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

what does the term below 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 “Below The Hole”.

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

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

What Does “Below The Hole” Mean In Golf?

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

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

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

For example, if the golf hole is located 40 feet above sea water level, and the golf ball is only 32 feet above sea water level, then your ball is “Below The Hole”. On the vertical axis, your golf ball is physically lower than the hole, so it is “Below The Hole”.

When your golf ball is “Below The Hole”, it puts you in a somewhat tricky position because you are putting uphill towards the hole. As you are putting uphill, there is a slope between your ball and the hole.

This means that if you miss the hole, or do not use enough power, your golf ball might roll back down the slope, and end up stopping far beyond where you initially putted it from. Missing a putt from a “Below The Hole” position can lead to a really difficult second chance putt.

However, it is generally preferable to putt a golf ball that is “Below The Hole” than a ball that is “Above The Hole”, simply because it is easier to control the speed of the ball when you are putting up a slope rather than down a slope.

In fact, when you putt a golf ball uphill, it slows the golf ball down, thanks to gravity, provided the slope is significant enough. This means that you can safely hit the ball firmly without risking too much of an overshoot.

On the other hand, putting a ball on a flat surface, at “hole level”, is still preferable to having to putt a ball “below the hole”.

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 the surface is flat, or the ball is “Below The Hole” rather than “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 “Below The Hole”.

golf ball below the hole
Example of a golf ball “Below The Hole”

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

You can tell how tricky of a putt it is to hole a ball “Below The Hole”, as the slope can easily send your ball flying back down it if you do not use enough power to strike the ball. If the putting area behind the hole sloped down, it would be an even trickier putt to hole.

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

Origin Of The Term “Below The Hole”

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

For example, if the golf hole is located 25 yards above sea level, and the golf ball is only 20 yards above sea level, the vertical position of the ball will be lower than that of the hole.

In such a case, the golf ball will literally be “Below 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 “Below The Hole” means in golf.

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