With only a few weeks until the Ryder Cup clash at Gleneagles we look at what to wear and what not to wear to the most anticipated golf event of the year.
Strictly speaking there are no rules. But golf is a game founded on rules and etiquette so of course there are rules and a few reasoned dos and don’ts.
First up footwear: no golf shoes or spikes. There is no reason or benefit from wearing spikes and golf shoes are not permitted for spectators. You wouldn’t wear a helmet to watch a grand prix, or whites to watch Wimbledon.
It is sensible however to wear sturdy waterproof shoes or boots. Even if it isn’t actually raining you may well encounter long, wet grass and there is nothing more miserable than cold, wet feet.
The PGA Tournament Vet
A wise veteran of the PGA scene in Scotland once said that if you dress for walking in the Lake District – in winter – then you’ll be fine.
Good advice if you plan on spending your time walking the course, following a group or staking out at an interesting hole. Warmth and weatherproof are your highest priorities. A good, truly waterproof jacket that you won’t mind sitting on should the weather be fine is a really good bet.
Wear, or take, a hat. A hat is the better option in all but the heaviest rain. Standing around with your arm raised for a long period quickly becomes a drag and an umbrella can easily obscure the view for your fellow spectators. Being stuck behind an umbrella, catching drips with not much to see is no fun at all.
An umbrella is fine for dashing between viewing points or hospitality tents but always try to be considerate of others.
Should you be lucky enough to have a corporate invitation then the rules are a little different. Men are expected to be smart, which usually means a blazer and shirt, perhaps a tie but not necessarily. You’re not in the office so choose a shirt that makes this point; a bold check says ‘day out’ quite clearly.
The Corporate Guest
A tweed jacket would be equally smart and entirely fitting in the Highland setting of Gleneagles.
As a corporate guest you may well spend much of your day cloistered within a marquee, still it’s wise to choose your footwear well. You still have to get to your marquee so a pair of durable dress boots that can take a muddy splutter or two is the way to go.
The same might be said for trousers. It’s tempting to go with a pair of pale chinos – they’re an easy match for a blazer but they don’t look quite so good with mud and grass at the hem so instead choose a darker neutral that won’t show the dirt so readily.
For more spectator advice on the Ryder Cup check out the Ryder Cup Spectator A-Z.
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