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Gambling on the Greens

Betting on Golf is a Natural Part of the Game, from $1 Skins to $100 Nassaus

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Gambling on golf is as natural as grass. It's a game that sets up perfectly for all manner of wagers, and the handicapping system allows players of vastly disparate talent to play for a buck or two. At $50 a pop, the boys in The Shootout aren't going to make or lose a fortune. Commissioner Havre, seeing that a player might have had a bad run, tries to set him up with a team more likely to win the next time out. Maybe he'll even put him with Arnold Palmer. Losing with Palmer in your group is not a heavy price to pay.
"When Tiger played, a guy offered $1,000 to play in his group," says Havre. "But I wouldn't let him do it. That's not the way we are here. Arnold always plays with everybody and he's playing even more now that he isn't playing on the tour that much anymore. He loves it and everybody loves playing with him. And he has some action going with everybody."
That's the way it is. Competitive players love the action. They have to have some green riding on the greens. For the Shootout boys, and millions of others, action is a requirement. They exchange a few bills every time they step onto a course. Religiously.
Jeff Williams is a sports writer for Newsday on Long Island.
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