Collard shirts: the backstory

From my 7/21 posting “Collard shirts”:

Just went past me on Facebook, a funny-mistake posting (which I didn’t immediately save and now can no longer find) in which a dress code for men stipulates that they must wear a collard shirt (for collared shirt — that is, no t-shirts or tank tops allowed).

Ah, but FB keeps doggedly re-posting old stuff, so the original image has come around again:

No, I don’t know which golf course this is from, but that turns out not to be particularly important, because this mis-spelling is quite common in the world of golf club dress codes.

First, notes on golf course dress codes. Then three examples of such codes (from specific golf clubs) that require collard shirts.

Dress Codes. From the blog of Keiser University College of Golf: “Why do Golf Courses Have Dress Codes?”:

Golf has long had a dress code and etiquette that players must adhere to. This has been a way to keep new golfers as well as veterans of the game in line with the traditions of the game. Each course and golf competition has its own rules on dress code.

So, what attire is appropriate for golf courses?

Collared Shirts: Most golf courses mandate that men must wear a collared shirt. Women must wear modest-looking shirts, which can include collared tops.  No t-shirts are allowed.

Trousers or Shorts: Most courses require men to wear trousers when playing. Knee-length shorts are generally allowed as well. However, jeans shirts, jeans or cargo shorts are not permitted. Players should not wear any type of workout or fitness clothing.

Golf Shoes: Golfers must wear either soft spikes or traditional metal spikes to play on the courses. Trainers, running shoes and the like are not appropriate for most golf courses.

Socks: Traditionally, golf courses require socks to match the player’s full attire.

Hats: Golf courses usually only permit baseball caps (clean and not beaten up) or straw hats to be worn by players.

Sightings of collard. Three examples from golf club dress codes, in three different parts of the country. (There are more; these are just the first three I came across.)

— From the dress code of the Edgewater Golf Club near Charlotte SC:

Edgewater Golf Course is dedicated to providing the highest level of service, so that we can guarantee that you can get the best overall experience possible.  We ask that you please maintain an appropriate level of dress while on the course or in the clubhouse.  That includes collard shirts for ladies and gentlemen.  Mock-neck shirts are acceptable apparel as well …

— From the dress code of the Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas City MO:

For Ladies: Sleeveless collard golf shirts or t-shirts must all be in good taste.

— From the dress code of the Pike Run Club & Lounge, in the Laurel Mountains near Donegal PA:

in the clubhouse: Men – Slacks and Bermuda shorts, Collard Shirts, and neat T-shirts, tucked appropiately.


4 Responses to “Collard shirts: the backstory”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Golf courses usually only permit baseball caps (clean and not beaten up) or straw hats to be worn by players.

    This surprises me, as it does not seem to include what is generally called a “golf cap”.

  2. Naomi Helen Yaeger Says:

    Since you are talking about the misspellings … t-shirts should have been a capital T, they are named after the shape of a capital T.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      That’s the history, but history isn’t destiny. T-shirt begat tee-shirt, and that’s abbreviated as t-shirt. Usage varies among users, including educated users (and professional writers) like me, and in my own style sheet (among other things, I am an actual authority on grammar, style, and usage, and I have a personal style sheet), I generally opt for lowercasing, including in alphabetic abbreviations like tv and cd. So my t-shirt usage is a matter of deliberate choice, not ignorant error.

  3. Heddwen Newton Says:

    Hi Arnold, this post was featured in my newsletter on World Englishes and English language change.

    As a Brit, I had to look up “collard”; to me it just looked like a really weird typo! But now I know more about American vegetables, so thank you 🙂

    Here’s the link to the newsletter:

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