You’ve likely heard of a gimme if you’ve ever played golf. A gimme in golf is a putt so short that players deem it unmissable and allow the one who needs to putt to pick the ball up and count it as holed. But there’s more to it than just that. Read on to discover all you need to know about gimmes in golf.
What is a gimme putt?
A gimme in golf refers to a putt so short that it is essentially unmissable. Rather than making your partner roll the ball into the hole, you can give them the shot and count it as holed. The term gimme derives from ”give me” – Will you give me that one?
A golfer who has a one-foot putt can say to his competitors: ‘’That’s a gimme?’’ or his opponents can tell him first that that’s a gimme.
Why do golf gimmies exist?
Gimme in golf exists to speed up the game. Instead of waiting and lining up an unmissable putt, a gimme allows you to pick up the ball and move onto the next tee. This speeds up the game for everyone on the golf course.
Granting a gimme to your competitor is an act of goodwill and brings in the element of sportsmanship. Although you don’t have to offer a gimme, doing so shows that you are a considerate gentleman and want to play in good spirits.
How short is a gimme putt?
A putt is thought to be a gimme if it is within 2.5ft. There are no official rules regarding gimmes. It is up to players to decide. Some will take time to measure gimmes. Others will take a glance at the distance between the cup and the ball and decide whether it’s good or not.
It is good to have an understanding before teeing off on the first. Whether you agree to award every putt within a putter-length of the hole as a gimme or decide on a hole-by-hole basis, you should be clear about your mutual expectations before starting a round.
Are there gimmes in pro golf?
There are no gimmes in pro golf. However, there are concessions, which are very similar to gimmes. You will not see a concession granted in major stroke play competitions such as British Open or US Masters. However, in match play tournaments such as Ryder Cup, they are regular.
You can concede your opponent’s next stroke, a hole, or the match, but a concession is possible only when it’s communicated clearly. If you consider your competitor’s next putt unmissable, you can concede the stroke and let them pick up their ball without playing.
Gimme putts vs. conceded putts
Although they are similar, there is a difference between gimme putts and conceded putts. Conceded putts exist as an approved part of match play, but not stroke play and the Rules of Golf cover them.
Gimmies do not and are not. When, in a match play setting, your opponent tells you to count the putt as made and pick up your golf ball, that is a conceded putt. Your opponent can grant you a concession, but you can’t ask him to concede a putt.
Gimmes are the mirror image of concession. They are an unofficial stroke-play counterpart to match play’s conceded putts. Also, you can request a gimme in golf, although it is much better to allow your opponent to grant it to you.
Should you ask for a gimme in golf?
Although you can, it is always better not to ask for a gimme, even if you are playing a recreational round. A gimme is more of a gentleman’s agreement within the game. So, it is on the player who is not about to putt to allow his opponent to pick their ball up and count. If your ball is lying within gimme range, but your opponent remains silent, you should putt it out.
Now, you know that gimme in golf is a putt so short that it’s considered unmissable. You can give your opponent the shot and count it as holed instead of making them roll the ball into the hall, and vice versa. This way, you speed the game up and allow for a better play flow.
Granting a gimme in golf shows that you are a gentleman and can raise the spirits. However, asking for a gimme shows a lack of etiquette, although you can do it.
Note that gimme putts are illegal and don’t exist in the Rules of Golf, unlike conceded putts which do, and players mostly use them in recreational golf.