What are Skins in Golf?

What are Skins in Golf? Explore the game.

Key Points

  • Skins is a golf game in which the players compete on each hole for a prize. This is a ‘Skin‘ award. The name comes from a money bag, the bag made from the skin itself.
  • It need not be money, however, for which the players compete, but points.
  • The game is played as a matchplay version and is suitable for 3 or 4 games.
  • Each hole gets a prize of a certain amount of money ahead of the round. Increasing the sums of money is customary as the round progress.
  • If one player wins the hole directly then the skin wins. If no one wins the hole outright, the skin value for the next hole will be added to the skin.
  • Even if they had not tied for the win at the preceding hole, all players can compete for these skins.
  • The game can, therefore, be of benefit to the errant player, those who can sometimes play the strange brilliant hole and stuff up others instead of Steady Eddie.

It is unlikely that a golfer who plays all 18 holes will win many skins, especially a fourball. Similar summaries, however, are probably more effective composed of bogeys and birdies.
For this reason, a golf skins game is considered to be a favourite. There is a lower reward; a small penalty for higher levels.

If skins were not won on the 18th green, the game would suddenly die. The rules for sudden death differ slightly, as an overall win is still winning the skins, but only players who are bound for the win continue to the next hole when they tie for the lowest score.

A skins game was used as a feature of the PGA tour, which included four invited players on Thanksgiving weekend. The contest began in 1983 when Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player were the four actors involved.

The event continued until 2008 because it lost its sponsor and was unable to attract another. In his 11 appearances, Fred Couples won five skin games.

For example, the 2008 event, with total prize money of 1 million dollars, has a $25 thousand in holes 1–6; 50,000 dollars in holes 7-12, 70 thousand dollars in hole 13–17, and 200,000 dollars in the final hole, as an example of how skin value has grown.

What are Skins in Golf?

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