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How do you deal with the 'Gimme' players? - Page 8

post #127 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvisliveson View Post
 

 

After a few rounds of watching us he started conceding putts, at first prefacing it by saying 'it's more than likely than not you would make that".

 

That really doesn't seem like a compelling argument to me.  Honestly, in some of the situations I've heard discussed, it would take as much time for you to knock the ball back to me or for me to pick it up as it would for me to tap it in (if it's such a "gimme").  

 

Again, I don't really care how anybody else plays their non-competitive rounds.  But I don't concede stuff in casual golf, as I don't control your round.  If you want me to care about your score, though...tap it in.  If you are going to brag about your 79 with 2 gimmes from 3 feet, I'll probably roll my eyes at you.

post #128 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post
 

I'm not super exercised about this, but I side generally with wanting to hole out. 

 

But I'm a fan of quick(ish) rounds, so I could imagine, if I got to play courses that weren't totally full very often, that this could be more of an issue.  I can sympathize with a golfing norm where everyone wants to play a 3 hour round and you just play ready golf, have a fairly quick pre-shot routine, be ready to hit as soon as it's your turn (don't start a long pre-shot routine after sitting and gazing at the previous shot until after it's totally settled), and take 2 footers rather than setting them up like you're in the last group on a Sunday.  I still think it's bad etiquette to hit it back without asking if you don't know the player though.

 

The thing is that most players who are actually concerned about pace of play are the same sort who are not going to take much time agonizing over a 2 foot putt.  A typically fast player isn't going to turn into Joe the Snail over a short putt.  

 

A player who is generally slow isn't going to lose most of his time over a 2 foot putt either.  He's going to be slow in everything he does, and probably lose the least amount of time when he finally gets close to the hole.

post #129 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post

 I still think it's bad etiquette to hit it back without asking if you don't know the player though.

I agree 100%.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

If you are going to brag about your 79 with 2 gimmes from 3 feet, I'll probably roll my eyes at you.

3' gimme's... Yeah, I could see rolling your eyes at that. That's a bit much... If he lagged a few putts to within 3" of the hole and took those as gimme's, I couldn't imagine anyone questioning the validity of his score, though.
post #130 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post


I agree 100%.
3' gimme's... Yeah, I could see rolling your eyes at that. That's a bit much... If he lagged a few putts to within 3" of the hole and took those as gimme's, I couldn't imagine anyone questioning the validity of his score, though.

 

Correct.  I wouldn't have any reason to question it.  But, again, how long does it take to tap in a 3" putt?  If the purpose of "gimmes" is really to speed up play (as often cited in the examples), I find it hard to believe the half second it would take for me to tap in the putt would be significant to the pace of the round.  And somebody else walking to my ball for me (if it's a lag putt) to knock it back to me is shaving a few seconds off the round at best (considering they probably have to walk back to their putt afterwards).

post #131 of 159
This is a regular topic of conversation (argument?) between me and a golfing friend. So I have been round the houses on the various issues many times.

Holing out - save perhaps from literally tap-in range - is all part of the game of golf, and is also arguably one of the most satisfying aspects. It is satisfying because it is fraught with all sorts of subtle risks and dangers and difficulties - even from a couple of feet. I am sure we have all seen people miss from very short distances, because they tug it or over hit it or whatever. It happens. And our average score is increased accordingly. So, if it is all part of the game, why would you not want to always hole out?

Slow play is always cited as an "excuse" for gimmes. Slow play, however, should be addressed by getting the "non-technical" bits of your game right - walk a bit more quickly, be ready to play when it is your turn, learn not to take 10 practice swings etc etc etc. But abandoning a great part of the game (see previous paragraph) is not the way to do it. This comparison may be slightly facetious (although not entirely), but you don't end a game of football 5 minutes early to "save time": I don't give my squash opponent the game when he has reached 8 points to "save time". I know golf takes a lot longer, but that is the nature of the game you have chosen to play - it will take multiple hours. Saving 5 minutes total by not playing the whole game (tee to green to hole) is not the way to shorten the round.

Of course, there may well be instances in a casual round when it is a short putt that you are very confident you would make, AND there is a good golfing reason to save a few seconds here and there to avoid a problem getting worse, eg your group has taken a long time on that hole (looking for a ball or someone having a bad hole) and the group behind has caught up and has been waiting just a bit too long to justify you taking the luxury of holing out (congestion happens in certain circumstances, even with the best will in the world - we all know when it is time to move it along). However, holing out from 3 feet (or even 2 feet) in that circumstance is all part of the game and is no different (I would say) to placing your previous 40 foot lag putt 3 feet from the hole "to save time", as you would "probably" have got it there had you taken your time over it. Why does the last shot of the hole have to be the one that is abandoned? (If you are holding up the group behind so badly that you feel unable even to hole out from 2 or 3 feet then maybe you should be letting them play through anyway.)

Being given a gimme in match play is a different situation altogether. As far as I can tell, giving a gimme is almost always a strategic decision by the giver, to prevent the givee from getting into the groove of shorter putts. It is not a time saving device (in that context).

The other issue is one of handicaps. It is my understanding from this forum (but please correct me if I have got this wrong!) that in the US, you can have gimmes in a h'cap round. In the UK (where I play), only rounds played in a club competition (or designated as a h'cap round before the round starts and marked by a club member under competition rules) can count towards h'cap - ie no gimmes *whatsoever*. So that removes the issue altogether. In a casual round (ie you are not playing against the rest of the field), you can of course do whatever the group collectively wants to do. But in such a round, whilst I am happy for anyone to take whatever gimme they want (it doesn't affect my round), and I won't make a scene if someone wants to give me an occasional gimme, I would still ideally want to hole out everything (bar maybe one-handed tap-ins) because, as I have said above, 2 and 3 footers most certainly have their own challenges and therefore enjoyment and satisfaction.

(I don't intend to open a big debate about the differences between the US and UK systems, but allowing gimmes to count in h'cap rounds where the player would "probably" or "likely" have made the putt seems to conveniently ignore the statistical reality that that of course means that some of those putts would have certainly been missed - possibly as many as 49% of them. Even if it were only, say, 25%, that still means that the true gross score could/would have been, say, 1 or 2 shots more on average per round, had the player holed out everything. Surely over time that rather flatters the h'cap?)

My aforementioned friend is a very experienced, good player (and a thoroughly reasonable and sensible person generally) and is very interested and respectful of the traditions of the game. I am more of a newcomer to the game (but that is not to say that I don't know how to conduct myself on the course - I hope). The issue of tradition/respect often comes up when we discuss gimmes. But I do not see gimmes as anything to do with tradition or respect, or otherwise improving the game: they are simply (unrealistic) shortcuts that erode a very enjoyable aspect of the game and (save for the exceptional situations I have described) they do not save time (or at least are not the cause of slow play and/or are not the way to speed things up).

My view is: play the game - the whole game - and enjoy the process of holing out. If you want to pick up, that's your prerogative, but don't be surprised if I want to putt (and quite possibly occasionally miss) short putts. At least I then know my score is truly my score.
post #132 of 159

I always putt out, and don't care what the guys I am playing with do with their putts.  Maybe if I took the "gimme" I could save a few strokes.  After all, I have only broken 90 twice in my golfing career......Most I play with declare it a "gimme" if it is inside the handle on the putter...but, I think some would like to use an extendable ball retriever and take anything inside the handle....

post #133 of 159
Just curious for all those who say they never, ever take gimme putts, do you mark every putt? No matter how far if you might step in someone's line. Then on these short putts do you ever have to move your coin or marker out of the way of someone's line?

Do you putt out every putt no matter what the score is for. For example, as a 4 or 5 handicap I can't post a score above a double bogey on any hole for handicap purposes, do those of you who putt out every putt, ever pick up once you exceed that score? You always play out very hole no matter what?

Seriously?
post #134 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgolfer View Post

Just curious for all those who say they never, ever take gimme putts, do you mark every putt? No matter how far if you might step in someone's line. Then on these short putts do you ever have to move your coin or marker out of the way of someone's line?

Do you putt out every putt no matter what the score is for. For example, as a 4 or 5 handicap I can't post a score above a double bogey on any hole for handicap purposes, do those of you who putt out every putt, ever pick up once you exceed that score? You always play out very hole no matter what?

Seriously?

 

No, I don't mark every putt.  As I stated on one of the earlier pages, if it's really in gimme range, then I don't need to take my normal stance to ensure that I make it.  I can easily straddle another player's line if necessary and still make a good stroke.  If the situation is such that I can't feel confident doing that then yes, I will mark and lift my ball.  Once it comes time for me to play, it will take all of about 10 seconds to replace my ball and tap it in.  

 

And yes, that is seriously how I prefer to play.  If that seems weird to you, then you don't play much competition.  I do, or did before I moved here, and I don't see any reason for changing the way I play just because I'm not in a formal tournament.  All that does is lead to stupid mistakes when I have to count everything.  If  you think that slows down my play then you need to play with me some day and you will find out different.

post #135 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgolfer View Post

Just curious for all those who say they never, ever take gimme putts, do you mark every putt? No matter how far if you might step in someone's line. Then on these short putts do you ever have to move your coin or marker out of the way of someone's line?

Do you putt out every putt no matter what the score is for. For example, as a 4 or 5 handicap I can't post a score above a double bogey on any hole for handicap purposes, do those of you who putt out every putt, ever pick up once you exceed that score? You always play out very hole no matter what?

Seriously?


If it's a casual round I'll pick up once I reach double since I can't post anything more than that anyways.

post #136 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post


If it's a casual round I'll pick up once I reach double since I can't post anything more than that anyways.

Didn't know about this.. Why can't you post anything more than a double?

a3_biggrin.gif
post #137 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post


Didn't know about this.. Why can't you post anything more than a double?

a3_biggrin.gif


Equitable Stroke Control ESC

 

up to 9 double bogey

10-18 - 7

19-27 - 8

28-36 -9

 

Something like that

post #138 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by maughan67 View Post

This is a regular topic of conversation (argument?) between me and a golfing friend. So I have been round the houses on the various issues many times.

Holing out - save perhaps from literally tap-in range - is all part of the game of golf, and is also arguably one of the most satisfying aspects. It is satisfying because it is fraught with all sorts of subtle risks and dangers and difficulties - even from a couple of feet. I am sure we have all seen people miss from very short distances, because they tug it or over hit it or whatever. It happens. And our average score is increased accordingly. So, if it is all part of the game, why would you not want to always hole out?

Slow play is always cited as an "excuse" for gimmes. Slow play, however, should be addressed by getting the "non-technical" bits of your game right - walk a bit more quickly, be ready to play when it is your turn, learn not to take 10 practice swings etc etc etc. But abandoning a great part of the game (see previous paragraph) is not the way to do it. This comparison may be slightly facetious (although not entirely), but you don't end a game of football 5 minutes early to "save time": I don't give my squash opponent the game when he has reached 8 points to "save time". I know golf takes a lot longer, but that is the nature of the game you have chosen to play - it will take multiple hours. Saving 5 minutes total by not playing the whole game (tee to green to hole) is not the way to shorten the round.

Of course, there may well be instances in a casual round when it is a short putt that you are very confident you would make, AND there is a good golfing reason to save a few seconds here and there to avoid a problem getting worse, eg your group has taken a long time on that hole (looking for a ball or someone having a bad hole) and the group behind has caught up and has been waiting just a bit too long to justify you taking the luxury of holing out (congestion happens in certain circumstances, even with the best will in the world - we all know when it is time to move it along). However, holing out from 3 feet (or even 2 feet) in that circumstance is all part of the game and is no different (I would say) to placing your previous 40 foot lag putt 3 feet from the hole "to save time", as you would "probably" have got it there had you taken your time over it. Why does the last shot of the hole have to be the one that is abandoned? (If you are holding up the group behind so badly that you feel unable even to hole out from 2 or 3 feet then maybe you should be letting them play through anyway.)

Being given a gimme in match play is a different situation altogether. As far as I can tell, giving a gimme is almost always a strategic decision by the giver, to prevent the givee from getting into the groove of shorter putts. It is not a time saving device (in that context).

The other issue is one of handicaps. It is my understanding from this forum (but please correct me if I have got this wrong!) that in the US, you can have gimmes in a h'cap round. In the UK (where I play), only rounds played in a club competition (or designated as a h'cap round before the round starts and marked by a club member under competition rules) can count towards h'cap - ie no gimmes *whatsoever*. So that removes the issue altogether. In a casual round (ie you are not playing against the rest of the field), you can of course do whatever the group collectively wants to do. But in such a round, whilst I am happy for anyone to take whatever gimme they want (it doesn't affect my round), and I won't make a scene if someone wants to give me an occasional gimme, I would still ideally want to hole out everything (bar maybe one-handed tap-ins) because, as I have said above, 2 and 3 footers most certainly have their own challenges and therefore enjoyment and satisfaction.

(I don't intend to open a big debate about the differences between the US and UK systems, but allowing gimmes to count in h'cap rounds where the player would "probably" or "likely" have made the putt seems to conveniently ignore the statistical reality that that of course means that some of those putts would have certainly been missed - possibly as many as 49% of them. Even if it were only, say, 25%, that still means that the true gross score could/would have been, say, 1 or 2 shots more on average per round, had the player holed out everything. Surely over time that rather flatters the h'cap?)

My aforementioned friend is a very experienced, good player (and a thoroughly reasonable and sensible person generally) and is very interested and respectful of the traditions of the game. I am more of a newcomer to the game (but that is not to say that I don't know how to conduct myself on the course - I hope). The issue of tradition/respect often comes up when we discuss gimmes. But I do not see gimmes as anything to do with tradition or respect, or otherwise improving the game: they are simply (unrealistic) shortcuts that erode a very enjoyable aspect of the game and (save for the exceptional situations I have described) they do not save time (or at least are not the cause of slow play and/or are not the way to speed things up).

My view is: play the game - the whole game - and enjoy the process of holing out. If you want to pick up, that's your prerogative, but don't be surprised if I want to putt (and quite possibly occasionally miss) short putts. At least I then know my score is truly my score.

Can anyone sum this up for me I fell asleep early on.
post #139 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Harris View Post

Can anyone sum this up for me I fell asleep early on.

Good one!

My apologies if some of the issues require careful thought. My bad.
post #140 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgolfer View Post

Do you putt out every putt no matter what the score is for. For example, as a 4 or 5 handicap I can't post a score above a double bogey on any hole for handicap purposes, do those of you who putt out every putt, ever pick up once you exceed that score? You always play out very hole no matter what?

Seriously?

Picking up when you cannot score is not the same issue as treating a 3 foot gimme as a legitimate 1 putt in circumstances where it does count towards your score.

If it is a medal (ie stroke play) competition, then if you want to remain in the competition you cannot pick up (at all). But I agree that, for h'cap purposes or in Stableford, you can (and maybe should) pick up if you cannot score (although if you have a good round going, you might still want to putt for a double or even a treble in order to complete your card).
post #141 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgolfer View Post

Just curious for all those who say they never, ever take gimme putts, do you mark every putt? No matter how far if you might step in someone's line. Then on these short putts do you ever have to move your coin or marker out of the way of someone's line?

Do you putt out every putt no matter what the score is for. For example, as a 4 or 5 handicap I can't post a score above a double bogey on any hole for handicap purposes, do those of you who putt out every putt, ever pick up once you exceed that score? You always play out very hole no matter what?

Seriously?


If it's a casual round I'll pick up once I reach double since I can't post anything more than that anyways.

 

So you never play a round for any reason except handicap or competition?  My buddies would be a bit upset if I did that.  Equitable Stroke Control is based on course handicap, not index, and mine has been in the 10-19 range for all of the time I've carried one.  Since the last revamping of the USGA handicap system, that put me in the category of returning a maximum of 7 on any hole.  Since it's not unheard of for me or most of my friends to make worse than a double on a par 5, picking up could affect any wager that we had in place.  Usually by the time I reach my ESC on any other hole, I'm out of the running anyway, so that wouldn't matter, aside from the feeling that I'm reinforcing a bad habit by picking up.  I've seen players bat a ball away from the hole in a competition out of habit before they realize what they have done.  That costs an additional stroke as long as you replace the ball and finish out.  It sucks to take a penalty stroke on a 6" putt.

 

If I was a slow player, or if my group had fallen off the pace, I would look at it differently, but that is rarely the case.  We are usually the ones waiting for the target area to clear.

 

This is the ESC chart from the USGA Handicap Manual:

 


Edited by Fourputt - 1/5/14 at 8:53am
post #142 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by maughan67 View Post

Picking up when you cannot score is not the same issue as treating a 3 foot gimme as a legitimate 1 putt in circumstances where it does count towards your score.

If it is a medal (ie stroke play) competition, then if you want to remain in the competition you cannot pick up (at all). But I agree that, for h'cap purposes or in Stableford, you can (and maybe should) pick up if you cannot score (although if you have a good round going, you might still want to putt for a double or even a treble in order to complete your card).

That's the problem everyone is assuming that everyone is picking up 3' gimme putts, no one I play with takes putts that long, unless they are totally out of the hole in a fourball match.
post #143 of 159
So glad there is a thread on this...I'm sorry but I can not stand gimmie puts unless it's something silly like an inch or less from the hole. I always insist on putting everything out. One of the main reasons is because I am liable to miss a few very short putts every round. Lets be honest, there is alot of tricky 1 to 3 footers. If you don't putt out you are not being honest about your score. IMO at least.
post #144 of 159

I play with my boss in the morning usually.. So, when he tells me you can have that.. I just take it :)

 

I will usually give him anything that is close as well especially if i is for par or bogy..  I usually don't give him birdie's because I know he wants to putt those out..

 

We also don't bet, so it's all about sportsmanship!  Oh, and if I was keeping score I will gladly record the puts he gave me without feeling guilty about it either...

 

I mean gimmys in general probably only happen a couple holes a round right?  so it can't be that bad for everyone!

 

Just my opinion!

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