Golf Lessons – Should You Tip?

Tipping around the golf course can be a tricky thing. Some golf courses encourage you to tip for exceptional service; others are going to expect that you keep your cash in your pocket. At a private club, the tipping and non-tipping rules can be a little tricky to follow.

However, one common question that golfers have at both private and public golf courses is whether or not to tip a golf instructor. After a great golf lesson, do you throw the golf pro a little extra money? Let’s take a look into whether or not this is appropriate.

Should You Tip For Golf Lessons ?

If you take a golf lesson at a private club with a great golf instructor, it is fine to tip the golf professional. This is especially if the golf instructor or golf teacher is a professional that is really trying to grow their career or make it in the industry.

If you take a lesson from the head teaching professional or the director of instruction, they really won’t expect you to tip. These professionals make quite a bit more money than  assistant professionals, and they are not really looking for extra money to get by.

Higher-end golf courses may set their lesson rates a little higher, and this is to help supplement the income of their golf professionals. When it comes to tipping a golf professional, you will want to either leave a cash tip or potentially even round up the cost of the lesson.

For instance, if you took an $80 golf lesson, maybe pay $100 if you thought you got some great advice. However, golf professionals don’t typically expect tips the way a caddie or a locker room attendant might.

PGA professional Justin Nogay, a current teaching pro at Peak Golf Fitness in Maryland told us: “Tips are not expected when giving lessons as the customer is already paying for the time.  However, if your teaching pro goes above and beyond, and spends more time with you or takes time after your lesson to send videos and other informational articles, then it would be a nice gesture for doing a bit more”.

Who Should You Tip At A Private Club?

If you are playing a round of golf as a guest at a private golf club, you will want to be sure you understand who to tip. There are a few people that won’t necessarily expect your tip, but they will certainly appreciate it.

Remember that some golf clubs that have a no-tipping policy are very strict about it. Staff members won’t even be able to take a couple of bucks if you try to give it to them. Generally speaking, if you are playing somewhere as a guest, make sure you talk to your host about the tipping policies.

Beverage Cart Girl

The beverage cart girl will come around and share food and drinks throughout the course of your round. If you feel that they offer good service, it is appropriate to tip. Typically these types of service workers are going to have a small tip jar on the cart somewhere to help guide you to where to place your tips. A few dollars is an adequate tip.

If you happen to hit the Beverage cart girl’s cart from 225 yards out, and it sticks in her windshield, you may want to pull a $10 or $20 out to cover her hazard pay for your erratic golf shots.

Caddie Master/Caddies

The caddie master may go through some extra effort to ensure that you are heading out on the course with one of the best caddies they have. The caddie master is also sometimes the starter. This means that you may be able to get a better tee time or get out on the course in front of a slower group. This is typically something that you will tip for.

Outside Operations

The outside operations staff will usually grab your clubs from the bag drop and then take them to your cart. In addition, they often clean your clubs at the end of a round. Handing over a couple of bucks will probably help this person buy lunch or dinner that night. If you feel as though you were offered excellent service, don’t be afraid to offer a tip.


The valet will help park your car in the parking lot and will often bring it back up for you at the end of your round. These valet drivers typically depend on a tip, and it is a nice gesture to give them a few dollars. Some higher-end golf courses will even offer you the option of washing your car for you while you are on the golf course. This is where you will want to leave a more generous tip.

How Do Golf Instructors Make Money?

Golf instruction may seem as though it is expensive. Have you ever wondered how much golf teaching professionals make? The answer is a bit difficult to figure out because the numbers change from one golf course to the next.

Most of the time, there is a head pro that is salaried but can also teach or own the golf shop to add to their overall income. However, assistant golf professionals and teaching professionals won’t make nearly as much money.

Most assistant professionals or teaching professionals will keep most of the money they get from their lessons, but they will probably have to give some back to the club. The rate is usually a percentage, and it pays for things like the golf balls, the range use, and more. This is a fair overall system, and it is to be expected.

A golf teaching pro that is not seen in the pro shop all that much and doesn’t help to run tournaments or events may only be making what they earn from their lessons. How golf professionals are paid will vary depending on the club and on the qualifications of the staff.

If you are a well-known member or a regular at a public golf course, chances are you know whether or not your golf teaching professionals are making much money. If these people help you play golf well, take care of them with a tip or a gift after shooting a low round.


Hopefully, you now have a little better of a feel for where tipping is appropriate and where you should avoid it. In the end, as long as you are playing at a tipping golf club, you can tip anyone that you would like. The idea behind tipping is that people who do a great job should earn a little something extra.

Therefore it makes sense to leave money when you can afford it. Golf teaching professionals want you to play better golf; that is why they do what they do. The great ones will never expect a tip, but you can guarantee that it will make their day if that were to happen.

Please visit PG Golf Links in the future for additional golf reviews and updates.

Steven Clark

My name is Steven, and I am the person behind this website. I am a high-single digit handicap and I am obsessed with the game of golf. This website was started so I could test and use new clubs, balls, and other golf accessories, and now, it has become my business. I hope you enjoy and check back often.

Recent Posts