The Niggle: Should we scrap gimmies in matchplay?September, 2015
After Suzann Pettersen's Solheim Cup antics, the NCG team discuss whether we should scrap the gimmie during matchplay
After a controversial incident at the Solheim Cup, where Pettersen came in for intense criticism after denying that her and team-mate Charley Hull had conceded an 18-inch putt on the penultimate hole after American rookie Alison Lee had picked up her ball, we’re asking whether gimmies should be scrapped in matchplay.
JS: No I don’t think we should scrap gimmies in matchplay. We should be doing everything we can to speed up the game.
There is however, an art to giving and receiving them. Assume nothing, don’t ask if a putt is “good”, just knock it in if you don’t hear anything.
And you have to expect that a putt which may be given on the 1st won’t necessarily be given on the 17th in a tight match.
However, I always like to see a birdie putt no matter how short it is.
Everything depends on the situation of the hole and the match. I don’t think there can be any pre-arranged agreements beforehand about what is a gimme and what isn’t.
It’s really not that hard to make it work.
DM: Yes we should because they cause too much trouble, as we’ve just seen at the weekend.
Gimmies are not supposed to be tactical or indicative of generosity or stinginess – it’s just a way to save someone the formality of tapping in when the ball finishes hanging over the hole.
While what happened at the Solheim Cup was regrettable, I don’t have any sympathy for someone who even thinks about picking their ball up until it has been conceded.
Personally, I’d double-check my putt was given long before picking it up – and that’s if I was playing in a club knockout let alone representing my country or continent.
DW: I agree with DM, you shouldn’t even think about picking up your ball until you’ve been given the nod that the hole is conceded.
It was a rookie mistake made by Alison Lee, but at least in the case of the USA, they used it to rally and ultimately regain the Solheim Cup.
So in some ways it was needed from the US team’s perspective!
TI: Gimmies are the same as a mulligan, a load of rubbish.
The point of the game of golf is getting it in the hole.
It’s almost the same as awarding a goal for getting in the penalty area!
MT: This type of occurrence rarely comes up so why change anything.
I agree with JS that Golf takes forever and is made worse by four people marking, cleaning their balls, panicking about other people’s line and so on.
If you want to give the putt, give the putt. If you don’t keep your mouth shut, avoid eye contact and crack on.
It adds to the charm and subtlety of a match.
It is quite easy to get under someone’s skin by seeing a couple of short ones early on and, equally, is fairly grating to have to hole out from 18 inches, mainly because 75 per cent of your brain is thinking only of missing it.
That said I once played someone who had the chronic yips and he suggested we give everything ’inside the leather’.
After one abomination of an attempt from two feet, which didn’t even threaten to lip out and saw his body convulse before, during and after the stroke, we chose to putt out.
JE: I agree with Mark, it adds another level to the game and trying to beat your opponent.
The mental boost you get when making an opponent finish a tricky 18 inch putt and then miss, is almost as pleasing as holing a good putt yourself.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHOULD WE SCRAP GIMMIES IN MATCHPLAY? HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW