Should You Wear A Watch When Playing Golf?

Some of us feel the need to wear our watches everywhere, including when playing sports such as golf. But is this a great idea? Should you wear a watch when playing golf?

You can wear a watch to play golf. The watch should have a smooth surface and waterproof strap, so it doesn’t trap sweat and grime. A quartz watch is preferred since it can handle shocks from golf swings better than automatic watches. The watch should be thin to reduce interference with gloves.


However, there are more reasons to consider before deciding if you want to wear a watch when playing golf. We discussed them below and looked at some great golfing watches at various budget levels. 

ALSO READ: Should You Wear A Watch To Play Tennis?

Why Do Golfers Wear a Watch When Playing Golf?

Golfers might wear a watch when playing golf as they feel comfortable with it. Some still see the need to tell time while on the course and that since professionals wear it while playing, they might as well follow. Some use a watch to help keep score as well.

You Still Need To Tell Time

Often, you have a big blue sky, green grass… and no clock when on the course. When you are on the course, you also often do not carry your phone with you so that you can concentrate and not be distracted by phone calls and messages. 

This means you will need a way to tell time, and the best way to do this is to wear a watch when playing golf. Just a flick of your wrist, tell the time and get back to the game. 

Compare this to walking back to your buggy and pulling out your phone just to tell time. 

Helps To Keep Score

Certain watches, such as Scoreband, help keep scores, and some golfers wear them for precisely this purpose. 

Scoreband tells time and can be programmed to keep scores for many sports. It has a specific mode to keep scores for golf and tennis, so golfers tend to find it more usable. Scoreband also tells time on top of that.

It also has a complete silicone construction with a smooth surface, meaning it is sweatproof and less likely to pick up grime. As a result, Scorebands are easy to clean. 


Some people are so used to wearing a watch they feel ‘naked and cold’ on their wrist without one. Some are also used to having some ‘weight’ on their wrist. They feel odd on their wrist without a watch. 

So they wear their watches everywhere, they also wear a watch when playing golf.

There is nothing wrong with this since comfort is a major factor influencing a golfer’s game. Wrong shoes, wrong gloves, and whether the golfer wears a watch can result in a bad game. 

Professionals Wear It

Search online, and you will notice many professional golfers wear a watch when competing for major championships. Here is one example from Phil Mickelson.

One thing to note here is that golfers sometimes get sponsored to wear luxury watches by watch companies as a way to advertise indirectly. So we might never know these pro golfers’ actual preferences for watching while playing golf. 

But since professional golfers do not see an issue to wear a watch when playing golf, we could apply their logic and do the same when we hit the green. 

Why Do Golfers Not Wear A Watch When Playing Golf?

Some golfers do not wear a watch when playing golf as watches may interfere with their gloves and influence their swing. Some also worry about scratches and dirtying their watch with sweat and grime. Golf swings can also send a lot of shocks to the watch, affecting its accuracy.


When swinging your golf clubs, you might go up to 130mph and generate a force of up to 4000 pounds when the golf club hits the ball. 

Some of this energy eventually transfers over to your hands and wrist and sends some shock to your wrist. 

Automatic watches are particularly sensitive to shocks. They are regulated by balance wheels and springs as fine as a hair. Shocks can disrupt the balance and rotation of the spring, causing the watch to lose accuracy. 

Some golfers decide not to wear a watch when playing golf to protect their watch. If they still wear one, chances are it might be a beater watch.

Scratches and Nicks

Scratches and nicks can happen to your watch when playing golf, as the watch is worn on the wrist and may contact the upper end of your golf club and your gloves. 

For example, the push pins on golfing gloves have scratched many bracelets. Golfers also may scratch their watches when reaching out to the golf clubs or while driving the buggy cart.

Some golfers do not seem to mind hitting the greens with their Rolexes, but to some, they rather have a naked wrist instead. 

Sweat & Grime

When playing golf, you are constantly walking about, under the sun the whole day. You will be sweating. If you put on sunscreen, your skin will be sticky as well.

If you wear a watch when playing golf, the watch might absorb some of the sweat and trap some of the grimes. Leather or cloth-based straps absorb sweat and become smelly over time. Metal bracelets with intricate folds and holes trap grime, which requires some effort to scrub and remove. 

Some golfers prefer to not deal with the problem of having to change straps or clean their watch, so they rather go naked on the wrist instead. 

Interferes with gloves

Some golfers see that watches may interfere with their gloves, which might influence their swing. 

This might sound far-fetched, but golf swings are something that is hard to get consistent. So golfers try their best to minimize variables that could affect their swings. 

Thick watches such as a dive watch may push the gloves instead of sliding under them. This may affect the grip and comfort of the golfer and result in their golf swing not being as good as they wanted it. 

Some golfers just choose not to wear a watch to minimize this problem.

What Makes A Good Golf Watch?

A good watch to wear when playing golf should be quartz, as they handle shocks better than automatic watches. It should have a smooth and waterproof case and strap to avoid sweat and grime. The watch should also be thin to reduce interference with gloves.


If you want to wear a watch when playing golf, wear a quartz watch. Quartz movement would be better since golf swings can generate a large force and shock your watch. 

Quartz watches have fewer mechanical parts than automatic watches, and it also runs electronically. This means quartz movements are less susceptible to shocks. 

Mechanical watches run on finely balanced and tuned springs and wheels, which may lose their timekeeping accuracy if constantly shocked with physical force. 

Smooth surface

A great golf watch also has a smooth surface to avoid picking up dirt and grime. Smooth surfaces also reduce the likelihood of the watch collecting nicks since there is less likelihood of it knocking on something. 

This means if you want to wear a watch when playing golf, avoid watches with excessive folds and crevices, such as some models of G-Shocks.

Smooth, Waterproof straps

Since golfers are usually under the sun, they might be sweating. Add that up with sunscreen, and you get sticky skin as well. 

Watch straps made of cloth or leather might absorb these sweats and, over time, become discolored and smelly. Due to their design, metal bracelets usually have a lot of holes and folds that may collect some of the sweat and sunscreen and become grimy. 

Perhaps a smoother, waterproof strap such as resin, silicone, or rubber might do better for golfers. You might also consider a velcro strap, but you might feel itchy when sweating.

Thin And Small

Thin and small watches would interfere less with the golfer’s glove and affect your swing. 

The reason is simple – since the watch is more likely to slide under the glove when swinging, it will not push on the glove. It will not influence the positioning and grip of the glove. This allows you to have a more consistent swing and, hopefully, a better game. 

This means if you want to wear a watch when playing golf, leave those thick and chunky watches such as dive watches or large chronographs at home.

How To Wear A Watch When Playing Golf?

The best way to wear a watch when playing golf is to wear it tighter instead of loose, and the watch should be best worn on the non-dominant hand.

Wear Your Watch Tight

If you want to wear a watch when playing golf, wear it tight. It helps keep the watch steady on your wrist as you take your swing. When you are taking your golf shots, your hands are straight down. 

This means gravity is actively pulling your watch downwards as you take your aim, and if your watch is not tight enough, it may slide down and interfere with your swing. 

However, it might not be a good idea to wear your watch too tight since it may limit your wrist movement and restrict blood flow to your hands.

The golden rule for watch tightness is once the watch is worn, you can still push your index finger between your wrist and the strap with some effort. That is a sign that you are wearing your watch tight enough.

ALSO READ: How Tight Should You Wear Your Watch?

Wear On Your Non-Power Hand

If you prefer to wear a watch when playing golf, consider to wear it on your non-power hand.

When taking a golf swing, the hand that powers the swing is the power hand, while the non-power hand usually guides the club to hit the ball at the correct position. If you are right arm dominant, you are likely to use your right hand as the power hand and vice versa. 

This means if you wear your watch on your non-power hand, you will protect your watch better. Force will be exerted from your power hand, meaning the majority of the swing and perhaps shock will go there. 

ALSO READ: On Which Hand Should You Read Your Watch?

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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