What Is The Green In Golf?

If you’re just beginning to play golf, then there will be a large number of terms that you need to learn and understand.

One of the most common terms you will hear is “green” and this is also one of the most important to understand.

What Is The Green In Golf

Every golf course has several greens as they are the areas that contain the golf hole and flagstick. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at what a green is in golf.

What Is The Green In Golf?

The green is part of a golf course and it is possibly the most important. When you play a hole of golf and tee off, the green (also known as the putting green) is your target. It’s where the golf hole and flagstick that marks the end of each hole are placed. 

It doesn’t matter where the golf course is or how many holes it has, every hole has a green. The green needs to be tough enough to take a lot of abuse from players and golf balls alike.

It needs to stand up to full shots hit from hundreds of yards away but should also be smooth enough to allow players to predict how a ball will roll as they put and head for the hole.

How Large Are Greens?

These can vary widely depending on the course. They’re typically between 300 meters squared to 400 meters squared (1000 square feet to 1300 square feet) but some can stretch for as much as 600 meters squared (2000 square feet.)

The size of the greens are dictated by a number of factors. One of the most important is the design of the course and the possible pin positions that are available.

Greens also need to be designed so that they can be easily maintained, so there needs to be the space for a ride on a mower to turn without running the risk of damaging the grass. 

The Different Types Of Greens

Although every hole on every course has a green, there are different types of greens. They all serve the same basic purpose but they have a few different features.

Double Greens

Double greens are very large greens that get their name because they serve two different holes on the course at the same time.

This means that a double green has two holes and two flagsticks. They’re large enough for two different groups of golfers to play through at the same time, one group for each hole.

These are pretty rare in the United States although you may find them on parkland-style courses. You’re more likely to find double greens on older courses in Europe, particularly in the UK and Ireland.

Alternate Greens

While double greens are one green that serves two holes, alternate greens are the other way around. They’re two different greens that serve a single hole. 

It’s very rare to find alternate greens on 18-hole courses although they do exist. You’re more likely to come across alternate greens on a 9-hole course.

In these cases, they’re typically marked as different courses that can be played. For example, one set of the greens will be marked with red flags and the other set with blue.

This means that golfers can play the course through on the red set of greens and then play a second time with blue set of greens. This gives two different experiences of playing the same 9-holes.

Maintaining courses with alternate greens is difficult so even on 9-hole courses, these are pretty rare.

Crowned Green

Crowned greens are known by a variety of other names such as turtleback greens, domed greens, and tortoise-shell greens.

As you may be able to guess from these other names, crowned greens have their highest point near the center. They then slope down from this high point to the outer edges. This gives them a domed appearance. 

Punchbowl Green

Punchbowl greens are easy to remember because their name relates to how they are structured. They’re putting surfaces that look like bowls as they sit within a depressed or hollow area.

Usually, the bottom of the punchbowl is the putting surface. There are mounds around three-quarters of the bowl and one side of the bowl is left flat and open. This allows golfers to hit their balls into the punchbowl green.

Punchbowl greens served a purpose in the past as they helped with moisture and irrigation problems. Due to modern techniques and designs, their purpose has largely been eliminated but they can still be included on courses as an interesting design feature.

The Other Parts Of A Golf Course

Now that we know what a green is, what about the other parts of the golf course? Let’s take a look.


Every hole begins at the tee box. This is where you place your golf ball and start playing the hole. There are often different markers for tees which correspond to different skill levels.


The tee is where the hole begins and the green is where it finishes. The fairway is the stretch of grass between the two and it is usually around 30 to 50 yards in length.

It’s a well-maintained piece of land and if you can’t make the green from the tee, you should aim for the fairway.


Rough is used to describe areas around the course that have longer grass. They usually surround the fairway and if your ball lands in the rough, you will find it far more difficult to hit the ball than if it was on the fairway or green.


This includes features made to make your golfing life as difficult as possible. You want to avoid hazards such as sand bunkers and water at all costs.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we defined what a green is in golf. We took a look at the different types of greens and how large they typically are.

Hopefully, the information in this article has answered all of the questions you might have about golfing greens!

Garratt Shmidt
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