Definition of 'Below the Hole' in Golf

"Below the hole" is an expression used by golfers and by golf media that applies to a golf ball that is in a position such that when the golfer putts, she'll be putting that ball uphill.

When watching broadcasts of golf tournaments, viewers will sometimes hear an announcer say things along the lines of "he must leave this ball below the hole" or "that ball stopped below the hole."

"Below the hole" describes the position of a golf ball in relation to the cup, or hole, once the ball is on the green. A ball that is below the hole is one that is sitting lower than, or downward from or downhill from, the hole.

This happens when the putting green slopes, or when the hole is cut in a portion of the green that slopes.

In such cases, being below the hole with your approach shot or lag putt is the desired position because it leaves you with an uphill putt.

If the ball is "above the hole," then the golfer faces a downhill putt. And uphill putts are much easier to control in terms of speed than downhill putts, which makes being below the hole the desired position on sloping greens.

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