Are “Gimmies” Legal?

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Is it okay to take a “gimmie” when playing with friends?

Are “Gimmies” Legal?

Sometimes in a friendly round of golf a player will putt his ball so close to the cup without going in that his friends will allow him to take a “gimmie.” In other words, he does not have to finish play by putting the ball into the hole. That may be okay when you play with friends, but it's a Big No-No as far as the U.S. Golf Association is concerned. According to the USGA, the Rules of Golf do not permit the use of “gimmies.” In fact the very first Rule of Golf clearly states that each player must play his or her ball from the tee and into the hole by a strok or succession of strokes. In stroke play, if a player fails to hole out according to the rules and does not correct this error prior to hitting the ball from the next tee, he is disqualified.
So what should you do, even in a friendly game? Best to play by the rules, which you'd have to follow anyway if you were playing in a tournament.

   

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