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Brendan Steele’s Favorite Golf Gambling Story: Ratted Out for Winning Too Much

Brendan Steele’s Favorite Golf Gambling Story: Ratted Out for Winning Too Much article feature image

Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Brendan Steele

The Action Network spoke with several of today’s top professional golfers to find out their favorite personal golf betting stories.

  • Who: Brendan Steele
  • When: About 15 years ago
  • Where: Hemet, Calif.

When he was playing collegiately at UC Riverside, Steele would return to his hometown to play in a big skins game at Seven Hills Golf Club during the weekends. Each individual player’s stake wasn’t much, but with a large regular group, the pot could get into four figures. This is the story of how Steele won one of these big paydays — and why he never played in the game again.

“It was at a local course, easy place. You basically had to make an eagle on a par 5 and sometimes that wouldn’t even hold up.

“There would be maybe $800 or $1,000 in the pot, because everyone is putting in $25 and there’d be like 40 or 50 guys playing.

“A lot of times, one guy would hole a shot or something and that would be the only skin.

“One day I go out and shoot 61 with a double-bogey and I don’t win any money. The guys were all laughing at me. They’re collecting my money. I think there was a low-gross, but that was optional. Guys knew if I was playing, they wouldn’t get in.

“The next week, I shoot 71, but I make an eagle on a par 5.

“I made around $800. In college, that’s like, forget it.

“Someone from the club then calls my college golf coach and tells him that I’m violating NCAA rules and they want to kick me out of the game and get me suspended from the team.

“I had a couple of weeks where I split the pot, made about $300 or $400. I had done well, made maybe two grand over the course of four months or so. But it was literally a $25 skins game.

“I don’t know who did it, but obviously it wasn’t one of my friends.

“So I stopped playing in it. How dumb is that?”

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