There are a lot of people to tip at the golf course. So who do you tip, how much do you tip them and when do you tip them?
Every golfer, including experienced high-end and private course players, can use a little gratuity guide as a refresher of how much to tip your caddies, beer cart and beverage staff, the bag drop guys, the guys who clean your clubs after the round, the locker room attendant and more.
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How much do you tip a caddie?
You're playing in an event or in a foursome that will have a caddie or a forecaddie. You should tip that person at the end of the round, and you're wondering how much you should offer as a gratuity.
Well, of course, how much to tip a caddie is up to you and the level of service that you get, but you should generally tip a caddie anywhere from $20-$50 per player after the round. You're going to go on the lower end of that scale if you're working with a forecaddie, who is working multiple bags and not giving you the full treatment. A caddie should get closer to that $50 figure.
How much do you tip the locker room attendant?
If you're at a nice club or resort, odds are, there's an actual locker room staff. They keep the place looking great all day, help you with a guest locker, get you towels, clean and repair your shoes and more. If they're helping you, you should tip them. This is a little subjective since you're not really tipping on a service that you paid for already. A good rule of thumb is a $5 tip. Better or more service? $10 is a good gratuity.
How much do you tip the beer cart girl (or guy)?
While you're out on the course, there's a good chance you'll also deal with the beverage staff (colloquially, the cart girl). The minimum you should tip for their service depends on what they're doing. If you're grabbing a soda or some crackers, maybe just add $1 to the purchase or have them keep the change if it's under $5. If you're getting a six-pack or a number of cocktails made on site, treat it like a bar experience and tip 20 percent.
How much do you tip the bag drop guys
Now, how much should you tip the bag drop guys who take your clubs from the curb to the cart or the staging area? You should hand them $2-$5 per bag. That seems reasonable, right? You can do it before the round or after, since these folks are often the same people over the course of your round. Many times, these teams pool their tips and divide them evenly at the end of the day, too. Pay one, pay all in many cases.
And how much should you tip the guys that wipe your clubs down after a round? Another $2-$3 per bag is a good standard.
Remember, a lot of these guys get stiffed from players, so it's not like they're floating in money. You're doing the right thing by tipping them for helping you have a better golf experience. However, some high-end clubs have a no-cash policy on the entire property. That means you don't need to bust out your wallet and tip anyone for anything. It's part of the members' fees to have that experience. So, if an employee is refusing a tip, it's ok.
Just make sure that golf course employees are working hard to give you a great day. Treat them as well as they treat you, and everyone wins.