If the cart boy really spends a lot of time cleaning your clubs, you should reward him for his efforts. (Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor) If they're double-teaming your cart after the round, chances are that the cart boys pool their tips.  (Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor) If you take a caddie and don't know how much to tip, ask the pro or even caddie master. (Tom Bedell/GolfAdvisor) Caddie tipping can vary greatly depending on club policies and which country.  (Brandon Tucker)

Here's a tip on tipping at the golf course: When in doubt, be generous



So you've finished your round, and there they are: Those poor cart boys or gals, lying in wait, ready to intercept you and your clubs before you can make it to the parking lot (if you're even allowed to drive your cart out there). They're armed with dirty, wet towels, anxious to wipe off your clubs and deliver them to the bag drop.

Your biggest concern: How much do I have to tip these guys?

At some private clubs, believe it or not, nothing (those clubs typically don't take cash anywhere). It's part of the service, and some have no-tipping policies. At most clubs -- and especially resorts and high-end daily fees -- you need to be ready with some small bills. But just how many small bills?

To be safe, $3 to $5 per bag should do the trick. Heck, even $5 per cart really isn't bad. If you do the math -- that's $10 per foursome -- and considering how many carts go out on the course, I'm sure the cart staff would be happy if they averaged that much per bag.

But they don't. Incredibly, they do get stiffed, and more often than you think. I asked a couple of cart boys how often this happens. Their answer: At least half the time. Often one player looks to the other to take care of it, and none of them do. Or worse yet, they just don't know or care.

But you might also want to pay attention to how much work they do in cleaning your clubs. If it's just a cursory wipe here and there, I might tip $2 or $3. If they really do clean your clubs, thoroughly, certainly a little more.

Here's some other golf-course tipping questions that are a little more complicated.

Do I tip at bag drop and at the end, or just once?

Often, the person who takes your clubs at bag drop also takes care of bags at the end of the round, so you're probably okay just tipping at the end. At some courses, tips are actually pooled, so taking care of them once is okay there, too. There are certainly exceptions, though.

If you're dropping off an entire group or two, you should probably take care of them in the beginning and at the end, especially if they're running your bags to the golf carts as well.

How much and how often should I tip the drink-cart girls?

Yes, notice I didn't say cart person here. It's rare that person running around the golf course isn't a woman, and often they're fairly attractive.

I'm sure I don't have to tell the readers here that's by design. No doubt, attractive cart girls -- working a golf course with mostly middle-aged men -- sell more drinks and beer than the ho-hum kind do. And guess what? They also do better in the tip department.

One particular "cart girl of the month" told me on more than one occasion she received tips approaching the C-note. What exactly those customers expect is still a mystery to me, but I have little doubt they wouldn't have been so generous with a 60-year-old man peddling snacks and drinks on the course.

So what’s appropriate? That all depends on what you’re ordering and how much work they have to do for you. If they’re mixing four Bloody Marys, for example, that’s a lot different than just grabbing a bottle of pop. Generally, you can figure it like you would if you were at a restaurant. Putting together a six-pack of beer for you in a cooler might cost you $25, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to go 20 percent, which is $5. On the other hand, if you’re getting a soda and ask for a cup of ice to go with it, you should probably throw in an extra buck, or if it’s $2.25, at least give her $3 and let her keep the change. It’s really common sense.

How much should I tip a caddie?

This is a dilemma most golfers face when they take a caddie or forecaddie for the first time and, quite honestly, even the 20th time. I always ask the head pro or director of golf or maybe the caddie master what's customary at that club or facility, because they do tend to differ from place to place. At Kiawah Island, for example, caddies are "included" in the Ocean Course green fee, but they suggest a $100 tip on top of it.

Who you don't want to ask is one of the caddies. You put them in an uncomfortable position, and it's been my experience that their input tends to be on the higher side. (Can you blame them?) I am, however, related to a caddie, so it is interesting to hear what he considers average-to-good tipping. By and large, caddies are kind of like servers at restaurants. The caddie fee barely covers their expenses - they make their living on tips - so keep that in mind. If they work hard for me (even if some of the reads aren't correct), I'll throw in an extra $10 or $20 off whatever the pro recommends as customary.

So what is typically customary tip on top of the fee? For a forecaddie, about $20 to $25 per player. For a caddie toting just your bag -- around $40 to $50 -- a little less for a double bag because the other player should be tipping said caddie, too. But if you want to be safe, don't be afraid to ask the head pro or director of golf. You can ask the caddie master, too, but I prefer to ask a pro. They're a little more objective.

Some other tipping tips

At some courses, valeting your car is either complimentary or required or both. I think a couple of bucks here is plenty for retrieving your car, especially if you're forced to valet. Certainly, though, if you feel like giving them $5, that's not excessive, and at many facilities, those tips are supposed to be pooled.

Another tipping opportunity occurs in the locker room. I've heard stories of prominent tour pros who have no clue in this department, but if there's a locker room attendant, and he's really working for you, $5 would certainly be appropriate. The same goes for a shoe service. If they change your spikes, clean and polish your shoes, $5 should be the minimum; $10 is certainly not out of the question.

Sep 30, 2014



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Brook's avatar
Brook wrote at 2018-06-07 05:48:43+00:00:

Great article. It’s hard to find discussion like this and it’s a really interesting read. I think it’s possible to extrapolate this guidance from this article to different courses in different countries, cultures etc

Only the very best courses in the UK can even offer a caddie, and almost none have valets, cart boys, drinks carts or anything like that, so tipping in these scenarios doesn’t come up. I’m happy to tip for a good job done, despite growing up and living in a non tipping culture, because if there’s someone there willing to make your day just that little bit easier and work for it, I’ll hive them something for it.

Attitude is everything. I hate it in the US that every barman expects a tip to the point that they’ll rudely ask for it, but on the other hand if someone, anyone brightens up my day a bit I’ll tip them generously. It’s nice to think though that you don’t have to and it’s your choice.

As for caddies, I think they should be netting £120 for a round, because it’s a skilled job that requires this level of income.

Tony Murray's avatar
Tony Murray wrote at 2018-05-26 05:23:59+00:00:

I am a Military Pensioner I have to put aside for a round of golf to think that to enjoy a game I have to Fork out another $100 to tip people makes the mind boggle I can clean my own clubs at 79 yrs old

deanford's avatar
deanford wrote at 2018-05-25 22:15:09+00:00:

I play a muni course. Always have. My first game (I was in 8th grade) my dad thought I was ready to be allowed n the course. He pointed out the gentleman in the little shack by the first tee. "Son, that's the starter. Take this dollar and give it to him and thank him for letting us play today." I always take care of the starter .... I never have a problem getting a tee time any time......

RayLo's avatar
RayLo wrote at 2018-05-25 19:16:38+00:00:

I used to be a caddie in the 1950's and 60's at a posh NY private club.

$3 per bag back then!

So if you carried doubles (2 bags) and each player tipped you a buck, you made $8 for four hours work. And it was work! But you felt rich!

Today is sounds like everyone has their hand out for not a whole lot of work.

The tips in some cases could be more than the greens fee.

Cost of doing biz I guess but it seems like people are carving you up quite a bit just so you can get 18 holes in.

Tipping has gotten out of hand.

You're at a bar after the round with your buddies and you order four beers. The bartender turns around and gets four bottles out of the cooler, or maybe draws a draft or two right in front of you. The whole thing takes a minute or less.

And she/he expects a 20% tip?

Isn't that the bartender's job?

Maybe business owners need to pay their help a decent wage in the first place.

the great the grand the also ran's avatar
the great the grand the also ran wrote at 2018-05-24 17:56:10+00:00:

most caddies can and do read greens way better than their players at resorts. some caddies at pebble say

work every day of the year. like any kind of work though there are people who want to tell doctors, lawyers,

and indian chiefs how to do their job. a golfer who is getting a comped round at a high end course and plays 5 or 6 times

a year tries to tell a caddie that the reads are no good is just another sad sack.

TimGavrichGA's avatar
TimGavrichGA wrote at 2018-05-24 16:37:50+00:00:

A couple thoughts re: the attitude against tipping anyone, period:

- The type of golf course where the outside ops staff put your clubs on a cart and take them off the cart at the end, let alone clean them, is going to be a minimum $30 course in most cases (and probably more like $50 or $60). Plunking down $30 to play golf and feeling as though an extra $1 or $2 to the bag guys at the end of the round is an unacceptable hardship seems really, really stingy and petty to me. Never mind going to a resort course, paying $100+ and not even handing the cart guys $2-$5 at the end. This is not a matter of economic principle - **it's basic human decency**. Period.

- Re: caddies, this is one place where an industry standard practice would help out a lot. Different courses and resorts do things differently because their relationships to their caddies are different. Sometimes, caddies are straight-up independent contractors; sometimes they're employed by a company like Caddiemaster, and sometimes they're employed by the facility. Learning about the relationship at the place you're playing will help guide you re: compensating your caddie or forecaddie.

- Forecaddie can seem like a cushy job not worthy of the same compensation as a walking caddie, but I'd argue that it's tougher and less fun, because a) the forecaddie is working for an entire foursome rather than one or two players, and b) the running around that this requires can be more taxing than just sticking with one player or two. A forecaddie for a foursome should make about as much as a walking caddie carrying two bags. These days, I'd say $75 is a good minimum per bag for a double-bagger (give or take, depending on geography/cost-of-living around the course), so a forecaddie working for a foursome should get $150 at round's end.

Fred Closs's avatar
Fred Closs wrote at 2018-05-24 14:36:58+00:00:

I can, and do often, carry my clubs to and from the car Second, I drink water on the course. The point is anjyone standing there thinking they deserve a tip because, "they are there to service me", is going to be sorely disappointed. Also, if you wants drinks, get them at the start of each nine hole segmant. Beverage carts carts are a noisy and intrusive interruption that golf can do without.

MrPaul's avatar
MrPaul wrote at 2018-05-24 15:59:10+00:00:

Fred,

I'm sorry to hear you always golf without friends and never go on a golf trip to have a good time. Golf is not supposed to be a lonely game.

Matt's avatar
Matt wrote at 2018-05-24 16:12:48+00:00:

I agree with you Fred. I too decline these services, but I also agree with the article in that if one is going to have their clubs cleaned or buy something from a cart person that a good tip is in order as these workers do depend on tips for an income.

TK's avatar
TK wrote at 2018-05-25 17:06:07+00:00:

Really Fred? How sad.

MrPaul's avatar
MrPaul wrote at 2018-05-24 13:59:00+00:00:

Gentlemen Only Losers Forbidden. Give a good days wage for a good job done. Caddies and cart/bag are service workers and live off of tips. Reward well with respect or stay home and get out of the way.

Geneski's avatar
Geneski wrote at 2018-05-24 12:45:12+00:00:

What is appropriate tip at the resort where the “caddy” doesn’t carry your clubs and the cart and caddy are mandatory?

MikeBaileyGA's avatar
MikeBaileyGA Staff wrote at 2018-05-24 16:38:38+00:00:

Those are forecaddies... Depends on the facility; starting at $25-$30 a person (if there are four players) is customary.

William's avatar
William wrote at 2018-05-24 12:20:33+00:00:

I don't mind tipping, I've always wondered exactly when and were. (talking an average course of lets say $50-$75 GF)Do I tip the guy that takes my clubs, the guy that cleans my clubs, or the guy that puts them in my car, or do I give one tip to the starter for all? What I usually do is give the club from car to cart guy $2, the cleaner $2 and the cart to car guy $1-$2. Which is, from what I read here the customary $5 tip. Problem is, now I feel like the guys think I'm cheap only giving $2, when I've actually given $6. P.S. This is the first time I've heard of tipping a starter, is this appropriate?

john gilbert's avatar
john gilbert wrote at 2018-05-24 11:37:28+00:00:

What a lot of nonsense. I never ever use caddies Try to pull yourself together and get on with the game and enjoy.

the great the grand the also ran's avatar
the great the grand the also ran wrote at 2018-05-24 17:59:56+00:00:

how is using a caddie a lack of enjoyment?

Steve's avatar
Steve wrote at 2018-05-24 10:39:07+00:00:

I read your tipping advise.....no wonder golf is so expensive! I read recently that golf courses are having a rough time and many are losing money and the reasons are.....it takes too long to play.........it is a difficult game to learn......and it is expensive. I tip when I am away from home but on my home course my dues, trail fees and automatic 20% add on at the restaurant are enough where I don,t feel guilty.

Bob's avatar
Bob wrote at 2018-05-25 20:04:54+00:00:

if you own a yacht, don't complain about the price of gas. You can afford it. If you belong to a country club, you can afford to tip.

Paul's avatar
Paul wrote at 2018-05-24 03:16:51+00:00:

I read all the comments below. I live in Canada, where it's somewhat more egalitarian. This tipping thing is mainly a US phenomenon. I play a lot of nice courses, most public or semi-private. Even most private courses in Canada, except the most exclusive, don't even have caddies. When I play golf, it's for the golf. I clean my own clubs and get my own clubs out of and into the trunk. I literally run for the guys with the dirty rags waiting to clean my clubs. I tip low wage earners who do a service for me that I asked for. If I didn't ask, then don't expect a tip. Ask me if I want my clubs carried or cleaned. I'd love to have a caddie once in a while, maybe on a once-in-lifetime course, where local knowledge matters. Or in a tournament. I'd like to see a caddie ranking system, based on experience and player feedback; then set a price for the caddie, no tip, just a fair fee for service. If you don't want to pay, either don't play there or take a caddie who might not be great at clubbing you or steering you around the course. Figuring out all this tipping just ruins the experience and makes me want to avoid a course like that. Ontario just raised minimum wage to $14/hour, soon to be $15, better than most places in the US. If that means higher green fees, so be it. The problem is low wages. Maybe people without pockets full of bills ready to be peeled of for everyone who makes contact just aren't welcome at such courses. That would be me.

Greg's avatar
Greg wrote at 2018-05-24 04:10:58+00:00:

And that is, as the joke goes, the difference between a canoe and a Canuck..........................

.....................A canoe tips.

the great the grand the also ran's avatar
the great the grand the also ran wrote at 2018-05-24 18:03:49+00:00:

very hard to decide ahead of time who is or isn't a good caddie. caddies get tipped almost entirely based

on the generosity or lack of by the player. if you can't afford a service don't use it.

Paul's avatar
Paul wrote at 2018-05-24 22:52:57+00:00:

I'm suggesting no tipping, just a set price for the quality of caddie you are willing to pay for. Or none at all if not required by the course. Ranking caddies was common practice when I grew up. The pro knew who was whom from feedback and knowledge of the caddies. There was no caddie master back then. There's no caddies at all now. Kids should be encouraged to caddie after school or on weekends these days.

Elizabeth's avatar
Elizabeth wrote at 2018-05-24 02:22:53+00:00:

Let’s be clear on this statement “At Kiawah Island, for example, caddies are "included" in the Ocean Course green fee, but they suggest a $100 tip on top of it.” That “included “ portion in the green fee amounts to barely over $10/round to the caddy which is why there is a suggested tip amount. Remember a caddie likely spends over 5 hours all in with a player on any given day!

Kevin's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2018-05-24 01:43:01+00:00:

Nothing irritates me more than the cursory wipe down of my clubs and the assumption of a tip. If you really clean them with soap and water and brush the grooves the way I do it i am glad to tip, but otherwise forget about it.

Jared Dehn's avatar
Jared Dehn wrote at 2018-05-24 02:22:10+00:00:

Lol no one is going to wash your clubs with soap and no cart guy is going to carry a brush to clean your grooves! You are part of the problem. You prolly don’t tip when you go out to eat as well.

Fred Closs's avatar
Fred Closs wrote at 2018-05-24 14:45:10+00:00:

Keep laughing, if the club cleaner doesn't as good a job as the patron, the patron should not be forced to allow the employee to do anything and, is not obliged tip, unless he allows the employee to wipe HIS/HER clubs. Tipping is to reward for performance of a task that patrons don't want to do themsleves. This is why tipping at a restaurant is normal because we choose to let some else do the work of preparing and delivering the meal to us.

Bernie's avatar
Bernie wrote at 2018-05-24 00:53:47+00:00:

When running a golf tournament of approx 180 golfers, what would be the appropriate tip for the course pro?

the great the grand the also ran's avatar
the great the grand the also ran wrote at 2018-05-24 18:06:47+00:00:

nothing

David Resquer's avatar
David Resquer wrote at 2018-05-24 00:11:23+00:00:

I never heard anybody talk about the tipping for the people who gotta clean the carts after you return them

Mike Phillips's avatar
Mike Phillips wrote at 2018-05-24 16:44:08+00:00:

Good topic...if you make a mess, clean up the mess you made! Not surprising that a good number of cart using slobs leave all their crap in the carts for someone else to clean up, the same kind that of slobs that have no respect for the care of the course they “play”!

Mark Lawrence's avatar
Mark Lawrence wrote at 2018-05-23 23:51:06+00:00:

Why not just pay better than minimum wages and remove tipping. No embarrassment or angst for anyone

MikeBaileyGA's avatar
MikeBaileyGA Staff wrote at 2018-05-24 16:55:39+00:00:

Courses that have "no tipping" policies generally do just that. That's usually at high-end private facilities where the members are already plunking down tens of thousands of dollars in initiation, dues and assessments, though.

the great the grand the also ran's avatar
the great the grand the also ran wrote at 2018-05-24 18:08:27+00:00:

embarrassment or angst are self imposed

George 's avatar
George wrote at 2018-05-23 23:42:41+00:00:

Played Turnberry a few years back and asked the starter what “custom” was for caddies. At the end of the round, I paid that, which I recall was suggested at 40 pounds/bag. Then the caddy master chased me down in the parking lot and accused me of being a cheap American, etc. I told him to go have a discussion with the starter and, also to shove it for his approach. I assume he was dragging 25% or so off the top. I always ask what the customary tip is whether I’m a guest at a club, or a high end resort, where caddies are available.

MK's avatar
MK wrote at 2018-05-24 00:56:58+00:00:

Perhaps you should have asked him to return the C Note?

Dennis's avatar
Dennis wrote at 2018-05-24 02:19:32+00:00:

That’s funny!

the great the grand the also ran's avatar
the great the grand the also ran wrote at 2018-05-24 18:11:30+00:00:

starters are the last place you would ask about tipping policies. be confident in your own choice.

who asks to ask about a fair tip in any situation?

Charn 's avatar
Charn wrote at 2018-05-23 23:36:30+00:00:

I am retired and working part time at the golf course, I always tips starter, cart boys $5 each every day I played.

Most of them know me by name and I love it!

garysum's avatar
garysum wrote at 2018-05-23 23:27:12+00:00:

Home course golf is a high end daily fee course. They give a free bottled water, provide a ice chilled towel and clean the clubs minimally. No service to the car. $3-$5 per bag is reasonable. They are usually high school kids looking for spending $. Glad to take care of them.

garysum's avatar
garysum wrote at 2018-05-23 23:23:24+00:00:

Played PB for first time last month. Feel like I paid full retail for the priviledge...two nights and one round. Including resort fees it was north of $2400 for one golfer and one non golfer. They made out well for $1900 for two nights lodging. Green fee was $500 included (and worth it). Caddy fee was $200 extra and I customarily give $60 which is 30%. I added $20 this day for the great experience. Now I feel bad for only $80 tip. You commenters are running the prices up. 50% is a little steep.

Steve Rourke's avatar
Steve Rourke wrote at 2018-05-23 22:12:02+00:00:

I used to be an Asst. Golf Professional at a Jack Nicklaus Designed Private Club. Our Club didn't have a Pool or Tennis Courts so Member's & their Guests knew that we were All About Golf. I was also The Supervisor of The Outside Service Team. Our Team would pull Player's Clubs from their Cars, set them up on Carts & be available to fulfill Any Request a Player may have while at Our Club. They would also Clean their Clubs when finished & hand off to another Team Member at Bag Drop to put Back in their car when "Their Experience" was over. I think what may be missing here (For those thinking that throwing a Golf Loving, Hard Working High School or Home for College Break Guy/Gal a Couple $$ for Cleaning Their Clubs??) Is that there's a lot more work that's being done by these Guys/Gals that Most Player's Don't See!! Not to mention that they're paid Minimum Wage for starters. On any given Prime Season Day, Golf Carts will go out a minimum of 3 Rounds a Day, Minimum!! Ours were Spotless & Fully Stocked EVERY TIME which takes time & a lot of effort. The Driving Range gets set up in the morning but during the day the Range Balls get Picked, Washed & Range Reset 4-5 Times a Day on Average & Again at the end of the Day. Plus a bunch of other things that make the Player's "Experience" what it is, Good or Bad Club Depending??

My Motto for Our Service Team, "They Should Only Lift Them To Swing Them!!"

That being said, perhaps something to look for when playing at Courses that you've heard about & look forward to playing, see if these thing's I've mentioned stand out. Good or Bad & Throw a Few $$$ Accordingly!! Clean well stocked Carts, Full, Neat, Organized Driving Range & if Your Thoroughly Cleaned (ONLY Lifted Them To Swing Them!) Clubs were placed back in the trunk of your car when heading home, than I'd think you'd be Happy To!! Sure these Guy's/Gals work in a great setting but believe me, They Work Their Butts Off for Your Couple of $$$!

Dude's avatar
Dude wrote at 2018-05-23 23:11:32+00:00:

I agree, there are a lot of things the attendants do that we, the customer, never see...but on the flip side if your golf cart club/ball cleaner doesn't have any water in it, if the guy cleaning your clubs has a rag that's dirtier than your clubs, if the guy who puts your clubs on the cart can't be bothered to make sure your towel is hanging on the outside of the strap not the inside and then have their hand out at the end of the round...well, you be the judge.

Lee Sunset's avatar
Lee Sunset wrote at 2018-05-23 23:36:07+00:00:

Agree about the towel and the strap... and make sure bag is strapped in tight. People need to realize waiters typically get a bigger tip for less work in less time. If a caddie does a good job carrying you clubs for 4+ hours they deserve $100.

MK's avatar
MK wrote at 2018-05-24 00:59:58+00:00:

Well put, Dude.

Bill's avatar
Bill wrote at 2018-05-24 03:10:14+00:00:

Damn guys I'm 65 years old and I might consider carrying clubs for a c note a round. Course I can't afford pb either. LMAO

chumato's avatar
chumato wrote at 2018-05-23 21:30:08+00:00:

I played a round at Kiawah Ocean course and paid maybe 250 for green fees, yes long time ago, anyway when we are done the round and caddie loses my putter cover and says "What does it look like?" So then he's looking for an 85 tip??????

PeterM's avatar
PeterM wrote at 2018-05-23 20:40:06+00:00:

Thank you for the article. I appreciated many of your points.

Steve's avatar
Steve wrote at 2018-05-23 20:39:43+00:00:

I work several days a week at a golf course either bagging, starter, and a ranger. When we bag our average bag is $1/$2. Sometimes we get dollar dodgers but it will be made up with someone giving us $5. It’s all pooled so if your working there to pay college tuition forget about it. I enjoy the people and stories we share.

Pauky's avatar
Pauky wrote at 2018-05-23 20:32:07+00:00:

Garbage...stiff them all

Rev. Nagi's avatar
Rev. Nagi wrote at 2018-05-23 20:37:41+00:00:

I seriously hope you're kidding...

Chestolnikov's avatar
Chestolnikov wrote at 2018-05-23 20:42:57+00:00:

Have to assume you’re joking about stiffing them. Karma can be a bitch.

Jim's avatar
Jim wrote at 2018-05-23 21:56:26+00:00:

You are most likely the garbage player that etiquette savvy golfers have to follow for 5 plus hours & hope they never see you again.

Pauly's avatar
Pauly wrote at 2018-05-24 01:03:53+00:00:

And you are probably that guy in the $200 pants, PXG irons, playing a Pro V from the tips and hacking it up...your golf is dying...my bring my own cooler and play music in my cart golf is growing...

Mike Phillips's avatar
Mike Phillips wrote at 2018-05-24 16:50:01+00:00:

Yeh right! Yer the stiff!

George's avatar
George wrote at 2018-05-23 23:16:44+00:00:

You have obviously never worked at a golf course,and you are a jerk

Pauly's avatar
Pauly wrote at 2018-05-23 23:45:12+00:00:

I PLAY golf...losers or college students work at golf courses...I have a very good job - nobody tips me

Dustin's avatar
Dustin wrote at 2018-05-24 01:37:01+00:00:

Got a tip for you, get a personality.

Ray's avatar
Ray wrote at 2018-05-24 00:58:03+00:00:

I agree. I was never tipped at my job. I am a retiree and make very little. Green fees are ridiculous. I can only afford to golf once a week anymore and cannot golf at any courses that charge some of the fees people are saying the pay in this article. Must be the rich folks that read golf advisor. I am very capable of carrying my own clubs and cleaning them. Tipping on top of outrageous green fees is crazy. At least they should ask if I want them cleaned before scrapping the face of my club with their dirty rag.

Pauly's avatar
Pauly wrote at 2018-05-24 00:59:41+00:00:

This guy is spot on...tipping for that nonsense is absurd! Thanks!

Ray's avatar
Ray wrote at 2018-05-24 01:07:47+00:00:

What the hell, as I read peoples comments on here, I can't believe people pay that much money to golf. The only course I have ever played where I even saw caddies was Pinehurst. Very nice place but paying hundreds of dollars to play golf is stupid. Just sounds like people with too much money on their hands. I play for $50 - $100 and I am quite sure these courses are every bit as nice as some of the high priced courses. And if anyone complains about not getting tipped, GET A REAL JOB.

Pauly's avatar
Pauly wrote at 2018-05-24 01:25:31+00:00:

100% correct! No tipping at the golf course EVER

MikeBaileyGA's avatar
MikeBaileyGA Staff wrote at 2018-05-23 18:12:04+00:00:

With all due respect, it really depends on where you’re at. In Ireland, for example, tipping is much more modest than in many parts of the U.S. Also, I didn’t just make this up based on my own experiences; I polled caddies, caddie masters and golf professionals. And I also said, when in doubt, be generous. I do believe $100 per bag for a forecaddie for a foursome is definitely a bit much to expect, but $50 apiece at a high end club or facility isn’t out of line.

Rick T's avatar
Rick T wrote at 2018-05-24 01:43:34+00:00:

We took guests here to Cascata inLas Vegas Caddie barely got off the back of our cart. We asked what was customary.

He replied $50 per person.

$200.00 please Crazy

PRO JOCK's avatar
PRO JOCK wrote at 2018-02-13 19:27:46+00:00:

YOU NEED TO GET WITH THE 21ST CENTURY MINIMUM FORECADDIE RATE $ 50 PER BAG AND $100 A BAG FOR DOUBLES PLUS PLUS MORE IF YOU HAD A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE LOOKS LIKE MIKE HAS HIS PERSONAL CADDIE FOR LIFE AVERAGE YOUNG BRANDON YOU KNOW WHAT DOESNT LAST LONG? DOGS CHASING CARS AND STIFFS PUTTING FOR PARS GOOD LUCK!!!!

Yours truly's avatar
Yours truly wrote at 2018-01-09 20:09:24+00:00:

As someone who has worked in the caddying industry for almost 10 years , your suggested caddie gratuities are a complete joke. We're talking about professional caddies here who make their income solely off of tips in most cases. Do you honestly think $80 to $100 at the end of a 5-hour round is good for an entire foursome? The standard at most high-end clubs is actually $40-50 per man for a forecaddie. I've even been at clubs where standard is $100/ person. For a walking caddie carrying bags $100 to $120 per bag is standard. How on Earth are you a golf writer?

Darius's avatar
Darius wrote at 2018-05-23 20:49:51+00:00:

Okay - now I am a little confused...

I have played at many high end resorts that have similar high end fees. At Pebble Beach, I paid $450 for the round of golf, and an additional $100 fee for my caddie. I do hope you are not suggesting a 100% tip of an additional $100 on top of the $100 fee I already paid. My caddie was nice and I enjoyed my time with him on the bag. In return I gave him an additional $50 on top of the $100 I already paid. I would have to agree with some of the other comments here that if the caddies expect a tip that makes the cost of taking a caddie to $200 or more per round then I would have to seriously re-think taking one in the first place !

Pauly's avatar
Pauly wrote at 2018-05-24 02:21:49+00:00:

Uh, there is no such thing as a “caddy industry...”. It’s just a menial job for lazy people...

u321936597's avatar
u321936597 wrote at 2015-08-21 13:42:56+00:00:

Good article, however your caddie section is a little off. How would you feel if you carried around someones bag for about 8 miles, while also improving their golf game, and they hand you $40 at the end of the round?? The standard should be $80 a golf bag minimum, and $100 if the caddie did a good job.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2015-08-26 16:30:06+00:00:

I don't know man, $80-100 for a caddie would mean a lot fewer people willing to pay for caddies. Often times, caddies can double-bag it and up the hourly rate that way. 

Paul5069707's avatar
Paul5069707 wrote at 2016-08-01 17:42:43+00:00:

I think it depends greatly on the course you're playing. If you tip $40 to a professional caddie at a respected course, then you're insulting him. At the course I play, which is a top 100 national course, $120 is customary for a job well done. These aren't high school kids working for the summer, these are dedicated caddies working NY for the golf season and then Florida in the winter. They usually get one round in a day, sometimes two, and without a club caddie fee, they're making a living off of what you give them. $320 a week from $40 tips won't cut it.

ScottishGolfPodcast's avatar
ScottishGolfPodcast wrote at 2014-12-18 10:26:02+00:00:

Great article. It's worth adding that tipping is nothing to worry about if travelling to Scotland with the culture very different. Food & Drink bills usually come with a discretionary 10% tip charge and a good caddy can expect a tip of £20. Out with that you can keep your 20s for the pub. 

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2014-09-30 19:42:07+00:00:

I used to work as a bag boy at a private club in Ann Arbor (and also valeted at another). I was usually pretty happy with $2 a bag and $2 per car, and I at least appreciated the courtesy of a $1 tip over being stiffed, too. It's been about 15 years since then. So adjusted for inflation, I'd say $3 works these days. And at both jobs, we split tips with our shift mates. 

These days, now that I'm the golfer, it's not the tipping that bothers me, it's never having cash on me and either having to ask for change or find an ATM. I'm also generally more willing to tip while on the road versus my home courses, for whatever reason…maybe it's mood. 

Also, being a heathy person in my 30s, I do sometimes get a little offended when a bag boy wants to take my clubs all of 50 feet to the car or cart. I know it's their job, but I'm about to engage in four hours of athletic activity. I'd like to think I can handle it. 

MikeBaileyGA's avatar
MikeBaileyGA Staff wrote at 2014-10-03 17:39:06+00:00:

Good input, Brandon... I sometimes find myself with just $20 bills at the end, too, and have actually ask the cart guys to hang out for a minute or two while I get change. I usually try to make sure I've got all kinds of change, though, when I go to the golf course, not only for tipping, but for settling those wagers, too :)


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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trio to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.