Gambling - Does It Improve Your Game ?

I would say an unequivocal yes, it would improve one's game.  My regular group plays a season-long tournament called "The Fed-Up Cup" based on a point system.  This also includes a closest to the pin contest on one par three every round.  We played one season together without this tournament and it is clear that we all play better when we're engaged in this friendly competition.   For me personally, it makes me practice more, has caused me to make better course management decisions, and has intensified my focus on the game in general. 

We have a little money riding on it, winner takes all, but it's certainly not enough for anyone to get upset about.  Plus we are all happy for each other when someone is playing well.  I enjoy it, and if one of the guys outplays the rest of us and wins, good for him.  

 

I regularly play with my dad and his friend and we play $1 a hole skins with carryover im a 7 index my dad is a 22 and his friend is a 16.

My dad is the only one who gets strokes 5 of them 3 he can call on any of the front nine holes and 2 he can call on any of the back nine holes before any tees off.

I play the  back tees and they play the men's tees.

My game doesnt really change when we play this way but they seem to focus more and play closer to my level then they would without betting those 2ft putts with 4 hole carry over do become alot harder   and it always ends up being close at the end of the day for who wins the most money.

I can really tell that my dad and his best friend really enjoy playing this way   

 

I've played with friends who gamble, but my money stays in my pocket.  I don't interfere with their wagers, nor do I fall for their baiting tactics trying to get me to join in on the betting. I'd rather spend that money on my swing coach or buying golf balls.

I'm not looking down on anyone who chooses to do this, just as they should respect my reasons for not doing it.

My group likes to have a little wager every round.  The bets won't cause you to miss paying your mortgage, but it's amazing what a few bucks will do to make you focus on hitting good shots, especially short putts.  And, grinding over those 3 foot putts every weekend helps me when I'm playing in tournaments.  

I have done the same. The other side of the coin is some of these gambling groups who seem to have nice guys and all don't want you to play with them unless you are going to gamble. I know one guy that says he would not even play golf if it was not for the gambling. I am glad that I have found enough golfers to find a game who do not care about gambling.

Carl T

I have done the same. The other side of the coin is some of these gambling groups who seem to have nice guys and all don't want you to play with them unless you are going to gamble. I know one guy that says he would not even play golf if it was not for the gambling. I am glad that I have found enough golfers to find a game who do not care about gambling.

Carl, it's funny you mention this, because this has happened to me on a couple of occasions.  Like I said, I don't care what they do, as I stick to my game and keep my mouth shut, but some people think there's something wrong with you if you don't want to place a little wager.  I make no judgments on them, but I seem to be on the receiving end of negative judgments from many gambling golfers I'm acquainted with, as though it was a character deficiency on my part, it's amazing.

memphisunited

My group likes to have a little wager every round.  The bets won't cause you to miss paying your mortgage, but it's amazing what a few bucks will do to make you focus on hitting good shots, especially short putts.  And, grinding over those 3 foot putts every weekend helps me when I'm playing in tournaments.  

Like Scott our group has regular bets and money games.  We all usually put in $15 for skins/greenies and then have any and all side bets for the day.  It's rare to lose $20.  I feel it keeps me focused and grinding and helps me in tournaments.

TT

For those who feel like gambling helps them focus and play better more power to you. For me gambling just does the opposite. I have found over the years that my golf scores are cyclic. In other words let's say that my average round is 88. I will shoot anywhere from the mid 70's to the mid 90's on any given day. Whether I am playing for money or not has nothing to do with my focus or concentration. Weather has more influence than anything on my scoring. When it is brutally hot my scoring is usually up and when the weather is in the mid 70's to mid 80's I play better. Wind usually hurts my score, calm usually helps my score. I play year around as do the gamblers at my club. I try to play my best no matter what and gambling does not improve a thing. It only makes me mad when I have one of those days where I shoot a higher than normal score and to add insult to injury, fork over hard earned dollars for playing badly that day is beyond my comprehension so that why I try to avoid playing for money. I like what the doc said about some gamblers think you have a character flaw if you don't gamble when playing golf. I think that if you can't play golf without gambling you have an addiction to gambling. I guess what it comes down to is that if you feel like you play better golf gambling and loosing money when you don't play as well as your opponents and forking it over and hope you can get it back next game is OK but my opponent is old man par and when I loose to him I feel good that I gave it my best and hopefully I will have tomorrow to try to beat him. When I do beat him I don't have to have some poor sap handing over dollars to me to feel good about my game that day. If I'm going to gamble I just as well would go down into the cart garage and get in a dice game with the cart boys and then when I'm done go play golf.

Well, I played in a gambling game today because one of my regular partners who plays in a weekly Robin game volunteered me for a regular gambler player who could not play. The Robin game as most here knows Is a foursome who changes partners every 6 holes. Best ball of the teams is scored. The game consist of $3 a robin, automatic press if a team is 2 down and if a team is 1 down going into the last hole it is optional if they want to press or not. Then there is the side bets of skins at 50 cents a skin, double skin if won with a birdie with no carry overs. Got it. One more thing about this game. Double bogey and you just pick up. You lay 3 on a par 4 and your partner birdies the hole and you just pick up because you can't beat the score. If the other twosome cannot beat a 3 they just pick up and everyone moves to the next hole. Anyone see something wrong here ? Scores posted in this manner falsely lowers your true handicap allowing you to post a lower score than you might not have made if you would have holed out. Of course this is just the opposite of sandbagging but unfortunately these false lower handicaps might come back to haunt you when you are playing in a monthly members golf match where a computer picks an A, B, C and D player for each team. Your A or B player that you get on your team turns out in reality to be a C or D player. Hard to beat other teams if you get these players on your team.( I went ahead and holed out and kept my own score which was higher than the gambler scoring method.) What was weird about this whole deal was that I ended up as the big winner even though I had the third highest score out of the 4 players. I played on all 3 winning Robins and was the skin leader with 4 ! Did I take the money ? You bet but really I would have had just as good a time if there was no betting. I shot below my handicap and beat old man par with a net score which just made my day. The guy that lost the most money was mad and was not a happy camper although he did win a double skin on the last hole and kept me on the third winning team today.

Another note on why I don't care to gamble. Today I played with the same group of gamblers as I did last week and there was some controversy that led to some hard feelings. We were playing the Robin game with automatic presses if you got two holes down and you can call for a press on the last hole if you are down. Here is the scenario. My team was up two holes on the fourth hole. My team won the fifth hole. Now we were up 3 holes on the original bet and one hole on the automatic press. The loosing team called for a third press on the last hole but we did not hear them say press. All we heard on the sixth tee box was that the score 3 -1-0. Not being savvy to gambler lingo neither I or my partner understood that they were calling a third press. They won the sixth hole and said that made us all even and no body won anything on that robin. Not being gamblers we did not understand and one of the players thought we were accusing them of cheating. This is where the game went south. A thunder storm came up and the game ended after 13 holes with no winners or loosers. I think this is a good time for me to bow out if I am ever invited again to play with this group. If we were just playing golf like I usually do instead of playing some silly game for money this would have never happened. I have seen other people get in arguments after a gambling game and now it has happened to me. Play with fire and get burned once, shame on you. Play with fire and get burned twice, shame on me.

Golf games and gambling are not my cup of tea.   I like to enjoy the concentration and tranquility on the course.   Especially all the added bets, greenies, presses and such.  I don't mind playing a round for lunch or a bar tab, but hole by hole accounting is not relaxing to me.

I have found the best of all worlds with gambling and non gambling. While I still feel that gambling does not make me a better player I do enjoy playing with a variety of players at my club. Unfortunately it seems that the majority of players have to gamble when they play. I joined a large group who play twice a week in a $2 game. Groups divide up into foursomes and best two balls determine score for each hole. You play with 80% of your handicap. If there is a odd number of players and a team is a threesome, they get 100 % of their handicap plus 1 stroke. No presses or greenies or any other little gambling games. You either win $2 or lose $2. Teams are made up of balls thrown up in the air and the closest groups are team mates. The other days that the group does not play, I play with those players who do not gamble or just practice. This has worked out well. The players in the $2 game are all good players and I do play better when I play with players who are better than me most of the time. I still get calls from the other gambler groups but I do not play with them as their $3 game can end up costing you as much as $12 -$15 or more after they add up all of the extra little side bets like presses, sandies, greenies, etc. I have finally come to the conclusion that you can't hardly play golf without gambling which is beyond me. I guess the though of loosing $2 is no big deal (cheaper than playing for coke in today's world) but the thought of loosing $10 or more just turns me off.

We play for the first round in the clubhouse. It makes it competitive without breaking the bank. Basically the loser buys the winner a beer and all others in between are on their own. I personally don't mind betting a little, but I don't want it to double the price of the round.

Jim G
We play for the first round in the clubhouse. It makes it competitive without breaking the bank. Basically the loser buys the winner a beer and all others in between are on their own. I personally don't mind betting a little, but I don't want it to double the price of the round.

Have you played an impromptu round with someone and in the middle of the round where you are not writing down scores but just keeping your on score in your head, just enjoying the game and the day when your partner says, "let's play the last three holes for $5' or something to that effect. Are these type just compulsive gamblers or what ? I know a person who is a really likeable guy but he told me if it was not for gambling he would not even play golf. I just don't understand the addiction of having to go through life gambling and having to win some money from their peers. I'm not talking about playing for a drink or a couple of bucks but the more they win the better they feel. A lot of the guys I know do not stop at golf. They have regular poker games, camp out at the horse race track when in season and the meca of all trips, go to Vegus. They take pride and bask in their glory if they win several hundred or more if it is thousands. If they lose you will never hear a peep. Yet, they want to convert you over as one of their buddies hoping they have a new potential pigeon who they can take money from. If this is not the case, I wish someone could really give me the perspective and why the compulsion to gamble and if more than a couple of bucks are at stake why do they act hurt and wonder why you will not want to play with them and think you are the one with some kind of character flaw.

Every weekend I play Saturday and Sunday morning, with the same group of guys, about 4-10, depending on who is able to play.  We have the same wager every round.  It about takes and accountant to figure it all out, but, everyone in the group is game for it and able to compete.  We play " Hawk " which, we play for 2-3$ per hole per man, which sounds like it could end up being alot, but, each hole isn't always won.  We rotate teeing off in a certain order, first man gets to pick his partner right after the partners tee shot, except for par 3's and you pick your partner blind.  Or, you " Hawk " it, which means you against the rest.  Very Very rarely does a par win a hole, it 98% of the times takes birdie to win, and even that can be tied.  It's just a 1 best ball for each hole, and partners change each hole, unless picked by the next person hole.  Its an agressive play bet.  We have a 2 person 1 best ball if we have 2 or more groups, .50 cent carry over skins / cp's.  And most all of us have a weekly side game with another.  I have a beer bucket wager with the same person weekly, simple match play that the loser buys a bucket, ( 6 pack ) and both drink 3 each.  The up advantage is always adjusted by the outcome to keep it close.  We have 1-18 marked on tee's that we draw out before the round starts, and we call it the birdie hole.  Birdie that exact hole that day, win 5$ a man from everyone that showed up.  It also doesn't always get hit, but you can play badly, hit that one and win some cash.  The winnings and losses are pretty even normally, might win today, lose tomorrow, law of averages keeps things close.  We have a " rabbit ", most birds that day, 2$ a man, and net low 2$ a man, with two tie all tie in everything.  The group ranges from a 0 hdcp to a 10, everyone else in between.  We play back tee's, ball as it lies, as close to rules of golf as we can.  I'm not going to say it helps focus, but it certainly does not hinder it.  It does get the juices flowing when 6 ft putt for bird can win the hole and 14 carry over's, lol.  A bad $ day, would be around 30$ loss, but that's not common, but does happen.  Generally the bad beat is around 15$ and the winner winner chicken dinner is 25$.  Who then turns and buys the beverages afterwards while we talk the trash about that day.