In golf, a skins game has players competing for prize money on each individual hole. There is an annual skins game for male professional golfers that takes place near the end of the year after the end of the official PGA Tour season. It is recognized by the PGA Tour, but it does not count towards the official money list. It is currently played at La Quinta Golf Course in La Quinta, California.
The Skins Game differs from most PGA tour golf tournaments for several reasons. First, only four golfers are invited to the tournament and the golfers play to win individual holes or “skins” in a match play format.
Each hole is assigned a different monetary value and the golfer who has the lowest score on the hole wins the money for that hole. In the event that two or more golfers tie (which is called “halving) on a hole, the skin money carries over to the next hole. If two or more golfers would happen to halve the final hole, a playoff begins until one golfer wins the hole outright.
The Skins Game has a long tradition for being highly competitive, but also very fun both to play and to watch. In 2001, the player winning a hole outright had to tie or win the next hole to collect his skins from the previous hole. This was very tough to do. Greg Norman was the only golfer that could back up his win on the previous hole. He won the 17th and tied for low on the 18th to collect $800,000 which was the largest skin ever collected for one hole. He would go on to win $200,000 in a playoff to win the entire $1 million dollar prize money.
In the 2004 Skins Game, the first six holes were worth $25,000 a piece. Holes 7 through 12 were worth $50,000 each. 13 through 17 were valued at $70,000 a pop, and the 18th hole – known as the Super Skin – carried a value of $200,000.
Fred Couples is given the nickname of “Mr. Skins” because of his dominance in the Skins Game. He has won $3,515,000 and 77 skins in 11 appearances. He has won five of the Skins Games overall.
You can conduct your own skins game when playing golf. Of course, your holes won’t be valued quite as high as the pros are, but you can sure have a blast as you compete to see who can become your own club’s “Mr” or “Ms” Skins.