How To Read A Pin Sheet [Tournament and Basic]

A pin sheet in golf is something every golfer, pro, amateur or otherwise, encounters at some golf courses, but not all, particularly in a golf tournament of significance. The purpose of this pin sheet is to let the golfer know the location of the hole on the putting green; that is, it tells them whether the hole is at the front, middle or back of each of the 18 holes.

However, reading a pin on a golf placement sheet is a bit complex, especially for beginners, and requires careful consideration. In this regard, this article intends to answer the question: How do you read a pin on a golf placement sheet?

But before that, it is important to understand the structure or format of the pin sheet.

How Does the Golf Pin Sheet Look?

Depending on the level of the players in the event, the pins can be set more difficult or easier. The circles on the sheet represent the greens. Those circles do not attempt to show the actual green or any hazards in the surrounding.

pin sheet for a golf course

However, depending on who is putting on the tournament, it may be pretty close to the exact. Regardless of who is putting, each circle has a straight horizontal line and one straight vertical line, meeting with each other making a right angle with two numbers on each circle. So, how does this all make sense?

Number On A Pin Sheet

The numbers written along the line running from front to back represent the paces from the front of the green. The term ‘pace’ is used in the pin sheet to represent the ‘yards,’ which golfers apply to the approach shot back in the fairway.

yardage books with actual yardage

The numbers written along the running line from one side of the green to the other represent how many paces from the left or right edge of the green. These paces represent the pin location on the green, called the pin placement. If there are more paces on the diagram, it means the hole location is closer to the back of the green. Line starting from the left edge represents paces from the left edge and vice versa.

Numbers Are Yards

One pace equals one yard. This helps you get the exact yardage to the pin when you don’t have a laser rangefinder. You can use the yardage found on sprinkler heads, or off a GPS device showing the middle, center or front of the green. Using that information combined with the yardage on the sheet, you can find your actual distance.

golf pin sheets showing exactly how many yards the flag is on the green

So for example. If you have 130 yards to the front of the green. And the pin location is 12 paces on the green. You can add those two numbers together and see that the yardage you have to the pin is 148 yards.

But how do you know if the paces are to be measured from the left or the right side of the green?

How Do You Locate The Hole On Pin Sheets?

The small numbers on the left side of each circle represent the Hole numbers, whereas the handwritten number on the left of each green represents the green depth in paces. Thus you have to look clockwise at holes, 1,7,8,2. Hole 7 at the upper right of the circle is at 42 paces from front to back.

The vertical line on each circle starts from the 6 o’clock position and goes halfway up, having a number next. The number at the vertical line shows how far the hole is cut from the front of the green. For the same hole 7, the cup is 27 paces far from the green.

pin sheet with the depth of the green

The horizontal line shows how far the flag is positioned from the edge of the green. For example, the hole is 6 paces from the edge of hole 7. It is 6 paces from the right edge if 6 is written on the right of the vertical line or right half of the circle.

The measurement is listed from the side the horizontal line touches. For example, in the pin sheet, the bottom green to the left is Hole 4. If the horizontal line starts from the left side of the circle, the hole is cut certain paces from the left side of that particular green, which is 12 paces in the case of Hole 4. Remember that a hole that is 27 paces deep is cut 11 spaces from the front edge on a green.

For hole 1, you will notice that CTR is written instead of a number on the pin chart, at the lower left, above the horizontal line, representing the cup is in the center of the green from left-to-right. Thus, for Hole 1, the green is 34 paces deep, the cup is 29 paces and centered from the edge and left-to-right, respectively.

If you look at Hole 2 above, you’ll find that it is 29 paces deep, where the cup is 9 paces and 7 paces from the front edge, and the left edge, respectively.

pin sheet shows the golf pin locations and total depth of the green

Thus, a golf pin sheet looks quite complicated at first, but once you understand the meanings of the numbers representing the distance of the holes, you can get some precise measurements in terms of yardages that will help you determine the yards from a position back in the fairway to the flagstick. So, a pin sheet comes in handy during tournaments and is not just a fancy piece of paper!

For example, a golfer’s ball sits next to the 150-yard marker in the fairway. Since the measurements are to the center of the green, the golfer’s ball is 150 yards from the center of the green. If the golfer plays Hole 3 and consults the pin sheet for it, they’ll find that the pin is cut 23 paces from the front, and Hole 3 is 38 paces deep.

This way, the golfer knows the exact yardage, which is 154 yards. But how? 4 more yards are added to the 150 yards since the green is 38 paces deep, making the center 19 paces from the front of the green. But the pin is cut 23 paces from the front, that is, 4 yards beyond the center.

Tournament Pin Sheet vs Basic Pin Sheet

A basic pin sheet is one that you will find attached to a golf cart at many local golf courses. The most basic of them will have a picture of a green split into thirds, with a 1, 2 and 3 on each third. This is then repeated for all 18 greens.

pretty simple pin location for most golfers showing pin positions

Each green will have the numbers on a different third of the green. And when you start your round the club house will tell you what number the pins are that day. If they say that today’s pin sheets are number 2, then the hole location will be in the third of each green with the 2 on it. These can also be known as a hole location chart.

How To Fold A Pin Sheet

A pin sheet can be folded anyway you want, there is no requirement on how it must be folded. But there is a way that makes the most sense and can make it easier to use. Follow along with our pin sheet example below.

How To Read A Pin Sheet Conclusion

We hope the information above has answered the question, how do you read a pin sheet on a golf placement sheet? If you get a chance to play in a tournament, this pin sheet will allow you to know the depth and width of the green and the hole’s exact location.

With that information and a little skill, you may be able hit closer approach shots and make more birdies!

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