What is a Gimme in Golf? A Guide on Gimme Putt in Golf 2023

0 k

Golfing terms and vernacular used increase the golf’s charm and complexity, making golf terms unique and fascinating. One such term that frequently crops up, particularly in match play scenarios, is a ‘gimme’. So, what is a gimme in golf? Simply put, a ‘gimme’ refers to a short putt that the other players agree can be counted automatically, without being physically played out. Among terms of golf, ‘gimme’ sprung from the phrase “give me,” as in “you can give me that one.”

What is a Gimme in golf?

The practice of a gimme, or a conceded putt, is most notably linked to the match play format. This is where the concept of concession becomes important. In match play, opponents engage in a hole-by-hole competition, where the number of strokes doesn’t define victory. Rather, it’s the number of holes won. Therefore a player might concede a putt to their opponent, accepting that they would have probably made it, thus saving time and maintaining the flow of the game.

What is a gimme in golf

The transition from the decision of conceding a putt to the actual declaration of a ‘gimme’ is highly subjective and often a potent strategic element of the game. The granting player essentially chooses to ‘gift’ the remaining putt, assuming that it’s so short their opponent would readily sink it with their putter. 

However, the conceded putt is never a compulsory decision and the choice to provide this concession is always at the discretion of the opponent. In golf, a ‘gimme’ goes beyond a mere act; it’s a captivating blend of strategy, sportsmanship, and psychological warfare all intertwined. 

Definition of a Gimme in Golf: A Conceded Putt

In the diverse world of golf terminologies, a ‘gimme’ is a commonly used term that reflects the convivial spirit of the game. Predominantly utilized in casual stroke play, a ‘gimme’ is an integral part of a round of golf that is often used to speed up the game and avoid arduous short putts.

It represents a situation where the player’s ball is a short distance from the hole, and the playing partner concedes that the player would have likely made the putt, eliminating the need to actually complete the putt.

The understanding of what precisely constitutes a ‘gimme’ in golf can vary among players, with multiple interpretations and practices in play across different rules and norms. 

As we delve deeper into this intriguing topic, we shall address an explanation of what constitutes a ‘gimme’ in golf, understand how the rules of golf define a ‘gimme’, and explore the common variations and practices regarding ‘gimmes’ in the beautiful game of golf.

History of Gimme in Golf

The concept of gimmes in golf has a long history in the sport. It originated from the idea of players conceding a putt that was so short and easy that it was unlikely to be missed. This practice was seen as a way to speed up the game and save time on the green.

Gimme in golf

Over time, gimmes evolved and became more common in recreational and professional golf. Now, it is not uncommon for players to give each other putts of a certain length, usually within a club’s length. The impact of gimmes on the game and its rules is a topic of debate. Some argue that it takes away from the skill and challenge of putting, as players no longer need to putt every ball into the hole. 

Others argue that it is a practical way to speed up the game and maintain a steady pace of play. In professional golf, however, gimmes are not allowed and players are required to putt every ball into the hole. Overall, the use of gimmes in golf continues to be a subject of discussion and may vary depending on the level of play. 

Pros and Cons of Gimme in Golf

Gimmes have both pros and cons in golf. While gimmes save time on the course they also have an impact on the game’s rules, as they introduce subjectivity and the potential for unfair advantage.

Advantages of Using Gimme in Golf

Using gimmes in golf can have several advantages. Firstly, it can significantly speed up the game. Instead of spending unnecessary time on short putts, players can simply ask for a gimme and move on to the next hole. This not only ensures a more efficient pace of play but also keeps players engaged and energized throughout the round. 

Secondly, asking for a gimme can help reduce the putting stress that often comes with the game. By eliminating the pressure of sinking short putts, players can focus more on their overall performance and enjoy the game without the added anxiety.

Lastly, incorporating gimmes allows for maintaining a friendly competition among players. By establishing a specific gimme range, players can have fair and consistent rules, ensuring a level playing field. This helps to foster camaraderie and sportsmanship while keeping the game enjoyable for all participants. Ultimately, using gimmes in golf can enhance the experience by speeding up play, reducing stress, and fostering a friendly and competitive atmosphere. 

gimme is a stroke in golf

Disadvantages of Using Gimme in Golf

Using gimmes in golf, specifically in recreational rounds of golf, can have several disadvantages. Gimme putts, or putts that are conceded without actually being taken, can potentially lead to abuse and unfairness. Players may take advantage of the leniency of gimmes and claim putts as conceded when they may not necessarily be within the accepted length of a gimme putt. This can create an uneven playing field and impact the overall integrity of the game.

Additionally, gimmes can hinder a golfer’s ability to improve their putting skills. By not consistently attempting putts, golfers are missing out on the opportunity to practice and refine their technique. Finally, there is an ongoing debate among golfers about the validity of gimmes. 

While some argue that they help pace of play and reduce frustration, others believe that they undermine the competitive nature of the sport. As a result, there is no unanimous agreement on whether gimmes should be allowed or prohibited in the game of golf. 

Etiquette Regarding Gimmes in Pro Golf and Recreational Golf 

In match play golf, there is a gentleman’s agreement within the game when it comes to gimmes.  The proper way to offer or accept a gimme is by extending your hand and saying, “That’s good.” This gesture is a sign of respect and sportsmanship towards your opponent. However, it is important to remember that a gimme should only be offered when the ball is lying within the gimme range, typically considered to be within the length of the putter.

Golf has its unwritten rules and etiquette surrounding gimmes. It is generally accepted that gimmes are offered within a reasonable distance, but it varies depending on the players and the situation. 

Some golfers may be more lenient and grant gimmes from a slightly longer distance, while others may prefer strict adherence to the specified range. It is important to be respectful of each other’s preferences and to discuss any potential misunderstandings or disagreements regarding gimmes before the game starts. 

If there are any disagreements or misunderstandings about gimmes during a match, it is best to communicate openly and respectfully with your opponent. Remember that the focus of golf is not solely on winning but also on the spirit of fair play and camaraderie. It may be necessary to compromise and find a middle ground to ensure that both players feel comfortable and enjoy the game.

Alternatives to Gimmes for Match Play and Short Putts

There are some alternatives to this practice. One alternative is to make it mandatory for players to complete every putt, regardless of its length. This ensures a fairer competition and avoids any potential controversy. Another alternative is to implement a limited distance for gimmes. Players can agree beforehand on a specific distance, such as one foot, for which putts can be given. This maintains the spirit of the gimme concept while still requiring players to make longer putts.

Ready Golf

Lastly, using a “ready golf” approach can also help speed up play. For those who are unfamiliar with ‘ready golf’, it is an approach that encourages faster and more efficient play on the golf course by allowing players to take their shots as soon as they are ready, regardless of their position in the order of play.

 In a match-play setting, players can decide on a hole-by-hole basis whether to give gimmes or not, depending on the pace of play. This allows for flexibility while still promoting a faster game.

Overall, these alternatives present options for players to consider when it comes to deciding whether to give gimmes or complete every putt in recreational golf as well as in a professional game. 

FAQs about What is a Gimme in Golf

Does gimme count as a stroke?

Yes, gimme is counted as a stroke; it’s an agreed-upon putt given by other players, typically for short distances.

How many inches is a gimme in golf?

A gimme in golf is usually around 1 to 3 inches, where players concede the putt. However, this differs among players and match play settings.

Are there gimmes on the PGA Tour?

On the PGA Tour, gimmes are not officially allowed; players must hole out all putts.

Do you count a gimme putt as a stroke?

Yes, gimme putt is counted as a stroke although you don’t play it.

Can you refuse a gimme in golf?

In golf, you can refuse a gimme if you prefer to putt it out and complete the hole. However, this isn’t a welcoming sight, and rather discourteous to refuse a gimme.

Should you ask for a gimme in golf?

Asking for a gimme is a common courtesy in friendly rounds, but it depends on the player’s preferences and the situation.

Final Words

In conclusion, a gimme in golf refers to a short putt that is conceded by other players based on mutual agreement. The concept of gimmes is important because it relies on the understanding and agreement among golfers. It promotes fairness and avoids unnecessary delays in the game.

However, it is crucial for golfers to consider the impact of gimmes on their own game and the overall enjoyment of playing golf. While convenient, excessive use of gimmes may distort one’s true putting skills and undermine the competitive spirit of the sport. It is essential to strike a balance and ensure that gimmes are used with caution and respect for the sport. 

We hope this guide on What is a Gimme in Golf helps you with the application of it in a better way.

Picture of Samuel


Samuel Moelans, raised alongside his mother, renowned golfer Linda Moelans, developed a deep love for golf early on. Beyond playing, his passion encompasses the community and discipline of the sport. Founder of “Can You Golf,” Samuel aims to inspire and educate enthusiasts at all levels, fostering a golf-loving community. The blog serves as a platform to share insights, tips, and stories, inviting readers to explore and grow together in the world of golf.

Latest Updates