gir golf

What Is GIR In Golf? The Key Stat For Lowering Your Scores

Author: Larissa Allard

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Comments: 0

“Woah, that was a birdie, and how skillfully you avoided the bogey!” But why are my shots bogeys or double bogeys? What is GIR in golf, and how will it help me with birdies and impressive scores?

Well, many of you would look for it as it’s vital for pars and even lowers your scores.

Strategic gameplay is essential, and you must know the stats and monitor them for progress. You would wonder about its significance, so let’s dig into the details!


  • GIR stands for Green in Regulation.
  • When a ball is on the putting surface, it is considered a Green in Regulation.
  • It lowers your scores, helps avoid bogeys, and with practice, you can even achieve a birdie.

What Is A GIR In Golf?

GIR stands for Green in Regulation. This refers to hitting the ball on the putting surface within a particular number of shots depending upon the par hole.

Calculation Of Greens In Regulation

For instance, as per GIR, 

Hit the ball on the putting surface for three par holes within one shot, four par holes within two shots, and three shots on a five par hole.

It’s utmost essential that for GIR, your ball should remain on the putting surface. 

Besides, if you can accomplish greens in regulation, you are versatile in ball striking. Not to forget, it even relates to the fact that your strokes are quite accurate.

Thus, it can give you a birdie in golf. Moreover, GIR in golf is a statistic that tracks your performance, and with its analysis, you can improve your game. 

When Is Golf Ball Considered On The Green?

If any part of your golf ball touches the green surface, it means it’s on the putting surface.

Moreover, even if some of your golf ball is on the fringe and simultaneously slightly touches the green, it is considered on the putting surface.

You can mark and clean your ball on the green as you normally would.

Does Fringe Count As A GIR In Golf? 

No, when your golf ball is on the fringe, then it does not count as gir. Yet, a fringe is just near the green; hence, you can use the putter to stroke from the fringe for an incredible score.

Moreover, as mentioned earlier, when some part touches the fringe and others towards the green simultaneously, it is considered green in regulation. 

What Is A Good GIR Percentage? 

A good GIR percentage varies as per your expertise level. To be precise, if you are a beginner, hitting a minimum of 6 greens out of 18 holes, which means 33%, is good. 

Further, if you have a low handicap, you might ask for 50%, above 50%, or near 50%. This is what makes a good GIR percentage. 

Why Are Greens In Regulation Important?

Greens in regulation are vital as they significantly enhance and thus increase your probability of making par or performing better on a hole.

The former means that your ball goes into the putting surface in fewer or apt number of strokes. 

Therefore, when you increase GIR in golf, it lowers your score and thus stands as a hallmark that you performed better in your golf game.

Though achieving it is challenging, you mustn’t forget that “no pain, no gain.” 

In crux, green in regulation is crucial for pars, lowers your scores, and thus improves your gameplay. 

How To Hit More Greens In Regulation? 

You should improve your swing accuracy and ball-striking techniques to hit more greens in regulation. Though it’s challenging, every problem is a solution.

Further, you would be surprised to know that some exceptional professional golfers even get 69 out of 72 holes in a tournament, which is not less than a milestone. 

Though achieving this level is difficult, it should improve your Green in Regulation percentage. Therefore, practice in the apt-direction consistently to refine your skills and improve GIR. 

Tee Shots

You must focus on par and par five holes to increase the chances of hitting GIR in golf. For the same, you need to position yourself correctly.

However, position largely depends on your accuracy and how far you can hit the ball. 

Besides, swinging the ball away from the tee also helps you achieve Greens in Regulation.

However, overcome barriers like sand bunkers, water, and trees while doing so. Sometimes, the rough on the golf course also poses difficulty if you miss the fairway. 

Therefore, to avoid such discrepancies, you need strategic gameplay and discipline to excel. A versatile golfer carefully considers every aspect and selects the apt club to balance their distance and control the shot accuracy.

It is noteworthy to consider that every hole is different; hence, you must strategize your game accordingly in advance. 

However, if you follow the wrong strategy off the tee, then it will become challenging to hit increased greens in regulation.

Therefore, consider the barriers and accordingly choose your clubs. During this, do consider your strengths and weaknesses.

As a rule of thumb, you are more likely to mess up with the game if you go towards the tee without any proper plan. 

Approach Shot Strategy

Approach shots are quintessential. Since they are at the fairway near the green and similar, you have to putt them. It seems easy to sink the ball into the green. However, it is not so! 

Since approach shots are closer, they require much precision, control, and a more strategic putting.

You can score well only if you sink the ball into one or two strokes and even make a birdie. Therefore, approach shots are more challenging than others. 

Yet, in my many years of experience, I have seen that most golfers become aggressive in choosing clubs and deciding targets.

They rush towards putting it into the hole, but they have to bear several strokes. 

But now, what should you do? How to achieve GIR in golf for approach shot strategies? 

Well, I’ve achieved excellence for GIR in golf with approach shots strategies. Therefore, first, look around the green and the shape it has.

Next, assess the design of the golf course since each one has a different style.

For example, if you see sand bunkers around the green and your pin is also near, your wise decision should be to target away from the hole. 

As a rule of thumb, focus on the center of the green and play your game targeting the back yardage.

Though some of you might disagree, you can follow this strategy for a disciplined approach that enhances green in regulation.

Do not always rush towards the target. Sometimes, aim for safer gameplay to avoid penalties and, hence, avoid being aggressive! 

Ball Striking And Fixing Your Swing

As a golfer, your primary goal would be to score better. How do you achieve this? 

You swing the golf ball to complete the round in the least number of strokes. Well, you should enhance your ball striking skills as it is vital for increased green in regulation.

Therefore, you mustn’t focus on swinging at better distances but on swinging the ball with greater accuracy and balanced distance. 

Here are some of the steps that help you improve your ball striking and even fix your swing:

  • Always consider using training aids to achieve greater accuracy, precision, and control 
  • Use a correct strategic approach to learn golf, which should be well-structured
  • Practice and warmup consistently  

Most importantly, be determined to improve your golfing skills and never procrastinate. 

GIR By Handicap: Greens In Regulation Stats

GIR in golf differs according to the handicap level. So, let’s dig into its details! 

  • Low handicap (good golfers) usually reach the greens as follows:
    • 1 shot on par 3 holes
    • 2 shots on par 4 holes
    • 3 shots on par 5 holes.
  • Pro golfers also can’t always strike all 18 greens in one round.
  • Skilled golfers who are nearly as good as pros hit a bit fewer greens than pro golfers. 

However, if you are not experienced, you might hit fewer greens. These stats show that the better you are at golf, the better your green in regulation.

Greens In Regulation Percentage By Handicap Level

Hitting more greens in regulation is something that every golfer aims for! But while doing it, you might need two putts only as your ball is already close to the hole.

If you miss the green and would rather take three or more putts, your scores will worsen. This includes bogeys or double bogeys.

Therefore, completing it with two putts is far greater than utilizing three or more putts after missing the green.

24 or higher0 to 2
18 to 241 to 3
12 and 183 to 6
9 to 124 to 7
6 and 95 to 8 
3 and 66 to 9 
0 to 28 to 12
+3 to +110 to 13 
Professional Tour Average is around 11.7 

Average GIR Percentage On The PGA Tour

PGAs are what unleash the golf nostalgia within you. Have you ever wondered what their average GIR percentage would be? 

Well, I’ve collected all the stats! 

  • The PGA Tour professionals swing the green nearly 65% of the time using their approach shots. Therefore, the ball gets closer to the hole more frequently. 
  • One of the notable achievements was Cameron Percy in 2021, who achieved 72% GIR. Further, Martin Trainer had a lowest of 54%. 

Therefore, the above shots imply that pro golfers are versatile enough to swing their balls onto the greens.

PGA Tour Approach Shot Statistics (GIR Percentage) By Distance Of Approach

We have analyzed data regarding how professional golfers’ GIR percentage varies depending on the distance of approach and average proximity.

Less than 10081%17

How Many Greens In Regulation To Break 80?

You need 6 or 7 Greens In Regulation to break 80 in golf.

The Conclusion

If you were seeking the answer to what is a GIR in Golf, then you would have been familiar with it by now.

Greens in Regulation requires you to have precision and accuracy in your swings. Consequently, your ball will be on the putting surface, and you can score better with fewer strokes.

Besides, with apt practices, you can avoid bogeys double bogeys and achieve birdies as well.


  1. What is a GIR on a par 5?

    A GIR is a par 5 shot that lands on the green in two strokes.

  2. Does the fringe count as green in regulation?

    No, the fringe doesn’t count as a green in regulation. It needs to be on the surface to be considered as a GIR.

<a href="" target="_self">Larissa Allard</a>

Larissa Allard

Larissa has been a flamboyant golfer since the raw age of 8. With her savvy mind and keen observation skills, she mastered the sport faster than anyone else could. Larissa has always been eloquent with writing and is a graduate of Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego. Being a golf player for 16 years and a professional golfer for 8 years, she's adapt and has coached many amateur golfers as well.


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