Many people who play golf have heard of gimmes, but what are they? A gimme putt is a very easy shot that’s almost guaranteed to go in the hole. It’s often used to keep score without having to use actual numbers or calculate anything yourself. If you’re playing with a group and your ball ends up in a position where it looks like an easy putt, don’t be afraid to mark it down as a gimme!
When you get on the green, take one last look
When you get on the green, you should look at your distance to the hole. You can get a rough idea of how far away your ball is from where it sits by looking at the break in the green and reading a yardage marker.
The most important thing when taking this final look? Check out what direction your ball will roll after hitting it. If there’s no wind, give yourself an extra five feet of space between where you want to land and that pin, just in case a gust starts blowing later in your round—and trust me, one will come!
What is a “gimme”?
So, what is gimme in golf, exactly? The term “gimme” is only used in casual golf. It’s not used in official rules and has no place in tournament play.
The term comes from golfing parlance back when putting was considered a gentleman’s game, and gentlemen were expected to concede putts—even long ones—to their opponents if they were close enough that the opponent would have made them easily. Today, players are more concerned with winning than being polite. Modern etiquette dictates that players make all their putts unless they’re extremely easy (within six feet of the hole).
If a putt is inside a circle, you can mark it as a gimme
When a putt is inside a circle, it is considered to be too close for the golfer to make. In casual golf, you can mark that ball as a gimme, so you don’t have to count your score for it.
A gimme is “a putt that can be taken without even attempting because it will result in scoring at least one point.” This means that if there are two feet or less left on the green and you’re inside of them, then it’s guaranteed that you’ll score some points regardless of whether or not the ball rolls into the hole or not.
If you have 2 feet or less left for a putt, the ball should be marked as a gimme. If it’s not a gimme, your opponent will probably mark it as one anyway.
If you want to mark your putt as a gimme, you should ask your opponent if he agrees with this. You cannot mark the ball as one if he disagrees that it’s a gimme. If your opponent agrees it’s a gimme, then you can mark the ball as such and proceed with your putt. You should always ask permission from your opponent before marking any balls on his side of the green as “gimmies.”
You can mark your ball as a gimme even if it’s outside of the circle
It’s okay to mark your ball as a gimme, even if it’s outside of the circle. This is recommended. If you’re close enough to place your putter behind your ball, then that means it’s inside the circle–you can go ahead and mark it as a gimme. If there are two feet or less left for a putt, then that means you have no real chance of making this putt anyway–so go ahead and mark it as one!
Rules for Gimmes Putts: How Far is Too Far?
Another question commonly arises when discussing the gimme rules is what constitutes “inside the circle.” The answer to this question can be subjective, but there are a few things you can do to help make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance to make your putt.
First, consider how far from the hole you should aim when putting from off the green. You should always play it safe and aim for a spot on or near your target line, even if you know for certain it will go in because of how close to the hole it is. This will ensure that your putt will go in without fail—because of its proximity to where you need it and because it’s easier for everyone else.
Second, ensure everyone in their group knows which way is up (or down). If someone put their back facing up instead of down towards them during a game, confusion could occur as players try figuring out how far away each other was standing when they made their shots during turns being able.
A reasonable rule is if you have space to place your putter behind the ball, it’s inside the circle.
A reasonable rule of thumb is if you have space to place your putter behind the ball, it’s inside the circle. If you can’t place your putter behind the ball, it’s outside the circle. This is a really easy one to remember because it’s similar to how we measure distance when playing golf: we know that if our club head is touching something (like a tree or another club), then we’re in bounds; otherwise, we’re out of bounds.
The reason this works so well for putting is that there aren’t any “off-green” spots like there are on fairways or greens—and while some people might argue that having your club inside or outside of your body isn’t 100% accurate either, this rule will help you avoid going too far off line during most shots.
At some point, you’ll encounter a situation where your opponent won’t let you mark your ball as a gimme
At some point, you’ll encounter a situation where your opponent won’t let you mark your ball as a gimme, even though it looks like an obvious score from where you’re standing.
To remedy this situation, ask your opponent to visit the spot on the green where he thinks your ball is located so that he can judge whether it will make it into the hole if struck correctly. If he still refuses to allow you to mark your ball as a gimme after seeing with his own eyes how far away it is from its target, don’t get angry and start yelling at him; instead, calmly inform him of Rule 9-2b of The Rules of Golf:
“After marking a ball on the putting green: A player must not improve (make more difficult) his next stroke by moving any part of his person or club out-of-bounds after marking.”
Ask your opponent to visit the spot on the green
If you have any doubt about the distance, ask your opponent to visit the spot on the green where he thinks your ball is located so that he can judge whether it will make it into the hole if struck correctly. He may be able to tell easily by looking at how much grass is still around the ball, but if he cannot estimate this with confidence, then ask him to gauge by how far away from one edge (or corner) his club would land if swung at full strength.
Use common sense, and don’t argue over something like this endlessly!
If this isn’t possible due to poor lighting or other conditions on the course, use common sense and don’t argue over something like this endlessly. You can always call a rules official to make a judgment call if you’re truly in disagreement with your opponent or yourself.
It’s not uncommon for people to argue with each other about gimmes putts, especially on golf courses where there is some sort of contention between players over distance from hazards or areas where it’s difficult to measure yards from off-the-green areas into fairways. It’s best for players who want consistency in their gameplay not to get caught up in these arguments because they could become an obstacle toward improving one’s overall knowledge base of how far certain shots should be played from certain hazards and obstacles.
Hopefully, these tips will help you become more comfortable with your decision-making process. Remember that there are no “official” rules for gimmes, so it’s important to understand how far is too far before making an attempt. As long as both parties work together to come up with a solution, there shouldn’t be any problems!
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for FindDigitalAgency.