Have you ever heard the term “gimme” while playing golf and wondered what it means? Well, I’m here to explain it to you! In the world of golf, a gimme refers to a short putt that is considered unmissable. When a player is close to the hole and the putt is within a certain distance, they can pick up their ball and count it as holed. It’s a way to speed up the game and promote sportsmanship among players.

Although there are no official rules governing the distance for a gimme, it is typically within 2.5 feet. This means that if a player’s ball is within this range, they can simply pick it up without having to take the putt. It saves time and avoids the frustration of missing an easy putt.

It’s important to note that gimmes are common in recreational golf but not allowed in professional tournaments. In professional golf, every stroke counts, and players are required to complete each hole by holing out on every putt.

Now that you understand what a gimme is in golf, let’s explore the purpose and advantages of using gimmes, as well as the etiquette and tips for incorporating them into your game.

Key Takeaways:

  • A gimme in golf refers to a short putt that is considered unmissable.
  • Gimmes help speed up the game and promote sportsmanship.
  • They are typically putts within 2.5 feet.
  • Gimmes are not allowed in professional tournaments.
  • Etiquette and clear communication are important when using gimmes.

The Purpose and Advantages of Gimmes in Golf

Gimmes exist in golf with the purpose of speeding up the pace of play and enhancing the overall enjoyment of the game. By eliminating the need to complete short putts that are unlikely to be missed, players can grant gimmes to each other and seamlessly move on to the next hole.

This strategic approach helps keep the game flowing smoothly and prevents unnecessary delays on the course. Instead of spending time on formality, players can focus their energy and concentration on more challenging shots, leading to a more efficient and engaging round of golf.

Granting a gimme putt to a competitor is not only an act of goodwill but also exemplifies the spirit of sportsmanship. It fosters a friendly and supportive atmosphere among players, allowing them to appreciate each other’s skills and achievements.

The advantages of gimmes in golf are evident. They save considerable time, reduce frustration, and promote camaraderie on the course. Additionally, granting gimmes demonstrates respect for other players’ abilities and acknowledges their efforts, making the game more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Gimmes in Match Play and Stroke Play

Gimmes are a common practice in match play tournaments, such as the prestigious Ryder Cup. In these tournaments, players have the option to concede their opponent’s next stroke or even an entire hole. This means that if a player’s opponent has a short putt remaining, they can choose to grant them the putt without requiring them to actually make the stroke. This act of conceding putts in match play is seen as a strategic move and an expression of good sportsmanship.

However, when it comes to stroke play competitions and professional golf tournaments, gimmes are not allowed. In stroke play, each player must complete every hole and record their score accurately. This means that even short putts must be played out and holed for the player’s score to count. The objective in stroke play is to complete the entire course with the fewest number of strokes possible, so no putts can be conceded.

Gimmes in professional golf tournaments are prohibited to ensure fairness and integrity in scoring. By requiring players to hole out on every putt, it eliminates the possibility of favoritism or abuse of the gimme rule. This ensures that each player is held to the same standard and that the competition remains fair for all participants.

Type of Golf TournamentGimmes Allowed
Match PlayYes
Stroke PlayNo
Professional TournamentsNo

Overall, gimmes in golf are a unique aspect of match play competitions, where players have the opportunity to demonstrate good sportsmanship by conceding putts to their opponents. However, in stroke play and professional golf tournaments, gimmes are not allowed to maintain fairness and accuracy in scoring.

Etiquette and Tips for Using Gimmes

When it comes to gimmes in golf, it’s important to navigate the etiquette surrounding these convenient concessions. While it’s technically possible to ask for a gimme, it’s generally considered more appropriate to wait for your opponent to offer one voluntarily. Asking for a gimme can be seen as lacking sportsmanship and may disrupt the flow of the game.

Before starting a round of golf, it’s crucial to establish clear expectations for gimmes. Some players may prefer to award gimmes for putts within a putter-length (approximately 35 inches) of the hole, while others may decide on a hole-by-hole basis. By discussing this beforehand, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and promote a fair game.

Remember, offering a gimme is a gesture of goodwill and sportsmanship, and it should be done willingly and without hesitation. Additionally, it’s important to respect your opponent’s decision if they choose not to award a gimme. Ultimately, the use of gimmes in golf should enhance the enjoyment of the game and maintain a respectful atmosphere among players.

Etiquette and Tips for Using Gimmes:

  • Wait for your opponent to offer a gimme instead of asking for one.
  • Establish clear expectations for gimmes before starting a round.
  • Respect your opponent’s decision if they choose not to grant a gimme.
  • Offer gimmes willingly and without hesitation as an act of sportsmanship.


In conclusion, gimmes in golf play a significant role in speeding up the game and fostering sportsmanship among players. These short putts, considered unmissable, allow golfers to pick up their balls and count them as holed. While gimmes are commonly used in recreational golf, they are not permitted in professional tournaments.

Understanding the etiquette and guidelines for using gimmes is crucial to ensure a fair and enjoyable game for all players. While players can technically ask for a gimme, it is generally more appropriate to wait for your opponent to offer one. Asking for a gimme may be seen as lacking etiquette, so it is important to be mindful of your actions on the course.

Overall, gimmes serve as a way to keep the pace of play flowing smoothly and prevent unnecessary delays. By granting gimmes to each other, players can save time on short putts that are unlikely to be missed. This act of goodwill and sportsmanship adds to the overall enjoyment of the game, creating a positive playing experience for everyone involved.