Explaining the 'High Side' or 'Pro Side' of the Golf Hole

When you hear a golfer (or a golf announcer on television or streaming service) talk about the "high side" or "pro side" of the hole, what does that mean? We often hear the term as part of the expression "he missed it on the high side," or "if you're going to err, err on the pro side." So let's go into this a bit and explain how golfers use these terms.

Basically, the "high side" or "pro side" of the hole is the side of the hole that a putt breaks from. If a putt breaks to the right, then it is breaking from the left, meaning the left side of the hole is the high side. If the putt breaks to the left, then it is breaking from the right, making the right side the high side.

If the green (or at least the part of the green into which the hole is cut) slopes from your left to your right as you stand over your golf ball, then the putt is going to break left-to-right. And the area around the left edge of the hole will be, literally, slightly higher than the area around the right edge. Conversely, if the green slopes from your right to your left as you stand over the ball, the putt will break from right-to-left. And it's then the right side of the hole that is the high side, or pro side.

"High side" is the original term, but "pro side" has been catching up in popularity in recent years. And "pro side" is used because "regular" golfers tend not to play enough break, causing putts to break in front of the cup (on the "low side" or "amateur side"). And as we all know, if your ball doesn't reach the cup, it can't go in.

Missing on the low side, instead of the high side, is something that particularly irks pro golfers because it means they didn't get the putt to the hole ("he never got that one high enough," an announcer might say).

Here is more explanation in video form:

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