If you've ever watched a golf tournament or scoured a pro golf leaderboard, then you've probably seen statistics about a player's performance throughout an event. No doubt, then, you've seen the abbreviation "GIR" or "G.I.R." and tried to figure out what that statistic means.
What does GIR stand for in golf?
GIR stands for "greens in regulation," and it's a common statistic that has been used for decades to measure a golfer's performance.
A golfer achieves a green in regulation when they land their golf ball on the putting surface of a hole in the prescribed number of shots against the par of that hole.
- On a par 3, a player has accomplished a green in regulation if they hit and hold the green with their tee shot -- their first shot of the hole.
- On a par 4, a player has to hit the green with their first or second shot to hit the green in regulation.
- On a par 5, a player has to hit the green with their first, second or third shot to hit the green in regulation.
For a player to hit a green in regulation, the ball must remain on the putting surface in the number of strokes required or better. The ball cannot be on the fringe or near, but not on, the green for it to count.
What does GIR tell us about a golfer's performance?
When a player hits a lot of GIRs, or greens in regulation, they're making the game look pretty easy. They're giving themselves plenty of chances to score birdies and eagles with putting, which is a whole lot easier than trying to score them by chipping, pitching or blasting sand shots out of bunkers. Hitting GIRs means birdie and eagle putts, and that's a good thing.
However, GIR doesn't tell the whole story. Hitting a green in regulation is great, but not all GIRs are created equal. If a player hits a green in regulation but their ball is 90 feet away from the hole, that's not as good as hitting a green in regulation and leaving the ball 10 feet from the hole.