Thanks for the Gift

Tom Velarde
Golf Professional
Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ

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I know it’s somewhat tacky, but let’s talk about how to return that golf gift you do not think you will use. Contrary to common sense, golf is another world onto its own set of rules. If you don’t believe that look at the Rule Book and then look at the decisions book, enough said. 

Here are some of the weird things that can happen. Golf has a very strange place in the market where the customer would like to exchange the club received as a gift for a different club at another store. Like going to Dillard’s to exchange a coat that was purchased at Sam’s. After all, it should be all the same.

It’s also smart to ask the place that the gift was purchased what the price of purchase was; end of year sales can produce great bargains that can turn into return nightmares. So, get that information up front. If the person who purchased the gift bought at 50% off you can only return for the amount spent. While this should be common sense, so is trying to execute a 225 carry over water when you can only carry the ball 200.

Many times the gift was purchased with a gift certificate which means that if you want to return the gift for cash it may not happen. Many clubs and shops just will not give back cash, but then again I have taken store credits with department stores.

How can you handle these returns without your blood pressure going up? Customer service starts with a customer and the customer is always correct, this is a given. Another given is the clerk and managers can only perform within the limits placed on them. So, first and foremost, ask what your options are on returns and most importantly ask what the monetary amount you’re working with is.

I know it is common sense, but a return on a club that is hit on the range may not work as will one that has scratches on the sole plate after swings on a mat or carpet. It’s a little like driving that new car off the lot…it immediately depreciates.

Every now and then you try to return a club that has no value, an example would be a club or item that was won as a door prize or as a prize in a tournament. If this happens, just remember the person who gave you the gift at least thought enough of you to give a gift.

It is very hard to get a refund on service gifts, i.e. massages – lessons – psychic readings. Some things are just better re-gifted.

If all else fails you can always put that gift up for sale on EBAY where the only rule is you sell it for as much as someone is willing to pay for it. If none of the above makes you happy, donate it to the Salvation Army and get a tax credit. Happy returns!

Tom Velarde is the Director of Golf at Black Mesa Golf Club in Espanola, New Mexico, just northwest of Santa Fe. For more information or to reach Tom, email