The do's and don't's of LACC

U.S Open 2023: The member/guest rules are strict (!!) at LACC, so forget about wearing shorts or using a cellphone

June 09, 2023

Brian Oar

Snooty or civilized? Stuffy or genteel? In an era in which many private country clubs have relaxed their rules to allow jeans in the dining room, untucked shirts on the course and the use of electronic devices pretty much everywhere, Los Angeles Country Club, host of this year’s U.S. Open, is having none of it.

Long known as club with strict rules for members and guests alike, a look at LACC’s rules for guests reveals a club comfortable in its reputation for being buttoned up on such things. The club’s website has a guest information page that is 1,071 words long, nearly half of them tied to the use of technological devices.

The section starts with a seemingly innocuous introduction: “We are pleased to welcome you to The Los Angeles Country Club. Since 1897, we have established a series of customs and traditions in order to enhance your experience at our Club. We take pride in making every one of our guests feel like a member during your visit with us."

Cool. But let’s read further.

Under men’s attire, things start off fine. Shirts must have sleeves and collars and be tucked in. No problem. Then comes, “Men’s slacks must be of a tailored nature.” Excuse me? First, I’m not wearing trousers, I’m wearing shorts. And my slacks are what I won using shop credit, not tailored.

Except golf shorts aren’t allowed. Ever. Damn …

As for hats, caps and visors, no dice inside the clubhouse (which is how it should be), but they may be worn on the uncovered patio. Mighty nice of them to not want to fry my bald spot.

Oh, and if you have a late tee time, bring a sport coat. After 6 p.m. it is a requirement for being in the clubhouse.

As for women, they don’t catch much of a break. Shirts and blouses must be worn inside slacks or skirts, unless designed to be worn outside. Slacks must be of a tailored nature and be ankle length or longer. Skirts are OK, but may be no shorter than four inches above the knee. Who is charged with measuring this is not mentioned. The same rules regarding headwear for men apply to the women, although they may wear brimmed hats (not golf caps) that coordinate with their outfit inside the clubhouse.

As for the evening hours, after 6, a dress, dressy skirt and blouse, suit, tailored pants suit, pants and blazer or evening pants outfit are all acceptable provided they follow the length guidelines.

You didn’t think we forgot about the kids, did you? The rules are straightforward but a little draconian for juniors. Those under 7 years old “must maintain a conservative and modest attire in keeping with the Club’s tradition.” Those above 7? Same as mom and dad. Seriously. Because, you know, every 8-year-old is dying to have dinner in a jacket and slacks or pants suit.

There are other no-no’s regarding attire. Don’t bother wearing clogs or flip-flops. And if your apparel has a slogan on it, sorry. Like to change your shoes in the parking lot? Nooooooooooo.

There are some exceptions, however, to the attire policy. Namely, shorts (exercise or Bermuda), athletic-type T-shirts and denim pants of any color may be worn from the parking lot to the locker rooms or vice versa, the idea being to accommodate those coming in with their hair on fire and needing to change. The rules, however, make it clear no one is going to pull a fast one, as it is accompanied by this gem: “Loitering in the locker room (including card play, TV watching, drinking) while in shorts, T-shirts or denim pants of any color is not permitted.”

As for your phone, well, get used to doing without. On the course you can discreetly check messages (not voicemail) “on both the North and South Courses and Course Cafes, excluding areas immediately surrounding the Clubhouse.” No phone use at the pro shop, cart barn or putting green and absolutely no headphones or ear buds. An exception to the phone rule is you may use one to videotape your swing on the range.

But what if you need to make or take a call? Well, you can do it, just make sure it’s from inside your car in the parking lot, in the phone room (yes, they have a phone room) or in phone booths inside the locker rooms.

OK, OK, no talking on the phone. But you can still use it to snap some fab photos of the course, right? Um, not so fast. Bring a camera if you want that, but be aware “staff may, at any time, decide cameras may not be permitted if it is perceived as a disruption to the member experience.”

But seriously, why bother with a camera at all. It’s not like you’re going to be able to post those killer photos to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. That’s right, take a look at the club’s social media policy:

  • Dissemination through social media of personal photographs or videos identifying The Los Angeles Country Club is not permitted. The publication for commercial purposes of any pictures taken anywhere on the Club’s property identifying The Los Angeles Country Club is not permitted.
  • Any written references to The Los Angeles Country Club, its members, activities, and practices that are or might become accessible by the public is not permitted (e.g., hash tags, comments, posts, location check-ins, etc.).
  • Members and guests of the Club may not discuss the Club’s membership, events, policies, rules, by-laws or activities using social or professional media platforms.

    Please note: if the use of technology is not specifically addressed in this policy, then it is not permitted at the Club. Compliance with this policy is essential to the enjoyment and privacy of the membership. Staff will enforce our technology policy. As a reminder, members will be held responsible for the actions of their guests with regard to all policies of The Los Angeles Country Club.

In other words, LACC doesn’t really care if you feel that if it’s not on Insta it didn’t happen at all.

On the plus side, not to worry if you forgot to bring cash. Members are responsible for all charges guests incur, as there is no cash allowed and no having the bill sent back to your home club. And since there is no cash allowed (other than to pay caddies), there is no tipping, either.

But, yes, welcome to Los Angeles Country Club!