Golf Terminology and Glossary

ACE – Golfers term for a hole in one!!

ADDRESS – The position a golfer takes before hitting the ball or taking a swing.

ALBATROSS – Outdated term for an Eagle, or a hole played 3 under par.

APPROACH – The shot that puts your ball on the Green. Usually hit from less than 150 yards and hit with an Iron

BACKSPIN – A ball with backspin hits the ground and stops, or rolls backwards a bit before stopping.

BACKSWING – The first portion of the swing where the golfer raises the club backwards away from the ball. Also referred to as the takeaway.

BAIL OUT – A shot taken in order to avoid a dangerous part of a hole. Instead of aiming over a sand trap one might aim to either side, in order to avoid the trap.

BALL MARKER – A coin, flat object, or any other item used to mark the spot of a ball before the ball is picked up by a player.

BALL RETRIEVER – A telescopic pole with a scoop on the end to retrieve a ball hit into the water.

BALL WASHER – Device found at each hole used to clean golf balls.

BASEBALL GRIP – A grip where all 10 fingers are on the golf club.

BEACH – A golfers term for a sand trap.

BENT GRASS – Golf course grass found mostly on northern golf courses.

BERMUDA GRASS – Golf course grass found mostly on southern courses.

BIRDIE – Finishing a hole using one less shot than Par.

BITE – Term used to describe the action of a ball as it lands on the ground and stops quickly, thus appearing to bite the ground in order to stop.

BOGEY – Finishing a hole using one more shot than Par.

BUNKER – Golfers term for a sand trap.

CADDIE – A caddie carries your golf clubs, provides assistance with rules, and offers advice with respect to course conditions.

CARRY – A term that refers to how far a ball must fly in the air in order to miss a hazard.

CASUAL WATER – Water left on the ground after a heavy rain. A temporary water hazard from which a golfer can take Relief.

CHIP SHOT – A very short shot used when a golfer is very close to the Pin but not yet on the green.

CHIP IN – This occurs when the golfer who has just played a chip shot and put it in the hole.

CHOKE – This term refers to the grip on a golf club. Choking up means to move your hands closer to the top of the club while choking down means to move your hands further down the club.

CHOP – Striking the ball with an incorrect swing.

CLUBHEAD – This part of the golf club is located at the opposite end of the grip.

CLUBHOUSE – The part of the golf course where you can find the Pro Shop, Restaurant, and Bar.

COURSE RATING – This is referred to as the difficulty level of the course. The higher the number the harder the course.

CUP – This is object of each hole played. We try to putt the ball into the cup..

DIMPLE – The small indentations found on a golf ball.

DIVOT – A clump of grass taken by a golf swing. This is usually done to get under the ball and put some back spin on it.

DOGLEG – Refers to the layout of a hole. If the hole starts out straight and curves to the right this is referred to as a dogleg right.

DOUBLE BOGEY – A hole that is finished using 2 more strokes than Par.

DOUBLE EAGLE – A hole that is finished using 3 less strokes than Par. Scoring 2 on a Par 5 or a hole in one on a Par 4 will get you a Double Eagle.

DOWNHILL LIE – When you Approach the ball it is resting on a hill lower than your feet.

DRAIN – To make a putt on the first try.

DRAW SHOT – A designed shot in which the ball is hit in such a way that it moves from right to left.

DRIVE – Your first shot from the Tee Box. Usually hit using a “Driver” see below.

DRIVING RANGE – This is where players go to practice.

DRIVER – Also known as a 1 Wood, this is the biggest club in the bag and is used for hitting the ball as far as possible.

DROP -If a ball is hit OB (out of bounds) the golfer then stands where the ball went OB and Drops another ball into play.

DUFFER – A poor golfer. This term is reserved for experienced golfers who still play poorly.

EAGLE – A hole that is played using 2 less shots than Par.

FACE – The part of the golf club that makes contact with the ball.

FADE – Same as a Draw but the ball moves from left to right.

FAIRWAY – The area directly between the Tee box and the Green.

FAT SHOT – This is a poor shot where the club head makes contact with the ground far before it hits the ball. This shot robs the golfer of distance since the club head speed is greatly reduced by the ground.

FLAGSTICK – This is the flag which marks the Cup on every hole.

FLAT STICK – Another name for a putter.

FOLLOW-THROUGH – The remainder of the swing after the club face has made contact with the ball.

FORE – A warning term yelled to other golfers alerting them of an incoming golf ball that might hit them.

FOURSOME – This is the preferred number of people playing a round of golf. 4

FREE DROP – A drop where you are not penalized by a stroke. Man made hazards, ground under repair, and casual water are all instances where a Free Drop can be used.

FRINGE – The patch of taller grass outlining the green.

FRONT SIDE – Refers to the first nine holes on a golf course.

GIMME – When a group of golfers decides to allow each other to pick up the last putt only when it is within a certain number of inches from the cup. In other words, when a golfer putts his ball a few inches from the hole the other golfers may say “that’s a gimme” and allow the golfer to pick it up.

GRAIN – The direction that the grass on the green is growing. Usually grows toward the setting sun.

GREEN – The putting service of any hole on a course.

GRIP – How a golfer holds his club.

GROSS – Total number of strokes taken during a round by a player.

GROUNDING THE CLUB – Positioning the club head behind the ball as the golfer addresses the ball.

GROUND UNDER REPAIR – An area of the course that is currently under repair. A free drop may be used.

HACKER – An unskilled golfer.

HANDICAP – A number given to a golfer in order to even the playing field. The number is the amount of strokes that can be deducted from a scorecard.

HAZARD – Any area on a golf course designed to make the golfer work harder. Sand, water, and rough are all hazards.

HEEL – The part of the club head closest to the shaft.

HOLE – Same as cup above.

HOLE HIGH – An approach shot with the right distance but lacking in accuracy.

HOLE-IN-ONE – Sinking a ball into a cup on your first shot.

HONORS – The golfer who finishes the hole with the least amount of strokes gets to Tee Off first on the next hole. He has honors.

HOOK – To hit the ball and have it move drastically from right to left.

HOSEL – the hollow part of the club head that the shaft fits into.

INTERLOCKING GRIP – A type of grip where 2 fingers interlock on the club.

IRON – 1-9, PW, and SW are all Irons. Not Woods!

JAIL – A shot that is very difficult to play. If your ball is under a bush and almost impossible to play you are said to be “in jail”.

JUNGLE – When a ball lands in the woods or a heavy rough you are said to be in the Jungle.

KICK – This is what the ball does when it hit’s the ground. It can kick right, which means hop the the right when it lands, kick left, or hop forward.

LAG – On long putts or dangerous downhill putts sometimes a golfer will leave the ball short intentionally in order to have an easy second putt. This is referred to as a lag putt.

LATERAL HAZARD – Water running all along a Fairway is considered a lateral hazard. Basically the hazard runs along the entire hole and not just a portion of the hole.

LIE – The position a ball is in after it has come to rest. If the ball is in thick rough you then have a bad lie.

LINKS – The holes on a golf course run along side each other in order to conserve space. Fairways are divided by shrubs or other man made obstacles.

LIP – The uppermost edge of the Cup.

LOB SHOT – A high shot intended to land a ball on the green with very little forward roll.

LOCAL RULES – The rules set forward by a specific golf course.

LOFT – This is the angle of a club face from perpendicular.

MATCH PLAY – This is where players compete for a point on the hole. The winner of the hole gets one point. Most points win.

MEDAL (STROKE) PLAY – The winner is determined by least number of strokes.

MEMBERS BOUNCE – This is when a ball takes a good kick as it lands. Instead of hitting the tree and going OB the ball hits the tree and kicks back into play.

MULLIGAN – An extra shot offered by a golfer to another in the event of a really bad shot. We suggest setting limits on mulligans like one per every nine holes played to be used at the golfers discretion.

MUNICIPAL COURSE – A public course owned by the city or county.

NASSAU – This is like match play except there are winners for the front nine, back nine, and overall total. 1 point for each.

NINETEENTH HOLE – Golfers term for the clubhouse, or bar after the round.

OUT-OF-BOUNDS (OB) – An area marked unsuitable for play by the golf course. Any golfer hitting OB must hit again from the same spot or closest part to where the ball went OB.

OVERCLUBBING – Selecting a club that under normal conditions would send the ball further than desired. One might over club when facing into heavy winds.

PAR – Number of recommended stokes to complete a hole or round.

PENALTY STROKE – Additional stroke added to a golfers score for rule violations, OB shots, lost balls, or other situations.

PIN – Also referred to as a flagstick.

PITCH – Similar to the Lob Shot and designed to deliver the ball to the green without much forward roll.

PITCH AND RUN – A low trajectory shot usually carried out with a 7 Iron designed to keep the ball low and have it roll up on the green.

PLAYING THROUGH – When a faster set of golfers plays through a slower set ahead of them.

PRO SHOP – the golf course shop operated by the golf pro.

PROVISIONAL BALL – An additional ball hit by a player who is unsure they will locate their first ball. If the first ball is found it is played, if not the player is assessed a penalty stroke and plays the second ball.

PULL – A ball hit to the left of a target.

PUSH – A ball hit to the right of a target.

PUTT – A shot taken from the green using a putter.

PUTTER – Not a driver and not an Iron. Used to keep the ball rolling on a green.

READING THE GREEN – Figuring out which path the ball will roll across the putting surface.

ROUGH – The tall grass lining each side of the fairway.

ROUND – A complete game of golf. 18 holes.

RUN – How far the ball will roll once it has landed on the ground after flight..

SANDBAGGER – A golfer who underestimates their ability in order to win tournaments.

SAND TRAP – Proper name for the beach or a sand hazard.

SAND WEDGE – An Iron designed specifically to hit balls out of the sand.

SCRATCH GOLFER – Golfer with a 0 handicap. This player shoots even par almost every time out.

SHORT GAME – Shots are made from around the green. Usually chipping, putting, and other controlled shots.

STARTER – This is the person responsible for sending the golfers onto the course.

STIMPMETER – Term used to measure the speed of the greens. % is slow, 11 is fast.

STROKE – A term used to describe the swing of the club. Can also refer to the number of shots made.

SUDDEN DEATH – A way to determine the winner by playing additional holes in the event of a tie.

SUMMER RULES – Normal rules according to the rule book

SWEET SPOT – The center of the club face where the ball is supposed to make contact with the ball!

TAKEAWAY – Also referred to as the back swing of a Stroke.

TEE – A wooden peg designed to lift the ball off the ground. Also the starting point of any hole.

TEXAS WEDGE – When a golfer uses a putter from off the green.

THIN HIT – Hitting the ball too high. The player does not get the club face under the ball. Instead they hit the ball with the leading edge of the club.

THREESOME – A group of golfers with 3 players.

TIGHT FAIRWAY – Narrow fairway with little from for error.

TOE – The part of the club face farthest from the shaft.

TRAJECTORY – Path the ball takes through the air. Usually arc shaped on good shots.

TURN – The part of the round between the front nine and back nine.

UNDERCLUBBING – Selecting a club which under normal conditions would not provide enough distance to reach the target. This is usually done with a strong wind from behind.

UNPLAYABLE LIE – A golf ball that cannot be hit from its current position.

WAGGLE – The movements a golfer goes through prior to striking the ball. A warm up designed to keep the muscles loose before a shot.

WEDGE – An Iron with a steep loft designed to make high shots that land with little or no forward roll.

WHIFF – When a golfer attempts to swing at the ball and misses completely.

WINTER RULES – Special condition rules that allow a golfer to improve their lie.

WOOD – Larger clubs made of wood or metal used for distance shots.

WORMBURNER – This is a shot that has been hit too thin and never leaves the ground.