What Is A Gimme In Golf? [Explained]

Golf is a game full of strange terminology. If you’ve ever heard someone use the word ‘gimme’ when referring to golf, you’ve probably wondered, what is a gimme in golf?

Well, as strange as it may sound, it’s actually a pretty simple explanation. In this article, we’ll take a look at a gimme in golf and learn a little more about where the term comes from.

Let’s get into it and find out what is a gimme in golf?

What Is A Gimme In Golf?

What Is A Gimme In Golf?

What Is A Gimme In Golf?

A gimme in golf is when a golfer lets another player their ball up from a close distance to the hole. This means that they won’t need to putt the ball into the hole and can pick it up. This will count as one shot like it would if the player had putted it in.

The term ‘gimme’ is a combination of the words ‘give me’ and is usually for a putt that is of an ‘unmissable’ length.

Usually, the other golfers in the group will say “That’s a gimme”, and it will allow the golfer to pick up the ball. They can also ask “Is that a gimme?” and if the other players accept, they’ll be able to pick the ball up.

A gimme is similar to a ‘conceded’ putt, because both are when a short putt is given to the other player. However a gimme is used only in friendly rounds, whereas a concession or conceded putt will be in a matchplay competition where one player/players gives a putt to the other. For this reason you’ll never see a gimme in a professional tournament such as on the PGA Tour or at The Open championship. You will however see a concession or conceded putt at something like the Ryder Cup, where one player or team will let the other pick up their ball from close range.

Why Are There Gimmes In Golf?

A gimme is basically there to help speed up the game and is great for a casual round of golf to keep things moving. By allowing a gimme putt, it means your playing partner doesn’t have to waste any time lining a putt up and knocking it into the hole when it’s only a few inches away.

If the ball is close to the hole, the chances of the player missing the putt is unlikely so it’s also a friendly way to play golf and also helps speed up the process.

With golf being a game of sportsmanship, a lot of the time, giving a gimme putt is about being a good sport. If you know your golfing partner is not going to miss the putt, why would you need to give them the chance to miss it?

Of course, a gimme is only given if you wish to give it. There’s no rule which says you have to give a gimme for short putts and its always down to the other players desgression. Say for example, you’re playing an important match with your buddy. He might be beating you, so you’re not going to want to give him any short putts which you think he could miss.

Can You Ask For A Gimme?

Becuase a gimme is more of a friendly agreement or gentleman agreement in the game of golf, you should never really ask for a gimme putt to be given.

If your playing partner feels like a putt is a gimme, they will probably let you have it. But it’s always best to let them say it first instead of you asking for it. This may show that you’re not confident in holing the putt, so they might not want to give it you.

As with anything, it obviously depends who you’re playing with. If it’s your buddy who you get along with very well, then they won’t mind you asking for a gimme putt if it helps to speed up the round. It all really depends on how serious the game is.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it – a gimme in golf is just a short putt which is given to you by your playing partners whilst out on the course. Usually only within a few feet of the hole, it allows you to pick your ball up without needing to putt it in.

Although not allowed in a formal strokeplay competition, the equivalent is allowed in a formal matchplay game and is known as a conceded putt or concession.

Gimme FAQ’s

How Do You Count A Gimme?

A gimme putt is counted as a normal shot, like if the ball was putted into the hole. For example, if you had taken 3 shots and had a putt for a 4, if it was a gimme it would count as a 4.

Do You Add A Shot With A Gimme?

A gimme is still counted as a shot, so it is therefore added to a players score after the hole. A gimme basically just means that you don’t need to putt it from a very short distance from the hole.

Are Gimmes Allowed In PGA?

In a strokeplay event on the PGA tour, gimmes are not allowed. If it’s a matchplay event, similar to a gimme, a putt can be ‘conceded’ by the other player if they don’t think the putt will be missed and the ball can be picked up.

What Length Of Putt Is A Gimme?

Although there’s no hard and fast rule about the length of a gimme and generally it’s down to the other players to decide, anything within 2.5 ft (or about a putters length) is usually considered a gimme putt. This can of course vary depending on how generous a golfer is feeling.

Why Do Golfers Not Finish Putting?

A golfer might not need to finish putting if their playing partner has given the putt as a gimme. This means they can pick the ball up and add a shot to their score. This usually occurs when the ball is within 2.5ft from the hole.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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