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June 20, 2024 4 min read

Alright, golf enthusiasts, buckle up for a wild ride through the vibrant history of golf gloves. These essential accessories haven't always been par for the course. Their journey from practical beginnings to colorful icons is a tale worth telling!

The Legend of the Glove

Let's kick things off with a quirky legend. Picture this: a British gentleman playing golf with a club in one hand and a cigar in the other. To protect his precious hand from wear and tear, he slipped on a leather glove. It worked so well that he kept using it, and voilà - the golf glove was born.

The rest, as they say, is history. We don't know if this story is true, but we like it!

The Humble Beginnings

King James IV brings golf gloves to new glory

Our belief what happened between James IV of Scotland & Margaret Tudor about Golf. Unaltered photo by lisby1 (CC BY)

Golf has been around for centuries, with its popularity causing quite a stir even in the 15th century. In 1457, King James II banned the game because he thought it was taking people's attention away from their military training. (Think about that happening nowadays for a second!!! 🤯)

Thankfully, his descendant, King James IV of Scotland, saw the game's value and royally approved it in 1502. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and golf had grown in popularity, with Dr. Benjamin Rush proclaiming its health benefits in the late 18th century.


Golf Glove patent by The Rawlings Company 1885 displayed at Dirbie Golf

Rawlings Company original patent by National Archives Catalog

The first golf glove? Well, there isn't a specific inventor or exact date we know of. But by the 1880s, golf gloves were marketed to protect golfers' hands from rough club grips. The Rawlings Company patented a baseball glove in 1885, which they also successfully marketed to golfers.

Gaining Popularity

By the turn of the century, golf gloves were being advertised in popular magazines like Vanity Fair and Golf Illustrated. These savvy ads highlighted the benefits of wearing gloves, showcasing their grip and hand protection advantages.

Edith Cummings, a premier amateur golfer with a glove, about 1925

Edith Cummings ca. 1925, the real life inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's character Jordan Baker, an amateur golfer with a sarcastic streak and an aloof attitude in "The Great Gatsby" Photo via Wikipedia 

Despite the marketing efforts, the golf glove didn't take off immediately as the best golfers around the 1920s – Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen or Gene Sarazen – still played without gloves. And if gloves were used at that time, they didn’t necessarily look like what you might be used to.  In F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby," one of the characters, a golfer, dandles a fingerless glove on her knee.

Sam Snead popularizing the golf glove

Original photo by TheGolfDivoTee™ on X

It wasn't until the 1940s that it gained traction, thanks to legends like “Slammin’ Sam” - Sam Snead. In 1942, Snead, recognized for his playful antics on the course, made history as the first professional tournament champion to rock a golf glove. And boy, did the average golfer seeing pros use them change the game.

The Influence of Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer, another one of golf's all-time greats, played a huge role in popularizing golf gloves even more. His charismatic style and massive influence brought golf into the mainstream, and with it, the use of gloves. 

Palmer’s influence was so powerful that even his golf gloves became celebrities, with Etonic riding the wave of his charm from the 1960s to the 1990s. With Palmer's name or the iconic Umrella on them, those golf gloves became the must-have accessory, second only to a cold glass of iced tea and lemonade.

Arnold Palmer getting interviewed about his Golf Glove in 1961

Arnold Palmer interviewed by Kieth Morris of Sports Illustrated prior to the U.S. Open 1961 as defending champ. Original photo is a screenshot from the Interview by DPLA

He was so influential that golfers still mimic his habit of removing the golf glove for putting. Feeling caught out, aren't you?

The Rise of Modern Glove Technology

As technology advanced, so did golf gloves. By the 1980s and 1990s, the big players in Golf equipment were innovating with synthetic materials, enhancing grip performance and moisture control. These improvements made golf gloves more comfortable and effective, cementing their place in the game. By 2010, 85% of average golfers and 95% of all professionals were wearing gloves.

Why White?

Ever wondered why golf gloves were traditionally white? It's not because golfers are laundry enthusiasts. There are a few theories – from white being cooler in the sun to symbolizing the sport's elitist roots. Nowadays, white gloves are seen as a classic, almost nostalgic nod to golf's history.

Enter the Funk

Fast forward to today, and the golf glove has had a serious makeover. While white gloves still have their charm, a new wave of colorful, funky designs has hit the greens. Brands like Dirbie are leading the charge, bringing personality and flair to your game.

Why blend in when you can stand out? These vibrant golf gloves not only look good but also offer the same high-quality performance, thanks to materials like premium Cabretta leather.

The Modern Golfer

Today's golfers aren't just about tradition; they're about making the game their own. This new generation values the game's rich history but isn't afraid to inject some personal style into it. With colorful golf gloves, golfers can express themselves and add a bit of fun to their game. Plus, let's be honest, a funky glove makes it easier to spot your hand in a sea of white gloves at the clubhouse!

Time for a Change

Remember, even the best golf gloves need to be replaced after a while, especially if you're hitting the greens regularly. But don't see it as a chore; see it as an opportunity to switch up your style. With so many colors and designs available, you can have a different look for every season!

Complete the Look

And it doesn't stop at gloves. At Dirbie, we've got all the accessories to match your funky gloves, from tees and towels to head covers. So why settle for boring when you can go bold?


Golf gloves have come a long way from their practical beginnings to becoming a statement piece on the course. Embrace the evolution and let your personality shine through with every swing. Happy golfing!




For more about our colorful golf gloves and matching accessories, visit Dirbie's collection and get ready to add some funk to your game!