Golf Skirt vs Tennis Skirt: Can They Be Used in Both Sports?
Written by Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He's been an avid golfer for more than 10 years and is obsessed with watching the Golf Channel and taking notes on a daily basis. He also holds a degree in Sports Psychology.

Updated on December 12, 2023

Have you ever wondered what the differences were between a golf skirt and a tennis skirt?

Since these two skirts look so similar, you may be wondering if they can be used in both golf and tennis. We’ll answer this question and also go over the pros and cons of both skirts in the following article.


Main Differences Between a Golf Skirt and Tennis Skirt

Though both types of skirts have some similar practical features, there are a few differences between the two. We go over these differences and expound upon each one in the list below.

1. Length of the Skirt

The main difference between golf skirts and tennis skirts has to do with the overall length of each. As a general rule, golf skirts are a bit longer than tennis skirts. Most golf skirts are between 14 to 20 inches while most tennis skirts are 12 to 15 inches.

What is the reasoning behind the difference in length? It has to do with the fact that golf and tennis are very different sports. Athletes from both sports are in phenomenal shape but they are required to do different types of movements.

For example, tennis requires a ton of different athletic movements like sprinting, jumping, swinging, and pivoting. Golf only requires the swinging of the golf club and a whole lot of walking. Tennis skirts are kept shorter so that they do not impede the athlete’s movement on the tennis court during an intense match.

Another reason for the difference in length is because of the dress code. Most golf courses and organizations (like the PGA Tour) require that golf skirts be at least 14 inches long. Tennis organizations don’t have a specified length as far as skirts are concerned.

2. Number of Pockets

Here is another vast difference between golf skirts and tennis skirts. Most golf skirts come with front pockets and maybe even a back pocket. This makes perfect sense because golfers need a convenient place to keep all of their necessities like golf balls, tees, ball markers, and a scorecard.

On the other hand, tennis skirts either come with only one pocket or none at all. This also makes sense because a tennis player only needs to keep a spare tennis ball on hand. Most of the time, a tennis ball can easily fit in the built-in shorts.

3. Built-In Shorts

Speaking of built-in shorts, that’s another difference between the two skirts. All tennis skirts are made with built-in shorts underneath. This is to keep the player comfortable and to prevent their underwear from showing during a match.

Although most golf skirts also have built-in shorts, there are a few options out there that do not. For either sport, skirts with built-in shorts are usually referred to as skorts. This is kind of a funny word but it describes this article of clothing quite well.

4. Fastenings

Here is another difference that you may or may not have noticed between a golf skirt and a tennis skirt. Golf skirts often have tons of different fastening methods like buttons, snaps, or zippers. Tennis skirts don’t have to be fastened to stay in place.

Along those same lines, tennis skirts never come with belt loops because a belt could cause a player too many restrictions on the tennis court. On the other hand, lots of women’s golf skirts are made with belt loops. This is more for stylish reasons than anything else.

5. Style

Speaking of style, both types of skirts also have their own unique style. Golf skirts are generally more versatile and can be worn off the course since they can easily pass as casual wear. It’s quite convenient to get to go from the golf course to a business meeting without even having to change clothes!

Tennis skirts have a more athletic cut to them and typically aren’t worn off the court. That being said, tennis skirts have come a long way in recent years and now offer more stylish options than in years past.

6. Material

Although both types of skirts often have some combination of spandex, nylon, cotton, and polyester, the mixture of these materials isn’t the same for each skirt. Tennis skirts are made up of more elastic materials since tennis players have to bend and flex more frequently than golfers.

Since tennis is a bit more physically demanding than golf, tennis skirts are often made with more moisture-wicking fabrics. This keeps tennis players from feeling weighed down with excessive sweat. Golf skirts are more likely to be made up of a higher percentage of cotton since perspiration is less of a concern on the golf course, especially in the fall and spring.

You may also notice that tennis skirts are usually much thinner than golf skirts. This is because tennis requires lots of explosive movements and a thicker material would weigh down the player too much. The thinner material of a tennis skirt allows the player to sprint, bend, swing, and flex without any hindrances to their performance on the court.


Pros/Cons of Playing Tennis in a Golf Skirt

Since the two skirts are so similar, can you play tennis in a golf skirt? Absolutely! However, like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to that decision. Let’s review some of them:


  • You’ll have plenty of deep pockets to keep tennis balls, which may be comfortable than tucking them into your built-in shorts
  • You’ll have a bit more privacy since you won’t be showing as much skin as you would with a tennis skirt
  • Golf skirts can often be worn off the course to attend things like business meetings and family functions
  • You’ll be able to stay warmer in the cooler months of the year because of the thicker fabric


  • The extra length may feel too bulky for some of the athletic movements that tennis requires
  • The fabric of a golf skirt may not wick away as much sweat as a tennis skirt so you may not feel as dry and comfortable


Pros/Cons of Playing Golf in a Tennis Skirt

Since we covered the pros and cons of playing tennis in a golf skirt, we also decided to go over the pros and cons of playing golf in a tennis skirt. Here’s the list:


  • The elastic waistband of a tennis skirt will give you a more comfortable fit around the midsection and you won’t need to wear a belt
  • The higher amount of spandex and polyester of a tennis skirt will keep you much drier on the golf course on those hot and humid summer days
  • You won’t have any problems with any of the typical golf movements like swinging and putting


  • If you are playing in an official golf tournament that is ran by a governing body, there may be strict dress codes that prohibit skirts that are too short
  • Along those same lines, some folks may not consider a tennis skirt to be a proper golf outfit
  • You won’t have nearly as many pockets to hold all of your golf accessories like tees, ball markers, and divot tools


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Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He's been an avid golfer for more than 10 years and is obsessed with watching the Golf Channel and taking notes on a daily basis. He also holds a degree in Sports Psychology.