Skins is a points-based system where players compete for each hole. It is an entertaining game. One of the first games back from the COVID19 crisis was a charity skins game with Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Matthew Wolff. The format is easy for the beginner golfer, not just the pros.

Players Required for Skins

The game requires a minimum of two players. The more common format is four players; however, it can involve multiple groups. Consequently, larger groups make it more difficult to win a hole as the probability of players tieing a hole increases.

Simple Rules

In the most basic format, each hole is worth the same number of points. If each hole is worth 1 point, 18 points are on offer for the entire round. Starting from the first tee, the player to score the lowest score will win that hole. In the case where more than one player has the lowest score, the skin will be carried forward to the next hole.

When there is a tie on the last hole, the players in the tie proceed to a playoff until a winner is decided.


There are several variations to the game, such as:

  • Par or better: A skin can only be won with a par or better for each hole. If all players bogey, or worse, it is carried forward to the next hole.
  • Increasing Value: In the basic format, each hole is of equal value. In a variation, the number of points for each hole can increase in value. An example of this is:
    • 1-6; 1 point per hole
    • 7-12; 2 points per hole
    • 13-18; 3 points per hole

Deciding on the Winner

At the end of the round, the player who has the most Skins wins the game outright. If playing for money, each player who has a Skin will receive money. Players at the start of the game decide on the value of each hole. Consider the following scenario where each hole is worth $1:

  • Player A has 5 Skins; He/She receives $5 from each player
  • Player B has 7 Skins; He/She receives $7 from each player
  • Player C has 5 Skins; He/She receives $5 from each player
  • Player D has no skins and receives no money.