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what is the appropriate length of a putt to give?


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1 hour ago, dnjoyce said:

It seems there might be different interpretations of the "world" handicap system 😆

This is covered within the Handicapping Rules, Rule 3.3 here:

https://www.randa.org/roh/the-rules-of-handicapping/rule-3#3_3

Essentially, if you start a hole, but do not hole out, you post the "most likely score" for handicapping purpose.

1 hour ago, Willie T said:

This ^^^^^ - we often use this as the barometer.  Of course - all putts have to be for par or worse, no birdies or better give, have to be earned.  For example of a birdie misses and ends close, the par is given.  

I'm happy to give a 6-inch putt for birdie, even for eagle.  

16 minutes ago, MH15 said:

I tend to be generous if it is just my buddies and I on the course not playing for $$$ - something to the effect of 4-5 ft or in. In my leagues, its always putter length and people are pretty good about measuring and not assuming their putts are fine to take.

That being said, lots of research shows that 8ft is about a 50/50 split for odds to make the putt for a tour pro. I originally read that in Jon Sherman's "The Four Foundations of Golf: How to Build a Game That Lasts a Lifetime."

If you're talking gimmes as in "there's no way this putt is missed," even a scratch golfer is ~80% from 4 ft. At each level of golfer, I'd imagine each extra foot going in might give you around ~10% increased odds? Just a guess. Take that how you will. 

Another good source: https://www.tomfieldinggolf.net/putting-probabilities.html

This all comes from data compiled by the PGA Tour, and used by Mark Broadie in his book about the Strokes Gained concept, Every Shot Counts.  Erik Barzeski's Lowest Score Wins, and Scott Fawcett's Decade system all use similar principles.  I've read Broadie and Barzeski, and like them both for different reasons.

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13 minutes ago, rosshopper said:

The length of the actual flag, approx 18”

unless you can kick it in without missin, you're puttin it.

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With friends it's always buck-a-hole, buck-a-putt, so every putt counts. If it's for s#!ts and giggles then whatever, but I putt out everything. 

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ckeller52, one of The guys we played with sometimes also doesn't take gimmies. He basically plays tournament golf everyday. That's not me, I'll take a gimme.

 

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If its for birdie....hole it no matter the length! Who doesn't want to hear the sound of the cup on a birdie putt.  For par, inside the grip. For bogey or higher, whatever you want to make you feel good. 

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On 1/8/2024 at 5:16 PM, barney_bogey said:

I'll gladly to give a three footer to my buddy who is fuming after he misses a 3 footer. emoji1787.pngemoji23.png

This lol. If I know the person playing and it will "ruin" their round, I'd rather have a fun playing partner than a whiny one.

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On 1/5/2024 at 5:46 PM, ryan.mzzz said:

or, what is etiquette for giving a putt in a friendly game, say between family or good friends? I generally give putt’s two feet and in, but if my dad-in-law gets inside of six feet he starts looking for the okie doke. 

 

Haha - our group struggles with this one - we have 1-5 tee times each week and play a team game.  The problem is when people are not using the same gimmie length if the putt matters. We used inside the leather but people did not follow it and some would rake 3-4 foot putts.

So my solution was to give them the following rhyme:

One-two, inside the shoe - you are done, three-four putt some more

Meaning step it off, if you are outside two feet you putt it.

Edited by ajlacombe
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12 minutes ago, Billy-Bo-Jim-Bob said:

If its for birdie....hole it no matter the length! Who doesn't want to hear the sound of the cup on a birdie putt.  For par, inside the grip. For bogey or higher, whatever you want to make you feel good. 

All of my rounds these days are casual.  But pretty-much everyone I play with wants to make their own par or birdie putt - just for the satisfaction.  Bogey putts are given within 1-2 ft and doubles+ are usually given about 3 ft or so - nobody ever actually measures.  My playing partners and I WANT to sink the par or birdie putt even if it’s from 2 inches.  It’s a great feeling.  There’s never $$ on the line.  Also, after 3 putts, picking up is offered and encouraged, but not required.

 I used to play with a bunch of guys (12-16) on an annual fun trip who’d put $10 each round into a pot to pay out for giant skins.  Nobody ever won a hole with a bogey, so bogeys+ were a gimme option. Handicaps weren’t considered. Nobody in the group was especially good, so it all worked out.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

This is covered within the Handicapping Rules, Rule 3.3 here:

https://www.randa.org/roh/the-rules-of-handicapping/rule-3#3_3

Essentially, if you start a hole, but do not hole out, you post the "most likely score" for handicapping purpose.

I'm happy to give a 6-inch putt for birdie, even for eagle.  

This all comes from data compiled by the PGA Tour, and used by Mark Broadie in his book about the Strokes Gained concept, Every Shot Counts.  Erik Barzeski's Lowest Score Wins, and Scott Fawcett's Decade system all use similar principles.  I've read Broadie and Barzeski, and like them both for different reasons.

People can give whatever they want in friendly matches, but that rule absolutely does not allow for gimmes 😆 "not hole out for a valid reason" is not the same as "I figured I would get it, so why bother?" 

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As with so many of y’all the answer is “it depends.”

Nothing on the line (no $$ or out of the hole in match play or over the stroke limit for GHIN), give whatever length your playing partners want.  Give yourself the same if you want.

Something on the line, the “rules” can get fuzzy.  Usually, all putts to win a hole or to be under par on a hole must be struck (with exceptions of on the lip or within a putter head but we usually finish those out anyway).

Difficulty usually arises when in a three-way match (“two tie, all tie”) and clear distance hasn’t been determined on the 1st tee.

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So many different variables!  In competitive Tournament stroke play, every ball hits the bottom of the cup.  Friendly match play, if you know they can miss from 2 feet, make them show you they can make it before you start giving 2 footers away.  Or maybe you suck from 2 feet so you give them away hoping they do the same for you.  Bottom line is, read the room and adjust.  If they are making you make them, you make them make them.  For me, I find the polite thing to do is let the people I am playing with set the precedent.  One thing that irritates me is when people walk up to a 3-4 footer and put no effort into it and miss it without being given the putt and assume you had given it to them, I have a playing friend that does that way too much and it kills me not to roast him for it.  Don't ever assume a putt is given!

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My question for the OP is, does your FIL give you 5 or 6 foot putts?  If not, then he shouldn't expect you to give him those.  In my group, we play a team game with modified Stableford scoring.  We used to do "inside the leather" until we realized the distance between head and grip on one guy's putter was longer than everyone else's.  Now, we have a mark on our putters that equals the distance of his "inside the leather."  We basically don't play golf anyway.  We improve our lies everywhere.  Interestingly, the worst putter in the group, who has the yips on short putts, is the one who most grumbles about not putting out everything.

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I have a related question about gimmies (however they're defined):

I thought after someone says "You're good" it means I'm close enough that I'll most likely get the ball into the hole on the next stroke. So I pick up, and add one stroke to whatever I had at that point. I still consider it a gift because the next stroke (no matter how close) is never guaranteed.  

But others seem to think that "You're good." means you can count your last stroke the same as if you got it in the hole. That seems pretty generous. 

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If I'm playing with @Lacassem in the bottom of the cup isn't even a gimmie.  🤣

 

Generally my rules are...

For a birdie or better?   You're putting.

For a par or worse... You're probably still putting.

Did the hole take us a long time and you're putting for Par or worse? - Inside of a foot.

Are you double par?  Pick it up lets move on.  

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No crying in baseball and no gimmes in golf.  End of story.  Have seen folks miss them from a foot.  The men's senior league I play in on M/W/F, we putt out everything!  Also no mulligans.....  

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16 minutes ago, DymnDog said:

I have a related question about gimmies (however they're defined):

I thought after someone says "You're good" it means I'm close enough that I'll most likely get the ball into the hole on the next stroke. So I pick up, and add one stroke to whatever I had at that point. I still consider it a gift because the next stroke (no matter how close) is never guaranteed.  

But others seem to think that "You're good." means you can count your last stroke the same as if you got it in the hole. That seems pretty generous. 

In the regular group I play with everyone is on the same page. Meaning if someone says "You're good" then consider the next stroke in the hole. If Im playing with someone new, then the exchange usually goes like this: Me - "What are you putting for?" Them - "This is for a 6" Me - "That is good for a 6, pick it up" That's if all the conditions are right and Im feeling generous. Haha. But I always clarify what score is going on the card before I "give" a putt.

Not gonna lie, if you're 5th shot puts your ball 6 inches from the hole, and I casually say some variation of "You're good" and you put a 5 on the card, I'm probably gonna be pretty annoyed, a discussion will certainly follow. 

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12 minutes ago, ChuckZ said:

No crying in baseball and no gimmes in golf.  End of story.  Have seen folks miss them from a foot.  The men's senior league I play in on M/W/F, we putt out everything!  Also no mulligans.....  

@ChuckZ if we are playing match play style golf, and Im in the hole, and you miss the putt to halve the hole, then I tell you to pick it up and we move on. Stroke play however, Im with you, no gimmies. Haha.

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9 minutes ago, BLD7 said:

@ChuckZ if we are playing match play style golf, and Im in the hole, and you miss the putt to halve the hole, then I tell you to pick it up and we move on. Stroke play however, Im with you, no gimmies. Haha.

Match play has it's own set of rules.  Have played in match play tournaments and understand that.  Most golfers do not play in tournaments.  It does speed up tournament play.  

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5 minutes ago, ChuckZ said:

Match play has it's own set of rules.  Have played in match play tournaments and understand that.  Most golfers do not play in tournaments.  It does speed up tournament play.  

I’ll ask the dumb follow-up question.   Match play doesn’t have to be a tournament, it can be played with your golf buddies.  You don’t give puts when playing a friendly Nassau or skins? 

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The senior league I play in strictly follows within the leather to speed up play, it's even described in detail in the (one page) rules. That usually seems to be the norm outside of league among my golf cohorts. Once in a while a friendly game organizer will stipulate putt out everything, and of course we all do in tournaments. I would never agree to giving 6 footers, but YMMV.

Edited by Middler
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6 minutes ago, Middler said:

I would never agree to giving 6 footers, but YMMV.

I can’t say never.  Team play where a playing partner is outside his partner that is putting for a better score to avoid showing the closer player the line.  

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If money or a recognized tournament or trophy or USGA index, putt it out unless 18 inches.  Otherwise, who cares, you are only cheating yourself.  It takes nerves to putt out 18 holes but that's part of the game. 

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1 hour ago, Hook DeLoft said:

My question for the OP is, does your FIL give you 5 or 6 foot putts?  If not, then he shouldn't expect you to give him those.  In my group, we play a team game with modified Stableford scoring.  We used to do "inside the leather" until we realized the distance between head and grip on one guy's putter was longer than everyone else's.  Now, we have a mark on our putters that equals the distance of his "inside the leather."  We basically don't play golf anyway.  We improve our lies everywhere.  Interestingly, the worst putter in the group, who has the yips on short putts, is the one who most grumbles about not putting out everything.

At risk of being iggorant, what is an OP and an FIL?  Is OP Opposing Player?  FIL, friends in league???  I am lost 

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2 minutes ago, Donn lost in San Diego said:

At risk of being iggorant, what is an OP and an FIL?  Is OP Opposing Player?  FIL, friends in league???  I am lost 

Original poster (person that started the thread)and father in law.  

Edited by cnosil

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Wedge:  :titleist-small: 54/12D, 60/8M w/:Accra iWedge 90 Graphite
Putter:   Sacks Parente MC 3 Stripe

Backup Putters:  :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, :seemore-small: mFGP2, :cameron-small: Futura 5W, :taylormade-small:TM-180

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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4 hours ago, dnjoyce said:

I was curious about this as I was reading this thread. In Ireland (and presumably other places, UK for sure as well) when you are recording a score for handicap purposes (which is very often in a weekly club competition) you have to finish EVERYTHING. There is no concept of a gimme. Gimme's only enter the equation if you are playing matchplay, or out for a casual round. It seems there might be different interpretations of the "world" handicap system 😆

Totally agree…..

Driver: image.png.6ba1c8a254ad57aa05e527b74c2e04ba.png0311 XF 10.5* w/Project X Cypher 40 gram Senior shaft or 0811 XF 12* w/Evenflo Riptide CB Senior shaft

Fairways:  image.png.80321f01fc46450b6f428c7daf7b3471.png0211 5W & 7W w/ Evenflo Riptide CB  regular shaft and Tour Edge E521 9W w/Fubuki HD50 regular shaft

Hybrid: None in bag at the moment

IronsTitleist T300 5-PW w/Fubuki MV Senior graphite shafts w/Golf Pride Tour

Wedges: Edison forged 49*, 53* and 57* wedges with KB PGI Senior shafts(80 grm).

Putter: 33” Evnroll ER6R or  ER2 or Bellum Winmore Model 707,   or Nike Method Core Drone  w/Evnroll Gravity Grip

Bag: Vice cart bag(Black/Lime). 

Ball: Snell MTB Prime X, Maxfli Tour/S/X CG, Titleist Pro V1x or Titleist TruFeel

Using Shot Scope X5 and Pinned Rangefinder

 

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5 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Original poster (person that started the thread)and father in law.  

That was quick.  BTW, what does your pen name cnosil stand for?  I used to work for a large bank and it was amusing how many acronyms were used and commonly understood inside the large employee base.

Drv: PXG 0211, Evnflo Riptide CB Senior, Callaway 454 TI (2004) 10 and an 11, regular flex.

3W: Callaway Steelhead Xr  Tensei Blue CK 55 gram senior. TM Burner Superfast 3.0 M flex.

5W : Titleist TSi 1 on Aldila Ascent 40 regular flex.

Driving Iron: Mizuno MP 18 MMC 3 18 degree, on Mamiya Recoil reg flex.

4 iron:  forged Mizuno Fly-Hi, 24 degree hollow body.

6 - PW: Ping I 500, on Recoil reg flex.

Gap: 52/9 GFF Mizuno S5, Lob: 60/6 GFF Mizuno T7.

Sand: Ancien Regime 56/12 Hogan Sure Out, Apex shaft. Heavy sole.

Chipper:  Ancien Regime Don Martin "Up n In" bronze or copper. 🙂

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab "R" Ball, face balanced, 2 piece, multi material shaft.🙃

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