To Tip or Not to Tip at the Golf Course?

Experienced golfers know quite welland beginners learn very soon – that tipping is an obligatory practice and a sign of good course etiquette while visiting private country club golf courses.

What many golfers may not be sure about is the amount to tip for services rendered. Here are some general pointers concerning tipping at a country club golf course:

  • Quality of service determines the amount of tip to a large extent. The better the service the higher the tip.
  • The cost of greens fees also influences tips. Tips in a club where a round costs $150 will be higher than in a club with a $50 greens fee.
  • In case you play by invitation or as a member of a foursome in corporate round and did not pay an official fee, tips are still implied. It is unfortunate that not everybody offers tips even when they should, as many golf course employees work for tips. Some players will rush to the clubhouse, for example, and leave their golf-car so as not to come into contact with service staff who meet them after the round and take bags from cars, golf shoes for cleaning, etc.

It is not common to tip on all golf courses. Inquire about best practices in the particular club in which you will play golf: in some golf resorts, tips are forbidden.

A few instances where tips are not expected:

  • Tips are not a common practice on public links or on municipal courses. On most of these courses, there are neither manned bag drop areas nor employees to meet you after your round.
  • If you play a golf course where there are no special dress code rules, tips are probably out of place.

If you plan to visit a golf course where all potential tip receivers are present you must be ready to spend quite a sum on gratitude.

Valet Parking

It’s a rare service but some golf resorts and high-end clubs provide valet service to their guests. The amount of tip is similar to the same service you receive at restaurants and hotels…approximately $3.

Bag Drop

Comparable to a porter in a hotel or baggage personnel at the airport. These folks help you to get your bag out of the car upon arriving at the club and put the bags on the golf cart. A common tip is $2-3 per bag or $5 (give or take). Sometimes bag drop employees will also clean your shoes after a round: $5-10 dollars for a pair of polished shoes is standard.


It isn’t necessary to give a tip to the starter unless he provided a specific type of service to you. The common duty of starters is to check you in on the first tee and tell you when it is your turn to take your place on the tee box. It is quite another matter when you come to the course without having booked a tee time and the starter quickly fits you into the schedule. If you stay at a golf resort, talk over preferred tee times with the starter at once. Such a service deserves a good tip.

Cart return

Approximately $2 for each golf bag carried and about $5 if your clubs are cleaned


Not all golfers prefer to use caddies, and so you can always save your money by using Mobitee, which will calculate your scores automatically and even advise you the best club for a shot. If you are made to use a caddie, be ready to tip an experienced one $20 and up. Some golf clubs will set the amount that a caddie receives in advance but, more experienced caddies should receive about $40 and rookies receive about $30. It isn’t necessary to tip a caddie master unless you asked him to do you a favor, e.g. you were on vacation and he provided you with a set of golf clubs.

Golf Caddies in Thailand


Forecaddies are caddies which are assigned to a group of players. They don’t carry your bags but do carry/clean your putter, track your shots and guide you through the golf course. Standard amount of tip for a forecaddie is $50-100 for a foursome.

Beverage Cart Driver

The minimum amount to tip the Beverage Cart Driver is $1 and the most common tip is 25% of your purchase whether or not the drinks and snacks are free.

You should remember that tipping employees is not a must but it is your appreciation of level of service provided. This golf blog is just a guide. The best way to know best practices of a club is to call ahead and ask about their policy concerning tips.

Nevertheless a good tipper is always appreciated.

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