What Is Hole High In Golf?

What Is Hole High In Golf?
In this photo, the orange ball (to the right of the flag) and yellow ball (left) are hole high. Neither of the white balls are hole high (pin high).

What Is Hole High In Golf?

In golf, a ball is Hole High (or Pin High) when it comes to rest on a line roughly level with the flagstick and perpendicular to the line of approach. A Hole High ball was hit the correct distance, but missed left or right.

In the photo above, the orange ball on the left and the yellow ball on the right are both more or less hole high, or pin high. They are have been hit the correct distance, but were off-line. The two white balls are short and long, and thus are not “hole high.”

Note that the terms hole high, or  pin high do not indicate anything about how far the ball is from the hole.  The orange and yellow balls above are different distances from the hole, but both are hole high. A ball could technically be hole high even if it misses the green.To be fair, though, I have never heard a ball declared to be hole high unless it was somewhere on the green.

I have always found it curious that players will try to reassure their playing partners by declaring a ball to be Hole High: “At least it’s hole high” Hole high also is sometimes used as a mark of triumph.

The problem with that is that hole high is often a bad place to be. Hole high could technically be ten yards away in greenside rough. Hole high could be in a bunker. Hole High could (and often does, at least on my home course) leave you with a tricky side hill putt. For my part, I’d rather be under the hole.

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