Golfers have to know a lot of terminologies to seem like they are golf experts. At each skill level, some new phrases and sayings come up that may leave you wondering if you are doing something good or bad.

image of a golf ball on the edge of a golf hole

Pin high, or as it may be referred to as “Hole high“,  is a golf term that you probably won’t find in the rules of golf, but you may hear it during a casual round with friends. So…….

What does pin high mean?

A pin high golf shot is one with tremendous distance control but lacks some accuracy. If you hit a golf shot pin high, you hit the ball the exact distance of the pin. However, it is not always the exact direction of the flag stick. You could be within inches of the hole, or you could be forty feet from the pin at the same distance as the pin itself. 

Let’s say you have an approach shot to a pin that is 150 yards away. Your 7 iron is the golf club you usually trust with this distance. When you hit the ball, your alignment or your strike is a little off, and the golf ball ends up about 15 yards right of the golf flag.

However, when you are on the green, you realize that you are at the same distance as the flag is; the alignment of the shot was just a little off. This is where you will hear the term Pin high, often used as a positive.

Pin high meaning

image of pin high license plate - AEC InfoA golf shot is called pin high because your ball will end up at the same level or distance as the pin. If you look at a golf hole as a ladder you are climbing, the hole is the top of the ladder.

When your golf ball is pin high, it is in line with the pin, even if it is not incredibly close to the flagstick.

Pin-high golf shots have nothing to do with the actual ball flight of a shot. Don’t let the term height confuse you, as it does not deal with ball flight, or hitting a shot that is the same distance from the ground as the pin. 

Many golf courses have greens that are anything but easy to stay on. If you have the correct distance, you may be giving yourself a better shot at staying on the green.


Why is it good to be pin high?

It is good to be pin high as it means that you have perfected your shot in terms of distance. There could be times in the game of golf when you hit your 150-yard club, and it only goes 140, or it goes 160. Distance control can be difficult for golfers but being pin high shows you have some impressive distance control. 

image of a golf ball on the green with the flagstick in the background

When you are pin high, your golf shot is the same distance as that pin placement which takes quite a bit of control in the golf swing. If you can work on alignment and getting closer to the current pin position, the chance of making more birdies will be considerably higher.

Another great thing about being pin high is that it can help you with navigating some of the shots that you have to make to get the ball in the hole.

Whether trying to make the birdie putt or give yourself an easier chip, sometimes being pin high makes that possible.

Interested in getting up and down more often? Learn to use the Rule of 12 here.

Can it be bad to hit a golf shot pin high?

Hitting a golf shot pin high is not always a great solution. The trick with approach shots is to leave yourself in a position where you can make a higher percentage of putts. This is usually an uphill putt where you are on the same tier as the pin.

If putting is a weakness in your golf game, it is more important to be below the hole on challenging holes than to be pin high. Great golfers will tell you that choosing the correct club is important, but hitting that club within just a few feet of the flagstick is more important.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the common term “pin high.” As long as you know, this has to do with the pin location and not the height of your golf shot; you will appear like an amateur player that knows what they are doing!

Be sure to check out our extremely popular article on popular golf sayings here.

Thanks for checking out AEC Info. We hope our information has been useful to you. While here, you may want to check out our recent post on the Proper golf stance, as well as one of the more popular putting styles in 2023….Aimpoint putting.  It may not be for you, but it may be worth learning about.