How to play skins

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The skins golf format sees players compete head-to-head for a prize on each hole.

How play skins

Skins games are most commonly played in groups of three or four golfers and follow a match play format.

Before the round starts, all players agree to a prize amount for each hole. Values could be the same for every hole or could change depending on the difficulty or relevance of the hole.

The best score on each hole wins the prize – or skin – for that hole. However, if two or more players tie a hole, then the skin carries over to the next.

All players are then able to compete for the next skin as well as the skin from the previous hole.

An example of skins

Three golfers play a game of skins where every hole is worth £3, with each player putting forward £1 per hole.

Hole 1: Player A shoots a 4, while Player B and Player C make a 5. Player A receives the skin from the hole, winning £3.

Hole 2: Player A and Player B make a 3, Player C makes a 5. No skin is awarded, so the £3 carries over to the next hole.

Hole 3: This is now worth £6. Player A makes a 5, Player B makes a 3, Player C makes a 4. Player B therefore wins the skins for both holes 2 and 3, pocketing £6.

Tour skins golf

An unofficial money event using skins ran on the PGA tour from 1983 to 2008. Four players were invited at a time to compete, with invitees including Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Tom Watson, and Gary Player. Couples achieved the nickname ‘Mr Skins’ due to his notorious success in the event.

Skins has also been played on the LPGA Tour, used in an event between 1990 and 2003.

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