The Skins Game 2.0~ How you and your golf buddies can spice up your regular Sunday Golf Game.

Everyone who plays golf knows what a skin is, even if they are not aware of it.  You don’t have to be a scratch golfer to enjoy a little skins game with your buddies, and there is nothing sweeter than drinking a few iced cold beverages in the club house that were purchased those very same so called friends.  But your normal skins game can be a little boring at times right?  Same game every weekend, the handicaps change a little bit, but for the most part its the same ole death march week in and week out.  The Chicago Golf Guy gives you a few ways to spice up your current skins game.  Here are a few new and improved variations on the skins game that can really make for a better golf game:

  • DEFENDER:  This is by far my favorite skins game to play.  Defender is played like a normal skins game with carry overs.  The only difference is after a skin is won by a player, that player must make a par or better on the next hole (with his handicap) in order to keep his skins or else they go back into the pot.  For example:  Player A wins the third hole with a par which is the first skin won.  Therefore his par on the third hole is worth 3 skins.  On the fourth hole player A (who does not get a shot) makes a bogey and does not defend his skin.  Because player A did not defend, his skins go back into the pot and are now up for grabs.  Player B on the fourth hole makes a birdie to win the fourth hole, but with player A not defending, his birdie on the fourth hole is worth 4 skins (the fourth hole + the three skins that player A lost).  Player B now has to make a par or better on the fifth hole in order to defend his skins.  The defense of a skin is only determined by the player who must defend, and cannot be stolen by another player.  The player who must defend either makes his par and keeps his skins, or he doesn’t make par and those skins go back into the pot.  On the last hole of the skins game (typically the 18th) a player does not have to defend.
  • THE ULTIMATE CARRY OVER: This is not your grandfathers skin game (unless your the grandfather of the Chicago Golf Guy) and should not be played by the weak of heart or during the regular season.  The ultimate carry over is played by at least three players (but is at its most fun when you are playing a winter sixsome) and each player must walk.  The high man from each hole must carry the other players bags for the next hole.  Yup you heard me right, if your the high score on the hole, you will have to carry the other players bags for at least one hole.  It gets worse, if your the high man, and on caddy duty, you are on caddy duty until someone else becomes the high man.  For example:  Player A is the high man after his shot sails out of bounds on the first hole.  While carrying player B and players C’s bags, player A makes a Par on the second hole, and player B and C both make bogey.  There is no high man (because B and C tied), so Player A remains on caddy duty.  On the third hole, player C makes a bogey and players A and B both make par, ergo player C becomes the high man and is now on bag duty.  This is a crazy game, and can be quite mean at times…like I said this is not a game for the weak of heart.
  • WHIP OUT: Whip out is a skins game where you don’t keep score.  When a skin is won, each player whips out their wallet and pays the winner the agreed upon bet on the next tee.  Whip out is great when playing with that one friend who always says he is going to catch you next time, or finds a way to dip out after the round and forgets to buy you your victory beer.  Don’t let your so called friends ditch out on your winners, play whip out next time.
  • THE POKER GAME: Instead of money paid for each skin, each player who wins a skin receives a playing card.  At the end of the round players make the best poker hand possible.  Each player puts in a agreed upon wager and the winner of the poker hand will win the entire pot (not the person with the most skins).  The only difference from regular poker is that you make the best poker hand despite how many cards you have (up to a five card poker hand).  For example player A wins 10 skins and the best five card poker hand he can make is a pair of Kings.  Player B only won two skins, but he received two Aces for a pair of Aces.  A pair of Aces beats a pair of Kings any day.  The Poker Skins Game is great because even if you have a bad day on the golf course, you could still pull a better poker hand and ultimately win your buddies money.

The skins game is the classic golf gambling game, but at times it can get boring and repetitive.  Learn these variations of the skins game, and you will find yourself with a new golfing vigor.  I promise that after you play one of the Skins 2.0 Games you will not go back to your old game.

Do you have a different golf gambling game that you think the readers of the Chicago Golf Guy might like?  Leave me a comment or shoot me an email and we can feature your game on this golf blog!


  1. Hello.. Great write up, I don’t know another skins game to play or share BUT I just found out about a cool app the just released for skins players on ios “SKINZRUS” It connects golfers who are looking for a skins player or group and more.

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