Golf Terms

Golf terminology can often feel like a language of its own, leaving many enthusiasts puzzled. Have you ever found yourself nodding along as though you were trying to understand terms like “Birdie,” “Bogey,” or “Eagle” during a golf conversation? In this glossary list, we’ll cover all the golf terminologies that you ever heard of. Let’s dive in to enhance your understanding of the game and sharpen your communication.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Address

When a golfer sets up to take a stroke, they “address” the ball by grounding their club and positioning themselves in a stance in preparation for the swing.

Aerial View

This is a bird’s-eye perspective of a golf course, typically used in broadcasts or planning strategies, showing the layout and obstacles of each hole.

Automatic Divot Repair

Some modern golf carts or tools come with this feature, quickly fixing the chunks of grass (divots) taken out by a golf club during a swing.

Approach Shot Trajectory

This describes the vertical angle and curvature of a golf ball’s flight when a golfer hits an approach shot, aiming for the green from a distance.

Away Side

In putting, the “away side” refers to the part of the green that slopes away from the ball’s current position, affecting how the putt will break.

Average Yardage

A statistical measure of the typical distance a golfer hits with each club, which is crucial for club selection during play.

This is a putting technique where the putter is braced against a part of the golfer’s body to create a pivot point for a more stable stroke; it has been banned by golf’s ruling bodies since 2016.

Anti-Reverse

This term is associated with the technology in golf clubs designed to reduce the clubhead from twisting in the wrong direction during off-center hits, promoting straighter shots.

Average Drive

An estimation of the usual distance a golfer achieves with their tee shots, which can be a benchmark for gauging their driving strength.

Association

This term often refers to a regulatory body or group in golf that organizes tournaments and maintains the standard rules of the game, such as the United States Golf Association (USGA).

The angle of the golf club’s head relative to the horizontal plane of the ground at the moment of impact with the golf ball, which can affect the ball’s trajectory.

A term used to describe a particularly challenging hole or course that serves as a tough test of a golfer’s skill and mental toughness.

In team golf competitions, an away match is played at the opposing team’s home course, presenting additional challenges such as unfamiliar terrain.

A training aid used by golfers during practice to work on their stance and alignment to ensure their body and club are properly positioned.

Refers to the incoming bad weather that can affect play, often causing delays or requiring strategic adjustments by golfers on the course.

A prestigious golf club in Georgia, USA, known for hosting The Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf.

Tools or markings on golf clubs, especially putters, designed to help golfers set up their shots with correct alignment toward the target.

A putting technique that involves reading greens by using the feet to feel slope and the fingers to indicate the slope’s degree, helping to determine the putt’s path.

A dedicated facility or institution for teaching and improving golf skills, offering lessons, practice ranges, and sometimes incorporating advanced technologies for training.

The specific orientation of a club’s face relative to the intended path of the swing, which can influence the direction and flight of the ball.

A driver with settings that can be altered to change the club head’s angle, weight distribution, and other factors to customize the ball flight.

Air Density

The mass per unit volume of the air, which can affect the distance a golf ball travels; less dense air at higher altitudes can lead to longer drives.

The total score of a golfer over the rounds of a tournament, combined to determine their standing against other competitors.

A term that describes the intimidation and pressure golfers might feel when playing at Augusta National, affecting their performance.

A type of putter and putting technique where the grip end of the putter is braced against the inside of the forearm, creating a stable “locked” putting stroke.

The angle at which the golf ball leaves the clubface after impact, rising into the air; a crucial factor in determining the ball’s flight path and distance.

A driving range where the landing area is made up of water bodies, so golfers hit floating golf balls into the water.

When the ball comes to rest in a difficult position, making a standard swing tough, such as in a divot, on a slope, or in thick rough.

Poor weather conditions such as rain, wind, or fog, which can negatively impact the course conditions and the gameplay.

A sand trap located near the green, designed to challenge golfers as they make their approach shots to the hole.

An electronic device or software used to calculate and record scores during a round of golf, simplifying scorekeeping.

A measurement of the typical distance a golfer hits the ball with each club, which is used to inform club selection during play.

The imaginary line a golfer visualizes from their ball to the target, which is used to guide the setup and alignment for the shot.

Contrary to many sports, in golf, an ‘away game advantage’ can refer to the golfer’s benefit of not having the pressure of performing in front of a home crowd.

Describes a ball that is in flight after being struck by a golfer, before it comes to rest.

A pre-shot routine where golfers ensure their body and club are properly aligned with their intended target line.

A term used to describe the rare feat of a golfer scoring three strokes under par on a single hole, also known as a double eagle.

A set of irons that increase in loft progressively from the longest iron to the shortest.

A feature of some driving range systems that automatically places a new ball on the tee after each shot, allowing for uninterrupted practice.

A colloquial expression encouraging golfers to focus on their target and execute their shot with confidence.

A putting stance where the golfer uses their body to ‘anchor’ the putter for stability, which is no longer permitted under the rules of golf.

A term used to describe playing around the entirety of a golf course, typically referring to a full 18-hole round.

A self-driving or remote-controlled golf cart that can carry clubs and equipment around the course without manual operation.

A statistical measure indicating the average number of greens a golfer reaches in regulation, which is in two strokes fewer than par for the hole.

A system that calculates and updates a golfer’s handicap index after every round, based on recent scores and the difficulty of the courses played.

A type of hybrid golf club designed with the versatility to perform well on approach shots, combining features of irons and fairway woods.

A secondary golf bag some players use specifically for travel or for playing on courses away from their home club, often lighter or more compact.

Within the rules of golf, it’s a score that meets certain conditions for handicap purposes, typically reflecting the player’s potential ability.

Precise measurement of distance to the hole or to specific points on the golf course, essential for club selection and strategizing shots.

A shot that goes unexpectedly high into the air, typically caused by hitting the ball on the upswing or with an open clubface.

A feature, mark, or device used to assist golfers in aligning themselves towards the target.

Alignment Mat

A training tool used on the ground to help golfers practice proper stance and club alignment relative to the target.

A slang term for a golfer’s bag, particularly referring to the collection of golf balls it contains.

In golfing context, it usually refers to spreading the cost of golf club membership or expensive equipment over a period.

A match or round of golf played on a course that is not the golfer’s home course.

Describes golf equipment, like club heads, with a design that is not symmetrical, often to improve aerodynamics or balance.

The path a golfer plans to take with their shot to reach the green from the fairway or rough.

A type of putter that is braced against the body, although this technique has been banned in professional play since 2016.

The angle at which the golf club head comes down and strikes the ball, important for determining the ball’s trajectory.

A format in team play where players take turns hitting the same ball; also known as foursome.

Any additional facility or service provided at a golf course, like a clubhouse or a pro shop.

Not a standard golf term, but if used, it might refer humorously to an area with a lot of bird life around the course.

Not a golf-specific term; it is a brand of elastic bandage that could be used to support muscles or joints during a round.

A club designed with features to help avoid a shank, which is a mishit that sends the ball sharply to the right.

A betting rule in match play where a bet is automatically pressed or doubled at a certain point determined before the match.

A local rule where players agree that a ball within a certain distance from the hole is considered holed with two putts.

The angle at which the ball comes down from its peak trajectory onto the ground or green.

The temperature of the air surrounding a golf course, which can affect how far the ball travels.

A term used in match play scoring to indicate that the match is even, with neither player or team ahead.

Not commonly used in golf; it’s a basketball term referring to a situation where a player is fouled while making a basket and is awarded one additional free throw.

In golf, to advance the ball means to hit it forward on the golf course, typically from the tee or fairway towards the hole.

Not specific to golf; it refers to a signature, often of a famous golfer on memorabilia, equipment, or scorecards.

A specific spot on which a golfer focuses when aligning themselves to hit the ball, such as a tree or bunker in the distance.

The average number of strokes a golfer typically scores over the course of a round or over multiple rounds of golf.

In tournaments or team matches, the team that is not playing on its home course is referred to as the away team.

When the position of the ball has been changed or tampered with by a golfer, which is against the rules unless permitted under certain circumstances.

The direction and trajectory a golfer plans to use when hitting an approach shot to the green.

A statistic that measures the average number of putts a golfer takes over the course of a round; it’s a key indicator of putting efficiency.

Refers to a club face, often of a driver or wood, that is designed unevenly to help correct flight path issues like hooks or slices.

In a match play or team event, the player whose ball is furthest from the hole and is therefore next to play.

Refers to the imaginary line around which the golfer’s body rotates during a swing; it’s usually the spine for a vertical axis and can be the ground for a horizontal axis.

A type of grip that was common for long putters where one end of the club is held against the body; this technique has been banned in professional play since 2016.

While not a technical term, in golf, a player’s attitude can greatly affect their performance, referring to the mental and emotional approach to the game.

Not a standard golf term; could be used informally to describe a range or collection of golf clubs in a player’s bag.

Any course condition that deviates from the norm, like ground under repair, temporary water, or holes made by burrowing animals, under which relief is usually allowed.

An iron used for approach shots to the green, typically more precise irons like the 7, 8, or 9 iron.

A competition format where two-member teams play a single ball alternately per shot and the lowest score wins the hole.

A feature on electronic devices or software that automatically chooses the best club or shot option for the golfer, though not a common term.

A phrase emphasizing precision; by aiming at a small target, even if you miss, you are likely to still be close to the desired outcome.

A rule in some casual play where a player’s score for a hole is capped at double bogey to speed up play.

B

Backspin

A type of spin applied to the golf ball causing it to rotate backwards, often leading to the ball stopping quickly or even moving backwards slightly after landing.

Birdie

A score of one stroke under par on a particular hole.

Bogey

A score of one stroke over par on a hole.

Bunker

A hollow comprised of sand or grass, often a hazard, located around the green or along the fairway.

Break

The deviation of a putt from a straight line due to the contour of the green; it refers to the amount a putt will curve.

Back Nine

The last nine holes (10-18) of an 18-hole golf course.

Ball Marker

A small flat object used to mark the position of a golf ball on the green when the ball is lifted.

Belly Putter

A type of putter with a longer shaft that is anchored against the golfer’s stomach during the putt.

Bentgrass

A type of grass commonly used on golf greens, known for creating a smooth, fast putting surface.

Blade

A type of iron with a traditional, thin clubhead design, often preferred by skilled players for its control and feel.

Ball Flight

The trajectory and path taken by the ball once it’s been hit, including its direction, height, and distance.

Bump and Run

A shot typically played near the green where the ball is hit with less force, bounces on the fairway, and rolls towards the hole.

Bite

The action of a golf ball when it lands on the green, involving a rapid decrease in speed or even a backward movement, typically due to backspin.

Block

A shot where the ball flies straight but to the right of the target for a right-handed player (to the left for a left-handed player), usually caused by an incorrect swing path.

Break Line

The line a putt will follow on a sloped green, influenced by the contour and slope of the green.

Ball Retriever

A tool used to retrieve golf balls from difficult places, like water hazards, typically featuring a telescopic pole with a scoop or grabber at the end.

Blow Up

A slang term for a hole or series of holes where a player scores much higher than usual, significantly impacting their overall score.

Buried Lie

A situation where the golf ball is embedded in the sand of a bunker or the rough, making it difficult to hit.

Big Bertha

A brand name of golf clubs known for their large clubheads, which are designed to be more forgiving on off-center hits.

Backswing

The first part of the golf swing where the club is taken back away from the ball in preparation for the downswing and hitting the ball.

Ball Washer

A device usually found near tees, used to clean golf balls. It typically consists of a water-filled container with brushes inside.

Blocker

A shot, usually unintended, that goes directly to the right for a right-handed player (or left for a left-handed player), often due to a late release of the club.

Break Point

The specific point on a putt’s path where the ball begins to turn or ‘break’ due to the slope or grain of the green.

Bail Out

A strategic choice to aim away from hazards or difficult areas, opting for a safer but potentially less advantageous position.

Better Ball

A format in team play where each player plays their own ball throughout, but only the best score from the team on each hole counts.

Ball Flight Laws

A set of principles that explain the physics of a golf ball’s trajectory, including factors like launch angle, spin, and speed.

Back Tee

The farthest set of tees from the hole on a golf course, typically used by more experienced or professional players.

Blind Shot

A shot where the golfer cannot see the landing area of the ball from where the shot is played, often due to terrain or obstacles.

Blow Over

A term referring to a weather condition improving or a challenging situation in a round resolving itself, allowing play to continue more easily.

Ball Striker

A golfer known for their ability to hit the ball cleanly and effectively, often with great control and accuracy.

Bite Spin

A type of spin applied on the golf ball, usually through a well-executed shot, that makes the ball stop quickly or ‘bite’ into the green upon landing.

Break Read

The process of evaluating the contours, slope, and grain of the green to predict the path and curvature of a putt.

Backdoor

A term used when a ball rolls into the hole from the side or back, as opposed to a direct shot.

Burn

In golf, especially in British terminology, this refers to a small stream or brook often found on a golf course.

Backweight

A weight added to the grip end of a golf club, altering its balance and potentially the swing weight and feel.

Break Speed

The speed at which a putt needs to be hit to follow the intended break line and drop into the hole.

Bucket Hat

A wide-brimmed hat often worn by golfers to protect against sun and rain.

Back Nine Bandit

Slang for a golfer who performs significantly better on the back nine (holes 10-18) of the course compared to the front nine.

Blind Tee Shot

A tee shot where the golfer cannot see where the ball will land, typically due to elevation changes or obstacles.

Bounce

Refers to the part of the clubhead that hits the ground during a shot, particularly in wedges, helping to prevent the club from digging into the ground or sand.

Bogey Golfer

A golfer who typically averages one bogey (one stroke over par) per hole, implying a moderate level of skill.

Ball Flight Control

The golfer’s ability to intentionally shape and control the trajectory and curve of the golf ball’s flight.

Blowout

A significantly lopsided win in match play or a situation where a golfer’s score is much higher than normal.

Back Door Par

Achieving par on a hole where the ball enters the cup from the side or back, often unexpectedly.

Back Foot

Referring to the foot farthest from the target during a golf swing, usually where weight shifts during certain types of shots.

Break Point Speed

The optimal speed for a putt to take the intended break line and fall into the hole.

Ball Position

The placement of the golf ball in relation to a player’s stance, which can affect the trajectory and spin of the shot.

Ball in Play

A ball that is being actively used in the game, after the tee shot until holed, and not lifted, lost, or substituted.

Bunker Rake

A tool provided near bunkers for golfers to smooth out the sand after playing a shot, as a courtesy for following players.

Bomb

Slang for a very long drive or putt. In drives, it refers to hitting the ball a significantly greater distance than usual.

Birdie Train

A term used when a golfer or group of golfers achieve birdies (one stroke under par) consecutively over several holes.

Ball Flight Window

The initial path and angle at which the golf ball travels immediately after being struck, used to determine the quality and direction of the shot.

Break Point Line

The imaginary line along which a putt will break, influenced by the slope and contours of the green.

Ball-Watching

The act of a golfer observing their ball after hitting it, often to gauge the quality and direction of the shot.

Backspin Control

The golfer’s ability to regulate the amount of backspin applied to the ball, affecting its trajectory and behavior on landing.

Bag Drop

An area at a golf course where players can leave their golf bags and clubs to be transported to the starting area or brought to their carts.

Broken Tee

A tee that has been snapped or damaged, usually found around tee boxes and discarded.

Backspin Rate

The rate at which a golf ball spins backward during flight, influencing its stability and how it reacts upon landing.

Ball Position Check

The practice of confirming the correct positioning of the ball in relation to the golfer’s stance, crucial for effective shot-making.

Belly Wedge

A type of wedge shot where the golfer uses a putting motion with a wedge, often to chip the ball over a short distance with more control.

Birdie Opportunity

A situation where a golfer has a good chance of scoring a birdie, typically due to a favorable position or a well-played shot.

Ball Mark Repair Tool

A small tool used to repair the indentation (ball mark) made when a golf ball lands on the green, to maintain the smooth surface of the green.

Ball-Bound

A term describing a golfer who is overly focused on the ball itself, often leading to technical mistakes in the swing or stance.

Bunker Shot

A shot played from a sand trap or bunker, typically requiring a different technique to lift the ball out of the sand effectively.

Ball Washer Station

An area on a golf course equipped with a ball washer, allowing players to clean their golf balls during the round.

Be the Right Club Today

A phrase often exclaimed by golfers after hitting a shot, hoping that the club selected was the correct choice for the desired distance and shot shape.

Bag Tag

A tag attached to a golf bag, usually for identification or as a souvenir from a particular golf club or tournament.

Back Tee Shot

A tee shot played from the back tees, which are the farthest set of tees from the hole and typically the most challenging.

Break Line Read

The process of evaluating and predicting the path a putt will take on the green, considering the slopes and contours that will affect the ball’s trajectory.

Ball Hawk

A golfer who has a keen ability to find lost or stray golf balls, often accumulating a large collection.

Bunker Shot Techniques

Various methods or strategies used by golfers to hit a ball out of a bunker, often involving adjustments in stance, club selection, and swing.

Ball Speed

The speed at which the golf ball travels immediately after being struck by the club. Higher ball speed typically leads to greater distance.

Break Speed Check

The act of assessing the speed at which a putt needs to be hit to follow the break line and reach the hole effectively.

Bogey Train

A term used when a golfer or group of golfers consecutively score bogeys (one stroke over par) on multiple holes.

Address

The practice of smoothing out the sand in a bunker after playing a shot, done as a courtesy to other players and to maintain the course.

Bottom of the Swing

The lowest point of a golfer’s swing arc, ideally occurring at the golf ball’s position for solid contact.

Back Foot Release

A term referring to the movement and rotation of the back foot during a golf swing, which can affect power and accuracy.

Break Point Control

The skill of accurately reading and executing a putt considering the point where the ball will start breaking due to the green’s slope.

Ball Flight Laws

The principles and physics that explain how and why a golf ball behaves as it does in flight, including factors like angle of attack, spin, and velocity.

Break Line Speed

The appropriate speed at which to hit a putt so that it stays on the intended break line towards the hole.

Ball Retrieval

The act of retrieving a golf ball from hard-to-reach places, often using a specialized tool like a ball retriever, especially from water hazards.

Bunker Play

The techniques and strategies used in playing a shot from a sand bunker, focusing on factors like stance, swing, and club selection.

Birdie Streak

A series of consecutive holes where a golfer scores birdies (one stroke under par).

Ball-Pocketing

An informal term used when a player keeps the golf ball after a significant achievement, like a hole-in-one or a personal best score.

Backdoor Par Save

Making par on a hole by successfully completing a challenging or unexpected shot, often coming in from the side or back of the green.

Break Point Visualization

The process of mentally picturing the point on a putt’s path where the ball will start to break, helping in planning the putt.

Ball in Hazard

Refers to a situation where the golf ball has landed in a designated hazard area, such as a bunker or water hazard, with specific rules governing play.

Break Line Analysis

The examination and assessment of the green to determine the break line, or path, a putt will follow based on the contours and slopes of the green.

Break Point Technique

The method or approach used to accurately judge and execute a putt considering the specific point where the ball will begin to break.

Ball-Side

Referring to the side of the player’s body closest to the ball during the stance and swing, often used in instruction to describe proper alignment and positioning.

Backswing Tempo

The rhythm and speed of the backswing portion of a golf swing, which is crucial for timing and consistency in the overall swing.

Back Nine Finish

The performance or score a golfer achieves on the last nine holes (10-18) of an 18-hole golf course.

Break Line Assessment

The process of evaluating the contours and slope of a green to determine the path a putt will take, considering how it will break.

Ball Retrieval Device

A tool designed to retrieve golf balls from difficult locations, such as water hazards, often featuring an extendable pole.

Break Point Alignment

The alignment of a putt in relation to the point on the green where the ball will begin to break, crucial for accurate putting.

Ball Washer Maintenance

The upkeep and care of a ball washer, ensuring it remains clean and functional for golfers to clean their golf balls.

Bounce Angle

The angle formed between the leading edge of a club (like a wedge) and the ground, affecting how the club interacts with the turf or sand.

Ball Flight Trajectory

The path and shape of the ball’s flight from the moment it is struck until it lands, including factors like height, distance, and curvature.

Break Line Prediction:

The skill of predicting the line along which a putt will break, taking into account the green’s contours, slope, and grain.

Ball Speed Check

Measuring the speed of a golf ball immediately after it is struck, which is an important factor in determining distance and trajectory.

C

Cabbage

Slang for thick, rough grass on a golf course, often making it difficult to hit the ball cleanly.

Caddie

A person who carries a player’s bag and clubs and provides advice and moral support.

Caddie Bib

A vest-like garment worn by caddies that typically displays the player’s name and sometimes the tournament or sponsor’s name.

Caddie Program

An organized system at golf clubs where caddies are trained, managed, and assigned to golfers.

Camber

The slight curvature of a golf club’s sole, from front to back, which helps the clubhead move smoothly over the ground.

Cambered Sole

A club sole design featuring a rounded or curved shape, which helps reduce turf drag and improve playability from various lies.

Carnoustie

A famous golf course in Scotland, known for its challenging layout and as a frequent host of The Open Championship.

Carry

The distance a golf ball travels through the air before it first hits the ground.

Carry Distance

The distance a golf ball travels in the air from the point of impact until it first touches the ground.

Carry Distance Indicator

A feature on some golf rangefinders or GPS devices that shows the golfer the estimated carry distance of their shot.

Carry Over

In match play or certain betting games, when a hole is tied, the value of that hole is carried over to the next hole, increasing its worth.

Cart Fee

The fee charged by a golf course for the use of a golf cart during a round.

Cart Partner

The person you share a golf cart with during a round, often your playing partner.

Cart Path

The designated pathway for golf carts on a course, usually made of concrete or asphalt, to minimize damage to the turf.

Cart Path Only

A rule or condition set by the course where golfers must keep their carts on the cart path at all times, usually to protect the course under wet or newly seeded conditions.

Carve

Slang for hitting a well-controlled shot with a clear, intentional flight path, often used in the context of shaping shots.

Cast

A common swing fault where the golfer extends their arms too early in the downswing, leading to a loss of power and control.

Casual Water Rule

A rule allowing golfers to move their ball without penalty if it lies in, or their stance is affected by, temporary accumulations of water on the course that aren’t part of a water hazard.

Cavity Back

A type of golf club design where the back of the club head is hollowed out, redistributing weight to the perimeter for more forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cavity-Back Irons

Irons featuring a cavity back design, which are typically more forgiving than blade-style irons and are popular among amateur golfers.

Center Grip

Gripping the club in the center of the grip, often used in putting to create a balanced and symmetrical hand position.

Center of Gravity

The point in a golf club where it balances, influencing how the clubhead interacts with the ball and the flight characteristics of the shot.

Center Shaft Putter

A putter where the shaft enters the head at the center, which can provide a more balanced feel and help with alignment.

Center Shafted Putter

Another term for a center shaft putter, emphasizing the shaft’s connection point directly in the center of the putter head.

Centre of Percussion

The point on the clubface where the impact causes the least vibration, often referred to as the “sweet spot” for optimal ball striking.

Championship Tees

The set of tees on a golf course positioned to provide the longest and most challenging route to the hole, often used in tournaments.

Chicken Wing

A flaw in the golf swing where the lead arm (left arm for a right-handed golfer) awkwardly bends at the elbow, leading to poor shots.

Chip and Chase

A type of chip shot where the ball is hit with enough force to land on the green and then roll or ‘chase’ towards the hole.

Chip and Run

Similar to a chip and chase, it’s a shot played near the green where the ball is hit low and designed to roll out towards the hole.

Chip Shot

A short shot typically played from near the green, where the ball is lofted into the air for a short distance and then rolls towards the hole.

Chip-In

When a chip shot from off the green goes directly into the hole.

Chip-Putt

A shot that combines elements of chipping and putting, using a putting stroke with a lofted club to gently lift the ball over the fringe and then roll like a putt.

Chipping Area

A designated practice area at a golf course specifically for practicing chip shots.

Chipping Yips

A term describing a golfer’s nervousness or involuntary wrist spasms during chipping, leading to inconsistent and poor shots.

Choke Down

Gripping the club further down the handle, closer to the shaft, for more control, often used in precision shots or windy conditions.

Chunk

A shot where the clubhead hits the ground heavily before the ball, causing a significant loss of distance; similar to a chili dip.

Claret Jug

The trophy awarded to the winner of The Open Championship, one of golf’s major tournaments, officially known as The Golf Champion Trophy.

Clean and Place

A rule modification allowing players to lift, clean, and then replace their ball on a closely mown area, typically enacted during wet course conditions.

Clean Hit

A shot where the ball is struck solidly and purely, typically resulting in the ball traveling the intended distance and direction.

Clean Swing

A swing that is free from errors or extraneous movements, often characterized by fluidity and control.

Clean the Ball

The act of removing dirt or debris from a golf ball, which is allowed in certain situations, like when the ball is on the green.

Clear the Hips

A term referring to the motion of the hips moving out of the way during the downswing, allowing the club to come through the hitting area more efficiently.

Cleek

An old-fashioned term for a golf club, originally referring to a metal-headed wood used for long shots, now more commonly used to describe utility woods or hybrids.

Closed Face

Describes a clubface position where the toe of the club is pointed towards the player at address, which can lead to hooks or pulls.

Closed Stance

A stance where the feet are aligned to the right of the target (for a right-handed player), often used to promote a draw or prevent a slice.

Club Length

The length of a golf club, measured from the end of the grip to the bottom of the clubhead, which affects the swing and suitability for the player.

Club Selection

The process of choosing the appropriate golf club for a particular shot, based on factors like distance, wind conditions, and terrain.

Clubface

The part of a golf club head that makes contact with the ball. Its design, angle, and condition significantly affect the ball’s flight.

Clubface Alignment

The direction in which the clubface is pointing at setup and impact, crucial for controlling the direction of the ball’s flight.

Clubface Angle

The angle of the clubface relative to the ball and target at the moment of impact, which affects the ball’s trajectory and spin.

Clubhead Design

The specific construction and features of a golf club head, which can include aspects like size, shape, weight distribution, and the type of materials used.

Clubhead Speed

The speed at which the clubhead is moving at the moment of impact with the golf ball, a critical factor in determining the distance the ball will travel.

Collar

The grass area surrounding the putting green, typically cut to a height between the fairway and green, also known as the fringe or apron.

Comebacker

A putt that a golfer must make after overshooting the hole, typically referring to a putt coming back towards the hole.

Compartment

In golf bags, compartments are the various sections designed to hold clubs, balls, and other golf equipment.

Compression

The measure of how much a golf ball deforms upon impact. Balls with higher compression are generally harder and require greater swing speed to compress fully.

Compression Rating

A numerical value assigned to golf balls indicating their compression; lower numbers generally indicate softer balls suitable for slower swing speeds, while higher numbers are for firmer balls and faster swing speeds.

Concession

In match play, a gesture where a player gives their opponent permission to count the next shot as made without actually playing it, often used for very short putts.

Condor

An extremely rare score of four under par on a single hole, achievable only on par-5s or exceptionally long par-4s, where a player holes out their first shot from the tee.

Connect Four

A playful term not officially recognized in golf, possibly referring to making four consecutive birdies or better in a round.

Contour Lines

Lines on a golf course map or guide indicating the slopes and gradients of the greens, aiding players in reading the green for putting.

Controlling the Spin

The skill of a golfer to manipulate the amount and type of spin on a golf ball, affecting its flight and behavior on landing.

Core

The innermost layer of a golf ball, which can significantly affect the ball’s overall performance, including distance and spin characteristics.

Core Compression

A measure of the hardness of the core of a golf ball, affecting how much the ball deforms upon impact with the club.

Core Cover

The outermost layer of a golf ball, made from various materials that affect durability, control, and feel.

Core Layer

The layers between a golf ball’s core and cover contribute to the ball’s performance characteristics like spin, control, and distance.

Counterbalance

A weight added to the grip end of a golf club, altering the balance point to improve control and stability of the swing potentially.

Course Etiquette

The set of behaviors and practices expected of golfers while on the course, including speed of play, care for the course, and respect for other players.

Course Handicap

A numerical representation of a golfer’s ability adjusted for the difficulty of a specific golf course, used in handicapping systems to level the playing field.

Course Management

The strategic approach to playing a golf course, where a player makes decisions about club selection, shot type, and target areas based on their abilities and course conditions.

Course Rating

A measure of the difficulty of a golf course for a scratch golfer (a golfer with a handicap of zero), used in handicapping systems.

Course Record

The lowest score ever recorded at a particular golf course during an official round of golf.

Course Superintendent

The individual responsible for the maintenance, management, and overall condition of a golf course.

Crack

A term that can refer to a sharp, clean sound made by a well-executed golf shot, or it can indicate a physical defect in a golf club, like a cracked shaft or clubhead.

Crawl

Not a standard golf term; it might refer colloquially to a very slow progression around the golf course due to challenging play or heavy course traffic.

Crisp Strike

A term used to describe a well-executed golf shot where the ball is struck cleanly and solidly, often leading to better control and distance.

Cross Bunker

A type of bunker that extends across the fairway, presenting an obstacle that golfers must either lay up in front of or hit over.

Cross-Handed Grip

A grip style where the hands are placed on the club in the opposite order from the traditional grip, often used in putting. For a right-handed golfer, this means the right hand is above the left.

Cross-Handed Putting

A putting technique using a cross-handed grip, believed by some to improve stroke stability and alignment.

Crossover Grip

Another term for the cross-handed grip, emphasizing the hands crossing over each other on the club handle.

Crosswind

Wind that blows across the direction of play, which can significantly affect the ball’s flight path and requires adjustment in aiming and club selection.

Crouch

A stance adopted by some golfers where they bend their knees more than usual, often to lower their center of gravity and improve stability.

Crushed

Slang for hitting the ball with great force and distance, often used when referring to a particularly long drive.

Cup

The 4.25-inch diameter hole on the green into which the ball is played. Also refers to the plastic or metal liner inside this hole.

Cup and Saucer Grip

A less common grip style where the fingers of one hand form a ‘cup’ and the other hand sits on top like a ‘saucer,’ sometimes used in putting.

Cup-Cake Green

Not a standard term in golf; it could be a colloquial or whimsical description of a green, possibly implying it’s smooth or easy like a cupcake.

Cup-Face Putter

A putter design where the face of the club is slightly concave, resembling a shallow cup. This design is not typical and may not conform to official golf rules.

Cup-Like Green

A description of a green’s contour where the surface slopes down towards the hole from all sides, resembling the shape of a cup. This can affect how putts roll towards the hole.

Cupped Left Wrist

In a golfer’s swing, particularly at the top of the backswing, this refers to a left wrist (for a right-handed golfer) that is bent inwards, resembling the shape of a cup. This position can affect the clubface angle and swing path.

Cupped Wrist

A wrist position in the golf swing where the wrist is bent inward, forming a concave shape. This position can impact the alignment of the clubface at impact.

Cupped Wrist Position

Specifically refers to the position of the wrist (usually the lead wrist) during the golf swing where it is bent in a cupped manner, potentially affecting the angle of the clubface.

Custom Fit

Refers to golf equipment, especially clubs, that are tailored to an individual’s specific physical attributes and swing characteristics. Custom fitting can include adjustments to club length, lie angle, shaft type, grip size, and more.

Cut Line

A type of golf shot where the ball is intentionally hit with a slight fade, causing it to move from left to right for a right-handed golfer, often used to navigate around obstacles or reach specific target areas.

Cut Throat Match

Not a commonly used term in mainstream golf; it might refer to a highly competitive or aggressive style of match play. However, it is not a standard format or recognized term in the rules of golf.

D

Dead

A term used to describe a golf ball that has stopped in a position where it’s very difficult or impossible to make the next shot effectively.

Dimples

The small indentations on the surface of a golf ball are designed to reduce air resistance and influence the ball’s flight path.

Divot

The piece of turf displaced when the club strikes the ball on a fairway shot.

Dogleg

A hole that bends at an angle rather than straight, usually requiring strategic planning for shot placement.

Dog Licence

An informal term in the UK for a score of seven on a hole, as the cost of a dog licence was once seven shillings.

Dormie or Dormy

A match play term where a player leads by the same number of remaining holes, guaranteeing at least a tie.

Dormie House

A situation in match play golf where one player is leading by the same number of holes remaining to be played, meaning they cannot lose but can only tie the match.

Double Bogey

Completing a hole in two strokes over the assigned par for that hole.

Double Cross

A shot that goes in the opposite direction of the intended target, often caused by a golfer’s error in swing path or clubface alignment.

Double Eagle

Scoring three strokes under par on a single hole, also known as an “albatross.”

Downswing

The part of a golf swing where the clubhead moves from the top of the backswing to impact with the ball.

Draw

A golf shot that curves gently from right to left (for a right-handed golfer) in flight, often desired for better control.

Drive

The first shot taken from the tee box on a hole, typically with a driver club, intended to cover the greatest distance.

Duck-Hook

A shot that curves sharply to the left (for a right-handed golfer) immediately after being struck, often resulting in a severe misdirection.

Duff

A slang term for a poorly executed golf shot, often resulting in minimal distance or an embarrassing mishit.

E

Eagle

Scoring two strokes under par on a single hole.

Even

When a golfer’s score on a hole is equal to the par for that hole.

Explosion Bunker Shot

A golf shot played from a sand bunker with a technique that involves hitting the sand behind the ball to propel it out of the bunker.

F

Fade

A golf shot that curves gently from left to right (for a right-handed golfer) in flight, often used for controlled ball placement.

Fairway

The golf course’s closely mowed and well-maintained part between the tee box and the green.

Fairway Hit (FH)

A statistic measures how often a golfer’s tee shot lands in the fairway.

Fairway Markers

Signs or markers on the fairway indicating the distance to the green.

Fat

Hit the ground behind the ball before making contact, resulting in a shot with reduced distance and control.

Ferret

Slang for sinking a putt in a single stroke often used humorously.

Flagstick

The pole on the green that holds the flag to indicate the hole’s location.

Flier

A golf shot that flies farther than expected due to reduced spin, often caused by striking the ball with a clean clubface.

Flop Shot

A high and soft shot played with an open clubface, often used to clear obstacles and stop the ball quickly on the green.

Follow Through

The continuation of a golfer’s swing after the ball is struck, important for control and balance.

Fore

A warning shout to alert others on the course of a potentially errant golf shot.

Fore Caddy

A caddy who assists by tracking and retrieving golf balls and providing guidance, often used in professional tournaments.

Four-Ball

A type of golf match in which two teams of two players each compete, with each player playing their own ball, and the team with the lowest score on each hole wins.

Foursomes

A format of golf where two teams of two players each take turns hitting a single golf ball, with one player teeing off on odd-numbered holes and the other on even-numbered holes.

Frenchie

Slang term for a hole-in-one (also known as an “ace”).

Fringe

The closely mowed area of grass surrounding the putting green, between the green and the fairway.

Front Nine

The first nine holes of an 18-hole golf course, typically numbered 1 through 9.

Funnies

Informal slang referring to funny or entertaining moments and stories related to golf.

G

Gimme

A short putt that other players concede in a casual round because it’s so close to the hole that it’s expected to be made.

Golden Ferret

Slang for holing out a shot from a greenside bunker in a single stroke.

Goldie Bounce

A fortunate bounce or deflection of the golf ball off an obstacle or the ground, often leading to a more favorable lie.

The equipment used by golfers to hit the ball, including various types of clubs designed for different shots and distances.

Good-Good

An agreement between players in match play to mutually concede a hole as halved, meaning neither player gains an advantage on that hole.

Grain

The direction in which the grass on a putting green grows, affecting the roll and break of putts.

Grand Slam

Winning all four of golf’s major championships (The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship) in a single calendar year.

Green

The closely mowed, well-manicured area surrounding the hole on a golf course where the final putts are made.

Green Fee

The fee paid by golfers to play a round of golf on a specific golf course.

Green in Regulation (GIR)

A statistic indicating that a golfer reached the green in the expected number of strokes (usually two on a par-3, three on a par-4, and four on a par-5).

Greensomes

A format of golf where two players on a team each tee off, and then they choose one of the tee shots and alternate hitting from there until the hole is completed.

Groove

The horizontal and parallel indentations on the face of a golf club, which can affect ball spin and control.

Gross Score

A golfer’s total score for a round without any handicap adjustments.

Ground Under Repair (GUR)

Areas on the golf course that are designated as being temporarily unfit for play, often marked with white stakes or lines.

H

Hacker

A slang term for an inexperienced or unskilled golfer.

Half

A match play result where both players or teams have won an equal number of holes, resulting in a tied match.

Halfway House or Halfway Hut

A small refreshment station on the golf course, typically located around the ninth hole, where golfers can grab snacks and drinks.

Handicap

A numerical measure of a golfer’s ability, used to level the playing field in competition by allowing players of different skill levels to compete on an equal basis.

Handsy

A swing characterized by excessive use of the hands and wrists, often resulting in inconsistent shots.

Hard-pan

Firm, compacted ground on the golf course, typically found in areas with little or no grass.

Hazard

A general term in golf for any obstacle on the course, such as bunkers, water hazards, or rough, that can make play more challenging.

Heel

The part of the clubhead closest to the shaft, opposite the clubface.

Hole

The defined target area on each golf course where players attempt to complete each stage of a hole in the fewest strokes possible.

Hole in One

Scoring a single stroke to complete a hole, typically on a par-3 hole.

Hole in One Insurance

An insurance policy that pays a prize if a golfer achieves a hole-in-one during a designated event, such as a tournament.

Hook

A golf shot that curves sharply from right to left (for a right-handed golfer) in flight, often caused by a closed clubface.

Hosel

The part of the clubhead where the shaft is attached, often associated with mis-hits when the ball is struck off-center.

Hybrid

A type of golf club that combines the characteristics of both irons and woods, typically used for long shots and designed to be forgiving and easy to hit.

I

Immovable Obstruction

An object on the golf course, such as a building or a cart path, that cannot be easily moved and may be subject to specific rules regarding relief.

Interlocking Grip

A grip style in which the pinky finger of the bottom hand is interlocked with the index finger of the top hand, often used by golfers with smaller hands.

Inward Nine

The second nine holes on an 18-hole golf course, typically holes 10 through 18.

Iron

A type of golf club with a solid metal head, typically used for a wide range of shots from various distances.

J

Jab

A short, quick, and often awkward stroke, often used to describe a hurried or poorly executed putt.

K

Knock-Down

A shot played intentionally with a lower trajectory to control distance and ball flight, often used in windy conditions.

Korn Ferry Tour

A professional golf tour in the United States that serves as a developmental tour for players aspiring to compete on the PGA Tour.

L

Lag

A putting technique where a golfer aims to leave the ball a short distance from the hole to set up an easier next putt.

Lateral Water Hazard

A type of water hazard on the golf course that runs parallel to the fairway or hole, often indicated by red stakes or lines.

Lay-Up

A conservative shot choice where a golfer intentionally avoids trying to reach the green in a single shot, typically done to position the ball for a better approach shot.

Leven

A Scottish term for a mound or hill on a golf course that may affect the play of the hole.

Lie

The position and angle of the golf ball on the ground, which can vary depending on factors like the slope of the terrain.

Line

The intended path or direction a golfer aims to follow when making a shot, such as the line to the hole on a putting green.

Links

A type of golf course typically located in coastal areas, characterized by sandy soil, natural dunes, and often strong winds.

Lob

A high, short shot with a high-lofted club, typically used to clear obstacles and stop the ball quickly on the green.

Local Rule

A specific rule or condition established by a golf course or tournament committee to address unique or temporary situations not covered by the standard rules of golf.

Loft

The angle of the clubface that affects the trajectory and distance of a golf shot, with higher loft resulting in higher ball flight.

Loose Impediment

Natural objects, such as leaves, branches, or stones, that are not fixed or growing and can be moved without penalty by the golfer.

LPGA

Acronym for the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the organization that governs women’s professional golf in the United States and hosts the LPGA Tour, a prestigious women’s golf tournament circuit.

M

Made Cut Did Not Finish (MDF)

A status used in professional golf tournaments where a golfer successfully makes the cut after the second round but does not complete the tournament due to withdrawing or being disqualified.

Major(s)

The four most prestigious and widely recognized golf tournaments in the world: The Masters, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship (often referred to simply as “The Open”), and the PGA Championship.

Marker

A device or object used to indicate the position of a golf ball on the putting green before it is lifted and cleaned.

Mashie Niblick

An obsolete term for an old-style golf club with a specific degree of loft, used in historic golf.

Match Play

A golf format where two players or teams compete against each other on a hole-by-hole basis, to win individual holes rather than focus on overall strokes.

Medal Play

Another term for stroke play, where golfers complete a round of golf with the total number of strokes being the determining factor in the outcome.

Medalist

The golfer who has the lowest score in stroke play competition, often used in qualifying rounds.

Member’s Bounce

When a golf ball takes an unusually favorable bounce or roll, often attributed to familiarity with the course.

Mid-Amateur

A golf tournament or category of competition for amateur golfers typically aged 25 years and older.

Misread

An error made by a golfer in assessing the break or line of a putt on the putting green.

Monday Qualifier

A qualifying tournament held on a Monday before a professional golf tournament, providing an opportunity for unqualified golfers to earn a spot in the tournament field.

Movable Obstruction

An object on the golf course that can be easily moved without penalty by the golfer, such as a rake or a discarded scorecard.

Moving Day

The third round of a multi-day golf tournament, often considered a pivotal day where players aim to position themselves well for the final round.

Mud Ball

A golf ball that has accumulated dirt or mud on its surface, which can affect its flight and roll.

Mulligan

A slang term for a do-over or a second chance to hit a shot, often informally allowed in casual rounds but not permitted in official competition.

N

Nassau

A popular golf betting game where the round is divided into three separate bets: the front nine, the back nine, and the overall 18-hole match.

Net Score

A golfer’s score adjusted for their handicap, calculated by subtracting their handicap from their gross score.

Nine-Iron

A type of golf club with a specific degree of loft, typically used for approach shots and pitching.

No Card (NC)

A situation where a golfer fails to complete a scorecard for their round, often resulting in disqualification.

No Return (NR)

When a golfer does not complete a round and fails to turn in a scorecard, typically leading to disqualification.

O

On the Charge

A term used to describe a golfer who is playing exceptionally well and making a strong move up the leaderboard.

Open Face

A clubface position where it is angled to the right (for a right-handed golfer), often resulting in a shot that moves from left to right in flight.

Open Stance

A stance in which a golfer’s front foot is positioned farther away from the target line than the back foot, often used to promote a fade or slice.

Out-of-Bounds

Areas on the golf course, typically marked with white stakes or lines, where a ball is considered beyond the playable boundaries and out of play.

Outside Agent

Any object or person not part of the player’s equipment or the golf course that can influence the movement of a golf ball.

Outward Nine

The first nine holes of an 18-hole golf course, typically holes 1 through 9.

Overlapping Grip

A common grip style in which the little finger of the bottom hand overlaps the index finger of the top hand, often used by golfers with larger hands.

P

Pace

The speed at which a round of golf is played, often emphasized to maintain a reasonable pace and avoid slow play.

Par

The standard number of strokes a skilled golfer is expected to take to complete a hole or a round of golf.

Penal

Referring to actions or strokes that result in a penalty in golf, often added to a golfer’s score.

Perfect Round

A round of golf where a player completes the course with the fewest possible strokes, typically achieving a score of 18 for 18 holes (a hole-in-one on each hole).

PGA

Acronym for the Professional Golfers’ Association, which represents golf professionals and promotes the sport.

PGA Tour

The premier professional golf tour in the United States, featuring the world’s top golfers and prestigious tournaments.

PGA Tour Champions

A senior professional golf tour for players aged 50 and older, featuring former PGA Tour professionals.

Pick Up

A golfer’s decision to end a hole and not complete it, often done to speed up play or when a player is no longer competitive on a hole.

Pin

Another term for the flagstick on the putting green.

Pin-High

A term used to describe a golf ball that has come to rest at the same distance from the hole as the flagstick.

Pitch

A golf shot played with a high-lofted club that is intended to travel a short distance and stop quickly on the green.

Pitch Mark

A depression or mark on the putting green made by a ball’s impact upon landing.

Play Through

Allowing a faster group of golfers to pass a slower group by inviting them to continue ahead.

Plugged Lie

A situation where a golf ball is buried in its own pitch mark, typically in wet or soft ground conditions.

Plus Handicap

A handicap indicating a highly skilled golfer who typically shoots better than the average player.

Pop-Up

A poor golf shot where the ball goes almost straight up in the air, resulting in a short and ineffective shot.

Power Transfer Ratio

The efficiency of transferring energy from the golfer’s body to the golf club during the swing.

Pre-Shot Routine

A golfer’s personalized set of actions and mental preparations done before taking a shot to help with consistency and focus.

Preferred Lies

A rule that allows golfers to improve their lie by lifting, cleaning, and placing the ball within certain limits on the course due to adverse conditions.

Pro (Professional)

A highly skilled golfer who competes in tournaments for a living, often earning money from sponsorships and endorsements.

Pro Shop

The retail store at a golf course or club where golf equipment, clothing, and accessories are sold.

Provisional Ball

A second ball played by a golfer when there is a chance the original ball may be lost or out of bounds.

Punch Shot

A low-trajectory golf shot used to navigate obstacles or strong winds, achieved by de-lofting the clubface and striking the ball with a descending blow.

Push

A golf shot that goes straight to the right (for a right-handed golfer) without curving back towards the target.

Putt

A golf shot made on the green where the ball is rolled into the hole using a putter.

Putter

A specialized golf club with a flat face used for putting on the green.

Putting Green

A specially manicured area on the golf course where players putt to complete a hole.

Q

Q-School

Qualifying School, a series of tournaments used by some professional golf tours to determine player eligibility.

R

Range Finder

A device used to measure the distance from a golfer to a target on the golf course.

Ready Golf

A playing strategy where golfers are encouraged to play their shots promptly to maintain a good pace of play.

Redan

A type of golf hole design characterized by a sloping green that angles away from the line of play.

Release

The moment in a golf swing when the golfer’s wrists unhinge, allowing the clubhead to follow through after impact.

Reverse Bounce Back

Scoring one or more strokes over par immediately after having scored one or more strokes under par on a previous hole.

Rough

The tall, thick grass or vegetation found alongside fairways and around greens, often making shots more difficult.

Rowan Match Play

A type of golf match play format with specific rules and scoring.

Rub of the Green

An unforeseen circumstance on the course that affects the ball’s path or lie, and is not due to a player’s actions.

Run

The distance the ball travels after it lands and rolls on the ground.

Rutter

A term not commonly used in golf terminology; it may refer to a local slang term or be specific to a particular region or course.

S

Sand Save

A successful shot from a sand trap (bunker) that results in the golfer making the next putt to save par or better.

Sand Trap

A hazard on the golf course filled with sand, also known as a bunker, designed to penalize golfers for wayward shots.

Sand Wedge

A golf club with a high loft designed specifically for playing shots out of sand traps.

Sandbagger

A golfer who intentionally misrepresents their skill level or handicap to gain an advantage in competition.

Sandy (or Sandie)

Slang for a successful shot from a sand trap that results in a par or better.

Scotch Foursomes

A golf format where two golfers on a team alternate hitting the same ball throughout the round.

Scramble

A golf format where all players on a team tee off, and then the best shot is chosen for the next shot, and so on, until the ball is holed.

Scratch Golfer

A golfer with a handicap of 0, indicating they typically shoot par or better.

Senior

A golfer who is typically 50 years of age or older, often competing in age-specific tournaments.

Senior PGA Tour

Now known as the PGA Tour Champions, it is a professional golf tour for senior golfers.

Shamble

A golf format combining elements of both scramble and stroke play, where all players tee off, choose the best drive, and then play their own ball from there.

Shank

A poor golf shot where the ball strikes the hosel of the club, often resulting in an errant and unpredictable shot.

Shoot Your (My) Age

Achieving a golf score equal to or lower than one’s age, considered a notable accomplishment.

Shoot Your (My) Temperature

Slang for shooting a score equivalent to one’s body temperature (e.g., 98 for 98 degrees Fahrenheit).

Short Game

The aspect of golf that involves shots played near or on the green, including chipping and putting.

Short Side

The side of the green or pin location that offers less room for error, making it a challenging position to approach from.

Shotgun Start

A tournament format where all players start simultaneously on different holes, often used to accommodate a large field of golfers.

Shrimp

Slang for a very short putt on the golf course.

Sit!

A term used to instruct a golfer’s ball to stop quickly after landing on the green, often shouted by caddies.

Skin

A betting game in golf where each hole has a monetary value, and the player with the lowest score on a hole wins the “skin.”

Skull

A mishit golf shot where the ball is struck too high on the clubface, resulting in a low-flying shot.

Slice

A shot that curves to the right (for a right-handed golfer) due to sidespin, often resulting from an open clubface.

Slope Rating

A measure of the difficulty of a golf course for a bogey golfer, used to adjust handicaps in stroke play.

Snap Hook

A shot that curves sharply to the left (for a right-handed golfer) due to excessive hook spin.

Snowman

Slang for a score of 8 on a golf hole, referencing the shape of the numeral 8.

Society

A group of golfers who organize regular rounds of golf together, often for social and recreational purposes.

Sole

The bottom part of a golf clubhead that makes contact with the ground at address.

Span

The distance between the fingertips of a golfer’s outstretched hand, often used to estimate club length.

Speed

Refers to the pace at which a golfer strikes the ball, critical for putting and chipping.

Sprachle

A colloquial term for struggling or having difficulty while playing a round of golf.

Spray

A term used when a golfer hits shots that widely miss the target and scatter across the course.

Stableford

A golf scoring system where players earn points based on their score relative to par on each hole.

Stimpmeter

A device used to measure the speed of a golf course’s putting greens.

Stony

Slang for a golf course that has hard and unforgiving ground conditions.

Strategic

Describes a golf course layout that requires careful planning and shot selection due to its design features.

Stroke Index

A number assigned to each hole on a golf course to indicate the hole’s difficulty for a bogey golfer.

Stroke Play

A golf format where the total number of strokes taken over the entire round determines the winner.

Stymie

An obsolete golf rule where a ball on the putting green could block an opponent’s putting line until the early 20th century.

Sunday Bag

A small, lightweight golf bag typically used for carrying a limited set of clubs during casual rounds.

Sunday Stick or Sabbath Stick

A nickname for a putter, emphasizing its importance on the green.

Sweet Spot

The center of the clubface, where a golf ball should ideally be struck for maximum distance and accuracy.

Swing

The motion used by a golfer to strike the ball, including the backswing and follow-through.

T

T

In golf, “T” is a colloquial term referring to a tee, the small peg used to elevate the golf ball for the initial drive on each hole.

Tap-In

A tap-in is a very short and easy putt that requires minimal effort to hole and is typically just a formality on the putting green.

Target Line

The target line in golf is the intended direction or line of play that a golfer aims for when hitting a shot, helping to align the swing with the target.

Tee

The tee is the area from which golfers start each hole, and it is typically marked with tee markers and elevated for the initial drive.

Teeing Ground

The teeing ground is the designated area on each hole where golfers tee up their balls, ensuring consistent starting conditions.

Tempo

In golf, tempo refers to the rhythm and timing of a golfer’s swing, crucial for maintaining consistency and control throughout the round.

Ten-Finger Grip

The ten-finger grip is a golf grip style where all ten fingers are in contact with the club handle, sometimes used by beginners or golfers with hand strength issues.

The R&A

The R&A, or The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, is a governing body responsible for golf’s rules outside of the United States and Mexico, playing a significant role in golf regulations.

Thin Shot

A thin shot in golf occurs when the ball is struck too high on the clubface, resulting in a low-flying shot that often travels too far.

Through Line

The through line in golf is an imaginary line connecting the golfer’s ball to the target, aiding in alignment and aiming.

Through the Green

Through the green” is a term used in golf to refer to the entire course except for hazards and putting greens, indicating the playable areas.

Tiger Slam

The Tiger Slam is a historic golf achievement by Tiger Woods, where he won all four major championships consecutively, though not in the same calendar year.

Tips

The “tips” are the farthest back tees on a golf course, typically reserved for highly skilled or professional golfers and offering the greatest course length and challenge.

Toe

In golf, the toe refers to the outermost part of the clubface, opposite the heel, and its contact with the ball can affect the shot’s direction and feel.

Topped

A topped golf shot is one where the clubhead strikes the top of the ball, causing it to roll along the ground rather than gaining significant height.

Tree Shot

A tree shot in golf refers to a situation where a golfer must play a shot around or over trees to reach the target, often requiring skillful shot selection.

Triple Bogey

A triple bogey in golf represents a score of three strokes over par on a single hole, indicating a challenging and unfortunate hole.

Trolley

A trolley is a wheeled cart used on the golf course to carry golf clubs and equipment, making it easier for golfers to transport their gear during a round.

Turkey

In golf slang, “turkey” signifies achieving three consecutive birdies (three under par) in a single round, a notable accomplishment.

U

Unplayable

An unplayable lie in golf is a situation where a player deems it impossible to make a reasonable stroke at the ball without penalty, leading to relief options under the rules.

Up and Down (or Up and In)

Completing a hole in two strokes or fewer after missing the green in regulation, often requiring a successful chip or pitch followed by a putt.

USGA

The USGA, or United States Golf Association, is the governing body responsible for golf’s rules and regulations in the United States and Mexico.

USPGA

The USPGA, or United States Professional Golfers’ Association, represents golf professionals in the United States and is involved in player development, education, and tournaments.

V

Vardon Grip

The Vardon grip in golf is a common grip style, named after Harry Vardon, where the right pinkie finger overlaps the left index finger (for right-handed golfers) on the club handle.

Vaulting Dormie

In match play, “vaulting dormie” describes a situation where one player is ahead by as many holes as there are left to play, ensuring at least a tie in the match.

W

Waggle

A waggle in golf is a small, rhythmic movement or practice swing taken by a golfer before addressing the ball, helping to establish a comfortable setup and swing tempo.

We Are Golf

“We Are Golf” is a campaign aimed at promoting the game of golf and highlighting its positive impact on communities and the economy.

Wedge

A wedge in golf is a specialized club with a high loft, designed for short approach shots, chipping, and getting out of bunkers.

Whiff

In golf, a whiff occurs when a golfer completely misses the ball during a swing, resulting in no contact and an embarrassing moment on the course.

Winter Green

A winter green is an artificial putting surface constructed for year-round practice, especially when natural grass greens may be unavailable or in poor condition.

Winter Rules

Winter rules in golf are special rules and course conditions that come into effect during the winter season, often allowing for preferred lies and accommodating for adverse weather conditions.

Wire-to-Wire

Winning a golf tournament “wire-to-wire” means leading from the first round through the final round and securing victory without ever relinquishing the lead.

Wood

In golf, a wood is a type of golf club made of wood or, more commonly, metal, used for longer shots from the fairway or tee, known for its distance capabilities.

Worm Burner

A worm burner is a low, fast golf shot that skims along the ground after being struck, often unintentionally, resulting in a shot with minimal height.

X

X-Out

This term x-out refers to golf balls marked with an “X” by the manufacturer. These balls are often sold at a lower price because they have some form of imperfection or cosmetic defect. However, these imperfections usually do not affect the ball’s performance significantly.

X-Factor

While not a traditional golf term, “X-Factor” is sometimes used to describe the difference in the rotation or movement between the hips and the shoulders during a golfer’s swing. A larger “X-Factor” is often associated with a more powerful swing, as it can indicate a greater build-up of torque.

X-Stiff

This term is used to describe the flex of a golf club’s shaft. “X-Stiff” stands for “Extra Stiff.” Shafts with this rating are typically used by golfers who have very high swing speeds, as they offer less flexibility, allowing for more control at higher speeds.

Y

Yardage

Yardage in golf refers to the distance from a specific point on the golf course to the target, typically measured in yards, helping golfers determine club selection and shot strategy.

Yips

The yips are a psychological condition in golf where a golfer experiences involuntary and erratic movements, often affecting putting and causing a loss of control.

Z

Zinger

In golf, “zinger” is slang for an exceptionally long and powerful golf shot that impresses with its distance and velocity.