Private Courses


Seeing what are the do’s and don’ts when playing at private courses. Questions I have are: if your pro can get you on, when should he/she call to reserve you a time and date? Other ways to get on private courses. Should I take a caddie or cart? How much to tip? Along the lines of that


Tip enough, get the pro to call early as possible, and just do whatever everyone else is doing for caddie and cart


Agreed with the above, have your pro call as early as possible and definitely take a caddy if available. Assuming you’re playing for free ( are you a PGA guy?) be sure to tip the locker room attendant and bag guys (anywhere between $5-$20 I think is fine if your round is free - if you have to pay, $5-$10 tip is fine) - try to have lunch in the clubhouse as well - don’t change your shoes in the parking lot - send a follow up thank you letter to the member/ pro who had you out within a week


I’m not a club member but play a decent amount of golf. I only occasionally play private courses at home with an invite from a member (typically my brother-in-law or another friend). The only time I’ve ever made an effort to get on a private course on my own was in South Africa. I simply called up a nice private course not too far my hotel and asked if they allowed “visitor play”. I really didn’t know what to expect but figured I had nothing to lose. I called up Glendower Country Club (host to some South Africa Opens) and talked to the pro shop. It sounded like they were amenable and they took my information and said they’d call me back. When I didn’t hear from them I decided to just show up. I’m glad I did, I had forgotten to tell them I had an American cell phone so they couldn’t get me. The club couldn’t have been more accommodating and charged me a very reasonable green fee. If I remember it was less than $40 US dollars!

In any case, they paired me up with a member and his son who were heading out for a two ball. I had an absolute blast playing with them and they enjoyed showing me the course and I enjoyed a drink in the clubhouse afterwards with them. A great experience and a great memory.


Digging this thread back up for some hopeful tips/advice:

I got an invite for a true bucket list round a month from now. I have not yet met our host, but will be playing with him, a friend who is my connection, plus a colleague of said host who’s a member at another bucket list course in the area. Obviously you can see where my mind goes down the road…

I’ve played private clubs and know most of the basic do’s / dont’s of being a guest of a member, but never been in the same situation at an uber-elite place. Should it be much different, or should I just treat it like any other invite I’ve had? I’m really looking forward to the experience and the course itself, but also want to make sure I can give myself the chance for a follow up invite


I’ve been lucky enough to play a handful of some of the really elite courses in the country. From experience, there is nothing crazy you should or shouldn’t do. Just enjoy, and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at your home club. Everyone is there to enjoy themselves, so be yourself and have fun within the standard etiquette of the game. Maybe don’t wear your John Daly pants tho


Can’t believe you’re all being so mean and not telling him the secrets. This is supposed to be a brotherhood of info!

So, in order to help you fit in at a super fancy private club, and for one time only, here is a complete list of special high end etiquette (and if anyone asks I didn’t tell you this):

At the gate you need to say you’re there to play with Archibald Turpin, regardless of who you’re actually playing with. Then shout the club motto loudly. Careful if it’s Latin as it can be tricky.

In the carpark take your pants off in the car but carry your shoes into the changing room to put them on. Never change shoes or wear pants in the carpark. Colourful underwear is encouraged.

Always walk backwards from the carpark to the clubhouse. Only poor people walk in the direction they’re headed.

Always tip your cap to members but always use your left hand. Using your right hand is pretty much saying hello with the hand you use to wipe your ass. Nobody likes that.

On the first tee guests should always use a wedge. It’s bad form to wallop a drive even if it’s a par 5 with a 225 yard carry. Just take your medicine and move on.

After you putt out roll your left leg up to the knee and don’t roll it down til the next tee box. Nothing screams newbie like the newbie with same length pant legs.

Never speak to a member unless you’re spoken to and if spoken to never speak with a Mexican accent. Even if you’re Mexican. If you’re black, only talk jive. These people don’t like change. Confused old white people have the police on speed dial and cause chaos.

That’s it.



I use my left, so tip with right? Now very nervous, may not even show up!!!


I’d take one for the team and use left. The threat of arse hand discovery is marginally less than the fallout after exposing yourself as a left handed golfer.

You know who else was left handed? Karl Marx, Liberals and Benedict Arnold.

Do they make a left handed AR-15? Exactly.