From vibrant colors to traditional styles, the golf apparel market is booming at the moment, with hundreds of brands around the world innovating to produce new golf gear. And there really is something for every golfer, with the best golf tops, best golf socks and best golf jackets all offering up a range of modern and classic styles that really have us spoiled for choice. Golf shorts unquestionably fit into that bracket too. Depending on whether you like wearing knee-length shorts or three-quarter lengths, there are plenty of options available to you. But whatever your style, it pays to get a pair of shorts that are specifically designed with golf in mind. That way you can get the performance and style you need to feel comfortable and shoot low scores on the course.
Modern golf shorts don't just need to look good, they also need to have performance benefits too. Some are stretchy, some have plenty of pockets and others have moisture-wicking capabilities. As such, in this guide we have put together a list of our favorite models based upon thorough testing. This will hopefully inform your decision a little better when it comes to making a purchase. Additionally, if you want something for the top half too, take a look at our guides on the best golf polos, and best golf jumpers as well.
Best Golf Shorts
Why you can trust Golf Monthly
+ Flexible fabric boosts comfort
+ Five color options
- Some may want something more substantial
Those after a lightweight, stylish pair of shorts for the course will like what the Maverick Hybrid shorts have to offer. This slick pair is super stretchy, which means your movement won’t be hindered and nor will it pinch when bending down to read a putt. The fabric is also incredibly lightweight, so it hardly feels like you’re wearing anything at all. These shorts have mesh pockets that are quick drying as a result. They come with a two-button system at the waist as well as a clasp that combine to help ensure they never come undone at the worst possible moment. They offer comfort and stretch too, making them great for all players.
Colors: 2 (Navy; Slate)
+ Flexible fit
+ Premium look and feel
+ Three color options
- Lack any wow factor
Another pair of shorts with performance at the center of the offering as they have four-way stretch in the fabric as well as a soft hand feel for the ultimate in mobility and comfort. With two side pockets and a pocket on the back with a popper to keep items secure if you need to, these shorts are practical as well as playable. Assisted by the two buttons at the front, these shorts won’t be going anywhere when they shouldn’t. The fit was snug without feeling tight, which certainly enhanced the overall look, and with three color options to pick from you should be able to find what you need in the Castore Essential shorts which are, thanks to their quality and design, some of the best Castore golf clothes on the market right now.
Colors: 6 (Sleet; Pine; Blue; Turqoise; Rose; Dark Grey)
+ Contoured waistband for extreme comfort
+ Stretch and wrinkle resistant material
- Fairly slim fit won’t suit all
The Travis Mathew Sand Harbour shorts are arguably the most versatile short on the market. The ultra-soft and durable material of these shorts, as well as the sleek aesthetics mean these shorts could be worn on the course, out for dinner or at the beach. As most golfers are wearing shorts when the weather heats up, the Sand Harbour shorts are made from a moisture wicking material to help keep you cool and dry, no matter the activity. That makes these the perfect pair of shorts for summer golf.
Travis Mathew produce some of the best designer golf clothes in the game, and the style on offer in these excellent shorts is evident. These shorts will appeal to many golfers for their superior comfort.
Colors: 16 (Khaki; Navy; Royal Blue; Black; Slate; Grey; Red; Cantaloupe; Turqoise and more...)
+ Premium quality
+ Super smart
- May feel too snug for some
If you wore these shorts away from the course, no one would know they were for golf, unless someone with a keen eye spotted the small Peter Millar logo on one of the rear pockets. There’s nothing about them that says ‘golf’ – these classic fit shorts are simple, smart, and have that luxurious feel that any golfer would associate with Peter Millar.
The Salem is made from a soft, lightweight performance twill that offers two-way stretch, moisture-wicking and quick-dry technology and easy-care benefits. That means that obviously this is a perfect option for any golfer, but is also bound to become a favorite for general summer wear, particularly if you’re going out somewhere nice to eat on holiday.
Colors: 4 (Green; Blue; White; Grey)
+ Excellent quality
+ Good choice of colors
- Tailored fit may not be for everyone
As far as golf shorts go, these should definitely be in your wardrobe for summer. J.Lindeberg produce some of the best designer golf clothing around and these are certainly up there as some of the best shorts we've tested. The simple and smart design offers flexibility and freedom of movement throughout the golf swing. The tapered finish looks very smart and well put together with no outlandish logos plastered across them just a small simple J.Lindeberg logo by the front left pocket.
These shorts offer a supremely comfortable fit and the stretch within the material delivers plenty of versatility. With slanted side pockets and buttoned up back pockets you don’t need to worry about any of your valuables falling out of them on to the golf course.
Colors: 2 (Navy; Black)
+ Waterproof protection
+ Flexible waist
- Mesh lined pockets not the best
Waterproof golf shorts might not be near the top of most players’ need list, but anyone who’s tried a pair of these are sure to recommend them to a fellow golfer. This is because there are actually quite a few types of weather condition where they come in handy. Obviously, when it’s pouring it down, you’d be better off with the brand’s Bounce trousers, but in summer showers and humid conditions, this garment really comes into its own. The 4-way stretch waterproof fabric is highly breathable and extremely comfortable. In short, they do a very fine job of keeping the rain out whilst allowing body heat to be transported to the surface where it evaporates. The stretchy waistband helps ensure a comfortable fit, too. Overall, these are some of the best golf shorts on the market!
Colors: 4 (Black; Navy; Grey; Royal)
+ Plenty of pockets
+ Inner groper waistband
- Slate grey option makes you look like an overgrown schoolboy
Made from 96% Polyester and 4% Elastane, there is a stretchiness to the shorts’ material, although the waist is not an elasticated or comfort fit one. There are two deep back pockets, neither with a fastening. There are two hip pockets, slightly less deep, and the right one has a small coin pocket that is great for any loose valuables or one of the best ball markers. The inner gripper waistband does a good job of keeping a polo shirt tucked in to the shorts.
Both the front pockets have a rivet in the top corner designed to give the shorts a modern jeans-type look. It is odd, therefore, that one of the four color combinations is slate grey, which makes the wearer look like an overgrown schoolboy. For more excellent Stuburt products, visit our guide on the best budget golf shoes.
Colors: 3 (Black; Blue Grey; Regatta Blue)
+ Good fit
+ Smart look
- Limited color options
The Farah Jester Shorts are a very classic looking 100% polyester pair of shorts with the added detailing on the back pockets helping these to stand out. They fit just as we hoped so would advise people to go for their usual size. Farah are one of the top menswear brands in the game producing some of the best designer golf clothing, so why not pair these shorts up with one of their fantastic tees on our best golf polos guide.
There’s a nice amount of stretch to them, certainly not too much, so they’re very comfortable to wear and will not restrict your movement as you walk the golf course or swing through your shot. You’ve also got three classic colors to choose from - black, blue and sky blue - and we can see these getting a lot of wear during the hotter months.
Colors: 8 (Black; Khaki; Navy; Red; Light Blue; Grey; Silver Birch)
+ Four-way stretch provides ultimate comfort
+ Plenty of color choice
- Not available outside of the U.S
The Any-Wear hybrid shorts from Flag & Anthem are exactly as the brand describes them; the perfect all-round short. The four-way stretch on these shorts make them extremely comfortable and provide mobility for you to do almost anything in them. We love the 8 inch inseam which sees the shorts sit just above the knee for a more modern look and would look fantastic paired up with some of the best golf sneakers. The pockets are plenty deep to ensure no ball markers or tees will easily fall out and two back pockets provide sufficient space for a glove and score card. Moisture wicking material helps you stay cool and dry whether you’re on the course or meeting up with friends afterwards in your local or while you're out for a coffee.
Colors: 2 (Grey; Navy)
+ Wide range of sizes
+ Versatile design
- Traditional style may not suit younger audience
A pair of shorts you can wear on and off the golf course significantly increases its value and this offering from Mountain Warehouse certainly fits the bill. The traditional styling means they’d look at home out and about on a hot day but the moisture-wicking properties along with the four-way stretch ensure they are playable and comfortable to wear on the golf course. The fabric is quick drying and even has a water repellent finish that ensures rain droplets will bead off quickly. We’ve enjoyed wearing these and the price certainly represents competitive value for money.
Colors: 10 (Coral, White, Jade, Khaki, Olive, Navy, Black and more)
+ Good stretch and mobility on offer
+ Silicone waistband
- Run 0.5 inches smaller
These shorts are everything you would want from a golf short. Great length sitting just above the knee, superb stretch around the legs and four pockets on offer. The silicone ‘Macade’ detailing on the waistband helps keep your shirt in place while reading a put and swinging and the logo on the rear is a nice touch. They are a fairly slim fitting pair of shorts which may not be to everyone's liking and they do run half an inch smaller around the waist, so that is definitely worth noting if you’re in the market for a pair yourself.
Colors: 8 (Black; Navy; Grey; Lavendar Pop; Blazing Blue; Evening Sky; Orange; Dusty Aqua)
+ Stretchy waistband
+ 20+ colors
+ Moisture wicking properties
- Not the best for players looking for three-quarter length shorts
These high-performance golf shorts have a mechanical stretch waistband to give you increased mobility and comfort as you play golf. They also feature dryCELL technology which helps draw moisture away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable. The fact there are 20+ colors to choose from is an incredible bonus so any player can find the right pair for them. We also like the Puma Pounce shorts too which are featured in our best women's golf shorts guide.
Colors: 4 (Black; Navy; Sandstone; Grey)
+ Excellent comfort
+ Gripping waistband
+ Moisture-wicking fabric
- Limited storage options
Introducing the best golf shorts from adidas (in our opinion). For your comfort, they sport a stretch waistband for mobility and comfort and a silicone adidas printed gripper to keep shirts tucked in. Moisture-wicking stretch fabrication gives you a full range of motion while the water-resistant finish gives you performance and easy care and durability. adidas are one of the best golf brands in the business, so why not also pick up one of the best adidas golf shirts to wear with your adidas shorts!
Colors: 6 (Teal; Light Aqua; Charcoal; Black; Navy; Light Grey)
+ Lightweight and tapered material
+ Ample pockets
- You may prefer a thinner fabric
A lot of golfers reach for shorts at the earliest opportunity, and the Oscar Jacobson Davenport is an excellent choice when they do. Perhaps the greatest strength of this garment is its versatility – it’s available in six different color options, which is ideal when it comes to matching the shorts with expressive and colorful polos.
The lightweight, tapered design is perfect for summer and the four-way stretch fabric – which is also found on the brand’s trousers – provides comfort and mobility.
Colors: 9 (Black; Steel; Gray; White; Blue; Academy Blue; Flamingo; Red; Purple)
+ Lots of color options
+ Water repellant
- Minimal pockets for storage
Under Armour really are one of the best brands when designing technical activewear. These shorts seriously embody the brands commitment to producing high quality, high-performance golf gear and are packed with technology that will help you stay both dry and comfortable on the course. We liked the inclusion of the UA Storm technology which repels water, while its 4-way stretch material is comfortable to wear.
Colors: 9 (Black; Light Blue; Navy; Slate; Lavender Blue; Stone; Gunmetal Grey; Slate; Tartan Navy; Pink)
+ Great for summer
+ Stretchy fabric
- Not the best if you're looking for pockets and storage
Featuring subtle FootJoy branding, these shorts are one of our favorites at the moment. Constructed with 4-way stretch fabric, the shorts move with you to ensure every swing is easy and smooth. They are available in nine colorways as well as lots of sizes from 30" to 42".
We also like the fact the fabric is resistant to wrinkling and shrinkage. It's also worth noting that FootJoy are one of the best and most reliable golf brands on the market and this offering emulates the same quality in some of the best FootJoy golf shoes.
Colors: 1 (Cream)
+ Flexible and stretchy shorts
+ Tacky shirt gripper
- Not totally waterproof
Nike are one of the biggest and best sports apparel manufacturers in the world, producing some of the best gear on the market. And the Nike Golf Flex Hybrid shorts are a testament to that, manufactured from Nike Flex fabric that adds to the overall comfort on offer in these fantastic shorts.
The stretchy waistband helps particularly to improve the overall feel and fit on offer here. We also liked the slightly tacky internal shirt gripper which prevents your golf shirt from riding upwards and creating discomfort or pulling out as you swing through each golf shot and getting in the way. If you want to complete the full Nike look, take a look at our best Nike golf shirts post!
How we test golf products
When it comes to golf products, we have a thorough testing procedure that revolves around our ethos of trying to give insightful and honest reviews of golf gear so you are well informed if you want to make a buying decision. When it comes to reviewing golf apparel, we get sent clothing and put it to the test on some of the world's best golf courses. We look to test all golf equipment over a number of rounds to gain an accurate picture of how that product performs for your needs as a golfer.
Specifically, with golf shorts, we look to use these shorts in a number of different conditions to see how they perform in different climates. From rain to sunshine, we will endeavour to see how each pair of shorts can protect or keep you cool in the elements, while also testing out the different features you'll find on each piece of clothing. We look to rate each pair of shorts based on their comfort, ergonomic features and how much storage they offer too. Despite brands sending us gear though, that does not mean manufacturers can buy a good review though, because our testers all tell it how it is.
How to choose golf shorts
If you're planning on playing in warmer climates, you absolutely should make sure you have a pair in your wardrobe. But as you might be aware, there are a ton of golf shorts out there each with a variety of different features that you should be aware of before you buy them. For that reason, here are several things you'll want to keep in mind when buying your next pair of golf shorts.
This is the most important factor when looking at golf shorts because if something is uncomfortable then chances are you aren't going to wear them very often. The best way to find out what is comfortable for you is to try different models on.
Linking with the above point, good golf shorts need to be able to stretch comfortably because they need to be able to flex with your movements out on the course. Some can be very awkward and this is when stretch comes in handy so that the fabric doesn't restrict a player during their swing.
In case the weather gets a bit poor, another design feature many good golf shorts have is their moisture-wicking technology. Some also come with a degree of protection from rain and dirt with many shorts coming with stain-resistant fabrics. That way, if you're sweating a lot, get caught in a shower or even get some dirt on your shorts, their protective material will continue to function and perform as new.
It sounds like an obvious thing to say but make sure you know what size you are, and also try different sizes on too because this will aid your comfort. Some brands and styles of short also come in different sizes on occasion so it is worth knowing your size and trying some models on before buying.
Finally budget is another factor to think about because there are models at every price point these days. Whether you want a super premium short, or a model with good value, then you can get either dependent on how much you want to spend.
Is it better to wear golf shorts or trousers?
That depends on what you're most comfortable in and how cold or warm it is on the course. If you're playing in a warmer climate, you're probably better off playing in a pair of shorts for added breathability. Trousers can be worn in the summer too, but are definitely more preferrable for autumnal and winter months.
Why do professional golfers never wear shorts?
Professional golfers are allowed to wear shorts during practice rounds or when they're warming up on the golf range before a tournament, but the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour want players to retain a professional image and prevent them from wearing shorts during tournament rounds.
Are cargo shorts acceptable to wear when playing golf?
Cargo shorts are generally not accepted as okay to be worn when playing golf. Neither are denim shorts, gym shorts or swimming shorts.
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A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly.
Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes.
He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.
Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel.
He also oversees all Tour player content as well so if you need to know what clubs Tiger or Rory has in play, Sam is the person to ask.
Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.
Sam's What's In The Bag:
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees)
Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5
Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond