What Is a Golf Skins Tournament?

A skins game or tournament can be played by a group of professionals on a weekend for charity or by friends on the local links. Whatever the level or location, a golf skins game involves a match-play-type atmosphere where money or bragging rights are on the line for the participants.

What is a Golf Skin?

Golf skins have players competing for money or points, and it's similar to match play, with the golfers facing off hole by hole.


The Skins Game was first played professionally as a spectator sport in 1983 when Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson participated in the made-for-TV event with a total purse of $170,000.

Definition and Rules

Skins is a match-play-type event in each competitors accumulate points or money over the course of the round.

Each hole is worth a set amount, which can be won by one player scoring better than his competitors. If there's a tie, the points are carried over to the next hole.


If money or points are carried over at the end of 18 holes, there's a playoff. The golfers continue playing until one wins a hole, and the carryover skins.

Professional Skins Game

Skins Games, both men's and women's, have traditionally been played following the regular tour seasons in the fall. They aren't part of the PGA or LPGA schedule and don't count toward the money list. The 2009 men's Skins Game was canceled when the sponsor pulled out.