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Golf is seeing its biggest boom since a young man named Eldrick Woods burst onto the scene in the late ’90s. The “Tiger Effect” has been well-documented—how TV viewership increased exponentially, with eyeballs glued to the screen waiting for Woods’s patented fist pump; how many started picking up clubs in an attempt to emulate one of golf’s all-time greats.
While still popular, particularly among a certain breed of men, golf became the go-to sport or hobby for millions—myself included—during the height of the pandemic in 2020, and it hasn’t slowed down since. Not only are more people getting into golf but, more importantly, the industry is changing because of it.
What used to be considered the best golf shirts and pants of yesteryear are long gone. The days of stiff and starchy khakis and plain polos have been replaced with high-performance fabrics, eye-popping colors and patterns and all-day versatility. Today’s golfer has style, swagger and confidence. Now they just need a game to match; I speak from personal experience, as I dust off my clubs from high school and begin to fall in love with the game again.
With countless exciting brands disrupting and diversifying the space, golf fashion and culture is hotter than ever. Which means there’s no excuse to not look good on a golf course—especially with the best golf shirts at your fingertips. Improving your short game, on the other hand, is a different story.
Best Overall Golf Shirt
Athletic yet fashionable, Peter Millar’s Journeyman short sleeve polo is made from 100 percent pure pima cotton, offering wearers as much comfort as it does style. Available in more than 10 colors, from blue frost to sunflower and misty rose, this style features slub texture for that lived-in casual feel—perfect for pairing with comfortable khakis on the course or jeans and loafers off it.
Material: Pima cotton.
Most Breathable Golf Shirt
Part of TravisMathew’s Heater series, this versatile polo keeps you dry and cool when things are, well, heating up, whether it’s the hot summer sun or winning streak after you sink back-to-back birdie putts. Available in five colors, the shirt is designed with highly breathable fabric with a great stretch that allows for unrestricted movement on and off the course. It’s the perfect polo for cooling down at the 19th hole.
Material: Polyester and spandex blend.
Most Eye-Catching Golf Shirt
The brand, as seen on Shark Tank, is known for high-performance polos with bright colors and eye-popping patterns. Still, it’s far from a one-trick pony—or should I say, birdie? Launched in 2017, Bad Birdie continues to evolve and expand its products from polos and hoodies to pants and more, while shouting from the mountaintops that golf should be fun and for everyone. One of its all-time best sellers, the online-only Drippity Drip polo helps you make a statement on the back nine. Don’t forget to bring a towel, because you’ll be drippin’ with swagger.
Material: Polyester and spandex.
Best Collarless Golf Shirt
Collar? We don’t need no stinkin’ collar! Well, at most courses you still do, but as golf continues to evolve with the times, so do the rules. But be sure to double check if one is required before showing up for your tee time. At the very least, you can go collarless with the Adidas Textured Stripe polo at the driving range, pitch and putt or Topgolf. Featuring a lightweight, breathable knit that keeps you cool, a classic Henley collar completes the style on this shirt.
Material: Polyester piqué.
Best Happy-Hour Golf Shirt
Known for the No. 1 shoe on the PGA Tour and the No. 1 glove in golf, FootJoy’s offerings go way beyond protecting your hands and feet on the course. Celebrate one of the sport’s most popular drinks—the Transfusion—with this limited-edition print available in three colors. Featuring the brand’s exclusive ProDry fabrication and an antimicrobial finish, you don’t have to worry if you sweat or spill on this polo. Cheers!
Material: Polyester and spandex.
Best UV-Resistant Golf Shirt
Engineered for performance, this pro-level polo is about as close to what’s worn on the Tour as you can get. Seriously, those golfers are so good—and what they wear certainly helps! Featuring unique patterns including Bordeaux Go and Duffel Green Ducks, the aptly named golf shirt is moisture-wicking and UV-resistant, offering UPF 50 sun protection.
Material: Polyester and spandex.
Fit: Slim or standard.
Most Comfortable Golf Shirt
Comfort? Check. Breathable? Check. Stretch? Check. Moisture-wicking? Check. Wearing the Lululemon Stretch Golf polo gives you a few less things to worry about on the golf course as you’re lining up your shot. Featuring a four-way stretch fabric, this performance shirt makes everything, from teeing off to putting, a breeze. If only actually playing golf was this easy!
Material: Polyester and lycra elastane.
Best Quick-Drying Golf Shirt
Consistency is key to playing golf—and the key to consistency is keeping dry. Enter the Nike Dri-FIT Tour golf polo. Made from recycled polyester, this heathered shirt is stretchy and moisture-wicking, helping you get the most out of your swing. Nike Dri-FIT technology moves sweat away from the skin, allowing for quicker evaporation to keep you drier and cooler than ever. It can also be worn tucked or untucked. Now, the only thing missing is finding consistency with your golf game.
Material: Polyester, spandex and lyocell.
Best Long-Sleeve Golf Shirt
Ben Haggerty, better known as Macklemore, went from the thrift shop to the clubhouse with the launch of his golf and lifestyle brand, Bogey Boys, in 2021. Inspired by standout golf fashion throughout history—from Chi Chi Rodriguez’s straw hats to Arnold Palmer’s cardigans to Payne Stewart’s knickers tucked into his argyle socks—Bogey Boys helps golfers proudly display their style and swagger on the course. Honestly, what cool cat wouldn’t want to be ensconced in velour on the golf course?
Material: Polyester, rayon and spandex.
Best Golf Sweater Shirt
Rooted in nostalgia with a nod to growing near the water (Malbon founder Stephen Malbon grew up playing Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club in Virginia Beach), Malbon’s Yacht Club Collection is the perfect look for that golf and yacht life. Which means the Yacht Club sweater polo—is made of a blend of wool and cashmere blend and featuring ribbed cuffs and hemline—perfect for brisk days on the green or the ocean blue.
Material: Wool and cashmere.
Factors to consider before buying a golf shirt:
With a multitude of things to consider ahead of each and every shot on the golf course—from club selection and distance to weather conditions and how many hot dogs you should buy at the turn (at least two, right?)—the last thing you want to worry about is “Why did I wear this?” This is why I broke down key factors to look out for in a golf shirt.
Material: One of the major factors in ensuring you made the right purchase is material. If you’re buying a new golf polo, making sure your shirt is serving its function properly is crucial. Strict cotton polos, though great, are a thing of the past; many brands are now favoring a mix of more breathable and stretchier fabrics such as polyester and nylon. These synthetic fibers are made to wick away moisture and keep you cool, because the last thing you want is to be drenched in sweat or soaking wet from a passing storm for the next 12 holes.
Fit: Probably equally as important to the shirt’s material is its fit. You’ll perform your best when you’re comfortable and not having to tuck in your polo after every shot or are dealing with baggy outerwear cramping your style and, most importantly, your swing. Fit is obviously subjective, so find what you feel the best and most confident in without restricting your on-course performance.
Style: Finally, buyers should consider style when purchasing golf shirts and tops. With so many brands entering the space, golfers have an endless selection of fun and exciting shirts to feel confident and showcase personality. Sure, not everyone will wear a hot-pink polo with cheetahs on it, but not everyone wants a plain white polo with nothing more than a brand logo on the chest, either. What you wear relays as much about your golf game and personality as does your attempted flop shot.