Do You Know Country Club Etiquette?

By: Monica Lee

Do You Know Country Club Etiquette?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Stained t-shirts and ripped jeans are not going to make a good impression at the country club. Whether you've been invited due to work or are a card-carrying country club member, you should reacquaint yourself with the unspoken rules of good behavior on the golf course, in the restaurant, at the pool, at the tennis courts... need we say more? 

We'll take you through a day at the club, and make sure your conversation is appropriate, proper manners are used while dining, and you are appropriately suited for all the fun and physical activities. And of course, that you are appropriately attired for cocktail hour and any other formal events you may attend. 

Today, it's more important than ever that you don't mistakenly offend anyone. Take, for instance, if you decide don't want to drink wine with your meal. How do you convey that to the waiter? Some people might think you turn your wine glass upside down, but that clear statement of abstinence might offend those who want to imbibe. Instead, place your fingertips on the rim of the glass and say “Not today, thanks.” Did that response surprise you? Then make sure you run through this quiz to refresh your etiquette. You, of impeccable manners and scintillating conversation, have nothing to fear but uncouth guests.

You are appropriately attired, but there are still disapproving stares. What is wrong?
Your guest is not appropriately attired.
You are not solely responsible for yourself; if you bring a guest, he or she also must also be appropriately attired. It reflects badly on you if you have not instructed your guest on the dress policies of the club.
There is a hole in your sock, which is hidden by your slacks.
You are drinking coffee, not a cappuccino.
You are holding a bouquet of flowers.

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Which of these attires are acceptable at a country club restaurant?
A) T-shirts
B) Casually elegant
Ever wondered what "casually elegant" means? It means dresses, slack suits or skirts with an appropriate blouse and shoes for women. And for men, it includes sports jackets, collared long-sleeve shirts, mock turtlenecks (not T-shirts), dress slacks and appropriate shoes.
C) Cargo shorts and pants
D) A & C

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Which of these is an example of "smart casual"?
A) Capris
B) Collared short-sleeve shirt
C) Cocktail dress
D) A & B
Similar to elegant casual, but a small step down in the type of fabric and style. This is appropriate wear before changing into your golf or swimming attire.

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Which of these etiquette rules do you need to do at the tee?
Allow the player to complete the drive before you approach the tee.
Crowding someone at the tee is not in good taste. Nor is asking others where the tee should be placed. It's courteous to take as little time as possible once you're on the tee.
Yell "fore!" if you don't feel like waiting for the players to clear your driving path.
Take as much time as needed to select your club once you're at the tee.
Ask others where the tee should be placed.

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What is the rule of thumb when wearing perfume?
Don't wear perfume ever. People have allergies.
If you can still smell your perfume by the end of the evening you've worn too much.
People want to be able to smell their food, and not smell you as you walk by. Perfume is for those who come close to speak or embrace to get a pleasant scent. Not be overpowered by your particular perfume.
Only wear it on your neck, not wrists.
Only wear it behind your ears.

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Taking the kids to the Country Club pool? What's a no-no?
Diapered children without “leak-proof” swimwear
Children need to be leak-proof. And quiet. No running and no screaming around the pool. They are expected to act like little adults.
Open-toe sandals
Cover-ups
All of the above

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If you're dining at a country club for business, what should you do if you don't want to finish your meal?
Nothing, let the waiter take it away.
You're not required to eat everything on your plate. But if it's a business meeting, no doggy bags allowed. From the continued smell of the food to people making accommodations for your leftovers to be stored in a refrigerator, you are imposing on others by requesting a doggy bag.
Ask for a doggy bag
Ask if you can take some of the rolls and put it in your doggy bag
None of the above

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Which of these are the rules for using salt at the table?
Pass the salt and pepper together, even if only one is requested.
Be sure to taste the food before putting salt or pepper on it.
The pepper shaker is on the left and the salt on the right.
All of the above
People always look for the salt and pepper together on the table, don't have pepper at one end the table and salt at the other, so pass them together. Also, keep the pepper on the left of the salt when passing and replacing on the table. And if you know what's good for you, don't offend your host by adding salt or pepper to the food before tasting it.

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When should you start eating once you're seated at the dining table?
A) When the food is served to you
B) When the food is served to everyone
C) When the hostess begins eating.
D) B & C
If you’re seated at a table with eight or fewer guests, wait until everyone is served and for the hostess to begin eating before you start to eat.

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Which of these would you categorize as semi-formal attire?
Cocktail dress
Suit or jacket with tie
Evening gown
All of the above
Now you're dressing like you own the place. Remember, no loud jewelry or obnoxious patterns and you'll be well respected.

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Now it's time to play golf. When should you let someone play through?
When you see the green flag
When you see the yellow flag
Many country clubs have rangers who use a flag system. A green flag means the pace is good. A yellow flag means you should let others play through. However, if you get a red flag, you need to pick up your ball and follow the ranger.
When you see the red flag
When you need a break from playing

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Which of these behaviors are inappropriate while dining?
Laughing loudly
Talking loudly
Staring
All of the above
All of these behaviors are disrespectful to other dinners who wish to have conversations and don't want to raise their voices over yours to be heard. Also staring is insulting.

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What type of shoes should you wear to play tennis at a country club?
Black-soled shoes
Jogging shoes
Tennis shoes
Since black-soled shoes leave skid marks, and many clubs require you to wear actual tennis shoes, don't take along your cross trainers. Buy actual tennis shoes, and you'll be welcomed to the club.
Sandals

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How can you pick up the pace if your foursome is lagging behind?
Hit your shot when ready and it is safe to do so.
At the tee, the shortest hitters should play first.
When you have reached your stroke limit, pick up you ball and continue to the next hole.
All of the above
One of the most frustrating things is to wait for a slow group to finish, hole after hole. If you're in the zone, you will probably lose it as you wait. To make all players happy be aware of your pace.

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What should you do if you make a divot on the fairway?
Make sure no one sees you
Replace the divot or fill it with sand
Fairways have neat grass and repaired divot holes so the balls can roll or have a normal bounce. You must replace the divot or fill it with sand.
Leave as is, that happens sometimes when you golf
None of the above

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Cheryl meets Becky as you're walking to your restaurant booth. You're not introduced. What do you do?
Wait for the conversation to be over, then head to the booth together.
Let them have a private conversation and head to the booth. She'll catch up.
Introduce yourself.
If you’re with someone and your companion greets a person you don’t know, you should also greet them. It shows you are sociable and friendly.
None of the above

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What does it mean when you put your cell phone on the table when at a restaurant?
It shows the cell phone is more important than the company.
Although you may be addicted to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, playing video games and checking messages, don’t put your phone on the restaurant table. By doing so, you show how unimportant the dinner conversation is to you.
It shows you are addicted to checking your messages.
It shows you are addicted to checking all the social media platforms.
It shows you are addicted to playing Angry Birds.

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You're invited to a formal occasion, what should the men wear?
Tuxedo
You don't need the top hat and cane, but for a formal occasion, a tuxedo is the perfect fit. Add interesting cuff links to set off your dapper look. Plus they can be a good conversation starter.
Jeans
Golf attire
Open collar shirt, no tie

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You are drinking ice tea with lemon. What's the polite way to squeeze the lemon?
Don't squeeze it. It is already flavoring your drink by being in the ice tea.
Don't scoop the lemon out of your drink with your fingers, use a fork.
Use your hand to shield your lemon as you squeeze it into your ice tea.
Use your hand to shield your lemon as you squeeze it into your iced tea, so you don’t squirt your dining companion in the eye. Although it is more polite to spear it with a fork, it's more important to use the other hand to shield your companion.
Smash the lemon to the side of the glass with a knife to juice the lemon.

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It's time for a round of golf, what's appropriate to wear for women?
Halters
Strapless sun tops
Bare-midriff shirts
Golf shorts
The idea here is no unnecessary showing of skin. If you keep that rule of thumb in mind, you'll be dressed appropriately. For all shorts and skirts keep it mid-thigh or longer.

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Not the golf course, but the driving range. What can you wear if you're a woman?
Fishnet tops
Short-shorts
Spandex
None of the above
Attire rules are not relaxed even at the driving range. Keep it cool but keep it covered. Denim and athletic shorts are also looked down upon.

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Now you're at the restaurant. Which of these fork and knife patterns means you're finished eating?
Fork and knife are vertical on the plate.
All of these are positions that tell the waiter information. Option A says your plate can be cleared, you are finished eating. Option B says you are still eating. Option C means you are expecting another course.
Knife tip and fork tines at 12 o'clock on the plate with the handles at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock respectively.
The fork is vertical, and the knife is horizontal on the plate.
The fork

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What rules apply to golf course attire if you're a man?
Hats must be facing forward.
No cargo shorts or pants
No denim
All of the above
There are more attire rules wherever you go, the golf course, driving range, pool and tennis courts. Be sure you know what's what, before your start playing.

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What should you do if someone insults you at dinner?
Raise your voice and let that person know you don't appreciate his or her opinion.
Punch the person in the face.
Tell the maitre d' the person is insulting you.
Leave the ill-mannered company.
If someone offends you, you shouldn’t insult them back or raise your voice to the person who insulted you. Don’t sink to their level. Just leave the ill-mannered company. That says it all.

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If you're passing the salt but need to use it on your food, is it okay to quickly salt your food before passing it on?
Yes
No
If you salt your food while your dining companion looks on, or others are waiting to pass it along to the person requesting salt, you will look greedy and rude. And you surely don't want that.

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Can you play tennis bare-chested at a country club?
Yes, if you come from the pool.
No, follow the "keep cool, but keep covered" rule.
No male (or female) can play bare-chested. Most likely at your country club, clothing such as muscle shirts, running shorts, jean shorts or bathing suits are not permitted as well.

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Which of these are general rules regarding golf carts?
Each cart is limited to two bags and two persons.
Golf carts must be kept at least 10 yards (10 steps) away from tees, greens and ponds.
Golf carts are not permitted on the sidewalks.
All of the above
Golf has many different rules of etiquette and this is just for golf carts! There are rules about crossing in front of a shot and teeing off as well.

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Which of these are NOT topics for a friendly dinner conversation?
Religion
Politics
Family quarrels
All of the above
No reason to air dirty laundry in public. You should also never bring up politics or religion due to the controversial and heated nature of the topics.

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Should you visit someone by just dropping by unannounced?
Sure, why not?
No, definitely not.
Never pay a visit without calling first. Even if the person always tells you to come by anytime, you should still call first. It's called good manners.

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You're on the putting green. Which of these etiquette rules should you apply?
A) Don't make noise while your playing partners are putting.
B) Return your cart while awaiting your final putt.
C) Keep your feet off the line of your playing partners’ putts.
D) A & C
These aren't the only unspoken rules when putting. Be sure you make a good impression by moving off the green and to the next hole quickly. Then you can write down the strokes for the previous hole.

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Which of these are appropriate dinner conversations?
So, how much did you pay for that yacht?
I heard your son was expelled from school.
If it rains anymore, we'll have to buy waders to get around.
Good conversation starters are the weather, interests or hobbies of the person you're talking to or hobbies of that person's family. Sports teams can be a topic of conversation but it's best to know the team loyalties of your dinner partners before conversing.
How many gifts did you get from your wedding?

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What qualifies as hazards on a golf course?
A) Bunkers
B) Ponds
C) The rough
D) A & B
Bunkers, ponds, pond edges, sand traps and other areas designated by red stakes are hazards. The good news is that you may hit your ball from any of these areas – if you can find it and it’s hittable – without penalty.

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Before playing golf at a new country club, what might you want to find out?
If the food is good there
If you can wear spiked golf shoes
Call first to ask if the course is okay with spiked shoes or is a spikeless golf course. Some clubs prefer to maintain a smoother green and require spikeless shoes. However, many players prefer spikes due to their traction ability.
If you can go swimming after golfing
If you can play tennis in your golf attire

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Which of these are appropriate conversation starters?
That's an interesting accessory (tie, scarf, brooch), is there a story behind it?
Unless you want to offend people there is no reason to discuss age, medical problems, or love affairs in front of company.
I always thought you were in your 40s, how old are you?
I heard you had some medical problems last month, what happened?
Did Charles really have a fling with Audrey?

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You don't want to drink wine with your meal. How do you convey that to the waiter?
Turn your wineglass upside down.
Simply place your fingertips on the rim of the glass and say “Not today, thanks.”
Simply place your fingertips on the rim of the glass and say “Not today, thanks.” This implies no judgment of those who wish to imbibe.
Say loudly, "no, drinking is for alcoholics!"
Move your wine glass to the other side of the silverware setting( by the fork).

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