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club ho

Playing for money pro and cons

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I was just watching "Morning Drive" on the Golf Channel yesterday and a Young LPGA player I believe her last name was Gill (might be wrong) mentioned that she likes preparing for tournaments by playing money games as part of her build up. I have found that I generally play much better when I have a little cash on the game.

It doesn't have to be big money and I don't like getting into making it uncomfortable so players feel like they can not afford the game but a little bit of money makes it more interesting IMO. In my usual sunday group we play for a dollar a side and as little as 50 cents for junk (birdies,greenies,barkies,etc.). worst case scenario a guy might lose $10. Usually we end up with less than a $5 difference from best player to worst player.

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I was just watching "Morning Drive" on the Golf Channel yesterday and a Young LPGA player I believe her last name was Gill (might be wrong) mentioned that she likes preparing for tournaments by playing money games as part of her build up. I have found that I generally play much better when I have a little cash on the game.

It doesn't have to be big money and I don't like getting into making it uncomfortable so players feel like they can not afford the game but a little bit of money makes it more interesting IMO. In my usual sunday group we play for a dollar a side and as little as 50 cents for junk (birdies,greenies,barkies,etc.). worst case scenario a guy might lose $10. Usually we end up with less than a $5 difference from best player to worst player.

Phil does the same thing on the PGA tour. His practice rounds usually have some sort of money on the line.

Yep, I agree. I love small money games. One it is bragging rights. My dad has a standing bet with his golf buddy. They do 1 dollar game per 9 holes, adjusted handicap on the back nine depending on how they score on the front nine. It works out, they are usually pretty even. When I am on golf trips, we do money games all the time. Then there is some side betting as well depending on the group.

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Golf is like billiards......I ALWAYS prefer to play with at least a little something on the line.  Doesn't matter if it's a cold drink, or a $100 Nassau.  The added pressure will absolutely help when it comes tournament time. To paraphrase Lee Trevino..... "Pressure isn't a putt for $10,000.  Pressure is a putt for $5 when you only have $3 in your pocket!"

I'd rather win $5 from one of my golf buddies than find a $100 bill on the ground! :-$

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Golf is like billiards......I ALWAYS prefer to play with at least a little something on the line.  Doesn't matter if it's a cold drink, or a $100 Nassau.  The added pressure will absolutely help when it comes tournament time. To paraphrase Lee Trevino..... "Pressure isn't a putt for $10,000.  Pressure is a putt for $5 when you only have $3 in your pocket!"

I'd rather win $5 from one of my golf buddies than find a $100 bill on the ground!

The superintendent at the club where I was a member used to join our daily game occasionally. I never remember a time when he was on my team, if we didn't play very well, that he didn't ask me on about the 17th hole if I had $10 he could borrow.

Every time he would say, "I didn't think we would lose."

BTW. I not only play better with money on the line but play better in anything that I consider an important tournament. Works to my disadvantage in the two day flighted tournaments because I play just well enough to get in Championship flights (where I don't belong) playing against people I have no chance of beating even if I play my best.

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The only cons in playing for money is if it gets to the point where it makes people uncomfortable. I played in a group one time that insisted on playing $10 per hole that day. I wasn't real comfortable with that, despite knowing that I would likely come out in the green. Well they went on and on trying to peer pressure me into so I finally agreed and said okay, I'll take your money. The three guys in my group were people I knew, but didn't know real well. Well as the day went on the situation became more and more uncomfortable. I played really well that day and won several holes, and you could see the frustration building in two of the guys in the group. I won a fair amount of money that day, but I wouldn't do it again if given the chance. It wasn't a fun round.

Small bets to keep it fun are great, but at the end of the round the guys in the group need to be more upset about losing the bragging rights than the money IMO.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by club ho

I was just watching "Morning Drive" on the Golf Channel yesterday and a Young LPGA player I believe her last name was Gill (might be wrong) mentioned that she likes preparing for tournaments by playing money games as part of her build up. I have found that I generally play much better when I have a little cash on the game.

It doesn't have to be big money and I don't like getting into making it uncomfortable so players feel like they can not afford the game but a little bit of money makes it more interesting IMO. In my usual sunday group we play for a dollar a side and as little as 50 cents for junk (birdies,greenies,barkies,etc.). worst case scenario a guy might lose $10. Usually we end up with less than a $5 difference from best player to worst player.

Phil does the same thing on the PGA tour. His practice rounds usually have some sort of money on the line.

Yep, I agree. I love small money games. One it is bragging rights. My dad has a standing bet with his golf buddy. They do 1 dollar game per 9 holes, adjusted handicap on the back nine depending on how they score on the front nine. It works out, they are usually pretty even. When I am on golf trips, we do money games all the time. Then there is some side betting as well depending on the group.

Yep.  Money games are great as long as you keep it under your group's pain threshold.  When the value gets too large, then it gets too serious.  Friendships have ended over the loss of too large a wager.  The funny thing is, for me there is a greater feeling of satisfaction when I win a little game of 25 cent skins than there is when the value is a dollar or more.  I think that's because I know that nobody is being hurt by it.  It's just a little extra sugar on the bragging rights for that day.  Friends are friends, and taking too much from them (or conversely, having to pay out too much) greatly reduces the overall enjoyment of the round.

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I've never been into the competitive side of golf ... don't enjoy playing for money - especially among friends.

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... don't enjoy playing for money - especially among friends.

this ^

absolutely

Needing to put bets on the line to play better is a lot like setting your clock forward to avoid being late.  Of course, some people do that to.  So whatever works.  But NOT for me.

And it sometimes brings out the dickhead in a lot of people.  Just not worth it.

my biggest competitor is myself, anyway.  we have the same handicap, we play at the same level, and it's always a close match.  I don't need to contrived motivation to do my best.

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this ^

absolutely

Needing to put bets on the line to play better is a lot like setting your clock forward to avoid being late.  Of course, some people do that to.  So whatever works.  But NOT for me.

And it sometimes brings out the dickhead in a lot of people.  Just not worth it.

my biggest competitor is myself, anyway.  we have the same handicap, we play at the same level, and it's always a close match.  I don't need to contrived motivation to do my best.

Trying your hardest is one thing ....performing under actual pressure from the possibility of losing is something else entirely.  Certainly you can do your best......but that slimy little breaking 2 footer on 18 takes on a whole different meaning when there's a couple of bucks on the line, just as it does in an actual tournament.  You can't fake that feeling in the pit of your stomach, no matter how you try....

You're absolutely right though.....there are a lot of people that prefer not to compete for anything other than so-called bragging rights.  Nothing at all wrong with that, but honestly, I've just never gotten much satisfaction from the whole bragging thing.

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First I enjoy playing when there is something on the line, that sliding 3.5 footer or where you need to get up and down strengthens your game. For those of you that do not like to bet or want a fun competitve game. We usually play with a group of guys ranging in handicap that is within5-7 of each other. We play agame called "perfect" the idea is to get a perfect hole. A perfect par 4 hole consists of ball in the fairway ( not rough or first cut), the 2nd shot on the green,, must be entirely on the green not touching the fringe and a two putt for par or better. A perfect par 3 is n the green in 1 and par or better for score. par 5= first shot fairway, 2nd shot fairway or green, 3 shot is on the green and no more that 2 putts for par of better. An variation of a perfect hole counts as nothing. In ordered to complete a Perfect hole you must put out everything!! This game sharpens your skills and yet when you play with players that have handicaps all close to each other, very little difference between the amount of " perfects " at the end of 18. I would have to say the lowest handicap doesn't win, they usually have better touch around the green that has their handicap lower in the first place. You would be surprised how few pars are made when all the criteria is met. Guys that are typically spraying drives suddenly must beare down and hit it straighter. Club selection on the second shot becomes important as well as the shot itself and as usual pressure is now on putting to complete the " Perfect" hole. ! BTW our group plays for the usual $100 to the winner but its not perfect, because everyone agrees not to pay. :dance:
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I must say that although I like a little money on the line I absolutely hate to feel obligated to place a bet against another guy's strength when I don't have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning.

That happens a lot in the 9 hole shamble we play after our Saturday game. We will have a shot to the island green from 100 yards and the best wedge player I've ever seen will ask if we want to play closest to the pin. If everybody in the group is feeling lucky, and want to do it, I always reluctantly join the bet.

After the shots, and he always wins, I hand him the money and tell him there's his donation to his retirement fund.

I even saw a Dot Com. Tour player make the mistake of playing him closest to the pin for $1 a ball during a warm up for a Pro-Am he was playing in. After beating him several times in a row the pro asked him how long he could keep doing that. He said, "For as long as you still have dollars and want to play."

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Needing to put bets on the line to play better is a lot like setting your clock forward to avoid being late.  Of course, some people do that to.  So whatever works.  But NOT for me.

And it sometimes brings out the dickhead in a lot of people.  Just not worth it.

my biggest competitor is myself, anyway.  we have the same handicap, we play at the same level, and it's always a close match.  I don't need to contrived motivation to do my best.

Strongly disagree.  It may not rock your world, but for many, it just makes the game that much more fun.  I hate playing alone, but with your philosophy that probably doesn't bother you.  Golf is a social game.  You have all this time when walking or riding and waiting, and for me that's when you interact with the group.

Having a small wager is just one more facet in the social aspect of playing golf, and for me the social aspect is more important than score.  Just like the the obligation in our groups is that the winner tosses his winnings in the pot for beer and munchies after the round, and the losers make up the difference over and above the wager losses, it's no more than a continuation of a social round among friends.  The ebb and flow of the joking and kidding that goes with a 5 or 6 hole carryover is a little more spice in the pie.

While score is still important, it's not the main thing.  The key ingredient is quality time spent with friends.  Nobody gets deadly serious.  Nobody throws clubs around.  An occasional under the breath epithet (usually after lipping out a 6 footer which would have won a skin) is about as much acrimony as we ever see.

By the way, we generally play skins because it's the most equitable game for a fair distribution of handicap strokes.  It's nothing more than a variation on match play, and that's what the handicap system is designed to work best with, especially if there is more than a 2 or 3 stroke variance in handicaps within the group.

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Strongly disagree.

My note essentially - (It's not "for me".  I'm pretty sure it's fine for others though, up until they bug me to follow suit.  My personal opinion is that it's a contrived means to raise the stress for some, and not all.  And if they want that, and that works for them, good for them.  Also, betting makes some people dickheads.)

I think we're in 100% agreement.

except ---   'golf is a social game' - I like social golf (many of the same reasons you do)......I also like solo golf.

(perhaps you mean betting isn't a contrived stress, just a normal interplay of the social interaction you've become accustomed to........I see that - good point.  Most of the other posts indicate the other with "gotta make that slippery putt" comments.....sorry you felt put into that group, not my intent.  everyone is different.  i'm off on a tangent about not assuming we're all the same and I go make that type of comment.  my bad)

(I like that game of "perfect" up above.  When people talked about a "perfect" game and mentioned 'even par', or hole in one, etc - I thought a perfect game was just 18 perfect holes. - 100% FIR, 100% GIR or better, 18 holes 2 putts or less.  A person could have a perfect game even par for the course - while another could be way under par and not be even near a perfect game...... again, why on earth would someone, NOT "bare down" and try to make good shots and good selection if they weren't betting is a bit beyond me.)

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Certainly you can do your best......but that slimy little breaking 2 footer on 18 takes on a whole different meaning when there's a couple of bucks on the line, just as it does in an actual tournament.  You can't fake that feeling in the pit of your stomach, no matter how you try....

You're absolutely right though.....there are a lot of people that prefer not to compete for anything other than so-called bragging rights.  Nothing at all wrong with that, but honestly, I've just never gotten much satisfaction from the whole bragging thing.

sorry I didn't multi-quote....just saw the bragging comment and it rubbed me wrong...

1 -that putt doesn't mean more or less to me and quite a few people I've played with (albeit in the minority) - different people have different motivations - but I understand what you are saying - I guess I'd never dare to bet a large enough amount on anything where it matters enough to scare me a bit.  Maybe that would be tipping point.  Not a fan of any type of gambling.

2 - I don't understand the brag comment - good round or bad, it's fun to talk about shots and good holes and how we're playing, but usually we're watching the game or going to eat at that time.  The satisfaction is watching those great shots, the motivation is figuring out how to avoid those bad shots.  The other guys don't really play into it except for social conversation or trading opinions on the game at hand.

I have to admit, though, I had one really good round last year, one of the guys I was playing with (I walked up and joined two pretty cool guys for the round) - I nailed every single drive except 1 just perfect (blind squirrel comment here).  after about 8 holes of this he started to swear under his breath, then the mumbles became funny, I started to look forward to hearing (I have good hearing) the quiet comments each time......maybe that's related to the feelings you're talking about when beating others.  I wish I could have even one more round like that one.

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I must say that although I like a little money on the line I absolutely hate to feel obligated to place a bet against another guy's strength when I don't have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning.

That happens a lot in the 9 hole shamble we play after our Saturday game. We will have a shot to the island green from 100 yards and the best wedge player I've ever seen will ask if we want to play closest to the pin. If everybody in the group is feeling lucky, and want to do it, I always reluctantly join the bet.

After the shots, and he always wins, I hand him the money and tell him there's his donation to his retirement fund.

I even saw a Dot Com. Tour player make the mistake of playing him closest to the pin for $1 a ball during a warm up for a Pro-Am he was playing in. After beating him several times in a row the pro asked him how long he could keep doing that. He said, "For as long as you still have dollars and want to play."

I became part of a foursome in 2013 and they usually put $10 on the round.

They asked me to join but since they're better than I am, and I guess they can see I'm not the type that succumbs to peer pressure when it comes to money, they don't ask me to bet with them.

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We always play for money.  Its nothing for all of us to have some type of Nassau with each other.  There are about 10-16 of us that play together on a normal basis every weekend and a few times during the week in the summer, so our 4somes change at times.  We all know each others game and true handicap so you negotiate strokes before round and go.  Then we always do some type of game in each 4some that involves 1 dollar points and no more than 4 presses per 9 holes.  So its nothing to be on 15 or 16 and playing for 16 dollar points.  Makes the game fun.  If someone is playing bad they always grind it out and not just out there screwing around like nothing is on the line.  I have lost up to 200 in a day, but I have won almost 400 in a day.

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I don't like money games for one simple reason.  The guy(s0 recommending the money game are the ones with the best chance of TAKING my money!

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I don't have to have something on the line but it can be fun when you are playing with the right person or group.  My buddy and I play in a series of handicapped stroke play events and are typically in the same 4 ball.  In addition to the tournament, we play a $1/$1/$1 match play Nassau (no presses) against each other.  When we are stinking it out in the tournament, it keeps our interest in the game because of our personal match.

The thing that irks me is when a small bet is setup with a group of acquaintances and at the end there is no payoff.  If I lose I expect to pay the winner and typically won't let someone forgive the bet.  In return, I like to get paid when I win.  If we are just playing for "pretend money" then why bother?

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