Locker-Room Etiquette Made Simple
Illustration by Jason Lee
IT'S NOT EASY BEING NAKED. It's also not easy acting like it's easy being naked. That, nonetheless, is rule No. 1 of good locker-room etiquette. Rule No. 2 is, act like it's no big deal to see other guys being naked.
• NUDITY, of course, is just one element of locker-room etiquette, but while we're on it, most of us would prefer to see you nude as little as possible. It's not that we can't handle it. But must we? We won't take you for a prude if you wrap a towel around your waist while you shave or check out "SportsCenter." We kind of understand why you'd want to remove it on the scales, though. Every ounce counts.
• BRING A TOWEL TO STAND ON if you worry about germs. Those little paper slippers work just fine, but your failure to use them is no breach of etiquette. If putting them on were slightly easier and didn't risk a fatal fall, we might feel otherwise.
• SIT ON A TOWEL, so the powder you applied doesn't end up on another member's navy-blue gabardines.
• BE NEAT. Put the clothes you shed into your locker, and if you're a member, clean it out at least once every Ryder Cup. Put your duffel on top of your locker, not on the bench, so the fellow with the locker opposite has a place to sit.
• MOVE QUICKLY through your appointed rounds. Some people seem to forget they are sharing the facilities, a lapse that is more than annoying during, say, the pre-cocktail-hour shower at a member-guest.
• TIP THE ATTENDANT. Five dollars per pair of shoes (street shoes or golf shoes) is standard. If you're a guest, offer to tip the attendant unless you know that tipping is forbidden. In that case, offer thanks instead.
• IF YOU INVITE A GUEST, alert your locker-room attendant so he can secure a locker for your guest and greet him by name.
• KEEP THE PHONE CALLS to a minimum. Most clubs now allow phone calls in the locker room—if not everywhere else—but it's still polite to keep your calls to a minimum. Honestly, we are no more interested in the size of your business deals, than we are in the size of your, um, portfolio.