7 dos and don’ts for being a good host at your golf club

Extending the invitation is a good start, but hosting requires you to do a whole lot more. I operate an online service that connects more than 3,000 members at private clubs — it’s important for me to get it right. Here are the critical dos and don’ts.

Prep your guest

Dress codes. Cell-phone policies. Tipping customs. Clarifying the rules in advance can avoid embarrassment for them — and you.

Alert the staff

Nothing says “welcome” like a personal greeting. Let the club know your guest’s name and expected time of arrival, so everyone can be prepared to say hello and roll out the red carpet.

Allow for pre- and post-game activities

Tee time’s not until 2 p.m.? Your guest should still feel free to show up well before then. Hit balls. Take a sauna. Grab a drink. Relax. On this day, it’s their club, too.

Make it your treat…or not

The “right” approach here varies from member to member and club to club. What’s important is to be clear up front about who’s covering what so that there’s no awkwardness.

Set the stakes

Some folks like playing for a little something. Others don’t. Ask gently on the first tee if anyone is up for a friendly game, but make it clear that it’s all good if they’re not.

Keep it light

Allow for breakfast balls. Concede short putts. The last thing you want is to leave a guest sweating over a two-footer. Bottom line: This is supposed to be fun.

Share the full experience.

Maybe your club has a rich history, or distinctive design features, or an especially astounding view, or a signature drink. Pointing out those kinds of details — without playing overbearing tour guide — can make for a truly memorable day.