A Rookie’s Guide to Member-Guests
By Keith Stewart, PGA
The middle of the summer always means one thing, it’s tournament season across the country. Whether it is a Monday outing or a member-guest when you get invited to go play make sure you follow the rules for being a great guest. Not all golf courses are the same. Some tournaments have specific guidelines, and some are more laid back than a couch on the side of the road. In any case, there’s a certain way to show up and play.
1. Get Some Information
It never hurts to call ahead or ask your host a couple very important questions. Let’s start with what to wear. Nothing is more embarrassing than not knowing the dress code. Clubs usually post all this information online to help guests. Check the website or in some cases give them a call. What time does lunch start; do we need extra cash for a caddie? All these kinds of concerns can be handled easily before you arrive.
2. Pick a Spot
Some golf courses and clubhouses can be big places. Connect with your host and figure out a place to meet once you get there. It’s uncomfortable to walk around a place you’re unfamiliar with. Do yourself a favor and pick a place to meet up. This little step is a big help when it comes to getting comfortable in an unfamiliar place. Give yourself the gift of knowing where to go when you get there.
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3. Come Bearing Gifts
If it is a special event like a member-guest, bring your host a small token of your gratitude. You could even call the golf shop ahead of time and get him/her a gift card. Anything will do as long as it shows you really appreciate being asked to play.
4. Act Appropriately
Make sure to follow your host’s lead while you are there. If you have any questions on what to do or where to go, just ask. Don’t assume you know just because you have been there before or feel comfortable. Hosts love to host, let them take care of you and they will feel like a goodwill ambassador for their club.
5. You’ve Got Mail
Follow up your amazing experience with a handwritten note to your host. If it was a truly special experience, maybe an email to the PGA Professional at the facility thanking him/her and the staff for a wonderful time. As a golf professional, I can tell you receivingthose notes make the effort of a big event so rewarding.
Five quick tips to enhance your next guest experience. These keys are designed with one very specific goal in mind… to be invited back!