Top Trends In Men’s Golf Shorts – What You Should Look For

Golf shorts can be an important part of a man’s golf wardrobe if you golf in a hot climate. You want to have something that is comfortable yet stylish enough, so you at least look presentable.

Golf can be just as much about the sport as it is about networking with people (often for business). You do not want to show up in a pair of battered, dingy, wrinkled shorts that look like they were left on the bottom of your gym bag for a year.

And you need the proper type of golf shorts. You can’t just​ show up at the golf course in a pair of barely there running shorts. You may be asked to change your shorts or leave.

The golf course is one of the few places in America that still has a dress code.

Fortunately, you do not have to spend a fortune to look halfway decent on the golf course. You have options. Lots of them. Especially in golf shorts.

The Problem with Men’s Golf Shorts

man playing golf - golf shorts

Men’s shorts, in general, have been a fashion faux pas for some reason. Perhaps this is because fashionistas often tend to be snobby and focused on style over function.

Shorts for men, beyond golf shorts, are somehow seen as not really acceptable for adult men for some reason. Vogue has a scathing anti-shorts article comparing men’s shorts to cockroaches:

“Men’s shorts have long stoked controversy. Much like a cockroach, they have survived every war and political upheaval. They fall in the same category as socks with sandals, or fanny packs, and have a historical association with dorks: The thin-mustachioed Kip from Napoleon Dynamite donned a perverse pair of knee cap–showing chinos; the stoned-out-of-their-mind skaters in Clueless wore ankle-grazing prints; and Chevy Chase’s geek-dad in National Lampoon’s Vacation preferred tightly belted khakis.”

And, perhaps, middle-aged male golfers?

Are Full-Length Golf Pants that Much Better?

It is for perhaps this reason (vain snobbery) that we typically see men on the golf course in movies and television in full golf pants, not golf shorts, even if they are the old-fashioned plaid kind.

And, of course, if you are a professional male golfer going on the PGA Tour, you have to follow the rules, which means long pants for men.

But where did this idea come about that men in shorts was somehow a bad thing?

Can we honestly say that golf shorts are somehow less “dorky” than the old school plaid pants that you would see Rodney Dangerfield wearing in the 1980 film Caddyshack?

Granted, a case could be made that Dangerfield’s red and white diamond plaid pants, totally not matching his bright blue shirt, were a parody of golf pants, but still…plaid pants aren’t that great. (They may have inspired the horrible bright pink and blue diamond plaid golf shorts listed on one golf website, however.)

Look, forget about what the fashionistas say. If you want to wear golf shorts, then wear them. You could do a lot worse.

Current Trends in Men’s Golf Shorts

man walking - golf shorts

So, we have established that golf shorts still haven’t gotten the approval of the fashion police, but that’s OK.

If you step into most golf shops or department stores these days, you will find a section of men’s golf shorts. Depending on the store, you may find the selection to be a bit underwhelming (Macy’s website only offers 16 different types of men’s golf shorts, for example).

But, you are probably looking for a decent pair of golf shorts that fits, not the end all and be all of golf shorts fashion.

A few points about “current trends” in golf shorts for men:

1. Men’s Golf Shorts are Generally Not Trendy

Sure, once in a while, you will see some sort of garish combination of fluorescent pink and green plaid in shorts for men golfers. For the most part, however, golf shorts for golfers are not trendy items. They are functional and designed for a purpose.

2. Current Golf Shorts Styles Are Simple

You will not (in general) find any loud or crazy prints that are being sold these days in men’s golf shorts. You might see some slight color variations, as in a very subtle color gradient, but that’s about it.

If you do see any plaids in men’s golf shorts, they are likely to be subtle plaids without much in the way of contrasting, bright colors. You are likely to see white and grey, black and off-white, or silver and a dark grey if you do find any plaids.

3. The Innovation is in the Fabric and Materials

The thing that really makes a difference in today’s golf shorts versus ones that were made twenty, thirty, or forty years ago is the material.

For example, modern synthetic fabrics are so much better than the hot, heavy, clunky polyesters of the 1970s. Today’s polyesters and synthetic fabrics are so much better – they are lightweight, attractive, and wick away sweat and moisture from the body.

Many modern golf short brands are trying to outdo each other with their “innovative” fabrics that are designed to provide comfort while allowing for optimal movement.

4. Look for Improvements in Waistbands

You typically need to wear your shirt tucked in with a belt on if you are a man in golf shorts on a posh golf course. However, some modern golf shorts today are now offering more than just the standard waistband with belt loops.

Some companies advertise special comfort waistbands that have some elastic on them to allow for stretch and movement. They still have belt loops attached so you can put a belt on with the shorts.

5. Today’s Colors Are Muted

Despite the claims that the 80s are back in style (and now the 1990s as well), the colors you will find for men’s golf shorts are generally conservative and muted. You will find khaki, of course, grey (various shades), blacks, and blues. Sometimes, you might find a brighter blue.

6. Shorts Lengths Are Also Conservative

Most golf shorts will be sold at a Bermuda short length, which would graze the top of the knee, with some coming up a little higher than that. Go up higher than mid-thigh and you risk getting thrown off the golf course.

What to Look for in Men’s Golf Shorts

man pointing using is golf clubs - golf shorts

Men’s golf shorts are not that expensive, and you can buy a number of shorts to have on hand. Here are a few tips on finding the right men’s golf shorts:

1. Don’t Spend Too Much When You Don’t Need To

When you are buying men’s shorts for golf, you do not need to spend an arm and a leg. Even though many brands of men’s golf shorts sell for about $50, you do not need to spend that much. Look for sales and coupons and you can buy a good quality pair of golf shorts for $25 or even less.

2. Find Something That Fits

This may sound obvious, but it is easy to overlook if you are so focused on point one (not spending too much) that you take a pair that isn’t quite right for your body type. You can find something that fits and is inexpensive.

3. You Probably Need Golf Shorts with Belt Loops

Don’t forget that many golf courses will require you to wear shorts with your golf shirt tucked in and belted. You can check with the golf course first if you are unsure. More and more lately, rules are becoming laxer, and you may be able to get away with a shirt not tucked in.

4. Get the Right Fabric

You do not need a heavy thick cotton for your golf shorts, which might end up soaking up sweat in hot weather. As we have already mentioned, many modern golf shorts come in lightweight synthetic materials specially designed to wick water away from the body and dry quickly.

5. Do Not Use Running Shorts for Golf

Remember, your golf shorts should be at a respectable length. Short running shorts are not appropriate for the golf course, even in our modern world of relaxed dress codes. You still want to look respectable and nicely dressed for the greens.

man smiling - golf shorts

Enjoy Your Golf Shorts

You do not need to kowtow to fashion police who say that men can’t wear shorts. The right golf shorts can keep you cool on a hot day while facilitating movement for your golf swing. Just be sure to get a pair you are comfortable in and is the right length.

Otherwise, do not worry about being fashionable. When it comes to being a man in shorts, you cannot win the approval of the fashion police, so why try?

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