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So you play a round at a public course, and someone just starts wiping your clubs as you finish up on 18. How do you react?


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12 hours ago, jordan2240 said:

Do you tip the guy and figure it's just the way it works?  Do you get annoyed?  Do you tell the guy 'thanks' and just head to your car?  And what if you had no cash on you, as I often don't?

 

Me, I find it rather presumptuous, but when it happened recently, I just handed him a $5, had some friendly conversation, and gave no indication I thought it was lame even though I did.  Curious as to how others react.

Same thing happened to me after a round at We-ko-pa in AZ. Same reaction as you. Definitely presumptuous and caught me a little off guard. The kid was pleasant and actually did a good job. So just said thanks and gave him a $5. 

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I was the head pro at a private club where we trained the cart staff to clean clubs and assist unloading carts as groups finished. It was a service we wanted to provide the members. Plus we were a ver

I also get annoyed when I go into a restaurant and 'some person' comes up and ask what I want to eat. If I want something I will let you know - the nerve!     

When I moved to St. George I was surprised no one tipped the cart guys. They didn’t pounce on your clubs like hungry vultures, but it was always my habit to tuck a couple of dollars on the score card

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3 hours ago, manku said:

I've never had anyone try to clean my clubs while still on the course, but I've learned to take my cart and zip over to the parking lot ASAP...it's one way to avoid the potentially awkward exchange.

 

Of course, this is NEVER a problem if you walk...another good reason to do so!

I walk almost exclusively, but I was in FL visiting family, and the courses I've played there don't seem to have walking as an option.  On one (not the one where my clubs were cleaned), I asked if they had a walking rate, and the guy waiting on me in the clubhouse didn't even know.  He'd never heard of anyone walking there.  On the one that I'm referring to in this thread (Eaglebrooke if anyone cares, which I'd play again in a heartbeat), I wasn't sure if you could walk so set it up with cart.  Was glad I did, because the distance from green to tee on some holes took you on a walk through the surrounding neighborhood - not sure they have a walking rate either.

 

Like someone noted above, they also swooped on me with a cart before I even had my car parked (at Eaglebrooke), but I had experience with that sort of thing, so kind of figured it was coming.  I tipped that guy a 5 as well.  Had never experienced someone cleaning my clubs without asking first.

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I'm not sure there's a "right" answer. The way i tend to see it is if it's a very high end public course, or resort course...Sometimes this is kind of expected. They clean your clubs after your round at the Mont Tremblant courses in Quebec which are top 100 courses in Canada, and in the mountain resorts. At those i expect to tip a bit because that just seems to be normal

 

At a run of the mill public course that the common man plays at? I don't really want my clubs cleaned, nor do i want to look the type of people that play there in the eye for that matter.

 

Private clubs this wouldn't happen because it's part of the membership dues.

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When we used to visit my folks in Palm Desert in March there were two courses where they lived - neither high end.  There were a couple of guys who did this off the 18th.  One would always ask and I enjoyed him (even though I was always good and declined - I keep my clubs very clean during the round - my dad just figured it was something he was expected to do and didn't mind) - guys were freelance, not part of the green fee -  my daughter's clubs always looked like she gardened with them, lol, so needed cleaning.  At the other course the other guy had zero personality, never asked, and just started in, as I found out the first time I left the cart where it had to be left, and headed down to the green (a pretty good little walk) and looked back and there he was already wiping my irons (I quickly asked him not to touch anything with a headcover -- towels were heavy with sand) and would have tipped him, but my dad took care of it for all three of us, but learned my lesson on that course.  His cleaning idea was a perfunctory wiping with a wet rag and at a $2 tip his rate would have been about $120 an hour, lol.  

 

I get tipping for services and don't get worked up about any of that when traveling, but if you are trying to score some cash by cleaning clubs (1) ask permission, and (2) do a good job if you get permission.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

As a public course player these days, I generally don't want them touching my stuff. I prefer to clean my own clubs and handle my own bag at all times. I also don't like tipping for services I neither request nor want. 

 

If I'm walking, they leave me alone 99.9% of the time.

 

If I'm riding and I know based on past experience at the course that they will pounce on my clubs without asking as soon as my cart stops at the cart return area: After finishing 18, I'll park the cart out of the way some point between the 18th green and the cart return area to put my stuff away, get my keys out of the bag, etc. so when I pull up to the return area, I can just yank the bag off the cart quick and head out while they are working on the first cart in the group to roll up.

 

I've actually tipped a few bucks (left clipped to the scorecard holder) when they actually had the courtesy to ask me if I wanted my clubs cleaned or not, even though I said no thanks.

 

The worst is when they come over to your cart as you putt out on 18 green and start wiping without asking while you are 50 feet away...no way in hell am I tipping for that. That's like the squeegee man coming over to your car at a stoplight.

 

Many of the courses here stopped the post-round club cleaning when COVID-19 first hit, I'd be cool if it didn't return.

 

Edited by Bonneville85308
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17 hours ago, Beenerpro said:

I was the head pro at a private club where we trained the cart staff to clean clubs and assist unloading carts as groups finished. It was a service we wanted to provide the members. Plus we were a very busy club and often needed to quickly turn around the carts to go back out. When I hired the cart staff, I told them that it was their job to clean clubs, paid to do it. I also told them not to expect tips. But if they were tipped, to be very grateful to the player for their generosity.

 

Not sure this helps the situation you were in, especially if it was just some random guy that thought cleaning clubs was more lucrative than washing windshields at the highway intersection. I just wanted to provide some insight on how some clubs operate.

 

I understand unloading carts would help turn around carts and get people moving, but wouldn't cleaning clubs just slow things down? 

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23 minutes ago, ctmason_98 said:

 

I understand unloading carts would help turn around carts and get people moving, but wouldn't cleaning clubs just slow things down? 

Probably did somewhat but it also kept the carts from scattering all over the property after the round, and back to the staging area faster. Otherwise carts would end up at the pool, tennis center, people’s houses, snack bar, driving range, all corners of the parking lot, back out on the course following their buddies, the woods, etc. We even had one leave the property and was spotted at the drive though of the Walgreens down the street.

Edited by Beenerpro
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Posted (edited)

Hand a dollar or 2 for doing it without asking. No offense but 5 bucks to clean my clubs, unless it is a private club, then you get what you get. 

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2 hours ago, llewol007 said:

Hand a dollar or 2 for doing it without asking. No offense but 5 bucks to clean my clubs, unless it is a private club, then you get what you get. 

Well, I had a single one, a couple of fives, and some bigger bills, and I felt $1 had 'cheapskate' written all over it (no idea why I cared).  The money wasn't the issue.  Just wondered if others perceived this 'service' similarly to how I did, and how they'd react to it.

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4 hours ago, jordan2240 said:

Well, I had a single one, a couple of fives, and some bigger bills, and I felt $1 had 'cheapskate' written all over it (no idea why I cared).  The money wasn't the issue.  Just wondered if others perceived this 'service' similarly to how I did, and how they'd react to it.

 

Just given how much things have changed in the past year, it's perfectly reasonable that someone would have nothing on them.

 

I haven't paid for anything in cash in over a year. I can't even remember the last time i took money out of an ATM --probably early 2020

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I never tip when they do this, and I honestly have never felt bad about it. If you want to wipe down my clubs without asking that's fine, but don't expect a tip for a service I didn't ask for and you didn't ask me if I wanted. 

 

Call me cheap I don't really care....

 

 

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I clean my clubs after every shot and clean them again when I get home.  I'm going to clean them even if someone wipes them off, so the service is lost on me and saves me no time.  So if asked, my answer is always no, just like I have learned to park my car and hoof my bag instead of unloading at the bag drop since someone will put it on a cart.  On the other hand, if I go to a really high end course, I just expect that I am tipping for this and that and take an extra $10 - $20 in cash with me for it.  That said, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if some of the tipped services went away at golf courses.  

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"No thanks, I'm good" 

 

Doesn't require much thought or emotion. 

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Was this an employee at the course you played?  Or was this a random person who popped up like a windshield washer at a stoplight?

 

I almost always tip the bag guys.  Sometimes $5, sometimes just a few bucks.   Most of the public courses I play are ~$70 so a few dollars is not significant.  However if I was playing a $12 muni i would not expect nor really want to increase my bill by 30% to have my clubs cleaned.

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3 hours ago, david.c.w said:

Was this an employee at the course you played?  Or was this a random person who popped up like a windshield washer at a stoplight?

 

I almost always tip the bag guys.  Sometimes $5, sometimes just a few bucks.   Most of the public courses I play are ~$70 so a few dollars is not significant.  However if I was playing a $12 muni i would not expect nor really want to increase my bill by 30% to have my clubs cleaned.

I assume it was an employee, but can't say for sure.  Again, the money wasn't an issue - just wondered how others respond to an unrequested 'service'.  

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4 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

I assume it was an employee, but can't say for sure.  Again, the money wasn't an issue - just wondered how others respond to an unrequested 'service'.  

 

In my experience this is a relatively standard service/process when playing at a mid-tier or better course, public or private. 

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49 minutes ago, david.c.w said:

 

In my experience this is a relatively standard service/process when playing at a mid-tier or better course, public or private. 

I don't play courses in resort areas very often, but my limited experience is that they've asked prior to cleaning the clubs.  The buddy I was with, who has more experience with such, remarked that some of the guys he plays with when they go to Myrtle Beach would not have been pleased.  Can't think of any other tip-related service provided without customer approval.  Perhaps baggage carriers at hotels, though from my experience with them, they typically ask before grabbing your bag.  Guess I'm not cut out for life with the rich and famous -which is good since I'll never be either.

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16 hours ago, Beenerpro said:

Probably did somewhat but it also kept the carts from scattering all over the property after the round, and back to the staging area faster. Otherwise carts would end up at the pool, tennis center, people’s houses…


Apologies for belaboring the point, but I’m a little dense. 😄

 

Having an employee clean clubs would ensure the carts returned? Or am I guessing knowing that their clubs WILL be cleaned at the return area would cause them to go back?

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One time I played at a course that had someone "clean" my clubs as we were on the putting green; when we got back to the carts my clubs went from a chrome finish to a dull,  hazy sand color.  I did not tip the person and would not have reguardless of how good they may have looked if the job was done correctly since I was not asked.

 

Another time playing the same course, my buddy and I just parked the cart about 20 yards from the green so it would be far enough away that the people would not walk down and do another wipe-down on the clubs.

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