This game is played by a team of 2,3 or 4 players (sometimes even more!) all on the same side. The best shot of the side is selected, and all players then play from the (marked) position of this ball.
It is customary for a side to be required to take a fixed number of tee-shots from each player. This adds an additional dimension (and pressure!) to the game.
Handicap Allowance – again this varies by location – normally it is 1/10th of the combined handicaps – to the nearest decimal point. This is necessary, as it is common to find a number of teams finishing on the same score.
Normally played as a 3 or 4-ball (sometimes more!). A single player has to win a hole outright to win a ‘skin’. Holes where there is no outright winner are normally accumulated until a hole is won. Often followed by hours of argument in the bar as to who owes how much to whom!
On the perch
A variant of the ‘skins’ theme for 3 or 4 players. A player can only win holes, once he/she is ‘on the perch’ – ie having already won a hole. That player stays on the perch until knocked off it by losing a hole to any of the other players.
An excellent game for 3 players, avoiding the imbalance of 2 against 1! 6 points are played for at each hole, and shared out on the basis of 2:2:2 if all players halve the hole, 3:3 if 2 players halve through to 4:1:1 for an outright win with the other 2 halving, or 4:2:0 for an outright win and second place.
For ease of keeping the score, the lowest number is returned to zero after each hole (pro-rata for the other scores). The total points of the other 2 players should always be divisible by 3.
All players carry a marker, or Flag, with them, which is inserted in the ground at the point where the number of strokes allowed (course par + handicap allowance) expires. The furthest-placed flag (sometimes part-way round the 2nd 18 holes, depending on the format!) is the winner.
This is frequently introduced as an additional competition in open golf events and society days, in addition to the normal format/type of competition. Each player in the 3 or 4 takes strict turns to play a hole with the Yellow Ball, and a separate yellow-ball scorecard is kept. If the yellow ball is lost, the game is over at that point.
Variants of this theme include the yellow-ball player having to include his/her score as 1 of the 2 or 3 nett scores counting on each hole.