May 11, 2023

Just what IS skins in golf? A skins game is an exciting golf format where players battle it out for a prize called a "skin" on each hole - the lowest score wins the skin for that hole.

Have you heard about the new golf format sweeping the world? Skins games offer an exciting twist on traditional golf, providing players with a unique challenge to claim the most skins for the highest gain.

With different formats and extra bonuses available depending on the type of game, this thrilling format rewards skill, and luck and offers huge payouts!

In this article, we’ll explore how skins games work, from the basics to detailed examples of hole difficulty ratings, progressive prize scales, add-ons, and more. Learn who can play, what the rules are, and how you can snag a stunning victory in this amazing game.

Let the adventure begin and let’s find out what lies ahead in your skins game journey.

What is A Skins Game?

what is skins in golf?

Just what IS skins in golf? A skins game is an exciting golf format where players battle it out for a prize ($$$) called a “skin” on each hole – the lowest score wins the skin for that hole.

The player with the most impressive performance on the previous hole takes home the skin prize!

Skins are carefully tracked on the scorecard – If the skin isn’t claimed on the 18th green, it’s time for sudden death!

Players keep going until one of them finally claims the skin. If nobody can claim the glory on a single hole, the skin is carried over and the next hole is worth double the stakes!

Figuring out the value of each skin is easy!

You can either assign a fixed amount ($$$$) for each skin or have each player contribute a certain amount per hole – the choice is yours!

The skins game is a thrilling experience in golf because of its incredible versatility!

You can play with just two players or up to a hundred, skins can be worth anything from a few cents to a hundred bucks, and there are plenty of variations, add-ons, and wrinkles to keep it interesting for a lifetime. Plus, you can still win big in the golf skins game even without playing your best round ever!

If players are neck-and-neck for the highest score on a hole in a skins game, the skin carries over to the next hole, giving all players a chance to vie for the first hole’s carried-over skin and the second hole’s skin – how exciting!

Handicap indexes are completely eliminated when it comes to skins. No consideration is given to them whatsoever.

The daring player who’s not afraid to take a risk and go for it with a big swing or a daring putt to grab a bunch of skins in one go is rewarded in a skins game!

When the score is tied, skins games can be settled with thrilling tie-breakers like most birdies, longest made putt, longest drive, and more!

Basic Skins Game Example

Basic Skins Game Example

Excitingly, a basic skins game works by seeing each hole played separately and won by the player with the lowest score! The winner of the hole gets a “skin,” which is often allocated a monetary value.

Ties for the lowest score amongst players make the next hole even more of a thrill. This is because the skin then carries over from one hole to the next.

Are you ready to learn about a classic skins game? Alright here’s an example:

Players can agree to play a skins game with $10 per hole.

Each player would put up $5. Whoever has the lowest score on each hole wins the skin, and if there’s a tie, the skin carries over to the next hole. The round is nearly over. Who will be the lucky one with the most skins and declared the winner? Stay tuned to find out!

Exciting, right? This can also be done with a net skins format, where players subtract their handicaps from their scores to determine the winner of each skin. The fun doesn’t stop there, however – whole round skins games, progressive prize scales, and handicapped skins are all variations of the classic game.

Whole Round Skins Games

It’s an exciting way to play! Everyone puts money into the pot at the beginning of the round, and then it’s all about who can get the lowest score. Whoever does the best score, gets a skin – it’s that simple! When the round is over, the cash is divided up based on the number of skins each player snagged!

The Whole Round Skins Game is the ultimate way to add a bit of extra competition to your golf game. Players put money in the pot for skins earned on every hole, and the winners get paid out after all rounds are finished. To score big, players will need to have the lowest score in each round. This will earn them a coveted skin!

The victorious players will be handsomely rewarded as soon as all rounds are finished.

Progressive Prize Scale

The progressive prize scale in Skins Game is awesome – it means that the value of each skin increases as the game goes on! In some Skins Games, the prize money for holes 1-6 might be $25,000 per skin, while the prize money for holes 13-17 might be $70,000 per skin. The final hole might be worth $200,000 per skin. This allows multiple groups to play while still keeping the total prize money high.

The progressive prize scale also works to reward the best players – those who have the lowest score on a particular hole are rewarded with double the prize money of the next lowest score. This system is used in the PGA Tour, with the lowest score on a given hole also taking home twice the prize money of the second-lowest score. As an example, let’s say Steve wins the first hole with the lowest score. He would take home the full $25,000 prize money. The second lowest score on the hole would only take home half of the prize money, or $12,500.

The progressive prize scale also encourages play on each hole. Players know that the stakes are higher on the later holes, and must remain focused in order to take home the biggest prizes. Fred Couples absolutely dominated The Skins Game, taking home an incredible 77 skins in his 11 appearances!

Skins With Handicaps

Skins games with handicaps are a thrilling way to play golf! This format uses golf handicaps to make sure everyone has an equal chance of winning. Handicaps are calculated based on the difference between the lowest handicap in the group and each individual player’s handicap. To play Skins games with handicaps using a scorecard with hole difficulty ratings, each hole is assigned a difficulty rating and the player with the highest handicap receives strokes on the most difficult holes, while the player with the lowest handicap receives strokes on the least difficult holes. The strokes are then subtracted from the player’s score on each hole. This ensures that each player has a fair chance at victory, no matter their handicap!

Skins games with handicaps add an extra level of excitement to the game, allowing players to compete on a level playing field. This format was popularized by Tom Watson, who won the first official PGA Tour season of Skins in 1982 on Thanksgiving weekend. The format was used again in 1983 and 1984, and has become a staple at golf tournaments ever since.

Back It Up Skins Game Variation

Back It Up Skins is an exciting variation of skins game where you can double your winnings! If you win a hole and choose to “back it up”, the next skin is worth twice as much, and the one you had won is also worth double if you win it again. But if another player takes the hole, they’ll only get the original value. This variation adds an extra layer of excitement to the skins game, as players are vying for two skins instead of one.

In Back It Up Skins, the rules remain the same as a basic skins game – the winner of each hole wins a skin, and the player with the most skins at the end of the round wins the overall game. But in this variation, the stakes are doubled – if a player wins two skins in a row, they win double the prize. This makes it more thrilling for all players, as they can double their winnings if they are able to take two skins in a row. It also makes it more difficult for other players to take away a skin from the player who backed it up, as they would need to win two skins in a row in order to take the prize.

The Back It Up Skins Game variation adds an exciting twist to the classic skins game. It allows players to double their winnings if they are able to take two skins in a row, and it makes it more difficult for other players to take away a skin from the player who backed it up.

Whether you’re playing a whole round skins game, a progressive prize scale, or with handicaps, this variation is sure to add a thrilling edge to your golf outing. So why not try it out and see how much you can win in the Back It Up Skins Game?

Paying Out Skins

It’s easy. Just divide the total money in the pot by the total number of skins won to get your payout per skin. To discover the total skins won by each player, just take a peek at the scorecard and count the skins they’ve won. Once you’ve done that, it’s simple to calculate the payout for each player – just multiply the payout per skin by the total skins won by each player.

Skins game works best when it is an unofficial money event, so players can determine the cash value of each skin before they begin their round. This will ensure that all players are on the same page when it comes to the stakes of the game and will also help determine who wins the skin. At the end of the round, the player with the most skins will be the one who takes home the most money. If there is a tie, then the two players tied together can either agree to split the pot, or they can play another round until the tie is broken and the next skin is won.

It’s important to keep in mind that skins can be played in either a basic skins game, a whole round skins game, or a progressive prize scale skins game. Depending on the type of skins game you are playing, the number of skins won and the amount of money won can vary. No matter what type of skins game you decide to play, the key is to make sure everyone has a good time and that the payout is fair for all players.


Skins Games come with awesome add-ons that take the fun to the next level! These add-ons are extra rewards or variations of the game that make it even more exciting and enjoyable. You can find some truly incredible add-ons in Skins Games, like rewarding extra skins for accomplishments other than the lowest score on each hole, whole pot skins, team skins, silk skins, and Canadian skins!

Extra skins can be awarded for accomplishments other than the lowest score on each hole. It could be for the longest drive, the closest to the pin, or any other challenge that you can think of! Whole pot skins are awarded when nobody wins the hole with a single skin. The entire pot is rolled over and added to the next hole. Team skins are another option, where teams compete against each other instead of individuals. Silk Skins are a variation where each player puts an extra amount into the pot and the winner gets the entire pot. Finally, Canadian Skins is a variation of the game where each hole has a different value assigned to it.

These add-ons are a great way to make Skins Games even more fun and exciting. With these add-ons, you can really customize the game to fit your group’s needs. So don’t be afraid to get creative and add some extra excitement to your next Skins Game!


Skins is an exciting golf format that’s fun for players of all skill levels! With the chance to win a’skin’ on each hole, net skins, progressive prize scales, back it up variations, handicapped competitions, and much more – the Skins Game is sure to add an extra level of excitement to your next golf outing.

Not to mention that with great add-ons, you can transform any game into something truly special! Grab your clubs, fire up the competition, and get ready to experience Skins like never before!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do skins mean in golf?

Skins in golf is an exciting and fun competition among players for individual holes. The winner of each hole earns a skin, usually a monetary reward. If multiple golfers tie for the low score, the skin carries over for the next hole until one golfer wins the overall ‘pot’ of collected skins.

So why not give skins a try and spice up your friendly golf matches?

How are skins calculated in golf?

In golf, skins are calculated by considering each hole as a single unit – with the winner taking one skin for each hole. The value of these skins is determined beforehand and carries over to the following holes in case no one wins the hole outright.

It’s an exciting way to compete with even odds on all sides!

How do skins work in golf tournament?

Playing skins during a golf tournament is an exciting way to increase the stakes! Each hole is worth one skin, with the winner determined by who gets the lowest score. Whenever there is a tie, the skin carries over and the next hole is worth two skins.

Get ready for some thrilling competition when you hit the course – it’s game on for those skins!

How do you pay out skins in golf?

Playing golf with friends is extra fun when you add the element of betting on skins! To pay out, each player contributes the amount for the match bet and then the pot is divided by the number of skins, giving each skin a value. As winners are determined, that value x the number of skins won is paid out to all the victors – minus the individual’s match bet contribution.

What is a skins game in golf?

A skins game in golf is an exciting format of match play between three or four players. The player with the lowest score on each hole wins the skin, and any ties are resolved when any two or more golfers rather than one golfer scores the same on a particular hole.

It’s an exciting way to experience match play!

About the author 

Linda Parker

My name is Linda Parker, I’ve been around golf since I was born, and I’ve been golfing since I was four years old!

I’m here to share my love of the game with you, so please do let me know if you have any questions!

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