1 thing golfers should do when they get an invite to a fancy club

So you’ve got the call you’ve always been hoping for. You’ve got an invite to a fancy club that you’ve always wanted to play. What should you do next? Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to offer some helpful advice, golfer-to-golfer, to make sure your next invite isn’t your last.

1. Be yourself!

Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): Remember, most importantly, to be yourself. There’s no club so fancy that you should have to change who you are to conform! By all means, listen to my colleagues and get advice on dress code, silly rules etc. But don’t feel like you have to be somebody different just because you’re at a swanky golf course. We like you just the way you are, and remember, you got this invite because you’re already a fun playing partner. Don’t act differently because you think you need to.

2. Stop worrying about ‘playing well’

Luke Kerr-Dineen (1.8 handicap): It breaks my heart when I play with someone at a fancy course who wants to play so well that they get really stressed.

Yes, it’s a nice course, but you don’t need to play well to enjoy yourself. And the harder you try to play well, the worse you’ll probably play. So, when you get that invite, toss away the scorecard (mentally, if not literally). Keep your head up, and soak in everything around you. Notice the little details. Make those the things you remember, not the number on the scorecard.

3. Send a post-round thank-you gift

Josh Sens (2.5 handicap): If that someone is like me, have their spouse inspect their outfit to make sure all the mustard stains are gone. Ask about any club policies, dress codes, etc.

And afterward, send your host a nice note and maybe, if it seems right, a modest thank-you gift. Wine. Whiskey. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it’s the thought that counts, and it goes a long way.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions

Ashley Mayo (3.1 handicap): There’s no such thing as asking the member who invited you too many questions. What’s the dress code? What’s the cell phone policy? Are you expected to remove your hat in the clubhouse? Ask your host tons of questions so that you aren’t hit with too many surprises when it’s time to play — and don’t worry, your host will be expecting it. This’ll help make the round more fun for everyone.

5. Nail down the dress code

Zephyr Melton (6.7 handicap): Always be clear on the dress code before you arrive at the course. There’s nothing more embarrassing than showing up only to be in violation of their dress code. It’s uncomfortable for the member, it’s uncomfortable for the guest, and it’s uncomfortable for the staff member who has to guide you to the pro shop to buy new trousers. All it takes is a simple text message to your buddy to make sure you know what’s acceptable at their club.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is an English-American who oversees the brand’s service journalism content across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms. An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. Following graduation, he spent two years as a digital editor at Golf Digest before spending three years as a Senior Editor at USA Today.