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Putting Out or "Gimme Some Lovin'"

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

According to Wikipedia a gimme is "When a player has only a very short putt left to play, other players may grant a gimme (i.e. one stroke is counted), but the ball is not actually played."

 

In match play, an opponent can concede a putt, or grant a gimme on any other shot, if they are out of the hole. And, the Equitable Stroke Control sets a maximum per-hole score that you can turn in for handicap purposes.  So, for handicap purposes,  it would acceptable to pick up your ball if you have reached your maximum number of shots, unless you are in a stroke play competition. Here are the Equitable Stroke Control maximums....

 

Course Handicap Maximum Score
0-9 Double Bogey
10-19 7
20-29 8
30-39 9
40 or more 10

 

Personally, when I am golfing with friends, and no money is on the line, they can have a "gimme" any time they want. It is up to them to protect the integrity of their handicap, and since they are my friend, I will not question their character.  As for my own game, I will take putts from 18" and closer, because according to Dave Pelz, golfers only make 83% of their three foot putts.

 

After reading the "Breakfast Ball" thread, it seems as if golf purists refuse to accept "two shots on the first tee" as acceptable to the game of golf, especially as it applies to the Rues of Golf and for handicap purposes. So, I was just wondering how SandTrap contributors feel about gimme's.

 

So, the big question is, "When do you grant a gimme, or concede a putt to yourself?"
 

post #2 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfreuter415 View Post

According to Wikipedia a gimme is "When a player has only a very short putt left to play, other players may grant a gimme (i.e. one stroke is counted), but the ball is not actually played."

 

In match play, an opponent can concede a putt, or grant a gimme on any other shot, if they are out of the hole. And, the Equitable Stroke Control sets a maximum per-hole score that you can turn in for handicap purposes.  So, for handicap purposes,  it would acceptable to pick up your ball if you have reached your maximum number of shots, unless you are in a stroke play competition. Here are the Equitable Stroke Control maximums....

 

Course Handicap Maximum Score
0-9 Double Bogey
10-19 7
20-29 8
30-39 9
40 or more 10

 

Personally, when I am golfing with friends, and no money is on the line, they can have a "gimme" any time they want. It is up to them to protect the integrity of their handicap, and since they are my friend, I will not question their character.  As for my own game, I will take putts from 18" and closer, because according to Dave Pelz, golfers only make 83% of their three foot putts.

 

After reading the "Breakfast Ball" thread, it seems as if golf purists refuse to accept "two shots on the first tee" as acceptable to the game of golf, especially as it applies to the Rues of Golf and for handicap purposes. So, I was just wondering how SandTrap contributors feel about gimme's.

 

So, the big question is, "When do you grant a gimme, or concede a putt to yourself?"
 

In match play whenever it is less than 3% that I will win or halve the hole, or if I am winning big and my opponent is having a bad day and I like the guy.  

 

In stroke play never.  

 

The only time I will concede a put to myself is when I am paired up with strangers, if I hit it close and someone hits the ball back to me I will count it as good and not make a big deal about it.  If it wouldn't affect the chemistry of the round I might say I always like to putt out but most of the time I make no comment unless it is especially charitable.  

 

If I was allowed to give myself gimmes I would have a much better Handicap.d3_drool.gif

post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfreuter415 View Post

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

So, the big question is, "When do you grant a gimme, or concede a putt to yourself?"
 

If I'm playing in a money game where the rules are "Inside the leather is good" I play that way. It would be foolish not to since everybody else is playing that rule and it's their party, their rules, and my money at stake.

 

If I'm playing match play I try to use concessions as a strategy and how many putts I give and when I give them depends on who I'm playing against.

 

If I'm playing a poor putter I'm making them putt everything, because I want them to know from the start that I'm well aware they can't putt a lick and I want that pressure to build from the start.

 

If I'm playing a good putter I do the usual and give most easy putts early (so they don't feel like they are on a hot streak) and make them putt later when I think the time is right to surprise them by saying nothing.

 

If I'm playing in a game where "gimmes" are used I'm well aware that I didn't actually have a score for the round (because any putt can be missed). I came dangerously close to missing a birdie putt of about 15 inches a couple of weeks ago even though I lined it up and went through my normal putting routine because I had to have the birdie for a chance to win. It caught some grain that I didn't expect and it jerked hard left. Went in but certainly not in the middle of the hole. Could have easily missed that putt if I had nonchalantly tried to tap it in.

post #4 of 41

I don't care what others do unless I'm competing against them.  For myself, I usually putt out, but sometimes I'll take a gimmie if I'm trying to get out of someone else's way or I'm in a rush for whatever reason.   

post #5 of 41

I usually don't give putts when I play in groups, I leave that up to the other guys.  When guys tell me that my putt is good, I still go up and putt out.  It gives me practice and the confidence to make it when I need to.  The only time I let someone give me a gimme is when they hit my ball back to me when they say it's good.  If someone is attempting a birdie that putt is never conceded in our groups.  The guy who is trying to make birdie probably wants to hit it in anyways, I know I do.  Come to think of it not very many pars are conceded either.  IMO, gimmes should only be used if the putt is less than a foot.  Like I said earlier it doesn't matter to me because I hole out all putts.

post #6 of 41
Quote:

 

After reading the "Breakfast Ball" thread, it seems as if golf purists refuse to accept "two shots on the first tee" as acceptable to the game of golf, especially as it applies to the Rues of Golf and for handicap purposes. So, I was just wondering how SandTrap contributors feel about gimme's.

 

So, the big question is, "When do you grant a gimme, or concede a putt to yourself?"
 

 

I don't.  I prefer to putt out.  It takes only slightly longer to putt a "gimme" than to pick up, and then I have a true score.  I once missed an 8" putt in a club match when my opponent was new enough to match play that he wasn't even aware that he was allowed to concede the putt.  That made me realize that there really is no such thing as a "gimme".  Hale Irwin whiffed a 1" tap in during the 1983 British Open, so it can happen to anyone.  

 

The only time I'll not putt out is when I'm playing with someone who I don't know well, and they knock what they see as a "gimme" back to me.  I don't believe in making waves in that situation in a casual round, but I will try to work it into the conversation before it happens again.  It's not the end of the world, and I'd rather accept the gift than make them uncomfortable playing with me.  My regular playing companions know better.

post #7 of 41

My favorite definition of a "gimme" is as follows....

 

.....an agreement between two golfers, neither of whom putt very well.   a2_wink.gif

post #8 of 41
I like to hear it hit the bottom of the hole. But as long as its within a 99.9% make able distance - 12" or so - ill sometimes pick it up, and then it's usually only if I'd have to stand in someone's line to do it.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

My favorite definition of a "gimme" is as follows....

 

.....an agreement between two golfers, neither of whom putt very well.   a2_wink.gif

Yea I tried that.  I played a four ball with someone I didn't know very well last weekend, and he didn't know of my yips/missing 18" puts, and when I tried to give our opponents an easy 2' he said he wanted to have them make it.  I thought it would come back bite us but unfortunately we ended up losing 3 and 2.

 

A lesson to everyone: if your opponent gives you a 2' right at the start you should make him put those 2' until he proves he can make them.

post #10 of 41

It depends. Obviously when I'm playing in tournaments, everything counts, and everything must hit the bottom of the cup.

 

If I'm playing a casual round, and I'm playing good. I want everything to count, so I putt even the shortest ones in.

 

If I'm not playing good that day, sometimes I'll just swoop my ball up with my putter, anything within say 10" or so.

post #11 of 41

When I play and there isn't any money on the line I am pretty generous to offer the gimme to my buddies. If I have a solid round going and have the potential to shoot a low score I like to putt everything out. That way the score is legit. If I'm having a hack-fest and have a 3 footer for double bogey then I will usually call it good. Sometimes you have to do yourself a favor for a moral boost.

post #12 of 41

I prefer to putt out too, on my home course greens, a 6" putt could be a gimme, 12" isn't.   Gimme's should be used for strategic purposes in match play, otherwise, putt it out.  Of course is someone asks me if I'll give them a putt and we're not in a tournament or playing competitively I'll always oblige. 

post #13 of 41

I putt most out, but I'll sometimes scoop it up when it is under a foot.  Can't say I haven't done the same up to about 18" if we need to move along, but really that is a really LONG gimme.  Fourputt makes good point above, there really aren't any gimmes.  I had a 1-footer for eagle once (the only eagle I've ever made) and I was really nervous over it.  I made it, but I think if it had been 13", I might have missed it.  I should really putt everything out.

 

I don't think taking gimmes under a foot will actually affect a handicap though - unless someone is really bad at sub-foot putts.  The normal guy that carries a handicap probably makes 98 out of 100 of these?  I would actually think more.  So of the 2 he misses, one probably wouldn't be counted in the handicap anyway because only the best 10 of the last 20 are averaged.  And the other one would be one stroke averaged into 10 other rounds of golf.  So it would be 1/10 of one stroke at most.  

 

But I see a lot of 2-3 foot gimmes on the course.  There is a perception that you are really supposed to make all of these - which I think makes people less good at them.  The horror of missing a 3 footer is too much to take for some folks - even though it shouldn't be.  So instead of potentially missing an "easy" one, they just scoop it.

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

 

But I see a lot of 2-3 foot gimmes on the course.  There is a perception that you are really supposed to make all of these - which I think makes people less good at them.  The horror of missing a 3 footer is too much to take for some folks - even though it shouldn't be.  So instead of potentially missing an "easy" one, they just scoop it.

 

Several episodes ago on the Big Break, the very first, day-one challenge was to make a 3 foot putt.  Make it and you're safe.  Miss and go immediately into the elimination round.

 

They didn't all make it......

post #15 of 41

Just last week a buddy and I were playing for small stakes.  We both had birdie putts from 5ft on a green with significant break.  It was probably less than 50% chance for us to make those and neither of us wanted to miss because that could result in an even harder 2nd putt.  He walked up and assessed the putts and sheepishly looked at me and said, "Good, good".....we laughed our asses off at the thought of giving 5ft birdie putts.  I 2 putted for par and he 3 jerked it.  

 

But if I'm playing alone on level greens I'll usually just pick up an 18" putt if I chipped that close.  I just don't see wasting the time to pull the pin, lay it down, make the putt, pull ball and replace pin.  If I'm in a group where the pin will already be pulled I'll usually just tap in or mark unless another guy beats me to it and taps it back to me. 

 

I've played for money with a guy that gives himself everything putter length.  It has lowered his HC a couple of strokes because he is awful at 3ft putts.  I was getting strokes from him since his HC was lower and I made him putt out anything over 1ft.  He missed 3 short putts and he was pissed at me and himself.  He never ever practices those putts and I watch his stroke tense up as he hits them.  He now has no confidence in them but refuses to practice them so I don't feel bad.  Saying he's a 3HC is more important than really being a 3HC to him.

post #16 of 41

I usually like to putt out. I only pick it up if I'm playing with people I don't know and it is within a foot, or if I've already played terribly on a hole. It feels really nice to hear the ball hit the bottom of the cup for birdie or par.

post #17 of 41

I putt out. I rarely play match play.  In my league, every stroke counts for your points, so we putt out.  Even on casual rounds I will putt out.  I played a round with three women, two of which I just met.  They were giving each other putts.  After the fourth or fifth time I putt out, they stopped asking me saying, "he always putts out."

post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

 

But I see a lot of 2-3 foot gimmes on the course.  There is a perception that you are really supposed to make all of these - which I think makes people less good at them.  The horror of missing a 3 footer is too much to take for some folks - even though it shouldn't be.  So instead of potentially missing an "easy" one, they just scoop it.

 

Several episodes ago on the Big Break, the very first, day-one challenge was to make a 3 foot putt.  Make it and you're safe.  Miss and go immediately into the elimination round.

 

They didn't all make it......

 

I remember that one.  The opening challenge was a 3 foot putt and the pressure got to several of them.  If they can't handle that, how do they expect to play professional golf?  

 

I like Whisky's reasoning for players calling a 3 footer a "gimme".  Some people can't stand the the thought of failure on a putt they expect themselves to make, so they just call it a gimme and walk off.  The trouble with is that when it comes time in that skins game with 4 holes carried over and you have a 3 footer for a halve to keep the carries going,  you have just tripled the pressure on your stroke because you haven't been playing those putts.  Play them regularly in casual rounds and there's nothing special about facing one when it counts.  Sure there will be a bit more pressure because of the skins on the line, but the putt itself is no longer so daunting.

 

I've played so many matches over the last 20 odd years where my opponents tried the head game of giving everything until the match is getting tight near the end, and I've rarely failed to come through simply because 3 foot putts don't scare me.   I always putt them out, no matter what the round is for.  I certainly don't make all of them, and I really, really hate it when I miss one.  It can really mess with your head when you miss two or three in a row, but I no longer get all knock-kneed when I set up to one. 

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