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best golf socks

Can someone please explain golf’s problem with socks?

They’re such an innocent piece of clothing, yet the colour and length of your hosiery can send club and player into a tailspin. Steve Carroll just asks… why?

 

I never wear shorts on a golf course. No matter the temperature. We could suffer the fires of hell and I still wouldn’t be seen in any fabric that finishes above my shoe line.

Frankly, no one needs to see my legs. But there is a practical reason.

Socks. Specifically, knee length golf socks. I don’t own a single pair. That tends to put me at odds with some golf courses, as does my next ‘sin’.

I own plenty of ankle length socks. But none of them are white. How hideous. The shame. Won’t someone please think of the children?

I can’t be bothered with the inevitable hassle, and don’t want to buy any more clothing that I only seem to wear when I go to golf (hello, dress shoes), and so I cover up.

What is the obsession that some golf clubs have with socks? Explain it to me. I’m genuinely curious to be educated.

My views on dress codes are pretty liberal and well-known. I don’t really care what you wear, as long as you’re comfortable.

But even those places that do stand firmer on what you can don out on the course can’t seem to justify the reason behind this – outside of ‘because we say so’.

Every now and then someone falls foul of what is surely golf’s most ridiculous etiquette sanction and gets kicked off a course.

They splutter on social media. The tabloids lap it up, of course, because – and I can’t believe I’m having to say this – present a sock rule to normal people and they’ll think you’re utterly insane.

The result is that a sport which is doing some great work to convince people it’s no longer chock full of idiots stuck in the early 20th century gets dragged through the mill once more.

Don’t think it’s still a thing? Not very long ago, at a very nice southern based UK golf club, I played with a guy who apparently wasn’t deemed to be wearing the right socks.

I wasn’t either, but I had trousers on. Now, you see…

He ended up teeing off wearing a pair of knee length, white… football socks. I wanted to offer him some shin pads. But now he met the standard and off we went.

If you don’t think that situation isn’t a bit ridiculous then I just can’t help you.

“Short, dark socks look naff so avoid them at all costs,” says another dress code. I’m sorry, I didn’t realise this was Paris Fashion Week.

It would be laughable were it not for all the stuff clubs deem perfectly acceptable as outerwear. I swear there must a global shortage of red trousers.

As I’ve said, wear what you like but do you not see the irony here?

Of all the things you can pick a fight over, losing your collective minds over whether socks are ankle or knee length, black, white, blue, grey, or whatever colour, is mind-blowingly dumb.

If socks bother you that much, it’s not the ‘offending’ golfer that’s the problem. It’s your club.

Now have your say

What do you think? Have you been challenged over the colour or length of your golf socks? Or is it rules are rules as far as clubs are concerned? Let me know your thoughts on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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