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The GM staff are not averse to playing various golfing bits on their competitive outings, with bit specialists often walking away with more than the winner…
Many golfers like to add a little bit of financial interest to their games beyond the mere score by way of certain golfing bits - those little ‘extras’ that keep things interesting for those out with the washing in terms of the main contest. Here are some favourites of the Golf Monthly crew…
The simplest and most straightforward. Beat par by one on any hole (gross not net) to earn yourself a birdie bit. Probably favours better players so see also “special bits” below.
Beat par by two and earn yourself two eagle bits. Many an argument has raged over the years as to whether it should be worth more than that given their rarity relative to birdies, usually by someone who’s just had his first eagle of the year!
Making par or better having visited a bunker at any stage on a hole. Sometimes called a “gritter” and sometimes confined to only greenside up and downs.
The ferret is awarded to anyone who holes out for par or better from off the green. This could be a chip, pitch or bunker shot, but sometimes it’s as simple as a 10-foot putt from the fringe.
Ostensibly favours big hitters, but you must be on the fairway, and as we all know, many of the longest hitters are more often to be found in the jungle.
The exact spelling of this term is uncertain, but the “oozlum” is awarded to nearest the pin on a par 3. If more than two putts taken, it either reverses or rolls over depending on “local” rules.
Making par or better having hit the woodwork at least once on any hole
A little harsh this one, especially for anyone not averse to the odd three-putt when the pressure mounts towards the end. Every three-putt adds one to the snake count, and the last man to three-putt pays out the cumulative total to everybody else. Can really mount up on certain courses!
Special dispensation in the form of double bits sometimes granted to those of a certain handicap or above in view of their reduced bit prospects. Arguments often rage as to where the handicap cut-off point should be, but somewhere in the early teens usually.
Double sandy ferret eagle
Mythical beast worth at least five bits – bunker off the tee on a par 5, then holing out from a greenside bunker for eagle. No-one at GM has even come close!
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
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