Skins — Anyone?

3 absolutely wrong statements.

  • 1) When the range of likely scores is that wide, it becomes ridiculous to worry about whether a particular golfer’s handicap is 25.4, 24.8, or 23.4.  In technical terms, the “signal to noise” ratio is too great to fine tune the handicap to that level of detail.

I have already ridiculed the above several times but you will see that a 2 stroke difference does matter.

  • 2) The person who “dropped anchor” by avoiding getting 30 or over was well within his rights to do so. If you look at it another way, he lost B250 by avoiding losing B100, because he could have gotten a good score on one of those back nine holes. Not a winning strategy long term.

It isn’t a good strategy to win the stableford on that day.  It is an excellent strategy for skins long term.   The Administrators have never said that dropping anchor (DA) is illegal and they have removed “cheaters will be taken out and shot” from the Code of Conduct.  There are 25 skins up for grabs.   Three in the stableford.  Let’s forget those for the moment and concentrate on the other 22 skins.   Look at your most recent scorecard.   How many 1’s did you get?  Suppose you missed all those putts for 1, how would that have affected your skins for the day?   Unless you were in the top 2 for the stableford money it wouldn’t.   Suppose you missed all those putts for a 2, how would that have affected your skins for the day?  Most likely that wouldn’t have made a difference either.  Add 3 to 5 missed putts to your round each day and you will find that your handicap will go up quickly but your skins won and lost won’t change.  Look at your most recent scorecard again.   Suppose your handicap has gone up 4 strokes.  Which 4 holes would you have got another stroke?   Would you have been in the skins money if you had another stroke on those holes?   Quite possibly.   Missing putts that don’t matter is another form of DA—illegal but effective.   The more your handicap goes up the more holes you will win and the more likely you can win the stableford.

  • 3) In our experience, skins is genuinely random, and it gives as often as it takes.

The cards in a poker game are random.   A poor player can beat a good player if he gets the right cards.  However, over the long run the better player will come out ahead.   There is skill and strategy involved.  Skins are no different.   There is a reason I won money the last 9 times I played with SMAF.   A positive result in 11 out of the last 12 for over 3400 baht.

I never deliberately hit a bad shot or deliberately missed a putt.  I entered all my scores into Birdie accurately.  I didn’t break any rules!  Birdie gives everyone an extra stroke and I found a way of getting another extra stroke and used it to my advantage.  I frequently got a 4 pointer on those 2 bonus holes and once I even got a 5 pointer.

The undeniable fact is that no matter how much 5Points wants to claim there is a signal to noise ratio there is a need for the handicaps to be accurate.  Two shots is a huge difference.  Recent visitors immediately saw how the integrity of the skins game had deteriorated and they lost interest.  Other friends refuse to play skins as well.   Previously the skins game was fair because the handicaps were affected by the money list.   This levelled the playing field.  When you have a Dictator that doesn’t fully understand why you need accurate handicaps and his companion, the incompetent Bozo who couldn’t even enter the scores into the computer correctly you are not going to get a fair result.   Don’t think for a moment that I am the only one with a skins strategy – I have seen others do things that make me go hmmmm.

I am gone and now you claim to have great company that is fun.   More and more are finding out that skins with SMAF is not fair and not fun.


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  1. Pingback: My Final Thoughts on Skins | Santiburi Members

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