What Is Greens In Regulation In Golf? – GIR

Golfers everywhere rejoice when they hit a green in regulation. It’s one of the most satisfying feelings in the sport. You know you’re doing something right when the ball ends on the green, and then you’re preparing to drain a birdie…

Or better yet, an eagle!

But what are greens in regulation in golf? You’ve landed on the right page if you’re looking for that answer. In this article, we will discuss what hitting the green in regulation is and why it is the most important stat you want to keep your eye on if you’re looking lower your score and impress all of your friends.

What Is Greens In Regulation In Golf?

Greens in regulation in golf (GIR) is a statistic that represents the percentage of the number of times a player hits the golf ball onto any part of the putting green within 2 or fewer strokes from par.

Example Of Greens In Regulation

Here is an example:

James tees off on a straightaway par 4. He carries the ball 150 yards short of the green with his drive. On James’s second shot, he tops the ball with his 8 iron but still manages to roll his ball up onto the front of the green. James just hit a green in regulation and gave himself a chance to birdie…

Unfortunately, James’s birdie putt is 60ft long, and he isn’t the best at putting. James ends up 3 putting for a bogey on the scorecard… what a mess!

Even though James 3 putted in this situation, he still managed to hit the green and regulation to give himself a chance to go negative for the hole. Wouldn’t you agree if you had more chances to birdie like this, you could see yourself lowering your score? I’d take a putting problem over a slice or hook problem all day!

Greens In Regulation For Each Par

Here is the number of strokes it takes to hit GIR for each par:

  • Par 3 GIR – First shot onto the green
  • Par 4 GIR – Second shot or less onto the green
  • Par 5 GIR – Third shot or less onto the green

What Greens In Regulation Is Not

There are some cases where a player will hit what would be their green in regulation shot, and the ball will land on the fringe of the green, the rough, or a green side sand trap (not the putting green), then on the next shot hit their ball into the cup for a par or better (birdie or eagle)…

This is not greens in regulation. This instance is called scrambling, which is also a good golf stat that shows how well a player’s short game is.

Calculating Greens In Regulation

To calculate GIR, you divide the number of greens in regulations achieved in a round or tournament by the number of total holes played.

Hit greens in regulation divided by total holes played = GIR

Here’s an example:

Let’s bring back our buddy James. He just finished 2 rounds of 18 this past weekend with his friends and hit 8 greens in regulation… James needs some driving range practice for sure!

8 greens hit / 36 total holes played = 22.22% GIR

Why Are Greens In Regulation So Important?

Hitting GIR is what I think is the most important goal in a round of golf because it gives you the most chances of hitting par or better. Plus, it’s a lot easier to putt the golf ball into the cup rather than chipping or hitting a 150-yard shot into the cup.

I believe if a golfer is looking to improve their golf game significantly, they should look into what it takes to improve their skills to start hitting more greens in regulation. This would include improving your driving and iron skills.

It’s not an easy task to do… Our buddy James is in the same boat. Next, we’ll talk about how to improve your GIR percentage.

RELATED: The 7 Best Golf Tips For Beginner Golfers

How To Improve Your GIR Percentage

Off The Tee Box

Aim for the widest part of the fairway. Yeah, I know, easier said than done, but the best thing for you to do is give yourself the best chance to have a clear shot onto the green.

If you typically have a large slice or hook, prepare for it to happen by aiming more left or right of the fairway. The last thing you want is your shot onto the green for greens in regulation to be out of the woods and nearly impossible to hit.

RELATED: How To Hit A Driver Straight [Ultimate Beginner’s Guide With Videos]

Approach Shot Strategy

Aim for the widest part of the green, like off the tee box. It’s super easy to just say I’m going for it and attack directly at the pin… This is where things get risky, especially if you’re not a pro and have a high chance of slicing or hooking.

Hitting toward the widest part of the green gives you a buffer if you were to pull or push your approach shot.

Final Thoughts On Greens In Regulation

Hitting greens in regulation is one of your most important goals while playing golf. Improving your skills to hit more GIR will significantly improve your golf game. Practice aiming for the widest part of the fairway off the tee box and toward the widest part of the green on your approach shots–this will give you the best chance to hit GIR.

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