Proper etiquette: Being Invited as a Private Country Club Guest

It’s your lucky day, you’ve been invited to play as a guest at a private country club.  An exclusive place where people typically pay high initiation fees and yearly dues to have a club to call their own.   Be a good guest and understand what is your responsibility.


  1. Look the part.  Ask about the dress code beforehand.  Common dress code for men is shorts or pants, with a polo shirt tucked in with a belt.  Many private country clubs will refuse cargo shorts and make you purchase a new pair in the golf shop.  Dress code for women is typically a polo shirt, and shorts or a skort that hits 3 inches above the knee.  It is not necessary for a woman to tuck in her shirt.
  2. Clubhouse behavior.  Depending on where you are located, wearing golf shoes through the clubhouse is forbidden, so be sure to arrive in loafers with your golf shoes toted in a nice shoe bag.  Changing into your shoes in the locker room is appropriate.    Also, be sure to take off your baseball cap in the clubhouse.  For women, it is appropriate to leave on your hat walking through the clubhouse.  Cell phone use is generally prohibited at private country clubs, check with your host before arrival.
  3. Arrive early.  Make sure to arrive with plenty of time before your scheduled tee time.  This will allow proper warm up and give you time to orient yourself with the country club.  Agree with your host when and where you will meet prior to arrival.
  4. Pay any extras for you and your host when you can.  If the country club allows for tipping, make sure to tip the valet, the outside staff (those boys that help schlep your clubs and clean your clubs) and anyone that may assist you in the locker room.   If a caddy is taken, offer to pay the caddie fees.  Offer to purchase snacks at the beverage cart, lunch at the turn and any drinks after the round.  Some  country clubs don’t allow cash exchange, the membership account is the only option for payment; if this is the case, offer to reciprocate their generosity at another comparable local golf course.
  5. Maintain your pace of play.  Your host might not want to hurry you during the round.  Use common sense to know when is the right time to pick up your golf ball.  Do your best to play ready golf.  2 hours 15 minutes is the typical time allowance for 9 holes and 4 hours 30 minutes is the time allowance for 18 holes at most golf courses.
  6. Compliment your host, when appropriate.  Make sure to acknowledge good shots.  Compliment the golf course.  Ask advice.  Seem genuinely interested in their country club.  They are paying for your greens fees for the day/ tournament, use common sense and be on your best behavior.
  7. Reciprocate the generous offer.  You don’t have to be a country club member to show appreciation.  Invite them to play at another golf course in the area within the next year.
  8. Most importantly, make sure to graciously thank your host.  It takes their time and money to show you a nice time, the least you can do is send them a handwritten note.


Enjoy your round!

Tennis players change their grips; why shouldn’t golfers?

It’s Sunday, July 6th, an important day of the year for tennis. It’s the “Gentlemen’s Final” at Wimbledon. As I sat on our couch with my tennis loving husband, watching the final match, a message from the commentator resonated with me, “it’s a good time for Federer to strengthen his grip.” I thought to myself, I wish more golfers had that creativity.

Good tennis players change their grip to alter their shots. Surprise! Good golfers do the same thing. The grip is an integral part of face control. In either sport, having a weak grip directly relates to an open face with the racquet or club. Whereas, a strong grip helps achieve a closed club face.

To become the best golfer you can become, it would be good to understand each of these two grips. As a right handed golfer (sorry lefties), a weak grip is when your hands rotate counterclockwise so you see more knuckles on your right hand. A strong grip is when your hands rotate clockwise from a birds eye view so you can see more knuckles on your left hand. A weak grip helps the ball go right and a strong grip helps the ball go left.

If you are playing on the golf course and struggling with one side of the fairway or another, a slight grip adjustment could be what you need to get the ball back into play. Otherwise, grip adjustments are particularly important for trouble shots. An example would be in an impossibly deep bunker. A weak grip creates an open face and the club face in turn creates a high lofted, cut shot.

On the other hand, a closed club face helps achieve a low draw or hook. An example of when you would need this technique would be getting yourself around a tree. Have you ever wondered how to purposely create a hook? Strengthening your grip is the first step.

I challenge you to play around with grip changes the next time you’re at the range. If you want to be a better golfer, practice like one.


Looking for new golf clothing?

Look no further.  The online discount powerhouse, Rue La La, is having a sale.  For a limited time only, they have Adidas, Oakley, Puma, Page & Tuttle, and more.  From first glance, it looks like the prices are anywhere between $15-$45.  Not bad for golf clothing.  I personally spotted a long sleeve polo that I loved. The “Get Fit Spree” deal closes in 3 days.


Check it out: