Taking a Putt in Golf

How many times have you taken a putt? You know, when you miss your first attempt and walk up a pick your ball up. I have for sure over the years, but I like to think that I have a maximum distance before picking up my ball. Before you give me the lazy eye, I know we have all done it without any regrets.

In the big scheme of things, I do not sweat picking up the odd putt in the course of several rounds, yet I have to wonder if this is really helping my game. Of course the real answer is that it does hurt my game when I need to putt everything, yet sometimes I do not care and just want to have fun playing.

There is no real rules or etiquette to taking a gimmie, well there is a rule and it states we have to play everything out, but that is just a minor detail. A gimmie that is used to speed up play in friendly is great. However a gimmie used in a match play is used to disarm and lull your opponent into making a mistake. It really is a matter of perspective.

During a normal round with the guys, I am not afraid to take a gimmie now and again. If I do, it must meet several criteria as to not affect my overall score. Here is how I judge a gimmie:

  • it is not longer than my putter grip
  • it is not on a steep side slope
  • it is not a severe downhill putt
  • it is not for birdie or eagle
  • my score is not under par

That is my criteria is hard fast except for the times that I do not follow it. But we do not want to discuss those times because it usually is accompanied with frustration and disappointment.

Using a gimmie in a match play is completely different beast! I use gimmies as a tool gain any advantage I can over my opponent. My strategy is proven and effective most of the time. I figure it gains me at least two holes during the match because my opponent misses a putt or two. My strategy goes like this:

  • in the first six holes give a couple 4 footers so they do not practice short ones
  • if they get it within a putter grip on a lag putt, make them putt it out
  • in the middle 6 holes, give them one longer putt around 6 feet or so to through them off
  • in the last 6 holes, they have to putt everything. If they miss their first 4 footer, their confidence is shaken and it makes these putts seem much longer

One point, I never give a putt if I am going to lose the hole because of the gimmie. That just does not make sense. I ensure my opponent wins every hole.

I have a few other tricks up my sleeve, but I cannot share everything. We might be playing against one another some day. Gimmies are an important part of the unwritten rules and if used properly does have a place in golf. What do you think?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

2 thoughts on “Taking a Putt in Golf

  1. Interesting! In friendly play we tend to give putts fairly freely. In competition (seniors Tuesdays and club comps weekends) it is just understood that there are no gimmies whatever the circumstance. Playing with my highly competitive 21 year old son I tend to be more generous with the gimmies than he is, but we both get less generous as the round goes on, especially if things are close! Cheers, Rob.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rob

      It sounds like you use a similar strategy as me. I would suggest that gimmies are a honour thing. If you are liberal at giving them, so should you opponent. But that is a personal choice. Definitely no gimmies in competition except match play.

      Cheers
      Jim

      Like

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