What are Skins?

You may have seen the most famous skins game every year that occurs on Thanksgiving weekend. Four big-name PGA tour players play 18 holes. On a given hole, if any one of the players wins the hole outright (i.e. is the only one to get an eagle), then he wins the pool of money allocated for that hole. If there is no one player who wins the hole outright, then nobody wins the hole and they continue with the next hole.

These professionals play a version of skins that carries over the money on a hole to the next hole if nobody wins that hole. You can see that if there is no winner in a five or six hole stretch, then that next hole can be worth a lot of money because of these carryovers! Indeed, this past year's PGA skins had all of the skins carry over to the 18th hole, mainly because of a new controversial validation format where you not only had to win a hole outright, but had to either win or tie the following hole.

SMGC Optional Skins

The Sunnyvale Men's Golf Club tournaments often has a side skins tournament going alongside the normal club tournament. This skins tournament is strictly optional and costs $10.00 total to participate. Unlike the professional version, this skins tournament does not use carryovers. And typically since there are many people playing in the skins tournament, it is quite difficult to win a hole outright. Think about it. If there are fifteen people in the skins tournament, and you get a birdie on a hole, it is very possible that one of the other fourteen participants will birdie that hole as well. Of course, since there are eighteen holes total, there are eighteen opportunities to win!

This skins tournament uses the gross score for each hole, not the net score.

Here are the rules for the SMGC skins tournament:

  1. Skins are not always available. Ask to see if anybody is running a skins tournament on that given week.

  2. You must declare before you tee off on the first hole that you are in the skins tournament. If skins are available that day, there will be a sign-up sheet. Ask other members if there is a skins tournament and how to sign up. You should pay your $10.00 to the skins coordinator at that time. The collection of all the participants money goes into the skins pool.

  3. Make sure that the skins coordinator has your scores at the end of the round. He will chart your scores on a master skins sheet. Remember that your gross (scratch) scores are used for skins.

  4. Once all the participants scores are entered into the master skins sheet, the winners will be determined hole by hole. For each of the eighteen holes, if there is exactly one outright winner, then that person has won one skin.

  5. The skins pool is divided evenly among all the skins winners. It is possible for the same person to win more than one skin (if they win more than one hole outright).

  6. If there are no outright winners on any of the eighteen holes, then your money will be returned. Yes, this is rare, but it has happened before.


Let's assume that 20 players have declared that they will play in the skins tournament. Each person puts in $10.00 making a skin pool of $200.00. Once all the scores are collected and entered into the master skins sheet, there are four holes with outright winners:

8th holePlayer A
12th holePlayer J
15th holePlayer M
17th holePlayer J

There are four skins winners.

$200.00 / 4 = $50.00.

So each skin is worth fifty dollars. Player A and Player M each get $50.00 while Player J gets $100.00 since he won two skins.

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