Find and Play in an Open Skins Game Near You
Scheduling a casual round with your buddies is a great way to get in some practice swings. But there are administrative tasks involved: text around to line up players, decide on a course, pick a start time, book the tee. Blech.
Sometimes it’s just easier — and more competitively worthwhile — to simply play in one of the many weekly open skins games that run during golf season. You can find an open skins game somewhere across Greater Cleveland just about every weekday.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea, either: if you can make a birdie, you have the potential to win a skin. So get out there.
Not familiar with the concept of an “open skins game”? Let’s do some golf-splaining.
First, a “skins game” is an individual hole-by-hole stroke play game where the solo low score on any one hole of the round takes an equal share of a collected pot (entry amounts vary from $10 to $100) based on how many other solo low scores are made. Example: only one birdie is made on the third hole by the entire field, so that birdie-maker wins a skin.
After the round, the pot is divided equally by the number of skins won. Pots for 18 holes can be split two ways: some games do two separate 9-hole pots, others do one big 18-hole pot.
The great thing about a skins game is you play your own ball, so it’s good practice. But if you hit a few foul balls during the round it doesn’t matter, as the results are decided hole-by-hole. Usually only your eagles and birdies matter. (Made a good scrambling par? That’s great, thanks for coming.)
Second, the “open” part of an open skins game can have two different meanings.
The most common meaning of “open” is that there is no requirement to play every week of the season. While these games are held weekly at the same time and at the same course (or set rotation of courses), they are always “show up when you’d like” events. If you can make an appearance, great, toss your cash into the skins pot. Can’t make it some weeks? No worries, see you next time.
Some skins games are also “open” in the sense that both pros and amateurs compete together for the same skins pot. But some of these pro-am skins games require the pros to put more money into the pot than the amateurs — up to double the amount. Other times the pros play the back tees while the ams move up a box. Given these possible variations for both pros and ams, it’s always a good idea to ask about that game’s specific rules before you start play, so you know what’s what.
So at which golf courses on what days of the week can you find an open skins game in Northeast Ohio? Check it out…
2019 OPEN SKINS GAMES IN NORTHEAST OHIO
CHIPPEWA GOLF CLUB, DOYLESTOWN: 18-holes on Mondays at Noon – Chippewa’s Monday Big Skins Game offers tee times weekly from 12:00 noon until 12:45p. This timing allows amateur players in the skins game to roll right in to the Chippewa Monday 2-M Scratch League immediately following. Entry to the skins game pot is $50 for amateurs and $100 for pros. Cost for golf+cart is $35 for ‘play all day’ – which is perfect for the guys who roll right into league.
FOX DEN BIG SKINS GAME, STOW: 18-holes on Wednesdays at 2:30p – The weekly Fox Den Wednesday Big Skins Game consists of two separate $20 nine hole games each week. Tee times for the first nine holes each Wednesday are between 2:30p and 3:00p sharp. The second $20 nine hole game is played in conjunction with the Wednesday league, so that pot is always just a bit bigger. Pros may play at $30 for each 9-hole pot. Cost for 18 holes of golf+cart is $26. Questions? Call Fox Den at (330) 673-3443.
MADISON COUNTRY CLUB, MADISON: 9-holes on Wednesdays at 4:30p – Madison CC hosts a weekly 9-hole game with tee times from 4:30p to 5:30p. The game is $15 for skins and pins, and 9-holes golf+cart is also $15. Ladies play from the red tees, seniors age 65+ play the yellow tees, ams under age 64 from the white tees, and all pros from the blues. The game averages 16-18 players per week, with big weeks 30+ players and the most ever 44. Questions? Call Madison CC at 440-428-2888.
GREATER CLEVELAND SKINS GAME: 9-Holes on Thursdays at 5p – the 29th season of this traveling “pins-and-skins” series runs from Apr 11 to Oct 10. The course played changes each week among a rota of 5-6 courses. The $40 entry fee is split $30 to Skins, $5 to the Mulligan’s Pin Shot (lowest handicapped par-3), $3 to other Pin Shots, and $2 to the Mulligan’s Cup. Golf+cart are paid separately to the pro shop. Details >
IRONWOOD GOLF COURSE, HINCKLEY: 18-Holes on Fridays at 1:15p – a long-running 18-hole game played as two separate nine-hole skins pots, with a twist: the pin shots at each par-3 count as a skin. Skins game entry is $10 per nine, and 18 holes of golf+cart is $27. Great pace of play, good course conditions, and a truly fun group of guys.
MUD RUN GOLF COURSE, AKRON; 9-Holes on Fridays at 6:15p – A Friday Night Scratch Skins Game will start up this season from May 10 through August 30 with tee times beginning at 6:15 pm each Friday. Play is at scratch; no handicap adjustments. Fees are $31 per person each week and includes 9 holes+cart, a small bucket of range balls to warm up, $20 for the skins game, $1 to a hole-in-one pot. If there are no skins won, the pot will carry over to the next week. Questions? 330-375-2728.
Know of other open skins games played weekly in Northeast Ohio? Feel free to leave information about it in the comment section below…