New York’s Doug asks: What’s a good time to support baggage attendants? Upon arrival? to leave? Both?
Most golf etiquette questions have a kadishak Connection. In this case, I think of the scene where Al Czervik swings from Rodney Dangerfield to Bushwood in a flashy red Rolls-Royce and jumps out, bills flashing.
“Here, boy,” he said to the servant. “Park my car. Get my bag and” — he paused to give an insight before pressing more dough into the palm of the young man — “Put some weight on, right?”
The point is, if Rodney can do it, you can too. There is no rule forbidding tipping in advance. But there is no expectation for that either. Tipping on arrival is an outside move, and it’s a generous gesture that, like all tipping, is best handled with caution. We all know real-life chirviks who wave their cash boxes looking at me. They don’t share their wealth so much as they look for attention, just like the cars they drive.
If your heart was in the right place — obviously, or you weren’t to ask the question — then you know tipping is not about you. It’s about the other person. You want to make sure that no one on the staff gets stiff.
In this regard, you can rest easy.
Most clubs allow tipping for outside services. Sometimes, percentages are weighted by seniority. But everyone ends up getting a share. Everyone also knows that tipping usually occurs on departure rather than arrival, so there are no pressing expectations. You won’t get smelly if you don’t scare the employee who greets you and helps you when you pull out. They will get theirs later.
What is the appropriate reward? Figure You should break out at least $5 per bag, so $10 if you’re picking up your partner’s sticks as well.
Of course, none of the attendees will be upset if you drop them some bucks up front, either. Just don’t get hung up on their weight.