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How Much Do You Tip a Caddy? A Golf Tipping Guide

BY: EDITORIAL TEAM | 6.22.2017 |

If you typically lug your own clubs when you golf, hiring a caddy for the first time might feel like a catch-22. On the one hand, it lifts a literal weight off your shoulders. On the other, it burdens you with an unfamiliar social obligation: How much do you tip a caddy? When do you tip a caddy? Here's everything you need to know:

How much should you tip?

Short answer: Tip a caddy at least half the price of the round.

Long answer: Here's the thing—there's no hard-and-fast rule. If you've hired a forecaddie, you typically tip about $25 for each person in your group. If you're wondering "how much do caddies make at country clubs," know that guidelines vary from course to course. For example, some private clubs don't allow tipping at all.

So the better question to ask yourself here is how much do you tip a caddy at your particular club. If one of your friends is a member, ask them what they usually tip. Otherwise, don't be afraid to approach the director of golf, the head pro, or even the caddy master to ask what's customary. Whatever you do, don't ask the caddy—that just makes it awkward for both of you.

At what point should you tip your caddy?

Short answer: Hand your tip directly to your caddy when you finish playing, and with it, a priceless but appreciative "Thank you."

 

What should you expect from a caddy?

Short answer: At the very least, they carry your clubs.

Long answer: Yes, a caddy is expected to carry your golf clubs, of course. But that's far from their only job. Caddies hand you your clubs and wipe them off after each shot. They also clean your golf ball (typically before each hole and again when you reach the green), measure distances and advise you as needed, rake the sand traps, replace divots and ball marks, and tend the pin once you reach the green.

A group of golfers might also go in on a forecaddie. The forecaddie doesn't carry everyone's clubs (they use a golf cart for that), but they're still expected to perform the duties of a caddy—and keep tabs on everyone's ball position.

When should you tip a little extra?

Short answer: A caddy that gives you valuable reads on your shots deserves an extra $10 or $20 on top of a normal tip.

Long Answer: Keep in mind that caddy tips remain the bulk of their income. A caddy that dutifully hauls your gear and performs their duties on a hot day deserves a good tip. But a caddy that does that and offers sound advice deserves a little extra. Likewise, take into account your own quality of play. If you're going the full six strokes on every hole or constantly slicing into the rough, you may be costing your caddy their next assignment.

Should you only tip the caddy? What about tipping the valet?

The caddy is just one service-person of many you'll encounter around the golf course. Here are some baseline figures for how much you should tip each service:

Job How Much to Tip Them
Caddy at least 50% of the cost of a round
Forecaddie $25 per player
Beverage-Cart Attendant 15%–20%
Bag-Drop Attendant $3–$5 per bag (pay upfront or at the end)
Valet $5
Locker-Room Attendant $5 to clean your golf shoes