What is Pin High in Golf?

Have you ever been out on the course and hear you playing partners use the phrases “pin high” or “hole high.” Did you have any idea what they meant? If the answer is no, then this article is for you.

Hitting the pall “pin high” in golf means that you have hit your golf ball on or near the green level to the distance of the pin. It’s a positive thing to achieve in many ways as it means you hit the ball far enough but your accuracy wasn’t quite precise enough.

The “Pin” in pin high relates to a common term for the golf flag. The term pin comes from the flagstick’s thin appearance on the golf course.

The term “hole high” means exactly the same thing as pin high and can be used interchangeably.

What does pin high mean?

what is pin high in golf meaning

Let’s paint a picture in our minds my fellow golfers. You hit an approach shot to the putting green. You pull the golf ball left and it finishes just off the green. As you walk up to the green you see that you’ve hit the ball the right distance, it is pin high and level with the flag.

You will often hear the term pin high said by playing partners to encourage you out on the course. Sure you may have missed the green, but at least you’re pin high! Hitting the ball the correct distance is part of the golf puzzle and you should be happy you have this part right.

Pin high is also relevant to the green in regulation statistic. You could miss the green by two inches to the right side for example, be pin high but that wouldn’t count as a green in regulation. Golf is a strange game, don’t blame me I didn’t make the rules.

What Happens If You Hit The Pin In Golf?

If you manage to hit this very small target, don’t worry! You just play the ball from where it ends up.

There are positives and negatives to hitting the pin. Sometimes you want the ball to hit the pin as it will stop it from going over the back of the green or take some of the speed out of it flight. there are times however, when you think you’ve hit the perfect shot, only for the ball to hit the flag and ricochet off the putting surface. You win some you lose some.

All I would say is that having the pin in can act as a back stop, however unlikely it is that you will hit it. I also find the pin is a good thing to line my chip shots up to and makes the hole look visually bigger.

Rule Change About Hitting The Pin While Putting

Before 2019, if you were putting the ball and it struck the flagstick (whether it was in the hole or laying on the green) then you were given a 2 shot penalty. In these days you would always remove the pin before you or your playing partners make their putts. You could also have someone “attend the flag” for you, which meant they held the stick while you were putting then removed it before the ball got to the hole.

This led to silly situations where the pin might get hit accidentally and the person holding it couldn’t get it out before the ball got there resulting in a 2 stroke penalty for the player! Strange sport.

This rule was changed by the R&A in 2019 so you can now putt with the flag in. I find this new rule helps to speed up the pace of play and helps with ready golf. Putting with the flag in is second nature and I actually find it helps me be more aggressive with my stroke as I know the flag is there to stop the ball.

As with all rules changes in golf, some like it and some don’t.

Last Updated on April 30, 2022 by Matt