GET INTO GOLF: Looking for something different? Play for ‘Skins’ |

GET INTO GOLF: Looking for something different? Play for ‘Skins’

John Renslow
Golf Columnist

Last week we discussed a fun form of competition known as a “Rabbit.” This works especially well when your group has an odd number of players. Two players can have a match and four may play as teams. But when you have three or perhaps five, it’s not as simple. The Rabbit fits with virtually any number larger than two.

Another way to go if you have a group, that is easier to reconcile, is the “Skins” game. Where the Rabbit is designed to be played over a series of holes, the Skins game is hole-by-hole.

A unit is chosen as the reward for each hole. At the completion of a hole, the player with the lowest score wins the Skin and the reward. If there is a tie, the Skin “carries over” and the next hole is worth two units.

This can get very exciting as holes are tied and the amount of the carry over grows.

Here is a scenario. A group gets together and agrees that they will play the Skins game for $1 per hole. This will cost each player $18.

For small, familiar groups, this could be collected and paid following play. For large or unfamiliar groups, this amount is collected in advance and paid out following play.

One key aspect that needs to be decided prior to play. Knowing that a tie is carried over to the next hole, what happens if the final hole results in a tie?

There are two ways to handle this. One is to not include those holes in the game. If a skin is not won after the 13th hole, each player is only responsible for a $13 entry fee and the skins are paid based on the scorecard.

Frankly, this would only be practical for the small, familiar group. It still keeps the fun of Skins carrying over in the event of multiple ties and the accounting is fairly simple.

However, this is not practical for large groups.

The way to go for large or unfamiliar groups is to take the entire amount in the pot or purse and divide it among those who have won skins. Each skin that is won takes a portion of the pot. Naturally, the number of ties increases with the number of players. A group of forty can have a great Skins game, but you don’t have the intrigue of the carry over.

It is not unusual to have large groups finish with only a handful of skins “out” or won.

Whether it’s a traditional Nassau, a Rabbit or Skins game, we often need some form of competition to better enjoy the game or possibly test ourselves.

Perhaps its just the competitor in me, but if you’re not playing for something, it’s just practice.

John Renslow is a PGA professional, VP of Yugi Golf Management, and provides golf instruction at local courses.

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