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Common Golf Terms

4 player game with teams of 2 that can be played as a 4 or 5 point game per hole. 1 Point is given for each of the following.
  1. Long drive in fairway ( 5 point only )
  2. Closest to Pin
  3. Low Ball
  4. Low team total
  5. Low team putts
When a player hits the ball directly from the tee into the cup with one shot.
The act of taking a stance and placing the clubhead behind the ball. If the ball moves once a player has addressed the ball, there is a one-stroke penalty.
Refers to a score made over more than one round of play, or by two or more players playing as partners.
Generally, the direction in which your target lies and the direction you intend for your ball to go.
Air shot
An attempt to strike the ball where the player fails to make contact. Counted as a stroke. See also Whiff.
A hole played three strokes under par.
The position of a player's body relative to the target line of the ball.
All Square
In match play, a match is all square' (tied) when both players or teams have won the same number of holes.
A system of team play whereby each player takes a tee shot, after which the most favourable ball position is chosen. All the team's players then take a shot from this new position, and so on. (Also known as a Texas Scramble)
Angle of Approach
The angle at which the club head strikes the ball. This affects the trajectory the ball will travel and spin.
A golf shot that is made from a distance (rough or fairway) towards the green.
Approach Shot
A shot intended to land the ball on the green.
The grass surface on the perimeter of the green that separates it from the fairway.
Attend (the Flagstick)
When a player holds and removes the flagstick for another player.
Back nine
The last nine holes of an 18 hole golf course.
A reverse spin placed on the ball to make in stop short on the putting surface.
The backward part of the swing starting from the ground and going back over the head.
A small sphere used in playing golf, which is intended to be struck by a club and travel in the general direction of the green for a particular hole, if one is playing on a regulation golf course.
A token or a small coin used to spot the ball's position on the green prior to lifting it.
A device found on many tees for cleaning golf balls.
A slice that curves to the right in the shape of a banana. An extreme slice.
British version of the term Sandbagger (see below).
Bare Lie
When the ball lies directly on hard ground without any grass to buoy the ball up - ie where there is no grass creating a gap between ball and the ground. Applicable when practicing off hard mats.
Baseball grip
Grip style with all ten fingers on the club. Also known as the ""Ten-Finger Gri
Best Ball
Best ball can be played using 2-, 3- or 4-person teams. Each player on the team plays his or her own golf ball throughout the round, and on each hole the low score - or "best ball" - of the group serves as the team score. You may also choose how many balls to count for the best ball. It will then combine that number of "best balls" to calculate the team score
Best Ball
Where a single player plays a match against a team consisting of either two or three players.
Is the professional association dealing with all matters of golf management from a greenkeeper's viewpoint.
There are 3 points on each hole for this game. (Bingo) - The player first on the green. (Bango) - The player closest to the pin. (Bongo) - The first player to hole out.
A hole played one stroke under par.
Heavy backspin applied to a ball that causes it to stop quickly instead of rolling when it lands.
Term used to describe one type of iron made by forging the metal rather than from a cast mold. Also, describes a shot struck ""thinly"" with an iron in the middle of the golf ball.
A bunker shot that sends the ball, and accompanying sand, (hopefully) onto the green. Also known as a "explosion".
A shot that does not allow the golfer to see where the ball will land, such as onto an elevated green from below.
A shot played severely to the right; as opposed to slices, which curve from left to right, a blocked shot goes directly right. Similar to the "push".
A hole played one stroke over par.
Shooting one over par
Technically, the measure of the angle from the front edge of a club's sole to the point that rests on the ground when addressing the ball.
The amount of lateral slope one must account for on a putt. In the United Kingdom, it is known as "borrow".
Playing consistently above your regular handicap or regularly failing to achieve in competition play. It is the opposite of Sandbagging (see Sandbagger, below).
Bump and run
A low-trajectory shot that is intended to get the ball rolling along the fairway and up onto the green. Similar to a chip shot, but played from a greater distance.
A depression in bare ground that is usually covered with sand. Also called a "sand trap". It is considered a hazard under the Rules of Golf
Bunker, Fairway
A bunker located on the fairway.
Bunker, Greenside
A bunker next to a green.
A short game played over the remaining holes when the main match finishes early because one player or team has won by a large margin. It serves the joint purpose of adding some competitive meaning to the rest of the holes and also for the losing side to attempt to regain some of the de lost as a result of their humiliation in the main match. It is usual for the loser of the bye to buy the first drinks in the 19th hole afterwards. In this respect it is an almost direct equivalent to a beer match in cricket.
A person paid to carry a player's clubs and offer advice. Players are responsible for the actions of their caddies.
A wager, typically in support of one team to win a tournament. In a Calcutta golfers bid, auction style, on the team (or golfer) who they think will win the tournament (you can bid on your own team or yourself). All the money raised through the auction goes into an auction pool. At the end of the tournament, those who bet on the winning team (or golfer) that won the tournament receives a pre-determined payout from the auction pool.
How far the ball travels through the air. Contrasted with ""ru
The four-wheeled electrical or gas-powered vehicle for use in transporting players and their equipment from hole to hole. Also, a hand-pulled (2-wheel) or hand-pushed (3-wheel) cart for carrying a bag of clubs, also available in powered versions controlled by remote.
Casual water
Any temporary standing water visible after a player has taken his stance. Snow and ice can also be taken as casual water, as well as water that overflows the banks of existing water hazards.
A short shot (typically played from very close to and around the green), that is intended to travel through the air over a very short distance and roll the remainder of the way to the hole.
A swing that results in the clubhead hitting the ground several inches before the ball, resulting in a large chunk of ground being taken as a divot. Also called a "fat" shot, or "chili-dipping".
An umbrella term for generic brand golf clubs.
Closed Face
When (in relation to the target-line) the clubface is angled toward the player's body, ie angled left for right-handed players.
Closed Stance
When a player's front foot is set closer to the target-line. Used to draw the ball or to prevent a slice.
A tool for the player to hit the ball. 14 clubs are allowed by the rules.
The surface of the club head which is designed to strike the golf ball. Players should strive to hit the ball with the center of the clubface to maximize distance and accuracy.
This is where play begins and ends. The clubhouse is also your source for information about local rules, the conditions of the course, upcoming events and other essential information for the avid golfer. Normally, you can also purchase balls, clubs, clothes, and other golfing equipment at the clubhouse.
A putt required after the previous putt went past the hole.
The measurement for expressing the hardness of a golf ball, normally 90 compression. Harder balls (100 compression) are intended for players with faster swings but may also be useful in windy conditions.
A four-under par shot, a hole-in-one on a par 5 . This has occurred on a hole with a heavy dogleg, hard ground, and no trees.[citation needed] Might also be called "a triple eagle".
A designated area of land on which golf is played through a normal succession from hole #1 to the last hole.
Putting (and, occasionally, full-swing) grip in which the hands are placed in positions opposite that of the conventional grip. For right-handed golfers, a cross-handed grip would place the left hand below the right. Also known as the "left-hand low" grip, it has been known to help players combat the yips.
Cut or the cut
After the first two rounds of a stroke play tournament, a select number of players will have earned the right to play the rest of the tournament for a chance to win the championship, by having a score at or lower than this number. The cut is usually a fixed number of players (e.g. 70), plus anyone tied for that place. In some tournaments, anyone within a fixed number of strokes (e.g. 10) of the leader are also included in the cut. Those missing the cut earn no official money for the tournament.
Cut Shot
Same as a fade, a cut curves from left to right (for a right-handed player), but is generally higher in trajectory and more controlled than a standard fade. The "high cut" is a staple among PGA Tour players.
TV-broadcaster slang for a shot in which there is no favorable outcome possible. Variations include "Get the body bags!" A favorite of Gary McCord.
The round indentations on the golf ball cover which are scientifically designed to enable the ball to make a steady and true flight.
This is the piece of grass that is often removed from the turf when a golf shot is made. It is common golf courtesy to replace the divet when possible.
The chunk of grass (either fairway or rough) displaced when an iron or wedge shot is played. The indentation on the green caused by the ball on an approach shot is called a pitch mark, not a divot.
Dog licence
A defeat in matchplay by the margin of 7&6. Named because the cost of a dog licence in the United Kingdom before decimalisation in 1971 was seven shillings and sixpence (written 7/6, 37½p in new money), commonly known as seven and six.
Scoring an 'eight' on any single golf hole. The origin of the term is in reference to what the number 'eight' looks like on its side.
A left or right bend in the fairway.
In match play, a player is dormie when leading by as many holes as there are holes left to play (i.e. 4 up with four holes to play is called "dormie 4"). The player who is down must then win every remaining hole to save the match and force its continuation into extra holes (if a winner must be determined) or halve the match (in a team competition such as the Ryder Cup).
Double Bogey
A hole played two strokes over par.
Double Cross
A shot whereby a player intends for a slice and hits a hook, or conversely, intends to play a draw and hits a slice. So called because the player has aimed left (in the case of a slice) and compounds this with hitting a hook, which moves left as well.
Double Eagle (or Albat
A hole played three strokes under par.
The motion of swinging a club from the top of the swing to the point of impact.
A shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves slightly to the left; often played intentionally by skilled golfers. An overdone draw usually becomes a hook.
The first shot of each hole, made from an area called the tee box (see definition below), usually done with a driver (a type of golf club).
This is typically the golf club that is used for the longest distance from the tee. It has little loft, but can “drive” the golf ball a long distance.
A hole played in two strokes under par.
A bunker shot that sends the ball, and accompanying sand, (hopefully) onto the green. Also known as a "blast".
A shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves slightly to the right; often played intentionally by skilled golfers. An overdone fade usually becomes a slice.
The area of the course between the tee and the green that is well-maintained allowing a good lie for the ball
Fat shot
A poor shot in which the club is slowed by catching too much grass or soil, resulting in a short and slow ball flight.
A type of lie where the ball is in the rough and grass is likely to become trapped between the ball and the clubface at the moment of impact. Flier lies often result in "flier shots", which have little or no spin (due to the blades of grass blocking the grooves on the clubface) and travel much farther than intended.
Flop shot
A short shot, played with an open stance and an open clubface, designed to travel very high in the air and land softly on the green. The flop shot is useful when players do not have "much green to work with", but should only be attempted on the best of lies. Phil Mickelson is a master of the flop shot.
For the Car Bounce
Any ball that is advanced toward the green by virtue of the ball striking a cartpath, or highway running alongside a fairway, and remains or returns in bounds.
Fore! is shouted as a warning when it appears a ball may possibly hit other players or spectators.
In matchplay, a contest between two sides each consisting of a pair of players, where every individual plays their own ball throughout. On every hole, the lower of the two partner's scores counts and is matched against the opposition's score. (Fourballs are the opening matches played on the Friday and Saturday mornings of the Ryder Cup.) In strokeplay, a fourball competition is played between several teams each consisting of 2 players, where for every hole the lower of the two partner's scores counts toward the team's 18 hole total. The term ‘fourball’ is often used informally to describe any group of 4 players on the course.
In matchplay, a contest between two sides each consisting of a pair of players, where the 2 partners hit alternate shots on ONE ball. The first player tees off, the second player hits the second shot, the first player hits the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. Also partners alternate their tee shots, so that one member of each team will always tee-off on the odd holes and the other will tee off on the even holes. (Foursomes are the afternoon matches played on the Friday and Saturday of the Ryder Cup). In strokeplay, a foursome competition is played between several teams each consisting of a pair of players, where partners play alternate shots until the SINGLE ball is holed. The term ‘foursome’ is often incorrectly used to describe any group of 4 players on the course.
Front nine
Holes 1 through 9 on a golf course.
Terms used during a game to describe various achievements, both positive and negative. They differ from traditional expressions such a birdie, eagle, etc. in that they do not necessarily refer to strict scores, but to unusual events which may happen in the course of a game. Their main use is to add interest to informal matchplay games as they enable players to win something regardless of the overall outcome of the match. They are frequently associated with gambling because money, usually small stakes, changes hands depending on which funnies occur.
Is a shot that the other players agree can count automatically without actually being played (under the tacit assumption that the putt would not have been missed). "Gimmes" are not allowed by the rules in stroke play, but this is often practiced in casual matches. However, in match play, either player may formally concede a stroke, a hole, or the entire match at any time, and this may not be refused or withdrawn. A player in match play will generally concede a tap-in or other short putt by his or her opponent.
Golden Ferret
Term used to describe holing out from a greenside bunker.
Goldie Bounce
When the ball strikes a tree deep in the rough and bounces out onto the fairway.
Golf club
The equipment used to strike the ball; driver, iron, wedge, or putter
This is where the golf hole resides. The grass is very short and very smooth. Once the golf ball is on the Green, it is typically putted toward the hole.
Green in regulation (GIR)
A green is considered hit "in regulation" if any part of the ball is touching the putting surface and the number of strokes taken is 2 fewer than par, i.e. with the first stroke on a par-3 hole, second stroke on a par-4, or third stroke on a par-5. Greens in Regulation percentage is a statistic kept by the PGA Tour.
Green or putting green
The area of specially prepared grass around the hole, where putts are played
Is a variation of foursomes, where each side consists of 2 players. Both players play one tee-shot each from every tee. A choice is then made as to which is the more favourable of the 2 ball positions, the other ball being picked up. Thereafter the players play alternate shots. So if A's tee-shot is selected, the playing order from the tee will be A-B-A-B etc until the ball is holed out. If player B's tee-shot is selected, the playing order will be B-A-B-A etc. The team with the lowest score wins the hole.
Ground Under Repair (GUR)
An area of the golf course that is being repaired. A free drop is allowed if the ball lands in an area marked "GUR"
Grounding the club
To place the clubface behind the ball on the ground at address. Grounding the club is prohibited in bunkers or when playing from any marked hazard.
in match play, a hole is halved (drawn) when both players or teams have played the same number of strokes. In some team events, such as the Ryder Cup (though not in the Presidents Cup), a match that is level after 18 holes is not continued, and is called "halved", with each team receiving half a point.
A calculation that makes all golfers equal on the playing surface.
A term used to describe a player with too much wrist movement in their putting stroke causing inconsistent putts.
A lie consisting of very hard turf.
Any bunker or permanent water including any ground marked as part of that water hazard. Special rules apply when playing from a hazard.
A hole in the ground which is called the cup. 4.25 inches in diameter.
Hole In One (or ace)
Getting the ball directly into the cup with one shot.
Hole In One Insurance
Insurance for a prize for getting a hole in one during a tournament.
A poor shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves sharply to the left (may occasionally be played intentionally but is difficult to control). Hooks are often called the "better player's miss", thanks to the fact that many of the game's greatest players (Ben Hogan, for instance) have been plagued by the hook at one time or another in their careers.
The crooked area where the clubhead connects to the shaft. Hitting the ball off the hosel is known as a shank.
Interlocking grip
Grip style where (for right-handed players) the pinkie finger of the right hand is hooked around the index finger of the left.
Inward nine
The back nine holes, so named because older links courses were designed to come back "in" toward the clubhouse after going out on the front nine.
A club with a flat-faced solid metal head generally numbered from 1 to 9 indicating increasing loft.
Kelly rule
Applying a Kelly rule occurs when a player adapts or interprets the Rules of Golf to gain advantage in a given situation on the course which would otherwise be to his or her disadvantage.
A type of shot designed to have a very low trajectory, usually employed to combat strong winds.
A long putt designed to simply get the ball close to the hole. Or, in the downswing, how far the clubhead "lags" behind the hands prior to release.
Choosing to hit a shot shorter than you are capable of in order to avoid a hazard or to position the ball in a certain spot. For example, on a par 5, on the second shot, instead of going for the green and being under GIR, a player may lay-up which he hits his second shot short of the green and then hits his 3rd shot on the green and gets GIR.
The ground that the ball is resting on. "Good lies" include the fairway and the green, while bunkers, pine straw, and the rough are examples of "bad lies". Also, the angle between the center of the shaft and the sole. Incorrect "lie angle" calibration will result in toe-first or heel-first contact with the ground when swinging the club.
The expected path of the ball to the hole, particularly on putts. "Stepping in a player's line" on the green is considered a major golf faux pas.
A course on the ocean, usually devoid of trees and therefore windy. Many courses in the United Kingdom are links.
The angle between the club's shaft and the club's face.
Loose impediment
A small natural item, which is not fixed or growing, solidly embedded, or stuck to the ball. Players can generally move them away but if they move their ball while doing so, there is a one-stroke penalty.
Mashie Niblick
Term used for a 6/7 iron in the early 1900's.
Match play
A form of golf play where players or teams compete against each other on a hole-by-hole basis.
Match Play
This game is played hole by hole and the winner of each hole is the player or team with the lowest score on that hole. This game is scored for front nine and back nine.
Medal play
Style of scoring in which the player with the fewest strokes wins. Most professional tournaments are medal play. Also known as ""stroke pla
Member's bounce
Any favorable bounce of the golf ball that improves what initially appeared to be an errant shot.
Mediocre Golfers' Association.
When a player takes an incorrect line on a putt.
A do-over, or replay of the shot. It is not allowed by the rules and not practiced in tournaments, but is common in casual rounds in some countries, especially the United States.
This game is very simular to Match Play where the game is played hole by hole and the winner of each hole is the player or team with the lowest score on that hole. The difference is that this game has three seperate matches, a front nine, a back nine, and an overall 18 hole match. The 18 hole match is calculated using a running total of the front and back nine.
A type of bet between golfers that is essentially three separate bets. Money is wagered on the best score in the front 9, back 9, and total 18 holes.
This game can only be played with 3 players. Each player is awarded points for his/her score in relation to the other players in the game with all points adding up to 9.
Open Face
When (in relation to the target line) the clubface is angled away from the player's body, ie angled right for right-handed players.
Open Stance
When a player's front foot is drawn backwards further from the target line. Used to fade the ball or to prevent a hook.
A hole played five strokes under par. This is widely considered impossible, requiring a hole in one on a par six.
The area designated as being outside the boundaries of the course. When a shot lands "O.B.", the player "loses stroke and distance," meaning that he/she must hit another shot from the original spot and is assessed a one-stroke penalty. Out-of-bounds areas are usually indicated by white posts.
Outward nine
Refers to the first nine holes, so named as links golf courses were set up where the first nine holes went "out" away from the clubhouse.
The speed at which a putt must be struck to get to the hole. Pace and break are the two components of green-reading.
(Apocryphally an abbreviation for "professional average result"), standard score for a hole (defined by its length) or a course (sum of all the holes' pars).
Any Professional Golfers' Association, especially the Professional Golfers' Association of America.
At the same level as (distance to) the hole.
A short shot (typically from within 50 yards), usually played with a higher lofted club and made using a less than full swing, that is intended to flight the ball towards a target (usually the hole) with greater accuracy than a full iron shot.
Pitch mark
Another term for a divot on the green caused when a ball lands. Players must repair their pitch marks, usually with a tee or a divot tool.
Plugged Lie
A bad lie (typically in a bunker) where the ball is at least half-buried in sand. Also known as a "buried lie" or a "fried egg".
A poor tee shot where the top of the clubhead strikes under the ball, causing it to go straight up in the air. In addition to being bad shots, pop-ups frequently leave white scuff-marks on the top of the clubhead, or dents in persimmon clubs. Also known as "sky shots".
A professional is a golfer or person who plays or teaches golf for financial reward, may work as a touring pro in professional competitions, or as a teaching pro (also called a club pro).
A poor shot played severely to the left; as opposed to hooks, which curve from right to left, a pulled shot goes directly left.
Punch shot
A shot played with a very low trajectory, usually to avoid interference from tree branches when a player is hitting from the woods. Similar to the knock-down, it can also be used to avoid high winds.
A shot played severely to the right; as opposed to slices, which curve from left to right, a pushed shot goes directly right. Similar to the "block". Also, term used in match play where neither competitor wins the hole.
A shot played on the green, usually with a putter.
A special golf club with a very low loft that makes the ball roll.
PGA or LPGA Tour Qualifying School, a week-long, six-round tournament in which the Top 30 finishers (of nearly 200 entrants) earn their "Tour Cards", making them exempt for the following year's tour. Aside from the major championships, Q-School may be the most pressure-filled tournament in golf.
The point in the downswing at which the wrists uncock. A late release (creating "lag") is one of the keys to a powerful swing.
The grass that borders the fairway, usually taller and coarser than the fairway.
Rub of the Green
Occurs when the ball is deflected or stopped by a third party/object, e.g. if a ball is going out of bounds and is deflected in bounds by hitting a spectator or a tree.
A small headed niblick for hitting the ball from a cart track.
Sand Save
When a player gets up and down from a greenside sand bunker, regardless of score on the hole. Sand Save percentage is a player statistic kept by the PGA Tour.
Sand Trap
A greenside sand filled bunker as opposed to a grass or waste bunker.
Sand Wedge
A lofted club designed especially for playing out of a bunker. The modern sand wedge was invented by Gene Sarazen.
A golfer that carries a higher official handicap than his skills indicate, eg, carries an eight, plays to a two. Sandbaggers usually artificially inflate their handicaps with the intent of winning bets on the course, a practice that most golfers consider cheating. Also known as a bandit.
Sandy (or Sandie)
A score of par or better that includes a bunker shot. Sandies are counted as points in some social golf games. See Funnies.
Reaching the green in regulation for a birdie opportunity, but then three-putting for a bogey.
Scotch foursomes
In scotch foursomes teams of 2 players compete against each other. Players alternate hitting the same ball. The first player tees off, the second player hits the second shot, the first player hits the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. To this point, the definition of ‘scotch foursomes’ is the same as that of ordinary ‘foursomes’; however, players do not alternate hitting tee shots as they would in foursomes. If Player A teed off on the first hole and Player B holed the final putt, Player B would not tee off at the second, meaning that Player A could, in theory, play every tee shot on the round. The team with the lowest score wins the hole.
When a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better on a hole. Scrambling percentage is a player statistic kept by the PGA Tour. Also a two or four man format, similar to Best Ball, except in a scramble, each player strikes a shot, the best shot is selected, then all players play from that selected position.
Scratch golfer
A player's whose handicap equals zero.
A format, similar to a scramble, where every player hits from the tee, the best tee-shot is selected, and each player holes-out from the selected tee-shot.
A severe mishot in which the golf ball is struck by the hosel of the club. On a shank, a player has managed to strike the ball with a part of the club other than the clubface. A shanked shot will scoot a short distance, often out to the right, or might be severely sliced or hooked.
Short game
Comprising shots that take place on or near the green. Putting, chipping, pitching, and bunker play are all aspects of short game.
Telling the ball to drop softly, and not roll after landing.
A skins game pits players in a type of match play in which each hole has a set value (usually in money or points). The player who wins the hole is said to win the "skin," and whatever that skin is worth. Skins games are often more dramatic than standard match play because holes are not halved. When players tie on a given hole, the value of that hole is carried over and added to the value of the following hole. The more ties, the greater the value of the skin and the bigger the eventual payoff.
The player or team that has the lowest score on a hole wins a "skin". Skins can be played either as a set point value for each skin (no carry over), or played using carry overs.
A poor shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves sharply from the left to the right. This shot may occasionally be played intentionally to shape the trajectory of the ball, but it is then referred to as a 'fade' or a 'cut.'
Snap Hook
A severe hook that usually goes directly left rather than curving from right to left. Also known by the somewhat redundant term "Pull-Hook".
An eight on a hole.
A term used to describe the pace of a putt. Proper 'speed' of a putt will either hole the putt or leave it about 18 inches beyond the cup.
Play badly, Scottish term.
Players or teams are awarded points for their score on each hole. The winner of the game is the player or team with the most total points. 0 Points for double bogey or higher, 1 point for Bogey, 2 points for Par, 3 points for Birdie, 4 points for Eagle, 5 points for Albatross, 6 points for 4 under par.
Stableford Scoring System
A scoring system using points, where the winner accumulates the highest number of points over the course of a round. Stableford points are awarded as 1 point for one stroke over a fixed score, perhaps par, on a hole; 2 points for the fixed score; 3 points for one stroke under the fixed score; 4 points for two strokes under the fixed score; etc. There are "modified" Stableford scoring techniques, like that used in the International Tournament on the PGA Tour, which award points (or loss of points) for various scores over or under a fixed score. See full article at Stableford* Stroke Play: see Medal Play
Stroke Some Balls
Hit balls at a driving range or play a relaxed round of golf.
To block another player's putting path to the hole with one's own ball. Now an anachromism since the rules permit marking the spot of the ball on the green, thus allowing the other player to putt into the hole.
The location on the clubface where the optimal ball-striking results are achieved.
The movement a golf player makes with his/her club to hit the ball. A golf swing is made up of a series of complex mechanical body movements. A perfect golf swing is regarded as the "holy grail" of the sport, and there are many approaches as to how to achieve "perfection". One of the classic approaches is that offered by Joe Dante's Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf.
Talking Golf
Golf Etiquette - generally requires that in consideration for other players (generally, but not necessarily, in your group) that no disturbance or distraction be made that: Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise. And that: Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players. "Talking Golf" is where the group all agrees to not stop the conversation that occurs as the round is played, provided that the conversation is not intended to interfere with the player actually playing his ball. Therefore players must concentrate a little more, and good conversation and "talking golf" can ensue.
A ball that has come to rest very close to the hole, leaving only a very short putt to be played. Often recreational golfers will "concede" tap-ins to each other to save time.
The straight line from the ball to its intended target, also extended backward past the golfer's rear foot.
The start of the golf hole where the first shot is taken. Also, the name for the wooden peg that the golf ball can be place upon for the first shot.
Tee (piece of equipment)
A small peg - made of wood or plastic - placed in the teeing ground, upon which the golf ball may be placed prior to the first stroke on a hole.
Tee box (part of the course)
The specially prepared area, usually grass, from which the first stroke for each hole is made (teeing ground in official terminology).
The duration of a player's swing from first movement to ballstrike. Ideally, the swing should be like a metronome, with an evenly paced transition from backswing to downswing. Ernie Els's tempo is the envy of many professionals.
The yips
A tendency to twitch during the putting stroke. Some top golfers have had their careers greatly affected or even destroyed by the yips; prominent golfers who battled with the yips for much of their careers include Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and, more recently, Bernhard Langer.
Thin shot
A poor shot where the clubhead strikes too high up on the ball, resulting in a shallow flight path. Also known as "skulling" or "blading" the ball.
Through line
When putting, the imaginary path that a ball would travel on should the putted ball go past the hole. Usually observed by PGA players and knowledgeable golfers when retrieving or marking a ball around the hole.
Through the green
The entire area of the golf course, except for the teeing ground and the green of the hole that is being played and all hazards on the course.
An errant shot where only the upper half of the golf ball is struck, causing the ball to roll or bounce rather than fly.
Train Wreck
This game is similar to a Stableford where players are awarded points for their score on each hole. The kicker to this game is that if a player makes a double bogey, or 2 bogeys in a row, they lose all the points they have accumulated. Hence the name "Train Wreck".
A player can declare his ball unplayable at any time when it is in play (other than at a tee), and can drop the ball either within two club-lengths, or further from the hole in line with the hole and its current position, or where he played his last shot. A penalty of one stroke is applied. A ball declared unplayable within a hazard must be dropped within that hazard.
Up and down
When a player holes the ball in two strokes starting from off the green. The first stroke, usually a "pitch", a "bunker shot" or a "chip", gets the ball 'up' onto the green, and the subsequent putt gets the ball 'down' into the hole. (var.) "up and in"
Vardon grip
Grip style in which (for right-handed players) the right pinkie finger rests on top of the left index finger. Also known as the "overlapping grip," most golfers grip with this style. It is named for Harry Vardon, a champion golfer of the early 20th century.
A type of metal headed golf club with more loft than a number 9 iron.
An attempt to strike the ball where the player fails to make contact with the ball. A whiff must be counted as a stroke.
A type of club where the head is generally bulbous in shape except for the clubface. Named because the head was originally made of wood, although almost all are now metal.
A ball hit high and hard.