pants for golf are those that are marketed as golf pants. While this might seem like an obvious thing to say, it’s an important point. The likes of FootJoy, Adidas, Nike, and Under Armor all produce high-quality golf pants within their clothing ranges.

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Although they’re relatively expensive, it’s undoubtedly worth investing in a couple of pairs of golf pants, particularly if you play regularly. However, if you only play golf once in a while, you can certainly get away with wearing different pants on the golf course.

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For instance, you can wear any lightweight cotton pants on the golf course, and slacks and chinos are also good options.

The main thing you need to think about is comfort, as heavy pants that you wear socially won’t be ideal for playing golf.

You should also check the rules related to attire at your local golf course before settling on which type of pants to wear.

Many private clubs have very specific rules regarding attire, so you need to make sure your chosen pants are appropriate, or you might not be allowed to play.

Are Golf Pants Just Chinos?

No, while you can wear chinos on the golf course, golf pants aren’t just chinos. Chinos are typically made from twill fabric and are often 100% cotton. Most chinos are relatively thick and can be described as “smart casual”.

On the other hand, golf pants are usually made from a mix of cotton and synthetic materials. This makes them much more lightweight than chinos and, therefore, more comfortable when you’re playing a round of golf.

Golf pants are also more breathable than chinos and come with moisture-wicking features that prevent you from overheating on the course.

Arguably the biggest downside of wearing a standard pair of chinos on the golf course is that they’re not overly flexible, which isn’t ideal for the required rotations of the golf swing.

So, while there are undoubtedly some similarities between chinos and golf pants, they’re not the same. However, if you only play golf once in a while and want to wear chinos out on the course, you’re perfectly entitled to do so.

What Brand of Golf Pants Do Pros Wear?

Professional golfers wear pants from a huge range of brands, and their choice largely depends on their endorsements. The likes of Puma, Adidas, FootJoy, Under Armor, Nike, and Travis Mathew are all represented on the PGA Tour.

For instance, Bryson DeChambeau wears Puma Jackpot pants, while Tiger Woods is always decked out in stylish Nike slacks. Many tour pros have their pants and other attire custom-made for their comfort, which is hardly surprising.

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The good news for recreational golfers is that you can pick and choose which brand of golf pants you do go for, as you’re not beholden to a huge brand deal! So, if you fancy repping Tiger’s iconic red Nike shirt and Bryson’s Puma pants, go for it.

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One thing you can be sure of is that all golfers wear actual golf pants, as opposed to slacks or chinos. This is because they want to be as comfortable as possible during their rounds, so they won’t compromise by wearing anything but the best gear!

Can You Wear Dress Pants for Golf?

If you want to wear dress pants for golf, there’s nothing stopping you from doing so. They’re perfectly acceptable at most golf courses, and some golfers opt for them. This might be because they don’t have any other suitable pants, or perhaps because they’re making a fashion statement.

On the flip side, most people think that wearing dress pants for golf is overkill.

There’s no need to look quite that smart when you’re playing golf, and chinos or slacks are typically a better option for most golf courses if you don’t have a pair of golf pants.

However, many golf courses have exceptionally strict dress codes for the clubhouse, meaning you might need to wear dress pants when you finish your round.

If this is the case at your local golf club, then it makes sense to wear dress pants out on the course, so you don’t have to change.

Just like wearing chinos and slacks, wearing dress pants on the golf course is perfectly fine; it’s just not ideal. If you’re serious about golf, it’s definitely worth investing in at least one pair of golf pants to wear out on the course.


Picking up a suitable pair of golf pants is an important part of preparing your golf kit. After all, golf pants are comfortable and flexible and allow you to focus on your game without worrying about your pants riding up your backside!

If you don’t play golf all that often, you can pick up an affordable pair of golf pants and wear them when you go about your everyday business. Golf pants look a lot like slacks or chinos, and you don’t have to wear them exclusively on the course.

So now you know the answer to what are golf pants, hopefully, you now have all the information you need to pick up a pair of golf pants and take them to your local course looking like a pro.