Let’s put right and wrong aside. We’re talking about betting golf.
What’s the best thing about betting golf? It should be fun. To do that, it needs to be just the right amount of tension. Professional Kim Yong-jun, the hunky, bubbly pro, confidently introduces his favorite team rules. It’s called “skins and strokes,” and it’s a betting golf team rule.
It was created by the seniors and juniors who often played together when Bapsae was barely breaking 90. Still, I’d be honored if you’d call it the Hummingbird Rule to make it easier to remember.
First, figure out the handicap of the player you’re playing with and use that as your target score. If the player has a handicap of 18, a 90 counts as “par” against their handicap.
If that player shoots 88, they’re 2 under par for their handicap. The idea is that you play against each other and the lowest score against your handicap is the winner. The low handicapper is the one with the lowest handicap, so he or she is relatively stronger.
We felt the same way, so we evolved the rule. We decided to pick a winner every nine holes.
If a player has a handicap of 18, their nine-hole handicap is 9. That way, we’d have two winners in one round. That made it a little more interesting. There would be one winner on the front nine and one on the back nine.
Still, there’s homework to be done. Sometimes one person would win both the front and back nine. We decided to pick a runner-up, but there was still something missing. Players who struggled early on, whether it was the first nine holes or the back nine, tended to lose momentum. So for a while, we played a game of skins, where each hole was a tiebreaker. Skins is so named because it involves peeling away the prize money hole by hole, like peeling an onion.
However, this was not enough to keep everyone entertained when there were players of widely varying skill levels. We even tried giving him an extra shot or half a shot per hole. Eventually, we decided to mix skins to determine the winner of each hole with a stroke game to determine the winner against handicap. That’s how Skins and Strokes, the “Hummingbird Rule,” was born, and 17 years after Hummingbird started playing golf, the Hummingbirds still play by it.
Here are the specific rules of Skins and Strokes At the start of the match, each player puts down a bet of 10. How many is up to you. How much do you guys walk? Hmmmm. A little bit. A little bit. When all four of us are done, that’s 40.
With that money, I’ll give out 18 prizes, one to the winner of each hole. Then there are 22 left, four of which are for near-list prizes, one for each par-3 hole. The near list is the players closest to the hole. That leaves you with 18 chips. We’ll divide this money into 9 for the first half and 9 for the second half. So the overall winner gets 5. The runner-up gets three. The third place finisher gets one. Last place gets no money. 캡틴토토
At first, this created peace. Until a handicap cheating villain showed up. When a player with a high handicap and a good game gets in, they don’t say it out loud, but they’re unhappy. For example, a player who claimed to have a handicap of 18 but actually shot in the low 80s. So we added a rule. We’re going to take back the winnings of fraudulent golfers.
We decided that if you shoot 3 under par for your handicap over nine holes, you’re fraudulent. If you have a handicap of 18, your 9-hole handicap is 9. On a normal golf course, a 9-hole score of 45 would be the handicap standard. However, if the golfer shoots 6-over par for nine holes, or 42, we’d consider it fraudulent. He’s 3 under par for his handicap.
If he cheats, he gets to keep his five winnings, even if he wins. Naturally, they’ll use the money for caddies and food and drinks at the shade house. That’s not to say that a player who shoots 3-under par or better against his handicap is unfair, because if you play that well, you should feel good, even if your pockets are empty.
Over time, we added another rule. We added another rule: adjust the handicap for the second half based on the first half score. If you win the first half, you lower your handicap by two strokes, and if you finish second, you lower it by one. If a player has a first-half handicap of 9 and wins, their second-half handicap will be 7, and so on. If they came in second, drop it to 8. Later, to encourage those who didn’t make the cut, we added a provision for third place to increase their handicap by one stroke and last place by two strokes. If a 9-handicapper finished third in the first round, they’d play a 10 in the second round, and if they finished last, they’d play an 11 in the second round.
This meant that I didn’t get the skins prize for each hole, but I did get the stroke prize, so I did my best to save every stroke until the last hole.
Try it out and let us know if you have any better ideas.
If you’d like to talk to Kim about anything golf related, you can email him at ironsmithk.com. His email is ‘ironsmithkim’.