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What Is A Concession In Golf? – Explained!

What Is A Concession In Golf?
What Is A Concession In Golf?

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms sometimes mentioned on golf courses is the term “Concession”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is a “Concession” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the term “Concession” means in golf.

What Is A Concession In Golf?

In golf, a “Concession” is something you award an opponent when you either consider their putt to be guaranteed (as the ball is very close to the hole), or when you give up and let them win a hole or the entire match in match play (if you are losing with little chance of comeback).

In the great game of golf, the expression “Concession” is sometimes mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts.

In golf, the term “Concession” is something you can award an opposing golfer in match play only. A “Concession” does not exist in stroke play, as opposed to “Gimmie” putts, which exist in casual stroke play.

A golfer given “Concession” by their opponent does not physically have to attempt to strike the ball. Instead, they can simply pick up the ball and assume they holed the ball, as if they had struck the ball.

Although concessions can be great to speed up the pace of play, they are optional. A concession is awarded or offered. You cannot ask your opponent for a “Concession” when you hit good shots and are ahead of them.

A synonym of “Concession” in golf is “Conceded Putt”.

There are 3 types of “Concessions” in golf: putt concessions, hole concessions and match concessions.

Putt concessions are similar in feeling to “Gimmie” putts. When a putt concession is awarded, the recipient golfer does not need to putt the golf ball, and can simply pick it up. Putt concessions are fairly common and typically occur when the golf ball is very close to the hole.

Putt concessions are generally awarded when a golfer’s ball is less than 2-5ft away from the golf hole.

Hole concessions are less common and consist in one golfer giving up on a hole and directly awarding it to their opponent. Hole concessions usually happen when one golfer plays their first strokes perfectly, while the other one sends the ball into some kind of hazard.

Hole concessions can greatly improve the pace of play and save one golfer the perceived humiliation of needing to hit many strokes just to get to the point where their opponent is.

Match concessions are very rare and mean that one golfer is completely giving up on the match. These can occur in “Dog Licence” situations, for example. However, awarding your opponent a match concession is generally frowned upon, as it shows a lack of persistence.

There is no maximum distance between the ball and the golf hole outside of which a “Concession” cannot be awarded. Concessions can be awarded at any time in match play, from any distance to the golf hole.

In addition, “Concessions” are part of the Official Rules of Golf, meaning they are part of professional match play golf tournaments.

For example, if one golfer completed a hole in 4 strokes, and his opponent is already at 5 or 6 strokes, the losing golfer can “concede” the hole to their opponent. This improves pace of play and saves the loser extra work for the trailing player.

You can read a real-world of a “Concession” being awarded, down below.


Joe and Bart are playing some match play golf together.

On hole #14, Joe hits 3 strokes and his golf ball ends only 3 feet from the hole.

On the other hand, Bart hits his balls into a bunker and still has not escaped it by stroke 5.

With Joe’s ball being really close to the hole, Bart shouts to Joe “I’ll concede the hole!”

Joe picks up his golf ball and marks hole #14 as a win on his scorecard.

As you can read in the example up above, “Concession” putts in match play golf save golfers time.

If you would like to get better at golf and increase how often opponents offer you “Concessions”, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Concession”

The origin of the expression “Concession” in golf is very simple and rooted in the English language.

In fact, the word “Concession” literally means a “thing that is granted”. In golf, awarding your opponent a “Concession” means that you are granting them a free putt, a free hole win, or a free match win.

The term “concession” broadly has the same meaning in golf and in the English language.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense where the term “Concession” got its name from in golf.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what a “Concession” is in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? What do you think of “Concessions” in golf? Let us know in the comments down below!

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