Pin Placement: What It Means in Golf

PGA TOUR - 2006 Wachovia Championship - Final Round
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The term "pin placement" refers to the location of the hole on the putting green on golf courses. "Pin position" and "hole location" are two common synonyms.

"Pin" is another term for the flagstick in golf, and the flagstick marks the location of the cup, or hole, on the putting green. So when golfers talk about pin placement, what we're really talking about is where on the putting green the hole is located.

Is the pin placement to the front, center or back of the green? Is it on the left or right side? Is it on the upper section of a two-tiered green or the lower section?

Knowing the pin placement helps the golfer decide what to do with his or her approach shot. A pin placement on the back of a green, for example, might require more club (a longer shot) than a pin placement on the front part of a putting green.

Some golf courses provide golfers with pin sheets (also called hole location charts) that illustrate the pin placement on each green that day. (Some golf GPS devices, such as those that are now built-in to many riding carts, can also display the exact pin placement.)

Such information is valuable not only because it helps the golfer better plan for the stroke played into the green, but because pin position changes from day to day on golf courses. Golf course superintendents rotate the pin placement on each green to spread out the foot traffic and the impact of golf balls, and also to provide variety to the golfers.