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What is a GIR in Golf? – How to Calculate Your Greens in Regulation and Why It’s Important

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There are many statistics within the game of golf that you can use to measure performance, whether it is something simple such as the number of putts per round to more complicated ones, such as dispersion or ball striking index.  Many amateur golfers would argue that none of these matter, as they want to go out on the weekends and drink a few beers while whacking the ball around.  Others, however, argue they are necessary ways to see how one’s golf game is improving and what possible areas they need to work on the most. Which leads us to the question, what is a GIR in golf?

What is a GIR in golf?

A GIR in golf stands for Green in Regulation. This seems like a very complicated term, but in reality, it is very simple to calculate, and this statistic can help you measure and improve your golf game greatly. In the simplest terms, you can count a green in regulation when your ball comes to rest on the putting surface of the current hole you are playing, even if you decide to chip on the green.

An example of what a GIR in golf
An example of a GIR in golf - The ball is resting on the putting surface

How is a golf GIR calculated?

A GIR in golf is calculated by using the statistic to measure whether or not a golfer has “hit the green” on a particular hole in the required number of shots. The ball must come to rest on the putting surface. You can measure your stats by grabbing one of the best golf stats book here. 

  • For a par 3, that means hitting the green in one shot.
  • Par 4 means hitting the green within two shots
  • Par 5 is hitting the green within three shots.

Once you hit the green, try out this fun golf snake game with your group.

Why should you keep GIR statistics?

Pros

The main reason greens in regulation is one of the more popular statistics is that it provides a good overview of how a particular round is going.  For instance, if you only hit 6 greens in regulation throughout a round, you could use this to examine further what areas of your golf game are lacking.  Perhaps you were a bit wayward with the driver that day and, consequently, had a more difficult time hitting greens in regulation.  It helps you pinpoint what areas of your game to improve. 

Cons

On the flip side, there are some negatives when using greens in regulation to measure your overall golf game.  For instance, like earlier, you may have had 6 greens in regulation, but there may have been 4 or 5 instances where the ball just rolled off to the fringe and thus did not count.  It was simply a matter of the ball not going your way on a few holes, yet the 6 greens in regulation would mean that you had a poor ball-striking day when that was NOT the case. 

Also, how can one truly tell how their golf game was if they hit 7 greens in regulation or 9?  Using the statistic alone may not be the best indicator of how a round went. 

FIR and GIR golf statistics

Given the pros and cons, should you consider measuring greens in regulation? For low-to-mid handicappers, it wouldn’t hurt too.  The key is recognizing that it gives an overall view of how the round went and should be used alongside other statistics to give you a more specific area in your golf game to improve upon.  For instance, if you hit 6 greens in regulation along with 4 fairways, the two combined would indicate that your driving needs improvement. 

Learn more about FIR in golf here. 

Holy Trinity of golf statistics – GIR, FIR, and PPH

It is considered part of the “holy trinity” of golf statistics golfers are recommended to use Greens in Regulation, Fairways in Regulation, and Putts per hole.   

What is a good GIR percentage in golf?

  • For a beginner golfer
    • The GIR percentage from a beginner golfer is anywhere from 0-15%
    • 0-3 greens on average
  • For an intermediate golfer
    • The GIR percentage for an intermediate golfer is from 15-50%
    • 4-10 greens on average
  • For a tour pro golfer

Tips to improve Greens in Regulation

With that being said, what are some ways to improve your greens in regulation?  Here are three tips in particular that can be used the next time you tee it up. 

1.      Play Smarter Golf

The mental aspect of golf does not get the attention it deserves, and it can play a major factor in improving greens in regulation.  This includes not only the ability to shake off a bad hole or two but playing smarter in general.  For example, if you have a hole where bunkers are on the right side of the fairway and generally play a slice off the tee, consider going with a three-wood instead.  You don’t always have to hit the same club off every tee, which becomes more important as you lower your handicap further.  Learn how to calculate golf handicaps here. There may be some days when the iron game is off, for instance, and as such, you must adjust to hit approach shots away from the flag to a larger part of the green.  Playing smarter golf will help you hit more fairways and, in turn, more greens in regulation. 

2.      Know your distances

For mid-handicaps in particular, getting a gauge of your distances should be something to prioritize every few months.  Ten yards can mean the difference between a green in regulation or not when it comes to approach shots, and if you don’t truly know how far you hit each club, you could find yourself with difficult chip shots instead of putts for birdie even though you hit solid shots.  There are few things more frustrating in the game of golf than hitting a solid shot only to see it fly over the green or end up well short.  You should not only know how far you hit each club but distances into greens as well.  Click here to grab the best budget golf rangefinder

3.      Keep track of statistics over time

It is not enough to know what you did throughout a round if you don’t utilize the information to improve your golf game.  Keeping track of statistics for a year can help you to see if you are truly improving in some areas or if they still need to be worked on.  There may be instances where you hit 12 greens in regulation one round and 6 the next, so it is important to average them out to see how your game is truly performing. 

Next, check out our golf putting tips for beginners to really dial in your golf game. 

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