This golf app helps you track and settle your money games

A highlight of screenshots from the Skins App.

The Skins App makes it easy to keep track of all your money games.

Skins App

We’ve all been there: standing on the first tee and trying to figure out a money game for three players.

When you’re in a group of two or four, a simple match-play game of singles or best ball is usually the easiest to monitor. You don’t even need a scorecard for it.

But threesomes make everything more difficult.

My go-to game is Nine Point (aka 5-3-1). If you’re unfamiliar, each hole is worth nine points, and those points are distributed based on how each player scores on the hole. For example, if all three players tie, everyone gets three points, but if one person beats the other two (i.e. birdie vs. two pars), then that player gets five points while the others get only two.

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Where the game gets complicated is remembering all the different scenarios and distributions and then keeping track of the totals. There’s no over-par/under-par, so you have to tally the point totals on the scorecard, which, when you’re playing for minor sums of, say, 50 cents a point, can get tedious.

For some golfers, the accounting headache usually leads to playing a simpler game (like Skins or $5 birdies), or not playing for money at all.

Ryan Morrison felt that frustration, even when he had a full foursome playing games like Banker, Wolf or Lowman.

“A lot of guys didn’t know the rules of the game,” Morrison said. “Or they didn’t know where they were at in the bets, and it was really hard to keep track of on a scorecard.

“I thought that it caused more issues than it did anything else.”

So Morrison did something about it. Last July, he launched a money-game management app called Skins.

Skins App

Free
Named after the golf betting game we all know and love… Skins. You know, where you bet money to win the hole and the winner gets the whole pot? This app takes friendly betting on the course to a whole new level. And with the Skins App, not only can you keep up with your betting game, but it also provides a list of betting games along with their rules and allows for each player in the match to keep up with the game from the palm of their hand. Simply download the game on your phone to begin playing with your friends. You’ll need to first make a profile that lists your handicap and your home course, and it only takes about 30 seconds to get started. It uses GPS to locate nearby players and courses, guides you through wagers, and simplifies scorekeeping for the group. You can even invite friends who aren’t with you to watch your round unfold. This app is revolutionizing friendly golf betting. Capabilities: Friendly betting, list of betting games + instructions, peer/player interaction | Subscription fee: No | Additional equipment: No

“It’s really the love of the game, the love of competition, and wanting to create something that enhances the game and gives back to it,” Morrison said.

Skins allows golfers to keep track of their matches and money games from their mobile devices. It currently supports 13 games, from old familiars like Stroke Play, Match Play and Nassau to more involved games like Nine Point, Banker, Wolf and Hammer, with more on the way.

In just a few weeks, Skins will even have the ability to manage a tournament between friends, say like for a buddies trip, on top of all the other games within your group. You could manage a skins game of up to 100 players with the ability to manage a stroke play tournament coming later.

“Skins is the name of our company, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t allow for our large group skins tournaments to take place,” Morrison said. “We want to give golfers the ability to really have the full gaming experience that they want. Right? Layer as many games as you want while still being in a tournament.”

It’s simple: Just one player in your foursome needs to choose the format and keep track of the game. Other players can join the game with a code if they want to follow along or keep score on their own devices, but that’s not required.

Once you set up a game, add players and select the different variations of the game you would like to use. You can then create teams and adjust tee selections. This becomes more important when handicap strokes are involved as the app will automatically allocate strokes based on your handicap index, tee selection and the hole handicap.

Entering scores is simple and easy. Skins App

After your round has begun, you have two holes to make adjustments to the format before it becomes locked for the rest of the game. So no one can play, say, 13 holes and then try to change the rules.

When your game is over, the app instantly computes whatever wagers you established at the start of the round. There’s even an integration that allows you and your playing partners to settle up using Venmo, CashApp, PayPal or Zelle.

While Skins makes playing your favorite money games easier, it also introduces you to new formats and games, by way of instructional videos within the app.

“I would really encourage people to expand your game a little bit,” he said. “Try the team side of it, try something different, because a lot of the real true joy and excitement and fun on the golf course competitively is when you’re trying something new.”

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.