Skins Game (PGA Tour)

The Skins Game was an unofficial-money event on the PGA Tour from 1983 to 2008. It took place in November or December each year after the end of the official PGA Tour season. It was recognized by the PGA Tour but did not count towards the official money list. It was most recently sponsored by LG and was officially known as the LG Skins Game, hosted at the Indian Wells Golf Resort in Indian Wells, California.

The Skins Game differed from most PGA Tour golf tournaments in several ways. Only four golfers were invited to the tournament and the golfers played to win individual holes or "skins" in a match play format. Each hole was assigned a different monetary value and the golfer who won the hole with the best score outright won the money for that hole. In the event that two or more golfers tie (which is called "halving") on a hole, the skin is carried over to the next hole. In the event that two or more golfers halve the final hole, a playoff began until one golfer won a hole outright. (In a playoff that requires more than one playoff hole, if a player is not one of those that halve the playoff hole, he is eliminated—it was not "one tie, all tie".)

Fred Couples was given the nickname of "Mr. Skins" because of his dominance in the Skins Game. He won $4,405,000 and 77 skins in 11 appearances. He won five of the Skins Games overall.

The 2009 Skins Game, originally set for Thanksgiving weekend 2009, was cancelled in May 2009 after LG pulled out of sponsorship.[1] The event has not been held since, with no further announcements being made on the future of the event since.

Prize money was awarded as follows in 2008:

Hole Prize money
(per hole)
1–6 $25,000
7–12 $50,000
13–17 $70,000
181 $200,000

1 This is known as a "super skin". The total prize money is exactly $1 million.[2]

Rule changeEdit

In 2001, the player winning a hole outright had to tie or win the next hole to collect his skins from the previous hole, called "validation".[3] This was very tough to do. Greg Norman was the only one that could back up his win on the previous hole. He won the 17th and tied for low on the 18th hole to collect $800,000, the largest skin collected for one hole. He won the $200,000 in a playoff to win the entire $1 million prize money. This rule was rescinded the following year.


  • 1983: First Skins Game held at Desert Highlands in Scottsdale, Arizona, with Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player as the participants. NBC televises the event throughout the U.S. with Vin Scully as the announcer. The only notable affiliate not to televise the first event was KYW-TV in Philadelphia (now a CBS owned station).
  • 1987: Lee Trevino made a hole in one on the par-3 17th hole. Though the event was taped, CBS's Brent Musburger told viewers about the hole in one during a halftime report on The NFL Today.
  • 1991: Coverage moved to ABC Sports, after NBC got the rights to Notre Dame football.
  • 1996: Tiger Woods makes the first of three straight appearances in the event. He never won the event.
  • 2001: Only time the validation system was used (see above). Also, the first (and only) time a player wins all 18 skins.


Year Winner Country Winnings Runner(s)-up
LG Skins Game
2008 K. J. Choi   South Korea $415,000   Stephen Ames
2007 Stephen Ames (2)   Canada $675,000   Fred Couples
2006 Stephen Ames   Canada $590,000   Fred Couples
Merrill Lynch Skins Game
2005 Fred Funk   United States $925,000   Tiger Woods
2004 Fred Couples (5)   United States $640,000   Tiger Woods
The ConAgra Foods Skins Game
2003 Fred Couples (4)   United States $605,000   Annika Sörenstam
Skins Game
2002 Mark O'Meara (2)   United States $405,000   Phil Mickelson
2001 Greg Norman   Australia $1,000,000   Tiger Woods,   Jesper Parnevik,   Colin Montgomerie
2000 Colin Montgomerie   Scotland $415,000   Vijay Singh
1999 Fred Couples (3)   United States $635,000   Mark O'Meara
1998 Mark O'Meara   United States $430,000   Tom Lehman
1997 Tom Lehman   United States $300,000   Mark O'Meara
1996 Fred Couples (2)   United States $280,000   Tom Watson
1995 Fred Couples   United States $270,000   Corey Pavin
1994 Tom Watson   United States $210,000   Fred Couples
1993 Payne Stewart (3)   United States $280,000   Fred Couples
1992 Payne Stewart (2)   United States $220,000   Fred Couples
1991 Payne Stewart   United States $260,000   John Daly
1990 Curtis Strange (2)   United States $225,000   Greg Norman
1989 Curtis Strange   United States $265,000   Jack Nicklaus
1988 Raymond Floyd   United States $290,000   Jack Nicklaus
1987 Lee Trevino   United States $310,000   Jack Nicklaus,   Fuzzy Zoeller
1986 Fuzzy Zoeller (2)   United States $370,000   Lee Trevino
1985 Fuzzy Zoeller   United States $255,000   Tom Watson
1984 Jack Nicklaus   United States $240,000   Tom Watson
1983 Gary Player   South Africa $170,000   Arnold Palmer

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Thanksgiving minus the Skins Game for first time". PGA Tour. November 24, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  2. ^ "For Mediate, selection into LG Skins game a surprise". PGA Tour. November 19, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  3. ^ Bonk, Thomas (December 1, 2002). "Everybody's a Winner at Skins Game". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 6, 2013.