What Is GIR In Golf? [Explained]

If you’re looking to improve your golf scoring, keeping track of your stats can be very useful to see where improvements can be made.

One stat which is commonly used when talking about golf is GIR. But whats GIR in golf and how can you use it to help take your game to the next level?

Let’s find out more about the GIR percentage and the GIR golf meaning.

What Is GIR In Golf?

What Is GIR In Golf?

What Does GIR Mean In Golf?

GIR in golf, also known as green in regulation, is when a golfer hits the ball onto the green in two shots less than the par for the hole.

Green in regulation golf assumes that the number of putts taken on the green in two, so, therefore, hitting the green in two less than par and then taking two putts would achieve a regulation par for the hole.

For example, if a golfer is playing a par 4, they would need to find the putting surface in two shots for it to be green in regulation.

What Does GIR Mean In Golf?

Par 3 – A green in regulation would be achieved if a golfer’s FIRST shot finds the putting surface

Par 4 – A green in regulation would be achieved if a golfer’s SECOND shot finds the putting surface

Par 5 – A green in regulation would be achieved if a golfer’s THIRD shot finds the putting surface

Par 6 – A green in regulation would be achieved if a golfer’s FOURTH shot finds the putting surface

For a green in regulation to be met, the golf ball must finish up on the putting surface. Although the ball doesn’t have to land on the green, it does have to end up there or else it won’t be a green in regulation.

Finding a green in regulation is a great achievement for most amateur golfers. It requires some well-struck shots to be played, but if it can be achieved it gives the everyday golfer a great chance of picking up a birdie.

If a golfer hits the green in fewer than regulation shots, this is known as greens in under regulation. For example, this would be when a player hits a par 4 green in just one shot or on a par 5 in just two shots.

If you’re able to hit a green in under GIR, it’s a great opportunity to make birdies and even eagles. Two putts will be good enough to score a birdie if you’re hitting greens in under-regulation.

Green in regulation stats are very useful for golfers looking to improve their game. Just like a fairways hit stat, golf GIR is ideal for tracking improvement. The more greens hit in regulation, the better the chance of making par and giving yourself birdie putts.

What Is A Good GIR Percentage?

Of course, the aim would be to hit all 18 green within a regulation. This would give you a 100% greens in regulation percentage, however, this is very unlikely and even the best golfers on the PGA Tour rarely hit every single green in regulation.

In fact, the PGA Tour average sits at around the 65% mark, which is just under 12 greens in an 18-hole round of golf.

The best in the 2021-2022 season was Scottie Scheffler with a percentage of 72.29, and the worst was Lucas Herbert with 57.82.

The PGA Tour record since the tour began tracking GIR was Tiger Woods, also known as the greatest of all time, who managed an astonishingly good, 75.15 in 2000.

So if PGA Tour players are missing at least six greens a round, how many greens in regulation should we as amateur golfers be hitting?

Here’s what you should expect as greens in regulation stats based on your handicap:

  • 24+ handicap: ~10% (0-2 greens a round)
  • 18 to 24 handicap: ~16% (1-3 greens a round)
  • 10 to 18 handicap: ~27% (2-5 greens a round)
  • 5 to 9 handicap: ~39% (4-7 greens a round)
  • 1 to 4 handicap: ~50% (6-9 greens a round)
  • 0 to +2 handicap: ~61% (8-11 greens a round)
What Is A Good GIR Percentage?

As a golfer off 1, my aim every round is to hit just over half off the greens in regulation when I play golf.

This is helpful to know because I can’t get too frustrated if I’m missing a few greens when PGA Tour players only hit ~12 greens a round (and they’re quite a lot better than I am!).

PGA Tour GIR Percentage

The PGA Tour is home to the best professional golfers in the world, but the tour average GIR percentage for these top players is only 65%. This number is based on every single approach into the green.

So here we decided to break the PGA Tour GIR average percentage down with the various distances to the green, to see how well you compare.

(Based on the 2021-2022 PGA Tour season)

GIR Percentage 200+ yards – Tour average: 43.92%

GIR Percentage 175 – 200 yards – Tour average: 54.67%

GIR Percentage 150 – 175 yards – Tour average: 63.54%

GIR Percentage 125 – 150 yards – Tour average: 69.53%

GIR Percentage 100 – 125 yards – Tour average: 74.94%

GIR Percentage 75 – 100 yards – Tour average: 78.03%

GIR Percentage <75 yards – Tour average: 87.95%

So even when they’re inside 75 yards, the very best golfers with the best ball striking in the world aren’t hitting the green every single time.

This should help recreational golfers feel a little better when they’re out on the golf course, knowing that the PGA Tour average GIR isn’t actually as good as it sometimes may appear on the TV.

GIR By Handicap

According to data from The Grint, the number of greens a golfer hits can vary greatly depending on their handicap.

As you would expect, the better players with a handicap of 0-2 are hitting approximately 10 greens out of 18 during a round of golf, compared to those with a handicap of 30+ who are only hitting around 1 green in reg a round.

GIR By Handicap

How To Hit More Greens In Regulation?

Hitting greens in regulation is obviously important if you want to play good golf.

Finding the green in two shots less than the par will give you birdie putts and better chances of making par.

But how do you go about hitting more greens in regulation?

How To Hit More Greens In Regulation?

Longer Tee Shot

The further you can hit it from the tee, the shorter your approach shots will be.

As we can see from the PGA Tour stats, the closer you are to the green, the more chance you have of hitting it in regulation.

Of course, we all want to hit the ball further, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of accuracy.

So it’s important to develop your swing in the correct way, using top coaches to help you, so that other parts of your game don’t suffer.

Keep It In Play

Generally speaking, if you can keep your tee shot in the fairway, you’ve got the best chance of hitting greens in regulation.

If you’re constantly ending up in fairway bunkers or thick rough, you’re going to limit your chances of getting a good shot onto the green.

Hitting it long isn’t everything, so focus on your driving accuracy and finding more fairways if you want to hit more greens and shoot lower scores.

Distance Control

Often overlooked, distance control is hugely important to finding more putting surfaces.

If you know how far you hit each club, it makes club selection much easier and you’ll be more likely to hit it pin high for your tee shot or approach shot.

Even if your line is slightly off, with good distance you’ll still most likely finish up on the green with another GIR in the bag.

Final Thoughts

The greens in regulation percentage is a very useful stat in golf which helps golfers get an idea of how well their game is shaping up.

Professional golf tours rank golfers based on their various stats, especially the golf GIR meaning they can see how well they’re playing from tee to green.

For amateur golfers looking to take their game to the next level, tracking their GIR stats is a great idea to help see if their long game needs some work or whether it’s the short game which is damaging their scores.


When is a golf ball considered on the green?

The R&A states a golf ball is on the green when any part of it is touching the green or if it lies on anything which is inside the edge of the green such as a loose impediment.

Therefore, just a small part of the ball needs to be touching the green for it to be classed as on the green.

Does fringe count as a green in regulation?

Fringe does not count as green in regulation in golf. You can of course still choose to use a putter from the fringe if it makes sense to.

What does GIR stand for in golf?

GIR stands for ‘green in regulation’ and is a way of measuring how well a golfer is playing from tee to green.

What is GIR on par 5?

Green in regulation on a par 5 would be achieved if the golfer gets the ball onto the putting green by the third shot.

What is a GIR on a par 4?

For a par 4, a green in regulation would happen if the player gets onto the green on their second shot.

What is the GIR meaning golf?

The GIR in golf means the number of times a golfer hits a green in two shots less than the par for the hole.

What is an under GIR in golf?

Under GIR in golf is when a golfer’s ball finishes on the green in fewer shots than would be expected for that type of par. For example, a ball which lands on the green in one shot on a par 4 would be regarded as under GIR golf.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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