The golf handicap system was created for one reason……so golfers can have a fair “GAME” or “BET” with other golfers.
SKINS, EGGS and CATS – Different names, same game.
Skins, the simplest “game” in golf. A “Skins Game” is a golf game that pits members of a group against each other in a type of match play. A Skin is worth a pre-determined amount per hole, usually $1 or $5, but the value of a Skin may be any agreed upon amount. To earn a Skin, a golfer must beat all other golfers on a particular hole. If two or more golfers tie, the hole is halved and there is no Skin. It is believed that fur pelts or “Skins” were used as legal tender in long ago golf, thus the name.
Simple game, many variations.
Carry-Over Skins – If a hole is halved, no Skin, the bet amount is carried over to the following hole, thus adding to the pot. In Carry-Over-Skin, if there was no Skin on the first 17 holes, the 18th hole would be worth 18 Skins. Carry-Over-Skins is a great game, because the pressure grows as holes are halved. Handicap Skins – In a group with various skill levels, Skins are earned on a “net score” basis (actual score less handicap stroke). Prove-Up Skins – In order to prove-up (earn) his Skin, the golfer who won a Skin on the previous hole must tie or beat the low score on the next hole. If any or all golfers beat him, he loses the Skin. Prove-up Skins are almost always combined with Carry-Over-Skins, adding to the pressure. Giant Skins – Giant Skins is a Skins Game where individuals or teams place a fixed amount into the Skins Pot. The individuals or teams compete for the entire Skins Pot. The Skins Pot is then split evenly between the individuals or teams who have won Skins.