What Does “Above The Hole” Mean In Golf? – Explained!

what does above the hole mean in golf?

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term “Above The Hole”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does “Above The Hole” mean in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the expression “Above The Hole” means in golf.

What Does “Above The Hole” Mean In Golf?

In golf, the expression “Above The Hole” means that your golf ball is physically located above the golf hole, on the vertical axis. When your golf ball is “Above The Hole”, it means you will be putting downhill to reach the hole, which is a tricky position to hole the ball from.

In the great game of golf, the expression “Above The Hole” is sometimes mentioned on golf courses and on TV broadcasts.

In golf, the expression “Above The Hole” means that a golf ball is physically located above the current golf hole, on the vertical axis.

For example, if your golf ball is located 30 feet above sea water level, and the golf hole is only 22 feet above sea water level, then your ball is “Above The Hole”. On the vertical axis, your golf ball is physically higher up than the hole, so it is “Above The Hole”.

When your golf ball is “Above The Hole”, it puts you in a tricky position because you are putting downhill towards the hole. This means that if you miss the hole, your golf ball is likely to pick up speed and roll down the slope far more than you would want it to.

In fact, when you putt a golf ball downhill, it accelerates due to gravity, provided the slope is significant enough. This means that there is a risk that the golf ball picks up so much speed that it skips above the hole, instead of calmly rolling into it.

Missing a putt when the golf ball starts from an “Above The Hole” position can lead to a really difficult next putt that is further away than the first putt.

It is generally preferable to putt a golf ball that is “Below The Hole” than a ball that is “Above The Hole”, simply because of the difference in control and ball behavior predictability, as well as where the ball might end up if you miss the putt.

While beginners may just be happy to land the ball on the green at all, the best golf players on Earth will attempt to land the ball somewhere on the putting green where the ball is not “Above The Hole”.

The best professional golfers typically carefully and meticulously study the topography of a golf course, especially the putting greens, in order to get the easiest putts possible. Professional golfers want their ball in the best position to score a one-putt rather than a two-putt.

To accomplish this, the professional golfers and their caddies employ numerous tools, such as maps, range finders, GPS tools, their own eyes, and more.

Down below is an example of a golf ball that is “Above The Hole”.

golf ball "Above the hole"
Example of a golf ball “Above The Hole”

As you can see on the image above, when a golf ball is “above the hole”, it is vertically above the level of the golf hole. You can also notice that the golf ball is usually separated from the golf hole by a downward slope, when it is “above the hole”.

You can tell how tricky of a putt it is to hole a ball “above the hole”, as the slope can easily accelerate the ball far past the hole if you miss it.

Holing putts when the ball is “above the hole” is not easy. If you would like to improve your likelihood of successfully putting the ball when it is “above the hole”, read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Above The Hole”

The origin of the expression “Above The Hole” in golf is quite simple.

Quite literally, the expression means that the golf ball is vertically located above the vertical position of the golf hole.

For example, if the golf ball is located 10 meters above sea level, and the golf hole is only 9 meters above sea level, the vertical position of the ball will be higher than that of the hole.

In such a case, the golf ball will literally be “above the hole”, hence where the naming of the expression comes from.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the expression “Above The Hole” means in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? Do you cringe when your golf ball is “Above The Hole” on the putting green? Let us know in the comments down below!