Whatever Shall I Wear?…Going Golfing For The First Time

Ladies Tee

by Lee. Reeves

As women, we’ve come a long way, baby. Now it’s time to go a bit farther.

Stepping back in history, I remember having stars in my eyes when my man first asked me to accompany him to the golf course. To think: big ‘ol HE wanted little ‘ol ME to walk around the course and into the winner’s circle…with him! I envisioned us charting sea-green pastures together. In my mind’s ear, I could hear his golfing buddies congratulate his every stroke, while admitting their own faults and failures as they missed green after green. I could just see myself applauding as he mastered every shot and conquered every hole. Mercy. I don’t know what I was drinking back then, but one day on a golf course sobered me up pretty quick.

It won’t take you long to realize that this article is not written for the golfer. Rather, it is geared toward that golfer’s companion: the one that walks or sits for hours, watching glassy-eyed as the player whacks away at a little white sphere. We know that golfers have rules to follow. They also dress and act a certain way. And they know how to walk a golf course, having learned their etiquette from other golfers. Conversely, many companions are non-golfers. Be that as it may, they, too, have rules to follow and need to dress and act in a certain way.

Honey, if you have never been on a golf course, do yourself a favor and read this first before you travel out onto 7,000 yards of uncharted grass. And if you have followed your companion around the greens before, you might find some similarities in what I pen here. By the way, if you can identify at all, please write and tell me so. (Everyone needs somebody in his or her “amen corner”).

There is proper etiquette for traversing golf courses. I wish someone had told me that before I first stepped out there. As a course-traveling ingenue, I experienced many an anxious and awkward moment, not knowing where to step, when to step and what not to step in. My companion (the one with the club) was of some help, but not nearly enough. So much of what I learned, I learned the hard way: by trial and many errors. Looking back over the years, I garnered a good deal of “golf course etiquette,” some of which I’m passing on to you. In this issue, we’ll discuss getting ready to go to the golf course. Later articles will talk about being on the course.

Getting Ready

Want to smell nice out there? Use good (unscented) soap and skip the perfume. I remember “dolling up” one time and splashing on the scents with a heavy hand. You can bet all I attracted that day were bees! I can’t say my flowered print blouse helped much either. I danced a jig for hours, without music, until I could book to the clubhouse and bathe my body in the bathroom sink. The bees didn’t get me but I was scared, miserable, and very embarrassed.

Next come the basics: remember, makeup applied with a pallet knife, flakes off in 90-degree weather. Hot sun, strong breezes and thunderstorms have an adverse effect on shadow, liner and powder, so, apply it lightly. Be more generous with the sunscreen than with the “smokescreen” and carry a sponge in your purse to dab your wet nose. You will perspire, so use a good (unscented) deodorant or antiperspirant.

Hair worn back or tied up may not be as sexy as tresses along your neckline, but it is much more comfortable when you’re going to be out in the elements all day. If your hair is braided and intertwined with gold or other metallic beads, remember: like metal jewelry on your bare skin, they can get hot with the beating sun on your head and cause you a burn! Grab a hat or a scarf for maximum comfort. Also, don’t forget the most important item next to your sunscreen: your sunglasses. Peeled eyelids are not a pretty sight!

Funny how the way you dress can have a significant effect on someone else’s play. In my younger years, I was blessed with great legs. Mama nixed the “hot pants” but shorter skirts were the rage. Nonetheless, I was wrong to think they could be worn on the golf course. First of all, winds can (and do) whip up at any time. You do not want to be in the middle of a golf course, wrestling with a small band of cloth that wants to wrap around your neck. This little exercise can be very embarrassing, depending upon the condition of your “under attire.” I can remember drawing more attention than flies. And I don’t think anyone remembered what scores they shot that day.

The older I got the higher my neckline and the longer my skirts and pants became. You know, wisdom comes with age, experience and common sense. Tops that cover cleavage, and shorts or skirts worn lower (thigh to mid-calf) are tasteful and acceptable for many reasons. First, you can “tan” and not burn. Secondly, the golfers around you can keep their minds and their eyes on the game. Last but not least, you won’t be labeled a “brazen hussy” by that healthy sister in the cart next to yours. So, it’s best to keep a lower profile in this department.

Ah, the feet! Beware of elevated heels and pointed or open toed shoes! Bright red tootsies poking out of your shoes look a lot like little roses, and they invite insects or wasps to light on your polish. And Honey, high heels are not made for golf courses! They make you walk strange, they poke funny little holes in the turf, and after half an hour, they are PAINFUL. I recall once seeing a cute young thing, tipping around the clubhouse in some strapped stilettos. She was decked out for clubbing (and I don’t mean the golfing kind). I couldn’t believe she was headed onto the greens to spend a day following her man and his ball for five miles. I smiled, knowing that when I laid eyes on her again, she wouldn’t be walking so gingerly. Sure enough, 50 minutes later, there was Girlfriend, staggering onto the ninth hole, barely making it up the hill. She looked to be stepping on hot coals! After another 10 minutes, she was barefoot. Who could blame her? Instead of punishing your tootsies, break out in your favorite pair of aerated tennis shoes and socks. If you plan to do this walking thing more than twice, invest in a good pair of golf shoes (the ones with the plastic “spikes” in the soles) and golf socks. Your feet will feel so much better and the course will thank you for it.

Big purses carry a lot of stuff, but think twice before you decide to haul that load around 18 holes! Some bags can be heavier than that one with the golf clubs. A smart alternative is to pack your essentials in a back or fanny pack. Emergencies rarely occur, but it wouldn’t hurt to carry sunscreen, band-aids, feminine hygiene products, a plastic rain scarf, some aspirin and a comb. Even more rare is a bee sting, but if you are allergic, carry medicine, with instructions, or stay home.

Water bottles are great for sipping, but too much water can have you dancing towards the first tree. Drink in moderation.

The Girl Scout motto is, “Be Prepared,” which you will need to remember when planning a day at the golf course. I’ve seen rain, snow, sun and hail – a few times all in the same day. Any weather is possible, so dress accordingly.

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