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Skins Game in Golf

Want to learn how to play skins game in golf? You are at the right place! Skins games allow players to compete for a specific prize and the prize is usually some good hard cash.

You might be aware of some basic terms like stroke and match play; however, skins are something unique in golf. So, today we are going to break down how skins work in golf.

What is a “Skins Game” in Golf?

In a Skins Game, each hole is worth a certain amount of money or points, known as a “skin.” The player with the lowest score on a hole wins the skin.

The player with the most skins at the end of the round wins the competition. However, the stakes can range from small amounts of money among friends to large sums of money in professional events.

ball ready for skin game in golf

How To Play Skins Game in Golf?

Before you start playing skins, agree on the value of each skin. This can be a predetermined amount of money, points, or any other form of agreed-upon currency. In addition, it is very much Decided who will be playing in the Skins Game. This can be done with just a few players or a large group of players.

Start the round of golf as usual, with each player taking turns to tee off. The player with the lowest score on each hole wins the skin and if there is a tie, the skin carries over to the next hole. Keep a running total of the number of skins won by each player throughout the round. At the end of the round, the player with the most skins is the winner. But if you end up in a tie, you can either split the winnings or continue playing sudden-death playoff holes until there is a winner.

How To Determine the Value of Skins in Golf?

  • First, determine the number of players participating in the skins game. The agreed-upon amount of money each player will contribute to the pot.
  • Establish the value of each skin as the skin game winner is the player who has the lowest score on a particular hole. You can assign a value to each skin based on the agreed-upon amount of money inside the pot and the number of skins available. For example, if there are 18 skins available and $100 in the pot, each skin would be worth $5.55.
  • Most importantly, players need to determine how ties will be handled. If two or more players tie for the lowest score on any hole, they have to pre-determine how that should be handled. Some players may agree to split the skin evenly among the tied players. While others may decide to carry the skin over to the next hole or create a playoff to determine the winner.
  • Keep track of the skins won by each player throughout the game. At the end of the round, the player with the most skins is the winner and takes home all the cash.
Way to determine value of skins in Golf

How to Win Skins Golf

The golfer who has managed to accumulate the most skins during a specific round is the winner of that Skins game.

Back It Up Skins Game

The “Back It Up Skins Game” is a variation of the traditional skins game in golf, that can add a competitive twist to your round.

In this game format, the player who wins a hole must “back it up” on the next hole by winning again. If they fail to do so the skin is carried over to the next hole, and the player who wins that hole can “back it up” on the following hole.

For example, if player one wins the first hole and then wins the second hole as well, they have backed it up and won two skins. If player two wins the third hole, the skin is carried over to the fourth hole, and player three wins that hole, they can then “back it up” on the fifth hole and win this skin’s game.

Skins Variations

There are several variations of the skins game in golf, here are a few popular variations:

No Carryovers:

In this variation, each hole is worth a set amount of money or points, and the value does not carry over if no player wins the hole outright. Overall, this variation can be a good option if you want to keep the game moving quickly.


In one club, each player selects a single club to use for the entire round. Additionally, this can add an extra challenge to the game and make it more difficult to win skins.


In Reverse variation, the player with the highest score on a hole wins the skin. This can be a good option for players who struggle with consistency, as it rewards the player who can recover from a poor shot.


In Stableford, players earn points based on their score on each hole, with higher scores earning fewer points. The player with the most points at the end of the round wins the skins. This variation can be a good option for players who want to emphasize consistency and accuracy over raw score.

Skins in Golf

Tips for playing Skins in golf:

  • It’s important to establish the rules and the value of each skin before starting the game to avoid any confusion.
  • You can choose to play Skins for the entire round of golf or just for a certain number of holes.
  • Skins Games can be a fun way to add some friendly competition to your round of golf. But remember to always play within your means and gamble responsibly.


Overall, Skins games add excitement to a round of golf. Also, these are used as a format for fundraising events or a way for professional golfers to compete informally. Most importantly, skins games are the most popular type of golf gaming format. So, you must learn how to play it properly to make cash while enjoying it.

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