You’ve probably heard someone say, “Look good, feel good, play good.” And if you hadn’t heard it … now you have. 

Maybe psychologists shouldn’t get wrapped up in what you’re wearing, but I’m here to tell you that it matters. Now it doesn’t matter if it’s expensive or off the clearance rack, whether it’s old-school plaid or the new slim-cut solids. What matters is how you feel in it. 

The mental aspect of golf starts before you even pull into the driveway of the club. It is set in motion as soon as you decide you’re going to play and make that tee time. You begin talking to yourself — whether you notice it or not — as soon as you commit to playing the round. 

And each decision you make from that point through the end of the round should be with the intention to play the best round of your life.

What you wear should be included in that decision making. Wear clothes that make you the most comfortable and most confident. Confidence in your apparel choice equals confidence on the course. Sounds a little silly, I know. But adjusting ill-fitting pants or feeling self-conscious in your polo will not only distract you on the course, but it will also transfer to feeling self-conscious about your game. 

Close your eyes and think of yourself in a perfectly fitting pair of pants and top, broken-in shoes, and a cool hat. Imagine walking from your car to the course with a little swagger in your step. Just soak that in for a second. Feel how positive and good you feel sliding that first club out of your bag and swinging it around, warming up unrestricted. 

Feels good, huh?

While you can certainly overcome an uncomfortable outfit and play well, a ball in motion stays in motion until it finds an unmet force, so early discomfort is more likely to continue if you start off that way. And also, feeling positive early about what you’re wearing is likely to snowball to feeling good beyond the outfit choice. 

So choose your clothes wisely. Choose what makes you feel good. Then get out there and play well. Trust me, you’ll notice a difference. 

Dr. Chelsi Day

Dr. Day is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is an Ohio native who completed her Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Health and Sport Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio while competing on the Varsity Swimming and Diving team as a diver. She then went on to earn a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology followed by a Master's degree and later a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.