What Is a Gimme in Golf

What Is a Gimme in Golf? Let’s Find Out!

Last Updated on October 18, 2023

Golfers often talk about a “gimme”, but what is a gimme in golf? A gimme in golf refers to an accepted practice among players where one golfer allows another player to pick up their ball without having to putt. A gimme is a way of preserving both the time and energy spent on the course while maintaining respect for the sport’s principles. But when can you take a gimme and how do you ask for one? Let’s explore these questions further as we delve into this interesting aspect of golf etiquette.

Table of Contents:

What is a Gimme in Golf?

Have you ever heard the term ‘gimme’ in golf? It’s a common phrase used by players of all levels, from recreational rounds to match play events like the Ryder Cup. In its simplest form, a gimme is a gesture of courtesy between two players that allows one player to pick up their ball without having to putt it out.

In match play tournaments, when one player has already holed out, and their opponent still has an uncompleted hole, they may choose to concede or give away the remaining shot(s). This is known as a gimme putt. Professional golfers on tour often have different rules for gimmes than amateur players do. On the PGA Tour, if your playing partner misses what would be considered an easy putt (usually within 2-3 feet), they can claim it as a “gimme” and mark their scorecard with zero strokes taken for that hole.

When playing with someone you know well enough to judge the proximity of their ball from the cup – usually no more than 6 inches – it might be fitting to call it a “gimme” and carry on with your game instead of forcing them to take another shot or stroke in an attempt for par or better. Utilizing active voice, an advanced level professional with an IQ of 150 could phrase this as: “It’s only right to grant a ‘gimme’ when the ball is within arm’s reach; that way, we can keep things moving along without having them waste any more shots.”

When playing in stroke play competitions where official rules apply, such as professional tournaments and other organized events, there are strict guidelines governing when shots can be conceded (or not). Therefore, it is important to check those before starting any round. Even in these situations, though, tournament officials may grant some leeway if both opponents agree on what constitutes an acceptable gimme range (for example, 3-4 feet). Thus, while counting up your scorecard after each hole, keep track of any potential gimmes which could add up over time.

In conclusion, a gimme is an informal agreement between players that allows for the ball to be picked up and counted as holed without actually having to putt it. Moving on, let’s look at when you can take a gimme in golf.

Key Takeaway: A “gimme” is a gesture of courtesy between two players, allowing one to pick up their ball without having to putt it out. In match play tournaments and stroke play competitions with strict rules, gimmes can be granted if both opponents agree on the range; so always keep track of potential strokes saved over time.

When Can You Take a Gimme?

Golf is a game of precision, and sometimes even the most experienced players need to call on their match play etiquette. One such moment occurs when you’re playing with a partner and they have a potential gimme putt—a short putt that your opponent can choose to pick up instead of actually putting it out. But when exactly can you take a gimme?

The term ‘gimme’ has been around since at least the 1950s, but it wasn’t until recently that it was officially recognized in the rules of golf. In match play events like the Ryder Cup or professional tournaments on the PGA Tour, gimmes are allowed within certain parameters. Generally speaking, if your ball is two feet or less from the hole after any stroke (including tee shots), then your playing partner may concede you a shot without having to actually hit it into the cup.

A golf ball near the hole

When it comes to recreational rounds, the rules of gimmes are more relaxed and up to each individual’s discretion. Whether you’re playing with friends or family members, it’s ultimately your call whether or not you want to count a gimme putt as a stroke. Keep in mind that when competing at an advanced level in professional tournaments like the Ryder Cup, official rules officials will be present and may enforce stricter regulations regarding gimmes.

At an advanced level of professional tournaments like the Ryder Cup, official rules officials will be present and may enforce stricter regulations regarding gimmes. Thus, if you’re playing in such an event where taking gimmes is allowed but no one has pre-agreed upon it beforehand (e.g., estimating how many inches away from the hole would qualify for them), then opponents should never presume that their opponent will grant them a free shot without asking first. To put it plainly, even though you may think your adversary’s putt looks close enough to be conceded after they make their stroke, don’t just assume this – request permission before counting it as part of your scorecard tallying process.

Gimmes can be a helpful tool to hasten the game and maintain momentum, yet it is essential to know when they are permissible. Moving forward, we will discuss how you should go about asking for a gimme in golf etiquette.

Key Takeaway: At an advanced level of professional golf tournaments like the Ryder Cup, gimmes are allowed but you should always ask for permission before counting it as part of your scorecard tallying process. You don’t want to be caught taking a shot in the dark or assuming that your opponent will grant you a free pass.

How Do You Ask for a Gimme?

Asking for a gimme in golf is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is point to your ball and say, “gimme” or “that’s good”. A gimme is when another player agrees that your shot was close enough to the hole that it would have gone in, so they don’t require you to putt it out. It’s a common practice in casual rounds of golf, but not allowed during professional tournaments such as the Ryder Cup.

Gimmies are typically used when a golfer has hit their ball within arm’s reach of the cup – usually less than two feet away. If there’s no doubt about whether the ball would go in if it were putted out, then players can agree on a gimme without even needing to measure the distance from the cup. If playing with less experienced golfers, they may request too many gimmies which could create an unfair advantage over other players.

It’s important for all parties involved in any round of golf to understand how far away from the hole constitutes an acceptable gimme request before teeing off. This will help ensure everyone plays fairly and respects each other’s skill level while still having fun on the course. The most important thing is that both players feel comfortable with whatever agreement they come up with – whether it’s asking for a “gimme” or just putting out every time regardless of distance – because, after all, nothing ruins a good game faster than bad sportsmanship.


In conclusion, a gimme in golf is an informal agreement between two players to pick up the ball without having to take a shot. It’s usually done when one player has already won the hole, and it would be unfair for them to have to putt out or hit another stroke. Taking a gimme can help speed up play and make sure everyone enjoys their round of golf. So if you’re ever playing with someone who agrees that taking a gimme on certain shots is acceptable, don’t hesitate – go ahead and take advantage.

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