Gimmie putts are a thing. Regardless of who we are playing with, we have told our playing partners to pick up their ball. Sometimes it is a mercy gimmie and sometimes it is for strategy, but gimmies are an unofficial part of golf. Last year, I played over 80 rounds of golf and except for tournaments, I will pick up my ball from time to time when playing. Is this fair, probably not, but it is a reality of modern golf.
Putting from any distance can be a challenge. And because of that, a gimmie is something that will lower your score initially, but in the long run will cause damage to your game. We have all missed that short putt because of inattention, it hit a ball mark or the hole was not round. And as such, our actions prove that a gimmie does not reinforce the positive action of finishing a golf hole.
I offer gimmies all the time. Most are from 1-3 feet in cases where my playing partner needs a break because they are struggling. Most of the time they take it, but occasionally, they putt out to reinforce the act of finishing. Regardless, I am not fussed whether they take it or not. Additionally, regardless of the distance, if the person is on their 4th putt, I suggest they pick it up so we can move on; of course all of this is predicated on the fact we are not in a competition.
I recently asked what distance players offer gimmies and this is what they said:
As you can see, most people are apt to offer a distance of 1-3 feet. Personally, I think that is reasonable as long as it is not every hole. I suggest no more that 2 gimmies a round is reasonable because most of those will be within a foot of so. I have played with on gentleman last year that putted everything out, it is a great habit and one I should adopt, but we all know that is not going to happen. Balls on the lip of the hole can be picked up as far as I am concerned.
I also have limitations on gimmies. The better I play, the less likely I will accept a gimmie. No sense entering a score of even par…..with 5 gimmies! I kind of takes away from the low score. That is my rule, but I do not apply that to my playing partners. After all this talk, I will say that I offer far more gimmies than I accept, but of course it should be that way, right?
Gimmies are part of amateur golf. Whether we like it or not, it is here to stay. I am not sure I want the rules to change to incorporate gimmies, but I think it is important that we acknowledge that gimmies are here to stay.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.