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Golf Leggings and Stretch Pants


We’re Not Pulling Your Leggings

It’s time to consider stretch pants for the golf course

By Deanna Pai

We’re Not Pulling Your Leggings

By Deanna Pai

Leggings have always been a source of controversy. Consider the great “do leggings count as pants?” debate of the late ‘00s, in which no one could decide whether leggings were closer in material and structure to tights or pants. (The correct answer, if you’re wondering, is, “It depends.”) Whether they’re appropriate is a matter of where you are and what you’re wearing with them. For the office? Maybe not. With an oversized sweater for air travel? Go for it.

When leggings were recently brought back into the spotlight over a claim they were too distracting to be worn in public (OK, but can we ban paisley ties and men’s flip flops, while we’re at it?), we wondered about their place on the golf course, where dress codes steeped in tradition rule. Before you agree that they don’t belong on the green, though, it’s worth considering whether these dress codes are too restrictive and fail to take into consideration how golf has evolved over the years.

After all, isn’t golf is a sport? While golf doesn’t involve sprint drills or tackling, it still has a lot in common with other sports, including perfecting your swing (like tennis and baseball) and sinking a ball into a hole (like basketball). Even if you have a caddy, it still involves physical activity. And few things offer the same comfort, versatility, and movement for play as leggings. 

Certain golf authorities are starting to agree. According to the PGA – by all means the best authority on the topic – while colored khakis or capris are ideal, “black exercise pants” are an acceptable substitution if it’s between them and jeans, which are (and forever will be) persona non grata on the green.

Still, allowing leggings on the golf course tends to vary from club to club. In most cases, they’re accepted under a skirt or skirt. But if you’re looking to skirt the rules at your club, opt for leggings in a bright color, which takes the edge off their form-fitting silhouette. With their sunny shade and simple racing stripes, the J. Lindeberg Elaina Compression Leggings could almost pass as tailored pants, and pair well with a black sweater for post-game drinks. For a subtler option, Linksoul’s Women’s Golf Leggings come in go-with-everything gray and are easy to layer under a skirt or skort. More overtly athletic styles, like the Sunice Izzy Body Shaper Stretch Practice Pant and Foray Golf Nightcrawler Print Mix Leggings, are best for clubs with relaxed dress codes. The trick to wearing them for drinks at the clubhouse is a matter of proportions: Balance the tighter proportions with a looser silhouette on top, like a sweater or even a tailored jacket.

No matter how you style them, leggings are one of the most comfortable options for playing golf—so we say wear them if you want. But maybe pack a skort, just in case.