Previewing “The Challenge: Japan Skins” 

By Ryan Watson

After an 11 year absence, the PGA Tour will see a return of its popular skins format with The Challenge: Japan Skins. Though not a direct continuation of The Skins Game held from 1983-2008, longtime golf fans will recognize the format. The contest will take place at Chiba, Japan’s Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on Monday, October 21 before the ZOZO Championship kicks off at the same venue later in the week. 


The Format

The skins format involves an individual wager on each hole, known as a skin. The total purse for the event is $350,000 with holes 1-6 worth $10,000 apiece, 7-12 worth $15,000 apiece, 13-17 worth $20,000 apiece and the final hole worth a cool $100,000. For the Japan Skins game, a hole must be won outright in order to take the skin. If the hole ends with multiple golfers tied for the lowest score, the amount of the skin carries over to the next hole. The process continues until someone wins a hole outright to claim the cumulative skins. If no one wins the 18th hole outright, playoff holes will be played until a winner is found. In addition, the organizers have promised additional “challenge holes” that will serve to raise money for each golfer’s chosen charity, but have provided no further details about the nature of these holes. 


The Players

Just like the original Skins Game, there will be 4 golfers competing for the prize. The field includes reigning FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy, 15-time major winner Tiger Woods, 12-time PGA Tour winner Jason Day and 2-time World Golf Championship winner and local favorite Hideki Matsuyama. It will be the first televised skins game for Day, McIlroy and Matsuyama, and the first for Tiger Woods since losing “The Match” to Phil Mickelson in 2018. The event promises to be great fun and is set to be televised live on Golf Channel beginning at 11pm ET on October 21. 



About The Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.


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