Golf Terms : A : Golf Terms
Address : The position that the player assumes when preparing to take a shot.
Albatross : Score of 3 under (below) par.
Airmail : Shot that carries completely over something. Similar to an airball in basketball. Example: I hit driver, 3 wood and then airmailed the green with my wedge.
Alignment : The direction in which the body and club are "lined up" as the player addresses the ball. Example: Normal alignment is parallel to the target. To visualize your
alignment, imagine your standing on railroad tracks. Your feet on one tack and your clubhead resting on the other.
Angle of Approach : The angle formed by the arc of the clubhead in relation to the slope of the ground when swinging at the ball. Example: a steep angle of approach is more likely to cause a large divot.
Approach Putt : A long putt that is not expected to go in, but instead is expected to finish close to hole.
Approach Shot : A shot intended to reach the green
Apron : The short grass that separates the putting green from rough or fairway. Usually fairly short but longer than the grass on the green.
Army Golf : A person is said to be playing 'army golf' when they hit the ball back and forth over the green. The term is derived from a drill sergeant yelling at his men Left! Right! Left! Right!. Example: Robert's drive got him into the green-side bunker but then he played army golf and scored a triple bogey.
Attend The Flag : Holding the pin/flagstick while a player makes his stroke ensuring that once contact is made with the ball the pin is removed from the hole to avoid any penalty strokes being assessed.
Away : Farthest from the hole. Example: John's drive was the shortest so he was away to hit his second shot.
Golf Terms : B : Golf Terms
Backdoor : The rearmost edge of the hole from the perspective of the player making the stroke. Example: We thought that John had missed the putt, but it fell in the backdoor.
Back Nine : The last 9 holes (numbers 10 through 18) of an 18 hole golf course. Example: I played a little better on the back nine (backside) than on the front.
Backspin : Reverse rotation on the ball causing the ball to roll back towards the shooter once it lands on the green.
Backswing : The first movement of the golf club away from the ball and target) in the golf swing. Preparing for the downswing.
Bag : The container (usually made of some kind of fabric or leather) in which a player carries their clubs.
Bailout : To play or aim away from trouble. Example: Seeing the water hazard on the right side of the hole, Julie decided to bail out into the left rough.
Balata : Rubber like material (dried juice of a tree) used for making the outermost layer of a golf ball (the cover) softer. The advantage of balata balls is that they tend to spin better and offer more feel. The disadvantage is that they are not very durable.
Ball Mark : The depression that a ball makes when it strikes the putting green. Example: Golf etiquette dictates that ball marks/pitch marks should be repaired to the best of the player's ability.
Ball Marker : Usually a small, flat object (like a dime) used to mark the ball's position while other players putt and/or the ball is cleaned.
Ball Position : The position of the ball in relation to a player's stance and the target at address.
Ball Washer : A mechanical device for cleaning golf balls. Ball washers are found near/at the tee of most holes.
Beach : Any sand-filled hazard. Often found near a putting green or around the landing area of the fairway. Example: Doug's approach shot fell short of the green and in to the beach?
Bent Grass : A very smooth, fine-bladed grass often used for putting greens, especially in cooler weather areas.
Best Ball : A type of golf game/tournament where the best score of two, three or four golfers (however many there are on each team) on each hole is used in calculating the final score of the team.
Birdie : A score of one under (less than) par for any hole. Example: Steve made a birdie (4) on the par 5 15th hole.
Bite : A command issued to the ball by a player who wants his/her ball to stop rolling/bouncing. Often yelled out loud or muttered under ones breath. Usually used on an approach shot.
Blade : The leading edge of an iron. Example: Hitting the ball on the sweet spot is preferable to hitting it with the blade of the club.
Blade : When the ball is contacted with the leading edge instead of the face of the club as intended. A low trajectory shot with less than the usual amount of spin. Example: He hit a good drive, but then bladed his wedge shot.
Blast : A shot that removes a large amount of sand or earth in addition to the ball. Example: As Adrian blasted out of the bunker we couldn't see him for the wall of sand.
Block : A shot that is pushed (to the right for a right-handed player) due to an open face and/or an inside-out swing path through impact
Blocks : The blocks/markers used to indicate the tee area from which the first shot is taken on any hole. Example: The rules allow you to tee your ball up within two club lengths of the tee blocks, but not ahead of them.
Bogey : A score of one over (more than) par for a hole.
Bounce : The angle of the sole of a club (usually an iron) in relation to horizontal. Example: Many sand wedges have a large flange to promote significant bounce.
Break : The curve of a putt due to the slope of the putting green. Example: It was amazing! Jim read the six foot right to left break and sunk the thirty foot putt.
Bump and Run : A shot that is designed to roll farther than it flies. Usually used near the green in order to get close to the pin. Example: Sean chipped the ball onto the green and it rolled to within 6 inches of the cup.
Bumping It : Altering the ball's position, or the way it rests on the ground, so as to make the it easier to contact cleanly. Unless agreed upon by players before hand or part of local/seasonal rules this is illegal and penalty strokes may apply.
Bunker : A large depression in the ground usually, but not always, filled with sand.
Golf Terms : C : Golf Terms
Cabbage : Very deep, thick rough off the fairway (resembling cabbage).
Caddy : Someone who carries a players bag of clubs and/or advises a player with the details of the course yardage, breaks, hazards, recommended clubs/shots to play.
Card : Used to record the players score for each hole. Also contains information about each hole (par, distance, difficulty, etc.).
Carry : The distance a ball travels or must travel in the air in order to clear something or reach some destination. (you have to carry 210 yards to clear the water).
Cast : A manufacturing process for golf clubs where the clubhead is poured into a mold in molten state.
Casual Water : A temporary accumulation of water (water that is not marked/staked either out of bounds or as a hazard that is visible before or after a player takes their stance). The Rules of Golf state that you may take relief from casual water no nearer to the hole.
Chili Dip : When a chip or pitch shot is hit a much shorter distance than intended/expected.
Chip : A shot that is designed to roll (run) farther than it flies (usually, but not always, from near the green) Example: My chip/chip and run/chip and roll shot hit the pin and dropped in.
Choke : A derogatory term for poor performance under pressure or in a crucial situation (usually associated with nervousness).
Choke Down : Gripping farther down the grip or handle of the club. Similar to choking up on a baseball bat.
Chopper : An erratic and/or unskilled golfer whose technique often results in large divots being left on the fairway.
Chunk : To hit the ground before the ball, usually resulting in the ball not going as far as intended. Example: That ball would have cleared the water if you hadn't chunked it.
Claw Grip : An unconventional method of gripping a putter. Popularized by PGA Tour player Chris Dimarco the fingers of the bottom hand are on top of the grip rather than on the bottom.
Closed : Can apply to the alignment of the body/stance or the clubface - for a right-handed player the stance would be closed if the body were aligned to the right of the target and a closed clubface would be aimed to the left of the target
Clubface : The striking surface, or the lofted part of the clubhead that makes contact with the ball.
Clubhead : The most massive part of the club at the bottom end (opposite the grip or handle) of the shaft. The front of the clubhead ideally makes contact with the ball. Example: Some modern day drivers have huge clubheads.
Clubhead Speed : The speed that the clubhead travels through impact of the ball.
Coil : The turning of the body away from the target during the backswing in an effort to coil the body like a spring before beginning the downswing.
Collar : The short grass that separates the putting green from rough or fairway. Example: Having just missed the green on my approach shot I decided to putt from the collar.
Committee : The person or group in charge of the competition, or if not in competition, the person or group in charge of the course Example: The Committee has determined that for today's tournament Winter Rules will govern play.
Compression : 1. The resilience of a golf ball 2. the flattening of the golf ball when contacted by the club. Golf balls come in 80, 90, 100 or 110 compression. The higher the number the more force required to flatten the side of the golf ball at impact.
Connected : Slang term used to describe good/solid impact with the ball. Example: On the par four third hole John really connected with his driver and put the ball on the green!
Course Management : The use of strategy, or a thoughtful plan, taking into consideration the layout and characteristics of the course while emphasizing personal strengths and accommodating personal weaknesses to make one's way more effectively around a golf course.
Course Rating : An evaluation of the difficulty of a course for a scratch player (expressed in relation to the par of the course) Example: A course with a rating of 71.2 is more difficult than a course rated 69.
Cross Bunker : A long or wide bunker that crosses the fairway rather than running adjacent or parallel to the fairway. Example: I didn't know if I could carry the cross bunker, so I laid up short of it with an iron shot.
Cross-Handed : A grip where (for right-handers) the left hand would be the lowest hand instead of the right (most often used when putting for additional control). Example: Steve was putting so badly that he decided to switch to a cross-handed grip to see if that would improve things.
Cup : The base and liner or sleeve inside the hole that holds the flagstick in place. Example: You can hear the ball rattle around in the cup when you make a putt, and that's a sweet reward.
Cupped : when the back of the left hand, wrist and forearm (right-handed player) do not approximate flat at the top of the back swing - wrist joint is extended (back of hand is bent up toward back of forearm) to some degree. Example: Most of the time if your left hand is overly cupped at the top, the clubface will be open at impact.
Cut : 1. A shot which (for a right-handed player) curves gently from left to right. 2. The required score to qualify for further play in a tournament 3. Refers to the act cutting the hole into the putting green surface (done by the greens staff). Example: 1. Many times a cut shot will land more softly than a draw. 2. Unless she birdies 2 of the last 3 holes she will miss the cut. 3. The hole was cut so tight that the pin appeared to be off the green.
Golf Terms : D : Golf Terms
Dance Floor : The putting surface/green. The surface into which the cup is cut on each hole. Example: Wow, that's going to be a tough putt, but at least you're on the dance floor.
Depth Charge : A putt that is lagged very softly down a particularly fast slope, trickling ever so slowly as gravity works on it (like a depth charge sinking slowly in the water). Example: The downhill slope was like putting on ice so I just threw a depth charge down there and prayed.
Deuce : A score of 2 on a hole. Example: He pitched in for a deuce on the par four 7th.
Dimples : The indentations on the surface of a golf ball which increase friction, promote spin and lift.
Dip : An undesirable downward movement of the spine and head during the swing. Example: He had a pronounced dip in his downswing and as a result frequently shanked the ball.
Divot : A portion of turf that is ripped out of the ground by the head of the club during a swing (regardless of whether the ball is contacted or not).
Dogleg : A hole on which the fairway has an angle, turn or bend in it like a dog's rear leg. Example: The par 4 9th hole is a 465 yard dogleg left.
Dog Track : A derogatory term for a run-down, poorly maintained or poorly designed golf course. Example: Man! For a private country club that course is a dog track.
Dormie : A match play situation where one player or team is ahead (or Up) by the same number of holes as are remaining in the match (meaning that the other player or team can tie the match, at best, but cannot win) Example: Our match was dormie/dormy by the time we reached the 14th hole.
Double Bogey : A score of two over (more than) par on any hole.
Double Break : A putt with two distinctive breaks, or curves, on the ball's path/line to the hole. Example: On the fifth green Doug sized up his putt and determined that it was a double breaker. First left and then right.
Double Cross : When a player attempts to make a shot curve, or bend, in one direction and it curves in the opposite direction. Example: Eric lined up to the left, anticipating his usual slice, but was seriously disappointed when he hit the dreaded double cross, sending the ball out of bounds to the left.
Double Eagle : A score of 3 under (less than) par on any hole. Example: Adrian hit a monster drive on the par 4 fourth hole and put it in the hole for a double eagle/albatross.
Double Sandy : When one plays an approach shot from a fairway bunker into a greenside bunker, then holes the ball in two from there (3 total strokes from the fairway bunker) Example: She made par on the sixteenth hole with a double sandy.
Down : 1. Playing the ball as you find it, with no alteration of its position or condition. 2. Behind in a match (usually counted by holes in match play, but could also apply to the number of strokes a player is behind their opponent). Example: Playing the ball down/as it lies is the usual state of affairs, but in particularly bad weather exceptions are sometimes made. 2. Dr. Jenkins was down by three strokes to his wife after just the first five holes.
Downhill Lie : When the ball rests on a downhill slope in the intended direction of play.
Downswing : The portion of the swing that starts from the top, or end, of the backswing and reverses movement and momentum back in the direction of the ball and target.
Drain : To sink a putt. Example: Ted drained a thirty five foot putt for birdie.
Draw : A shot that curves gently from right to left (for a right-handed player). Example: Some holes favor a draw given their layout.
Drive : The first shot on a par 4 or par 5 (most commonly used in reference to the driver or #1 wood). Example: I hit the best drive of my life on the last hole the other day.
Driver : The number 1 wood.
Driving Iron : An alternate name for a number 1 iron.
Driving Range : An area, separate from the golf course, designated for hitting practice balls.
Drop : When the ball is released by hand (with an extended arm at shoulder height) and put back in play after being lifted under various situations within the rules of golf. Example: She took a free drop away from the obstruction.
Dub : A badly misplayed shot, usually associated with the ball never leaving the ground (or taking a small hop and not traveling any real distance) resulting from hitting the top or side of the ball or hitting the ground well behind the ball.
Duck Hook : A shot that curves abruptly and severely right to left (right-handed player). Example: Timothy tried to kill his drive on the first hole and ended up with an ugly duck hook.
Duffer : An unskilled golfer.
Golf Terms : E : Golf Terms
Eagle : A score of 2 under (less than) par on any hole.
Embedded Ball : A ball stuck in the ground as a result of its impact. Example: As part of the rules of golf you are permitted to lift, clean and then drop an embedded ball without penalty.
Etiquette : The unwritten rules of behavior, manners etc. surrounding golf. Example: Observance of the proper golf etiquette is very important to some players.
Even Par : Anytime one's score is the same as, or equivalent to par during, or at the conclusion of a round of golf.
Explosion Shot : A shot that removes a large amount of sand in addition to the ball, as from a buried lie in a bunker.
Golf Terms : F : Golf Terms
Face : 1. The hitting surface of the clubhead. 2. The sloped surface of a bunker that is (usually) toward the player setting up for a shot. Example: 2. The shot was right on line, but ended up buried in the face of the bunker.
Fade : A gently curving shot from left to right (right-handed player). Opposite to a draw.
Fairway : The closely mown area between the tee and green.
Fairway Bunker : A sand or deep grass hazard situated in, or adjacent to, the fairway.
Fairway Wood : A wood other than the driver, or 1 wood.
Fan : Missing the ball completely when trying to make contact.
Fat : Hitting the ground before the ball, usually resulting in the ball not going as far as intended.
Feel : The sensation of, or level sensitivity for, playing shots in golf. Especially with respect to short game shots including putting. Example: She had great feel/touch for soft pitches and bunker shots.
Flag : A rectangular fabric banner atop the pin or flagstick to make the location of the hole more visible from a distance.
Flagstick : A slender pole, usually about 7 feet in height, with a flag on it placed inside the cup to mark the location of the hole.
Flange : The bottom of an iron club (usually most associated with the sand wedge). Example: The sand wedge's flange allows the depth of the club head's penetration into the sand to be more controlled.
Flatstick : An alternate name for the putter.
Flat : A relatively shallow or more horizontal swing plane.
Flex : The relative strength (stiffness or softness) of a club shaft. Indicated as a numerical frequency however usually designated on the shaft of each club as follows: L-Ladies, A-Senior, R-Regular, S-Stiff, or X-Extra stiff. These examples are listed from most flexible to least flexible (most stiff). A faster clubhead speed is required to regularly benefit from the attributes of a stiffer shaft.
Flier : A shot that flies further than desired as a result of decreased backspin, often resulting from long grass or water between the ball and clubface at impact. Example: She sent a flier over the 6th green seriously putting in jeopardy her chance for par.
Flop Shot : A soft-landing, relatively vertical shot from close to the green (usually played with a sand wedge or lob wedge).
Fluffy : When the ball is sitting up in longish grass with a lot of air underneath it and a lot of grass surrounding it.
Follow-Through : The continuation of a golf stoke after contact is made with the ball. Often referred to as the second half of the swing.
Fore : Usually yelled loudly to warn golfers in range of the incoming flight of a ball.
Forecaddie : Persons situated in the general landing area of holes to help quickly identify a ball's position Example: Forecaddies are most commonly seen in major golf tournaments.
Forged : A process of manufacturing clubs where the clubhead is stamped or hammered and ground into shape with or without heat. Opposite of cast. Example: Forged irons have a softer feel than cast irons, as a general rule.
Forward Press : A slight movement of the hands and arms forward (in the direction of the target) to initiate or trigger the backswing.
Foursome : Four players playing together in a group. Example: My weekly foursome plays at noon on Monday.
Four-Ball : A match in which two 2-person teams compete against each other using the one best score from each side (commonly and mistakenly referred to as Best-Ball, which is actually one player competing against the better ball of two or three other players).
Frequency : A measurement of the relative flexibility, firmness, tension or strength of a club shaft.
Frequency Matched : Different club shafts in a single set of clubs that are of consistent flex as measured by a frequency analyzer.
Fried Egg : A lie (usually in a sand filled bunker) in which the ball is half buried and thus resembles a fried egg.
Fringe : The short grass that separates the putting green from rough or fairway.
Frog Hair : The short grass that separates the putting green from rough or fairway.
Front Nine : The first 9 holes (1-9) of an 18 hole golf course or round. Example: Julie played much better on the front nine than on the back.
Golf Terms : G : Golf Terms
Gallery : A group of spectators at any golf event. Usually the largest gallery surrounds the 18th green.
Gap Wedge : A lofted wedge that is usually designed to fill in the distance between the pitching wedge and sand wedge Example: My gap wedge has 52 of loft, whereas my pitching wedge and sand wedge have 48 and 56 respectively.
Gator Grip : An unusual method of gripping the putter where the fingers of the bottom hand are on top of the grip rather than on the bottom.
Gimme : A putt that is short enough in length to be certain to be holed with the next stroke. Example: Great putt Abby! That next one (the putt) is a gimme.
Go To School : To learn from another players shot. Most commonly associated with putting and specifically seeing how a putt on a similar line to your own will break or run.
Grain : The direction the grass is growing. Usually only of consequence with coarser grasses.
Grand Slam : The four major championships in golf are considered the "Grand Slam" events (Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship) To win all four major championships in one calendar year is called the Grand Slam. Example: In the 2000 season Tiger Woods won 3 of the 4 Grand Slam events falling one short of the Grand Slam.
Green : The most closely mown and smooth area on the course. Specifically prepared for putting and on which the hole is placed/cut. Example: Once you're on the green it is within the rules to mark, lift, clean and replace your ball.
Green Fee : The fee paid to play a course.
Grip : 1. The handle of a golf club (usually covered with rubber, leather, etc.) 2. The method of holding a golf club. Example: Don't let your grips get so worn that they become slippery. 2. The most widely used grip is called the overlapping grip.
Groove : Markings or lines etched into the face of a golf club to enhance spin direction and decrease hydroplaning Example: You should regularly clean the grooves on your clubs to ensure maximum spin.
Gross Score : The raw, actual or unadjusted score (strokes) before a handicap has been applied to ones score. Example: His score was 84 gross but once his handicap was applied he was 72 net.
Ground : The act of touching the club to the ground (earth). Example: A few professional players don't ground their club on any shot. or Grounding the club in a hazard will cost you a two stroke penalty.
Ground Under Repair : Any area of the course undergoing repair (usually marked with white lines). A player hitting into ground under repair is entitled to free relief under the rules of golf (one club length of the nearest point of complete relief. No nearer the hole.
Golf Terms : H : Golf Terms
Hack : 1. Chopping violently with an extreme downswing at the ball 2. An erratic and unskilled golfer who generally scores poorly and likely takes many divots.
Hacker : An erratic and unskilled golfer who generally scores poorly and likely takes many divots.
Half Shot : A shot played with less than a full swing, mainly to control distance although sometimes due to the fact that there is no room for a full follow through.
Hammer Hands : A player that does not have good sensitivity/touch for controlling the distance of their putts. Example: When Roman has a chance to win and he is nervous he gets hammer hands.
Handicap : The average difference between a player's scores and a set standard, as calculated by specified procedures and formulas. Example: A handicap/index is mainly used in tournaments and wagers so that players of different levels of proficiency can compete against one another, but is also a valid and objective way of measuring one's progress.
Hardpan : Very firm, unyielding ground. Especially if there is little grass. Example: You can find a lot of hardpan on hot dry plains courses which often results in tons of roll.
Hazard : Any bunker, water hazard (sea, lake, pond, ditch, etc.) or other obstacle that the golfer must deal with in order to arrive safely at the green. Hazards are marked on most courses with red stakes or lines (sometimes yellow)).
Head : The part of the club that is intended to make contact with the ball and is attached at the end of the shaft opposite the grip. Example: The head of the club had mud all over it.
Heel : 1. The part of the clubhead that is nearest the hosel or shaft. 2. The act of contacting the ball with the heel of the clubhead. Example: 1. Instead of contacting the ball on the sweetspot, I hit it on the heel. 2. I was trying to kill my approach shot but because I swung so hard, I heeled it.
Hold : When the ball stays near where it lands, not rolling forward very much if at all. To stay on the green after landing. Example: I was hoping my downwind 6 iron shot would hold the green.
Hole : 1. 41/4 Inch diameter hole in the green into which the ball is to be played. A flagstick with a flag is usually inserted so the approaching golfers can see more accurately where it is. 2. The entire length of the playing area from the teeing ground/tee deck to the putting green (all inclusive). There are 18 holes in a regulation round of golf.
Hole Out : To play the ball into the hole. Example: For me to break 80 all I had to do was hole out a 12 foot putt on the 18th.
Hole High : When the ball has traveled the correct distance and is even with the hole but off to one side (regardless of whether or not it's on the green). Example: Terry's approach shot was hole high but well to the right.
Hole In One : A score of 1 on any hole. Traditionally a golfer who scores a hole in one buys a round of drinks for everyone in the bar at the end of his/her round.
Home : To reach the green with a shot. Example: I got home in 2 shots on the par 5 18th hole.
Honor : The privilege of playing first from the tee. Usually the result of having the lowest score on the previous hole. (Note: In informal or casual play, especially when there are players following, the honor's importance is superseded by the need to play without delay, and hit when ready).
Hood : To lean the clubface forward (toward the target) reducing its loft.
Hook : A shot that travels from right to left (right-handed player). More severely than a draw. Example: He hooked his tee shot into the trees.
Hosel : The part of the clubhead into which the shaft is inserted.
Golf Terms : I : Golf Terms
Improved Lie : Altering the ball's position, or the way it rests (lies) on the ground, so as to make the it easier to contact cleanly. Often put into effect when course conditions are not acceptable for playing the ball as it lies, usually due to wet or soggy conditions. Example: It is against the rules to improve your lie/bump it unless the committee has invoked winter rules/preferred lies.
In : The last nine holes (10-18) of an eighteen hole golf course. Example: He had 43 going out and 40 coming in for a total score of 83.
In Play : Officially, the ball is in play once the tee shot comes to rest anywhere on the course. The opposite of In play is Out of play or out of bounds. 2. An informal expression used to indicate that the ball is Playable as it lies. Example: Her tee shot wasn't pretty, but it was in play.
Inside : 1. A term used to describe the position of a ball that is closer to the hole than another shot. 2. Closer to the body. Example: 1. Paul's shot was within 6 feet of the pin but Todd put his shot inside Paul's. 2. The natural arc of a backswing travels first along the target line and then inside the target line.
Inside Out : A swing path that travels from inside (As above) the target line to outside the target line. Example: If the clubface is square to the target line at impact an inside-out swing, or path, will result in a draw or a hook.
Interlocking Grip : A method of placing the hands on the club such that the index finger of the top hand (nearest the end of the handle or grip) and the pinky of the bottom hand hook together, intertwine or interlock
Intermediate Target : A real or imaginary target or reference point, that is on the line between the ball and the ultimate target (often but not always fairly close to the ball) to make alignment easier.
Iron : A club with a head made of steel or iron and a relatively narrow sole (usually somewhere between 16 and 65 degrees) and numbered 1 through a nine and including a variety of Wedges (sand wedge, lob wedge, pitching wedge). Example: I chose a 5 iron to play my approach shot.
Golf Terms : J : Golf Terms
Jack And Jill Event : A tournament played by teams consisting of men and women. Usually equal numbers of each on a team (i.e. one man and one woman or two of each).
Jail : An extremely difficult place from which to hit the golf ball safely. Often referred to when deep in the trees where the trees themselves look like the bars of a jail cell. Example: Paul sliced his drive badly and had to play his second shot from jail.
Jaws : The opening of the hole on a green. Specifically the front of the hole regardless of what direction the player is putting from. Specifically when a player leaves a putt just short of the hole. Example: He left it right in the jaws.
Jelly Legs : An affliction that affects some golfers when they have a short putt or have to drive off of a tee with a number of people watching.
Jerk : A golf shot that is pulled left of the intended target. Example: I was on the green in two but jerked my putt and only made par.
Jigger : The traditional pitching iron used to get out of deep rough. Usually shorter than the typical wedge.
Juice : When a ball is hit into the green and rolls in a direction other than that in which it was flying. Example: John's hit his wedge a good ten yards past the pin but the juice on the ball pulled it back to within three feet of the pin.
Juicy Lie : A lie anywhere other than the fairway where the ball is sitting up and easy to hit, offering a clean approach. Example: Pam sliced her drive off the tee into deep rough but when we got up to the ball she had a juicy lie that enabled her to hit a short iron into the green.
Jump : When a ball is struck and Jumps out hot traveling much faster and farther than would have normally been the case. Usually the result of a Flier lie.
Jump On It : To strike the ball with maximum force, with the hope of achieving maximum distance from the club used. Example: After duffing his drive, Ivan jumped all over it with his three wood and left it on the fringe of the green 265 yards away.
Jungle : Used to describe being in the middle of a lot of trees. Also, any place where you don't want to be due to the growth (i.e. rough, fescue, etc.).
Junior : A golfer who is below the age of majority. Usually defined at most clubs as 18 years old. Many clubs offer junior memberships at a discounted rate.
Junk : Reverse rotation on the ball causing the ball to roll back towards the shooter once it lands on the green.
Golf Terms : K : Golf Terms
Kick : The action of the golf ball bouncing. Usually off of a hill, rock, tree or cart path. Example: My 6 iron into the green was just off to the right but I got a great kick and ended up on the green.
Knee Knocker : A short putt that, for whatever reason, is challenging. For most average golfers a good example of a knee knocker is a 6 foot putt. Example: His chip shot was well played, but still left him with a knee knocker for par.
Knockdown : A shot played with less than a full swing.
Golf Terms : L : Golf Terms
Lag : A long putt not expected to go into the hole but instead to stop near the hole so as to leave a very make-able second putt. Example: I was just lagging it up there; I never thought it would go in.
Lateral : When the ball is ricocheted off the hosel or neck before it hits the clubface causing an errant trajectory (low and to the right for a right-handed player). Example: After a great drive he lateraled his approach shot into the water
Lateral Water Hazard : A water hazard which has been marked with red stakes or line. Indicates that a drop can be made at the point at which the ball crossed the hazard line (with 2 club lengths relief). Similar to any lateral hazard (such as trees or fence line) which also would be marked by red stakes.
Lay Up : A shot played to a particular location to allow for an easier subsequent shot or to keep the ball from going too far and getting into trouble. Example: I didn't hit a very good drive so I had to lay up to the water before trying my approach into the green.
Let The Big Dog Eat : Use the driver (the big dog). To swing away with the driver. Example: The next hole is a long par five but it is wide open so you can let the big dog eat.
Lie : 1. The quality, manner, style, way, or position of a ball on the ground (e.g., good lie, bad lie, downhill lie, uphill lie, sidehill lie, fluffy lie, etc.) 2. Can also refer to the number of strokes taken up to the current moment on a given hole when the ball is at rest. Example: My drive went into the rough but I had a pretty good lie and got onto the green without any trouble. 2. I was lying 3 and hitting four after I dropped out of the hazard.
Lie Angle : The angle between the sole of the club and the shaft from the face view (looking at the face of the club straight on). Example: I had my lie angles adjusted because my divots were too deep in the toe.
Line : 1. Direction, as indicated by a vertical plane. Especially the path on which the ball rolls, or will roll, en route to the hole. Example: Etiquette dictates that you should avoid stepping in someone's line, as a fresh footprint on the green could alter the ball's course and/or speed.
Line Up : 1. Position/direct/orient the body and/or club toward an intended target. 2. Assessing the direction of a shot or putt. Example: 1. She thought she had lined up straight but her shot was well right of the green. 2. The gallery was quiet as Weir lined up his eagle putt.
Links : 1. Originally referred to seaside courses, now used loosely to mean any golf course 2. (Links style course, Links course) an exposed, windswept (sometimes seaside) course characterized by gently rolling mounds/dunes and very few (if any) trees. Often the ninth hole is not near the clubhouse but in fact one of the farthest points from the clubhouse on the course. Example: Hey, let's hit the links after work. 2. Spanish Bay, on the Monterey Peninsula, is a links style course.
Lip : The top edge of the hole, above the cup as in the lip of a glass. Example: My putt hit the left lip and tried to spin out but ended up falling in.
Lip Out : A shot that comes close to falling into the hole but doesn't as the lip causes it to change direction usually fairly dramatically. Example: I lipped out my par putt and had to settle for bogie.
Lob : A relatively vertical (steep arced) shot, usually played with a lofted wedge, intended to land softly and not roll very far.
Lob Wedge : A very lofted wedge, usually 59 or 60 degrees designed for playing high, soft shots from short distances.
Loft : 1. The angle of the clubface relative to the shaft of the club from the frontal plane. Example: Typical Drivers have between 9.5 and 11 degrees loft.
Long Game : The part of golf played with full swings (usually thought of in terms of woods, long irons and middle irons). Opposite of short game. Example: Naki's long game was pretty good but his short game was awful!
Long Iron : The longer-shafted, steeper-faced, longer-hitting irons, generally numbers 1 through 4.
Loose Impediment : Any natural object that is not fixed or growing (e.g., rocks, twigs, leaves, etc.). Example: The rules of golf indicate that loose impediments may be removed at the player's discretion, without penalty, anywhere except in a hazard.
Lost Ball : Any ball that cannot be found within five minutes of beginning a search for it. Example: A lost ball will cost you a two stroke penalty (i.e., the shot itself, an additional stroke, and the ball must be replayed from the original position).
Golf Terms : M : Golf Terms
Mark : To put down a ball marker, usually a small, flat object (like a dime) so that you will be able to replace the ball precisely in its original location after lifting. Example: My ball was lying directly in Anita's line so she asked me to mark it so that she could make her putt.
Marker : Usually a small, flat object (like a dime) used to mark the ball's position (usually, but not exclusively, on the green) while other players putt and/or the ball is cleaned.
Markers : Two moveable objects that indicate the forward boundary of the teeing area. Example: The markers/tee blocks had been moved forward since yesterday.
Marshal : In tournament play a marshal is a person designated by a tournament committee to help with crowd control. During regular public play a marshal is a person designated to patrol the course, keeping an eye out for problems in general, but usually present to promote a reasonable pace of play or keep things moving.
Match Play : Scoring by holes rather than strokes. The way golf was originally played. Example: The winner of a match play competition is the player who has won the most holes, not necessarily the player with the fewest total strokes.
Medalist : The player in a stroke play (medal play), competition with the fewest strokes/lowest score. The winner.
Medal Play : Scoring by the total number of strokes taken. Example: The PGA Championship used to be decided by match play, but now it is a medal play competition.
Member Bounce : A very favorable bounce or kick of the ball.
Miss Club : Choosing the wrong club. Usually associated with good execution but an incorrect distance result. Example: I hit my 6 iron really well but realized I had miss clubbed when it fell 20 yards short of the green.
Miss Hit : To not hit a shot solidly. Example: A 6 iron was the right club; I just miss hit it.
Miss Read : To incorrectly assess the break of a putt or chip shot. You have read the green incorrectly. Example: Wow! I sure misread that - it broke the other way to what I was expecting.
Mulligan : Taking a second attempt at a shot when one doesn't like the result of the first. Example: Taking a Mulligan is not allowed in the rules of golf, but is usually tolerated (only if time allows) in casual play.
Muscle Memory : A phrase referring to the body's ability to memorize, or perform automatically, a well rehearsed motion. Example: His muscle memory is awesome every swing looks exactly the same.
Golf Terms : N : Golf Terms
Nassau : A type of wager in which the first nine holes, the last nine holes and the total for 18 holes are three separate bets. Example: Mary played a two-dollar Nassau with Ingrid.
Neck : The part of the club into which the shaft is inserted. Example: When the ball ricochets off the neck/hosel before it hits the clubface it is called a shank.
Nineteenth Hole : The bar or lounge in which competitors gather after a round of golf. Example: This round has been awful! I cant wait to get to the 19th hole.
Golf Terms : O : Golf Terms
OB : Out of Bounds. Off the golf courses premises (usually marked with white stakes or property fences). Example: Hitting the ball ob will cost you a two stroke penalty.
Offset : A clubhead where the leading edge is set back from the shaft, or the amount of such a setting back. Example: She played with offset irons. or The driver had a 10 degree offset.
One Piece Takeaway : When the beginning of the backswing is initiated by the torso, arms and hands moving together as one unit or in one piece.
One Putt : When only one putt is taken on a green to hole the ball. Example: I one putted six times on the front nine and still couldn't break 50!.
Open : 1. A tournament in which either amateurs or professionals can play, if they qualify. 2. Refers to the alignment of the body/stance when aligned to the left of the target or the clubface when aligned to the right of the target (both for a right-handed player). Example: 1. The British Open, being the oldest organized tournament in the world, is sometimes simply referred to as The Open. 2. Since I was trying to hit a big fade, I opened my stance.
Oscar Brown : Another phrase for out of bounds. Example: Man did you slice that one! That baby is Oscar Brown, my friend.
Out of Bounds : Area that is not part of the course, on which play is not permitted (usually marked by white stakes or property fences).
Outside : On the opposite side of the target line from the golfer 2. Farther from the hole than another ball/player. Example: 1. If you visualize the target line as a vertical wall of glass, anything on the far side of the wall from the golfer would be considered outside the target line. 2. Pam was away, which meant that his ball was outside of Melanie's.
Outside In : A swing path that cuts across the target line from the far side of the target line, in relation to the player (outside), to the near side (inside) through the impact area. Example: An outside-in swing path generally produces either a slice/fade or a pull.
Overall Weight : The total weight of a golf club.
Overlapping Grip : The most common grip in golf, placing the hands on the club such that the pinky finger of the bottom hand rests on the index finger of the top hand, or between the index and middle fingers of the top hand.
Golf Terms : P : Golf Terms
Par : 1. The standard number of strokes in which a scratch player would be expected to complete a hole or course. Note that the par for any single hole allows for two putts. 2. The state of a particular player's score for a single or multiple holes in relation to par when the player in question is equal to par. Example: 1. Royal Woodbine G.C. is a par 70 course, or The first hole at Royal Woodbine is a par 4 dogleg left over water. 2. I was at even par after sixteen holes but couldn't make a birdie on 17 or 18.
Par In : To score a par on each remaining hole regardless of how many holes remain in your round. Example: After 15 holes Steve knew that if he could par in he would break 80 for the first time ever.
Path : The direction the clubhead is traveling (generally thought of in relation to the target line). Example: An outside-in path will cause a slice if the ball is contacted with a square or open clubface.
Peg : Another term for a tee. A small, usually, but not always, wooden device for setting the ball up above the ground for the first shot on each hole. Example: Patrick preferred not to use a tee on par three holes on which he used an iron.
PGA : The Professional Golfers' Association. Example: The PGA of America has over 25,000 dues paying members. It is made up of club professionals, touring professionals, and many other types of golf professionals.
Pill : Another term for a golf ball. Example: She can really hit that pill when she gets going.
Pin : The stick or pole that rests in the cup and holds the flag to identify where the hole is cut on each hole. Example: Her approach shot hit the pin and fell four feet from the hole.
Pin High : When the ball has traveled the correct distance and is even with the hole but off to one side or the other regardless of (whether or not it's on the green. Example: Terry's approach shot was pin high to the right.
Pin Position : The exact location of the hole and flagstick usually, but not always, referred to in relation to its position on the green. Example: The fourth hole had a really difficult pin placement just 10 feet from the front of the green and right behind a sand trap.
Pin Sheet : A chart that shows the hole locations on each green. Example: The pin sheet, or knowing the hole locations, is important to highly skilled players.
Pitch : A relatively short, lofted shot designed to land softly and not roll much (differs from a chip in its trajectory and amount of roll). Example: Johnny pitched the ball over the sand trap and left the ball only 3 feet from the hole.
Pitch and Run : A lofted shot that is also intended to roll after bouncing on the green. Example: The pitch and run is a cross between a chip and a pitch.
Pitching Wedge : A lofted short iron (usually next in chronological order after the 9 iron and somewhere between 47 and 52 degrees) used to execute a pitch shot. Example: Julie regularly hits her pitching wedge about 100 yards.
Play Through : Passing the group in front of you (for various reasons) while they wait. Example: The group in front of us had two very slow inexperienced players, so they let us play through.
Plumb Bob : A method of reading putts where the putter is hung from the fingers (like a surveyor's plumb line) in front of one's visual field to create a vertical reference. Example: Plumb bobbing is a difficult skill to acquire and is preferred by many players due to the feel that it provides.
Poa Annua : Grass (actually a weed) that sometimes grows on golf courses in moist climates and can make putting greens bumpy if mixed with other grass.
Postage Stamp : A green with a particularly small surface area presenting a demanding target (i.e. small as a postage stamp).
Pot Bunker : A small deep bunker, typically with very steep sides. Example: It took me three shots to get out of the pot bunker on the left side of the green.
Practice Green : A green which is separate from the golf course and is designated for short game &/or putting practice. Example: Before I play a new course I like to spend half a hour on the putting green so that I know what to expect when I get on the course.
Practice Range : An area, separate from the golf course, designated for hitting practice balls. Sometimes with targets or even greens to aim at and usually with distance markers for reference.
Practice Swing : A swing through the air made (without hitting a ball) to work on, or feel, the movements that you intend to make when you hit the ball. Also used for the purpose of loosening up. Example: She always takes two practice swings before each shot.
Preferred Lies : A local rule under which a player can improve his lie without penalty. Example: The course was still so wet from the spring thaw that we had to play preferred lies for the Men's opening tournament.
Pro-Am : A tournament in which professionals and amateurs play together on teams.
Provisional Ball : An additional shot played in a situation where it is believed that the original ball may be out of bounds or lost or when the rules are in question and will be checked at the end of play of either the hole or the round (the shot is played before leaving the area of the original shot) Example: If you think your ball is either out of bounds or lost it's a good idea to play a provisional ball, as it will save you from having to walk back to the tee block if the original ball is indeed out of play or lost.
Psycho Grip : An unusual method of gripping the putter where the fingers of the bottom hand are on top of the grip rather than on the bottom.
Pull : 1. A shot that goes to the left of the intended line for a right-handed player. 2. To select a club or remove it from the bag. Opposite of Push. Example: 1. I pulled my putt slightly, but it still went in. 2. The gallery went silent as he pulled out his driver.
Pull Cart : A mechanical device or trolley with wheels and a handle used to carry a player's bag and clubs. Example: Using a pull cart is an alternative to carrying your bag or riding in a motorized golf car.
Punch Shot : A shot played with less than a full swing, usually to control distance, trajectory and spin.
Pure : A shot struck perfectly on the center of gravity of the club. Generally feels very good to the player making the shot. Example: There's nothing like hitting it pure especially off of the first tee.
Push : A shot that goes to the right of the intended line for a right-handed player. Opposite of Pull. Example: I guess I was afraid of the water hazard next to the green on the left because I pushed my approach shot to the right.
Putt : A shot hit with a putter on the green towards the hole. Example: After my 210 yard approach shot stopped 15 feet from the pin I made my birdie putt.
Putter : A club with a fairly straight face (very little loft) used for putting. Example: As we got out of the golf cart we both got our putters out of our bags and walked towards the green.
Putt Out : To complete play by putting your ball into the hole. Example: Since my lag putt stopped just a foot from the hole I went ahead and putted out before everyone else made their putts.
Putting Green : A green which is separate from the golf course and is designated for short game &/or putting practice. Example: Before I play a new course I like to spend half a hour on the putting green so that I know what to expect when I get on the course.
Golf Terms : Q : Golf Terms
Q School : Nickname for the PGA Tour's annual qualifying tournament. Played once a year to establish which pros are eligible to play on the PGA that year (which Pros "get their (pro) cards).
Quacker : A shot that curves abruptly right to left (right-handed player) Example: Leonard tried to smash his drive on the first hole but ended up with an awful quacker.
Quail High : A very low trajectory shot.
Quit : A player is said to have quit on the shot when he doesn't following-through completely with momentum or decelerates through impact.
Golf Terms : R : Golf Terms
Rake : A rake placed in or around sand-filled bunkers for the purpose of re-smoothing the surface after walking in, and playing a shot out of, the sand. Example: After blasting out of the trap I used the rake to fix the trap. When I was done you couldn't tell that I had ever even been in the trap.
Range : An area, separate from the golf course, designated for practicing hitting golf balls.
Range Ball : Golf balls for use only on the driving range, usually striped or marked in some way to easily distinguish them from regular golf balls. Example: Range balls are not supposed to be used on the golf course.
Ranger : A person designated to patrol the course, keeping an eye out for problems in general, but usually present to promote a reasonable pace of play. Example: The ranger told us we were falling too far behind the group in front of us.
Read : The process of assessing or surveying the line of a putt to determine its break and behavior. Example: My caddie's read was perfect, and the putt went right in the center of the hole.
Recovery : A shot that is played to extricate oneself from trouble after an errant shot. Example: Megan hit a spectacular recovery shot from the trees to within 6 feet of the cup.
Release : 1. Generally thought of as the act of allowing the centrifugal force of the swing (body/arms/ hands/clubhead) to take its course on the downswing rather than holding on or inhibiting it. 2. When a ball stops spinning backward and starts to roll forward. Example: 1. He was afraid of hooking the ball, so he wasn't releasing. 2. My chip shot released nicely and rolled right up in front of the hole.
Relief : A rules term meaning to move your ball away from. Example: The rules of golf allow for relief without penalty in many situations (e.g., from cart paths, ground under repair, etc.).
Reload : An expression used when a shot is certainly out of play. Example: After hitting my shot into the lake I reloaded and my next shot was right in the middle of the fairway.
Reroute : When the club is swung on a dramatically different path on the downswing than it was on the backswing. Example: She noticeably rerouted the club in her swing.
Reverse Overlap : Probably the most common grip used for putting : a method of placing the hands on the club such that the index finger of the top hand rests on top of the fingers of the bottom hand. Example: Many players use the reverse overlap for putting.
Reverse Pivot : When the weight is on the front foot (closest to the target) on the backswing and the rear foot (farthest from the target) on the downswing and follow-through (this is the direct opposite of the proper sequence). Example: A reverse pivot is often followed by a wild slice.
Rough : Longer grass adjacent to the fairways, greens and sometimes tees. Example: Playing from the rough is usually more difficult as the longer grass makes it more difficult to contact the ball cleanly.
Round : A complete circuit of (usually) 18 holes. Example: How did your round go today?
Rub of the Green : An accident, not caused by the player or caddie, for which there is no relief under the rules. Generally associated with a bad break and often having nothing to do with the Green. Example: Though the ball hitting the cart path and bouncing out of bounds is unfortunate its the rub of the green (too bad or fact of life).
Golf Terms : S : Golf Terms
Sandbagger : A golfer who lies about their ability in order to gain an advantage in a match or wager. Also someone who or submits artificially high scores in order to inflate their handicap. Example: I got sandbagged last Wednesday when I played against Sean. He said he was a 14 handicap but then he shot an 79 and kicked my butt. Sean is such a Sandbagger!
Sand Iron : A lofted club with a flange specifically designed for use in the sand. Example: My 56 degree sand iron is also effective from the fairway and rough, especially when playing a flop shot.
Sand Save : Holing the ball in just two shots from a green side bunker. Example: I made a nice sand save from a deep greenside bunker yesterday.
Sand Trap : Another commonly used term for a sand-filled depression in the ground. Example: His approach shot caught the sand trap in front of the green.
Sand Wedge : A lofted club with a flange specifically designed for use in the sand.
Sandy : Holing the ball in just two shots from a green side bunker.
Score : The number of strokes taken on a hole or course. 2. Also to keep score. Example: Karl had an unusually low score today.
Scorecard : The card used to record and tally scores during and after a round of golf. Example: We got to the second tee before we realized that nobody had brought a scorecard with them.
Scoring : 1. The markings (grooves, dimples, scratches, etc.) on the face of a golf club 2. the act of keeping one's total strokes. Example: 1. Have you ever seen a golf club without scoring? 2. Jim was hitting the ball miserably, by his standards, but scoring well nonetheless.
Scramble : 1. A tournament format in which all players in a group (foursome or otherwise) hit a shot from the tee, then choose the best shot and each hit from that spot until the ball is holed. 2. To extricate oneself from trouble after an errant shot. Example: 1. The scramble is a good tournament format for beginners. 2. She really had to scramble to save her par after playing into the woods off the tee.
Scratch : A player with a 0 handicap. Example: Joshua has been a scratch golfer since he was 18 years old.
Semi-Private Course : A course that has members but is also open to public play. Example: A semi-private course sometimes has certain tee-times reserved for members only.
Set : 1. A collection of clubs. 2. When the wrists are cocked at the top of the backswing. Example: 1. I carried only 4 irons, a 3 wood and a putter in my mixed set. 2. A good way to identify the wrist set at the top of the swing is to feel the club pull down on the left thumb (for right-handed players).
Set Up : The position that the player assumes when preparing to make a stroke. Example: The set up position is one of the main keys to consistency in golf.
Shaft : The part of the club that extends from the top of the club inside the grip to the clubhead. Example: His clubs had stiff shafts.
Shag Bag : A bag or container for carrying practice balls often also constructed so as to assist with the picking up of practice balls after they have been hit. Example: I brought a shag bag full of balls with me to the practice bunker.
Shank : When the ball ricochets off the hosel or neck before it hits the clubface causing an errant trajectory. Example: He shanked his tee shot into the lake.
Shoot : 1. The act of playing a golf shot 2. Another term for one's score for a round of golf. 1. Though the water loomed ominously, I decided to gamble and shoot right at the pin. 2. If you shoot a low enough score to make the cut I will carry your bag for you.
Short Game : The part of the game that consists of short range shots. Specifically pitching, chipping and putting. Example: Many people consider anything inside of 100 yards as the short game.
Short Iron : Any of the more lofted, shorter-shafted irons. Specifically the 8 iron through all wedges. Example: After a good drive she only had a short iron left into the green.
Shotgun : A method of starting a tournament where a foursome (or even two) is positioned on each hole and at the sound of a shotgun begins play. The benefit of a shotgun is that everyone starts and finished at approximately the same time. Example: What time is our tee off? The tournament is a 1:00 shotgun start.
Side : Another term for 9 holes of an 18 hole course. Example: He was excited to play the back side after shooting 38 on the front.
Sidehill Lie : When the ball lies on the side of a hill. The ball is either above or below the feet. Example: A sidehill lie will affect the direction of a shot.
Sidesaddle : A putting stance where the legs and feet are, more or less, facing the hole and the stroke is made to the side of, rather than in front of the body.
Skins : A type of competition or wager format where only a uniquely low score can win a hole (each hole in this type of a competition is known as a skin). Example: In a skins game to win a hole one must be the only one with the lowest score.
Skull : When the ball is contacted with the leading edge of the flange of the club rather than the face of the club. The resulting trajectory is noticeably low. Example: He hit a good drive, but then skulled his wedge over the green.
Sky : When a shot is hit off the top edge of the clubface resulting in a much higher trajectory than the club was designed to produce. Example: Kim skyed her drive 100 yards up and 100 yards out.
Slice : A wildly curving shot from left to right (right-handed player). Common problem for beginners.
Slope : The relative playing difficulty of a course. Example: A course with a slope rating of 145 is more difficult than one with a slope of 95.
Slow Play : Not keeping up with the pace of play. Usually judged by the distance behind the group in front. Example: Bob took way too much time with all his shots and the ranger asked us to pick up our balls and go the the next tee as the group ahead of us was two holes ahead.
Smother : A shot that either doesn't leave the ground or flies very low because the clubface contacted the ball in a position that was much to closed. Example: Karen smothered her tee shot as she rolled the clubface closed.
Snap Hook : A shot that curves abruptly and severely right to left (right-handed player). Example: Leonard tried to kill his drive on the first hole and was rewarded with an ugly snap hook.
Spike : Sharp tongs on the bottom of golf shoes to help keep a player's feet from slipping. Soft Spikes are a recent innovation that are made of plastic and leave less severe marks on the green. Most courses require soft spikes and will not permit other types. Example: Greg's feet slipped as he swung because his spikes were all worn down.
Spray : Hitting the ball wildly in all directions with no consistency. Example: I played well n Friday but Mark was spraying the ball all over the place.
Square : At a right angle to (i.e., perpendicular, 90 degree). Example: To hit the ball straight the clubface must be square to the clubhead's path at the moment of impact.
Stableford : A system of scoring where a player's score is based on points earned rather than absolute number of strokes taken (e.g., in The International tournament on the PGA Tour, par=0 points, birdie=2, eagle=5, double eagle=8, bogey=-1, double bogey or worse=-3).
Starter : The person in charge getting groups off of the first tee on time. Example: The starter said we were up next on the tee.
Starting Time : A reservation or appointment to play at a specific time. Example: Our tee time is 10:30.
Stick : 1. Another name for the flagstick or pin. 2. To put a shot close to the hole. Example: My approach shot hit the stick. 2. I just knew she was going to stick it.
Stiff : To put a shot close to the hole. Example: I just knew she was going to knock it stiff.
Stoney : A shot that stops close to the hole. Example: I just knew she was going to hit it stoney.
Straight Faced : A club that has a relatively steep (not much loft) clubface. Example: To keep the trajectory of the shot under the branches I would need a fairly straight-faced club.
Stroke : 1. The act of swinging a club with the intention of striking the ball. 2. The qualitative aspect of the swing (most frequently associated with putting). Example: It took him 5 strokes to get the ball in the hole from the greenside bunker. 2. Carter has an exceptional putting stroke.
Stroke Play : Scoring by the total number of strokes.
Swale : A depression, valley, or undulation on a course. Example: My tee shot was right down the middle of the fairway but it disappeared from sight, so I figured it made it down into the swale.
Sweet Spot : The center of mass of the club. The solid spot on the clubface. Example: I nailed it right on the sweet spot.
Swing : 1. To make a stroke. Example: His swing had flaws but he was very effective.
Swing Plane : Most easily visualized as the plane that the shaft of the club or of the clubhead's arc during the swing.
Swing Weight : The relative weight of a clubhead's leverage. Usually measured on a scale with a 12-inch fulcrum. Example: The swing weight of a club is different than its overall weight or dead weight.
Golf Terms : T : Golf Terms
Takeaway : The beginning of the backswing, the initial movement of the club away from the ball and target.
Tap In : A very short put that is certain to be made. Example: I only had a tap in left after a good chip.
Target Line : The line of play, or the line from the ball to the target. Example: Her stance is open relative to the target line for the lob shot.
Tee : 1. A small often wooden device for setting the ball up above the ground. 2. The act of placing the ball on a tee. 3. The starting point of each hole. Example: The teeing area was so hard he had difficulty getting his tee in the ground. 2. She liked to tee the ball high when hitting downwind. 3. Our group was next on the tee.
Tee Blocks : Two objects that indicate the forward boundary of the teeing area. Example: The tee blocks had been moved forward since yesterday.
Tee Markers : The two objects that indicate the forward boundary of the teeing area described above. Example: This course uses two little golf gnomes as the tee markers.
Tee Off : To hit a shot from the tee area. Example: After Bill teed off he made sure his group had a scorecard.
Tee Shot : A shot from the tee, the first shot on any hole. Example: Her tee shot was right down the middle of the fairway.
Teeing Ground : The starting point of each hole, where the tee markers are. Example: The teeing ground on number 4 was in need of serious repair.
Texas Wedge : An alternate word for a putter when used from off of the green. Example: It was so windy that Nancy decided to use his Texas Wedge.
Thin : When the ball is contacted with the leading edge instead of the face of the club producing a low trajectory shot with less than the usual amount of spin. Example: He hit a good drive, but then hit his wedge thin and over the green.
Third Wedge : Manufacturer-dependent and varied. A lofted wedge that differs from a pitching wedge or a sand wedge in loft and/or sole characteristics. Example: The third wedge in Martha's set is 58 degrees, very heavy and a small amount of bounce.
Through The Green : A description of the whole hole, excluding the teeing ground and putting green, and all hazards. Example: Conditions were so wet and muddy that players were allowed to lift, clean and place their ball through the green.
Tight : 1. A very narrow hole or course. 2. A compact and efficient swing. 3. Hole location that is very close to the edge of the green. Example: 1. The course we played on Monday was really tight. 2. Byron's swing was really tight. 3. The hole was cut so tight that the pin appeared to be off the green.
Toe : The far end of the clubhead. Farthest from the hosel. Example: I hit my 2 iron shot on the toe so I didn't quite get the distance I was looking for.
Toe Hook : A shot that is contacted on the toe of the club and hooks. Example: I hit a toe hook off the tee, but got a members bounce to the fairway.
Top : 1. When the bottom of the club contacts the ball above its center of gravity and the ball immediately hits the ground. 2. The end of the backswing where the hands are at their highest. Example: Nobody likes to top the ball. 2. Joe hesitated too long at the top of his swing.
Touch : Sensitivity for playing golf shots. Especially short shots. Example: Daniel displayed great touch around the greens all summer.
Tournament : An organized golf competition. Example: She played in her first tournament last Saturday.
Trouble Shot : A shot from a troublesome situation. Example: She hit a great trouble shot and saved par.
Turn : 1. The rotation of the body in the swing. 2. Going from the ninth green to the tenth tee or from the front nine to the back nine. 3. Curving a golf shot. 4. Another description for a break in a putt. Example: 1. John Daly has a huge turn away from the ball in his backswing. 2. We grabbed a quick snack at the turn. 3. I wanted to turn the ball over from right to left to get farther around the dogleg. 4. He tried with all the body english he could muster to make the putt turn, but it stayed straight and missed the hole.
Golf Terms : U : Golf Terms
Underclub : Using a club that does not provide enough distance to reach the intended target. Example: Perhaps it's safer to underclub when the OB is so close to the back of the green.
Under Par : Less than or below par. Example: Bill played the front nine 1 under par.
Undue Delay : Not keeping up with the pace of play as determined by the committee. Example: Bob was taking too much time reading his putts, and finally was penalized two strokes for undue delay.
Uneven Lie : When the ball lies on an uneven slope, with either the ball above or below the feet, and/or one foot higher than the other. Example: An uneven lie will affect the direction and/or trajectory of a golf shot.
Unplayable Lie : A situation when the ball is in a position from which it is determined that the ball cannot be played. Example: Mona hit her ball into an unplayable lie and had to take relief with a one stroke penalty.
Up : Ahead of. Example: I was two up on Art after three holes.
Up and Down : To put in the hole in two shots from off the green. Example: a chip, pitch or sand shot followed by one putt, as in UP onto the green and DOWN into the hole.
Uphill Lie : When the ball rests on an uphill slope towards the target. Example: The uphill lie was severe, so I had to use a less-lofted club to compensate.
Upright : A relatively steep or more vertical swing plane, stance, or lie angle. Example: Taller players usually have a more upright posture and swing plane than shorter players.
USGA : The United States Golf Association, that governs golf and makes rules for golf along with the R & A (Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland). Example: The USGA does many things besides put on the U.S. Open.
Utility Wedge : Manufacturer-dependent and varied, a lofted wedge that differs from a pitching wedge or a sand wedge in loft and/or sole characteristics.
Golf Terms : V : Golf Terms
Vardon Grip : The most common grip in use today, named after historic player Harry Vardon. The baby finger of the lower hand overlaps and rests on the index finger, or between the index and middle fingers, of the upper hand. Example: I have never been comfortable with the Vardon grip, though many people seem to like it.
Golf Terms : W : Golf Terms
Waggle : Some kind of motion or movement (can be very individualized) many times a back and forth of the club for the purpose of staying loose, feeling the club, keeping the body in motion instead of holding still.
Waste Area : A relatively un-maintained area that is not considered a hazard.
Water Hazard : any sea, lake, pond, ditch, etc. usually marked with either red stakes or lines (see also "lateral hazard"). Example: "The water hazard was small but intimidating nonetheless."
Wedge : A short iron with significant loft mainly for playing shorter, more lofted shots. Example: After a nice tee shot, she only had a wedge left to the green.
Whipping : A very thin cord-like material that is used to wrap the area where the shaft inserts into the clubhead on a wooden club. Example: Because the majority of woods are metal today you don't see a whole lot of whipping any more.
Windcheater : A very penetrating, low trajectory shot that is less affected by wind. Example: A windcheater is even effective sometimes when it's not windy.
Winter Rules : A local rule under which a player can improve his lie without penalty.
Wood : Originally a club with a wooden head, relatively little loft and a long handle used for driving the ball and/or hitting long shots. Now most WOODS are made with a metal compound. Example: The 3 most common woods are driver, 3 wood and 5 wood.
Worm burner : A shot with such a low trajectory that it skims the ground. Not necessarily ineffective but almost certainly unintentional. Example: He wanted to hit a 300 yard drive to impress his friends. Instead he hit a worm burner and provided an unexpected source of entertainment.
Golf Terms : X : Golf Terms
X : A score that cannot be determined, as play on a hole was not completed. Example: He took so many swings in the deep bunker without the ball moving that he finally picked his ball up and took an X on the hole.
X Factor : The separation between the rotation of the shoulders and the hips. Example: Both John Daly and Tiger Woods have a huge X factor in their swings.
Golf Terms : Y : Golf Terms
Yank : A shot that goes severely to the left of the target line (for a right-handed player). Example: Diego yanked his tee shot into the trees.
Yardage : Number of yards. Example: Some golf courses have yardage markers on all relevant sprinkler heads.
Yardage Book : A small booklet given out or sold by a course, (sometimes created by a player or caddy) to keep various yardages, landmarks, references and notes about each hole on a particular golf course. Example: The yardage book was very thorough and detailed, making my club selections much easier.
Yips : Nervous twitching in the putting stroke resulting in poor accuracy and a lack of touch.
Golf Terms : Z : Golf Terms
Zinger : A shot that takes off from the head of the club and files toward the target reminiscent of a line drive in baseball. Often associated with a shot hit thin. Example: Julie hit a great drive over the water but then on her approach shot hit a zinger over the green.