What Does Pin High Mean In Golf? (Explained!)

Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by

In golf “Pin high” means that a golf ball has been hit as approaching a shot to the very direction as the flag (which makes the location of the hole). It is possible to hit the ball pin high and yet miss either left or right of the hole but it indicates that you got the correct distance of your shot.

Like many other sports, golf has its own phrases and terms that are used to express either one action or inaction. Most times these terms and phrases are not understood by those who are either not into or familiar with the sport.

Pin high is the most common slang in golf as it’s being said by both amateur and professional golfers butt yet it’s not an official word and not featured in the rule of golf, thus it lacks an official definition.

Hitting The Golf Ball Pin High

Hitting The Golf Ball Pin High

Every green has various shapes and dimensions with a hole attached to the surface. The hole in golf is usually indicated by the pin or flagstick. Each golf courses indicates the hole with a flagstick so that golfers can its precise location hundreds of yards away.

Every shot golfer hit has two major components to hit the target, direction, and distance. Golfers adopt the phase “Pin High” to imply that a shot taken was well played in regards to distance. You can also say that a shot was high in pin if it was struck the right distance and misses the green either to the left or right.

Why Is It Called Pin High In Golf?

The phrase “Pin high” has absolutely nothing to do with height. However, in golf, the slang up and high is often linked with the concept of hitting the ball just aa far to get to the hole or hitting the ball the right distance.

For example, if you heard the phrase “never up, never in” regarding to putting. It means that for you to have a greater chance of your ball going into the hole then you must hit your putt as far enough.

Hence, in golf, the whole concept of height is closely associated with hitting the ball far enough, far enough to get to the hole.

Why Is It Called A Pin In Golf?

 A Pin In Golf

The flagstick in golf is another name for the pin. They mean the same thing and are used interchangeably. The pin is sometimes called the flagstick obviously for it’s appearance. When you view it from hundreds of yards away it appears so, the flagstick appears thin and tiny just like a pin.

Golf is a fun game and golfers always give nicknames for every object and thing. Different objects and almost everything has more than one nickname accrued to them. However, the phase pin has been used for a long time and come to be widely accepted and has become a prominent golfing language.

What Happens in Golf if You Hit The Pin?

Absolutely nothing. The only thing is that you’ll start playing the game from where it ends up.

Hitting the pin can be both good and bad depending on the situation. Hitting the pin can lead to a poor shot to just stop close to the hole (or something even go in) instead of just going over the pink and green. At other times, an almost perfect shot that should have hit the green can stop when it comes close to the hole.

Golfers sometimes call this good or bad luck that comes from hitting part a part of the course “the rub of the green.” It simply means that you take good and bad luck, shake it off and continue with the game.

Rule Change From Hitting The Pin While Putting

Pin While Putting

Before 2019, if during your play the ball struck the pin (irrespective of if it was laying on the green or in the hole) then you were entitled to a 2 stroke penalty.

This connotes that you have to remove the flagstick before putting your ball. More so, you can have someone helping out in holding your pin whilst you strike your putt if you want to see the hole and then remove it whilst the putt was on its way.

This rule led to a lot of awkward situations, where the pin might be stuck and the player can’t get it out the way before the ball reaches leading to a 2 stroke penalty for that player. Thankfully, this rule was revamped in 2009. Recently, there is no penalty attached to hit the pin but it’s still safer to stay off hitting the pin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Any Penalty Attached With Hitting The Pin?

Present, there is no penalty associated with hitting the pin that’s because the rule has been changed to that regard. If you played golf before 2019, there was a rule of 2 stroke offense if you hit the pin.

What Is The Real Purpose Of The Pin?

The real purpose of the pin is to indicate the actual position on the hole from a hundred yards, thus enabling golfers to plan and measure the exact energy and precision it would take to get the ball into the hole. 

Is “Pin High” An Official Word In Golf?

Pin high is not an official language in golf. It was coined by golfers to indicate the exact distance that a ball stands from the flagstick or pin


The game of golf is filled with a lot of phases and slang that connote different activities. Golfers have coined both good and bad phase and slang to indicate good or bad luck, great or bad swing, and precise and awful shoot.

The pin high is a good thing as it indicates that the ball is located just in line with the pin but not close to the pin. Golfers aim to be pin high as it increases their chances of winning the game.

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