Editors' BlogJuly 18, 2007

Tipping Point of Exasperation

West Virginian Gene Snyder has had with it the darn tipping.

I would like to know when it became a rule of thumb that we must tip everyone on the golf course, the bag guy,the cart girl, the guy at the bar, etc. I just want to play golf for the day without paying more in tips than it does for the round of golf. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be cheap or a whiner, but there's got to be a limit. I work for a TV cable company and I try to do my best at what I do, alot of people even request for me when needing repairs,but in my 11 years of service very few have offered tips. So my question is this, when I choose to go to "higher class" course where one should be able to enjoy themselves, we are chased around by workers expecting to be tipped, do we have to pay everyone? Don't they receive a paycheck just like me? If so please infrom them that not everyone has money to burn!!!! >

Signed, The working man!

In a tipping story we did a couple of years ago, we described American golf as seeming, sometimes, like....

a series of people with their hands out, punctuated by the occasional gap wedge. The parking valet. The kid who puts your bag on a cart. The starter. The caddiemaster. The caddie, forecaddie or cart-caddie. The cart girl or geezer. The club cleaner. The locker-room attendant. The kid who takes your clubs to the bag drop. The kid who puts your clubs in your trunk. The guy who directs you to the nearest ATM. And so on.

But I remember interviewing etiquette expert Lydia Ramsey, the author of Manners that Sell, for that story and she said:

"People begin to think, 'This is getting into some real money now. What's this costing me?' But the fact is, everyone who provides a service has the expectation that they'll be compensated, and they should be. People should be rewarded."

Gene, you can accept that tip or not. Like you, I wish it were all built into the price of admission. Pay a green fee and be done with it. But it's not, and you have to ask yourself if those other working folks deserve something (beyond the paycheck) for the effort, as Ramsey says they do. Or as Jackie Burke said when encouraging his members to tip caddies generously: "When's the last time you saw a caddy drive out of here in a Cadillac?"

--Bob Carney

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