Golf Terms: The Beginner Golfer’s Glossary
In This Article
It only takes one afternoon on the golf course or a few hours at the bar to learn that golfers have terminology all to their own. From common golf terms like, “par,” ‘birdie” and “mulligan,” to uncommon golf terms like “line,” “break” and “dogleg” having a diverse golf vocabulary might not make you a better golfer, but it will sure make you sound like one.
To help expand your golf lingo, the 18Birdies team put together a list of beginner and intermediate golf terms and definitions that will have you talking the talk in no time.
Feeling like a pro? Take it up a notch with The Funniest Golf Terms and Lingo guaranteed to crack you up.
Beginner Golf Terms
Made an X
Humorously describes the act of conceding a hole by picking up your ball before completing it due to a frustrating or unplayable situation. It's a casual acknowledgment of defeat for that particular hole. In essence, it means you've given up on completing the hole and have decided to move on without recording a score. Often used when a hole has gone terribly wrong.
Golf is all about aiming, and alignment is your secret weapon. It's the art of pointing your club and body in the right direction, like a sharpshooter locking onto the target.
It's your golfing windup, where you coil your potential energy like a tightly wound spring. The "backswing" in golf marks the initial phase of your swing, extending from the setup position until you reach the top of the swing. It encompasses the motion of taking the club back and setting up the mechanics for the downswing. Use AI Coach to see if you can improve your backswing!
"Chilly Dip" is a playful golf slang term denoting an ineffectual chip shot. It's a description typically reserved for chips that come up short of the intended target due to an unfortunate mis-hit, often involving contact with the ground before the ball.
A "chip" signifies a specific type of shot used when you're near the green. It involves employing a wedge club, executing a compact swing reminiscent of a putting stroke, and using the loft of the club to lift the ball onto the green. It's a precision shot for short distances. Keep track of your chips and up and downs to see your progress!
A score that's 4 under par on a single hole. It could be a hole-in-one on a par-5 or a 2 on a par-6.
Often called the "big stick," the Driver is your heavyweight champion, delivering those booming tee shots. Add your driver to your golf bag in 18Birdies today!
A duff is that delightful, albeit embarrassing, oops moment when your club meets the ground before the ball. "Duff" in golf slang describes an unfortunate shot that falls short of the intended distance or quality. It signifies a mis-hit or mishandled shot that doesn't meet the golfer's expectations.
The green is uphill from where your ball is resting. You will need to adjust for the change in elevation by selecting a club that goes slightly further. Get the exact distance adjustment with Plays Like yardages today!
A "foot wedge" in golf slang refers to an unethical practice in which a golfer uses their foot to kick the ball rather than executing a proper shot. This action is considered cheating and violates the principles of fair play in golf. It's not an official club; it's your secret weapon when you're in a tricky spot. The club you can't find in any pro shop but always seems to be in your golf bag.
What golfers yell (hopefully loudly) when they hit a bad shot to alert the golfers in the area where their ball is headed. Generally translated as “duck and cover.”
The "forward swing" in golf represents the final segment of a golfer's swing, occurring after the point of contact with the ball. It involves the follow-through and completion of the swing sequence, determining the shot's accuracy and direction.
The golf course shows mercy with a free drop, letting you breathe easy when your ball gets into a tight spot. A "free drop" is a golf rule that grants a player the privilege of taking relief without incurring a penalty stroke, typically due to an unfavorable lie or course obstruction. It offers relief to golfers when their ball is in an undesirable position.
When you have to fix a divot or repair a ball mark.
The kind-hearted rescue of your scorecard when your friend says, "It's good, pick it up."
A putt so short that you wouldn’t miss it, so your golf buddies give it to you. The rule of thumb for measuring gimmie is often “in the leather” which is the length of the grip of your putter.
This isn't just a person who hits a ball with a stick; it's a seeker of the perfect swing, a collector of divots, and a connoisseur of sand traps. Golfers are a rare breed, part athlete, part philosopher.
The area of finely trimmed grass at the end of each hole (it’s where you want to end up).
It's like the cover charge for the world's most exclusive nightclub, except this club has 18 holes and more sand than a beach party. Pay the green fee and join the golfing party.
Can either mean the part of the club that the golfer holds or it can refer to the hand placement on the club.
Indentations on the club face that allow the face to grip the ball when making contact.
Ground Under Repair
It's like a construction zone on the golf course, a place where they're renovating the turf for your playing pleasure.
Grounding the club is letting the sole (bottom) of the club touch the ground. Typically this is okay but if the ball is in a bunker, it will cost the golfer a penalty stroke
Think of it as golf's answer to Indiana Jones, navigating the hazards and traps with daring and sometimes reckless courage. The hacker is on a quest for par, and the journey is the adventure.
The crap golf course architects put in your way like water, sand traps, and tall grass.
The inside portion of the iron face next to the hosel (Picture here)
A common term for when a shot from off the green is made, resulting in 0 putts for the hole.
Hitting it in the hole on your first shot; a moment a golfer, nor their bar tab, will ever forget. Note
When your friends let you go first, it's either a sign of deep respect for your golf skills or a cunning way to see if the golf course is hiding its tricks today. Either way, you're the chosen one, Harry.
A golf shot that moves severely right to left for right-handed hitters and the opposite way for lefties, not to be confused with Peter Pan’s nemesis.
Place where the club shaft fits into the clubhead. (Picture) Think of it as golf's Bermuda Triangle. When your ball disappears into the hosel, it might as well be in another dimension. It's a mysterious place where golf balls fear to tread.
The hybrid, a club that's part iron, part wood, and a pinch of magic, designed for when golfers can't decide between iron and wood. Add your hybrid to your Golf Bag in 18Birdies today!
Not a perfect lie, but not too deep into the cabbage. Use Live Coach to see how an iffy lie will affect your shot!
It's not just a 1 Iron; it's a precision tool in the golfer's arsenal. A knife is for those shots that require finesse and accuracy, turning you into a golfing ninja with every swing.
The way the ball has come to rest on the ground. The ball may on a “good lie” in short grass on the fairway or a “bad lie” in deep grass in the rough. You may have a sidehill lie, where the ball is either above or below your feet.
The imaginary path your golf ball will travel along the green on its way to the hole.
Think of it as golf's secret sauce. Loft is the extra oomph that a club adds to your shot, propelling your ball upwards as if it has dreams of joining the stars. It's the club's way of giving your ball wings.
It's not just about distance; it's the part of golf where you channel your inner superhero, sending your ball on an odyssey through the fairway. The long game is where legends are born, one powerful swing at a time.
Think of it as the golfing equivalent of an amusement park ride, with each hole offering a new twist, turn, or surprise. To loop is to experience the golf course in all its unpredictable glory.
Think of it as golf's version of a disappearing act. A lost ball is like a magician's assistant that vanishes without a trace, leaving you to wonder, "How did it do that?"
An unofficial “re-do” or “re-hit” that is undoubtedly a golfer’s best friend.
OB (Out Of Bounds)
It's not just two letters; it's a golfer's sigh of disappointment. Going OB is the golfing equivalent of hitting a brick wall on the course, and all you can do is wave goodbye to your ball and hope it enjoys its off-course adventure.
Out of Bounds
Golf’s point of no return; white stakes designate an area that is out of play for golfers.
The number of strokes the powers that be determined a golfer should take to complete the hole.
It's not a gentle tap; it's the golfing slap on the wrist. A penalty stroke is like the golf course's way of saying, "Oops, you messed up!" It's an extra shot for those moments when the golf ball decides to explore the wild beyond.
Think of it as golf's North Star. The pin is the shining light at the end of every fairway, guiding your shots and your ambitions. It's what you aim for, pray to reach, and cheer when you do.
Pin or Flag
The object used on the greens to give you hope
It's not just a club; it's a golfing counselor. The putter is there to soothe your nerves, offer sage advice (usually in the form of alignment tips), and help you coax the golf ball into the hole. It's your trusted companion for the most delicate part of the game.
Think of it as golf's way of keeping you humble. A quadruple bogey is your golf game's way of saying, "Don't get too cocky; I can bring you back to Earth in just a few strokes." It's a humbling experience, to say the least.
Think of it as golf's way of saying, "We all have bad days." A quintuple bogey is that round where you become friends with every bunker and pond on the course. It's the score that turns your golf partners into emergency therapists.
The woman or man who drives around in the cart monitoring the speed of play. You do not want to be visited by the ranger, that means you are a slowpoke which will not win you fans on the golf course.
It's not just a strategy; it's golf's way of saying, "Let's keep this show moving." In the world of "ready golf," you don't wait for an engraved invitation to hit your ball; you seize the moment, make your shot, and keep the pace brisk.
The areas of longer grass that line the fairway (it’s where you don’t want to be).
The sand-filled pits of despair that line fairways and guard the greens. Slang for bunker.
Think of it as your secret weapon for sandy situations. The sand wedge is the magical wand that turns beach-like bunkers into mere inconveniences. It's the club that says, "Sand, meet your match."
In golf, the "short game" refers to the delicate art of chipping and putting. It's the part of the game where finesse, precision, and a gentle touch are your best friends. It encompasses the skillful execution of chip shots and putts, where every move is critical in bringing your golf ball closer to the hole. While the long game may get you to the green, the short game is what brings you home.
A golf shot that moves severely left to right for right-handed hitters and the opposite way for left, which also happens to be the most common shot shape in golf.
The woman or man stationed at the first tee who makes sure you tee off on time.
What you have when you miss a short putt; just kidding, refers to the act of making a swing.
In golf, a "strong grip" is when the player's left hand (for right-handed players) is twisted to the right on the club's grip. This grip configuration encourages a clubface that is inclined to close, making it a crucial element in controlling shot direction and trajectory.
It's the golfing dance of rhythm and grace. Your swing is like a waltz on the fairway, where the club leads, the ball follows, and together, they create a symphony of flight.
It's not just a path; it's the club's flight plan. The swing plane is like a pilot's chart, guiding your club to its golfing destiny. It's where you become the captain of the fairway skies.
It's not just a movement; it's the golfing handshake. The takeaway is where you and the club make a pact to work together. It's the first chapter of your golfing journey, and every golfer loves a good story.
The golfing pedestal that turns your ball into the superstar of the show. Made from wood, plastic, or bamboo, a tee is like the ball's own red carpet, elevating it to celebrity status before the paparazzi (your driver) takes its picture.
The designated area that marks the beginning of each hole (It’s where you tee off from).
It's like a date with destiny, but for golfers. Tee time is the appointed hour when you and the fairway have a rendezvous. It's when your golfing adventure begins.
When it takes you three putts to get your golf ball in the hole; also the quickest way your putter earns a trip to the time-out closet
A frustrating mishit where the clubhead strikes the upper part of the ball, leading to a feeble shot that scurries along the ground rather than taking to the air. It's like intending to soar and ending up with a flat tire, leaving you far from your destination on the course.
In the golf universe, a "triple bogey" is like taking a three-stroke detour into the land of golfing misadventures. Used to describe a score of three strokes over par on a single hole. Par is the expected number of strokes an expert golfer should take to complete a hole, and it is typically represented as a single-digit number (par-3, par-4, or par-5). For instance, a par-4 hole should ideally take four strokes to complete. When a golfer scores a triple bogey, it means they required three additional strokes beyond the par to finish that particular hole. This is a score frequently seen among recreational golfers but is considered a suboptimal performance among highly skilled players.
It's when you locate your precious golf ball, but there's no escape route other than calling for a drop and a penalty stroke. "Unplayable" is golf's way of saying, "You've entered the Bermuda Triangle of golf balls."
Up And Down
Golf's version of the elevator ride to success, "up and down" is when you chip your ball onto the green, and with the grace of a ballet dancer, you sink the next putt. It's like saying, "Two please!" and the golfing gods delivering a swift ride from chip to cup.
United States Golf Association. They're the folks who write the laws of the golfing land.
A "weak grip" in golf refers to the way a golfer holds the club. Specifically, it is characterized by the V-shaped space between the thumb and forefinger of the lead hand (usually the left hand for right-handed golfers) pointing to the left of the golfer's head. This grip promotes a less closed clubface at impact and often results in an out-to-in swing path.
This is no ordinary kitchen utensil. It's your trusty sidekick when you're within 100 yards of the green. Pitch, chip, or bunker shot, your wedge has got your back. Different types for different vibes: pitching, gap, sand, lob. Each brings its own loft party to the golf course.
Ever tried to swat a fly and missed? That's a whiff in golf terms. You swing, the ball doesn't budge and the ball mocks you by staying put.. Welcome to the whiff club.
The golfing equivalent of a GPS. Yardage tells you the length of a hole, a shot, or the entire course. Be it yards or miles, yardage has got you covered. (1 Yard = 3 Feet = 0.9 Meters)
Intermediate Golf Terms
It's like starting a clean slate in a round of golf betting, where neither you nor your buddy is in the lead, and the game is as level as the fairway. In golf, "All Square" is a terminology predominantly used in match play. It signifies that both sides or players are equal in terms of holes won, resulting in a tied match. The game is in balance, with neither side holding a lead.
Attend The Flag
Often shortened to "tend it," this refers to the act of having someone, such as a caddy or playing partner, hold the flagstick (pin) while you putt. As your ball approaches the hole, this person removes the flag to ensure that it doesn't obstruct the ball's path.
The part of your round where you realize that the front nine was just the warm-up act. It's where the real drama, heroics, and, let's face it, some disasters happen.
The art of making your golf ball spin backward, creating those mesmerizing, "did you see that?!" moments. It's basically the ball's way of moonwalking.
Below The Hole
Leaving a ball below the hole is having your putt end up just downhill of the hole, leaving yourself an uphill putt into the cup. In golf, the term "below the hole" is a strategic reference to the desired ball position on the green. It implies that you aim to leave your ball in a position where you face an uphill putt rather than a downhill one. This choice is made to enhance your chances of making a successful putt. Us3d Greens to never leave the ball above the hole again!
"Compression" in golf refers to the process where the golf ball collides with the clubface during impact. It is this compression that propels the ball forward, and different golf balls exhibit varying degrees of compression. The choice of golf ball often depends on the golfer's clubhead speed and preferences. Typically refers to the action of the golf ball when struck well. The ball will compress and leap off the face of the club.
Imagine a team of golf sheriffs examining the course with magnifying glasses, measuring tape, and calculators. The result? A numerical verdict on how challenging or forgiving the course can be. "Course rating" in golf is a key factor in calculating a golfer's handicap. It evaluates the expected difficulty of a specific course for a scratch golfer (one with a 0 handicap). Course ratings are available on golf scorecards and guide the calculation of a golfer's handicap index.
It's not a golf trick involving knives; it's when you make the ball slice through the air like it's on a diet, curving gently to the right (for right-handed golfers) like a leaf floating in the breeze. In golf slang, "cut" is used to describe a slight slice, causing the ball to curve to the right for a right-handed golfer. It is a shot that veers off its intended path and produces a minor fade.
"Dormie" is a term in golf match play that indicates one player holds a lead equivalent to the number of holes remaining. For instance, if you're five holes ahead with five holes left to play, you are "dormie." In golf, it's like being in a suspenseful movie where the hero (or villain) is just one step away from victory (or defeat). You're up in the match by the same number of holes left. It's like a golfing cliffhanger.
Imagine a golf scorecard as a wild safari. A birdie is a common sighting, an eagle is a majestic predator, and a double eagle? That's the stuff of legends, the unicorn of golf scores. "Double eagle" is a synonym for an albatross in golf. It signifies scoring three strokes under par on a single hole, typically accomplished by achieving a hole-in-one on a par-4 hole or scoring a two on a par-5 hole. Keep track of all of your birdies using stats during your round!
Downswing is your swing's power surge, where energy is unleashed to propel the ball down the fairway. The "downswing" in golf denotes the segment of the swing that follows the backswing and leads to contact with the golf ball. It is a pivotal phase of the swing sequence. Make sure you're in the proper position for your downswing with AI Coach!
Even (Even Par)
"Even par" in golf signifies scoring a round that matches the established par value of the golf course. For example, if you complete a par-72 course with a score of 72, you have shot "even par." It's when your scorecard looks like it's balancing on a tightrope, neither ahead nor behind. You're in golfing limbo, a place of peace in a world of bogeys and birdies.
These courses are like the express lanes of golf, shorter but just as much fun. It's golfing's equivalent of a speed run. An "executive course" is a type of golf course that differs from standard courses in two main ways. First, it comprises shorter holes, and second, it often includes more par-3 holes than a traditional course. Executive courses typically have a total par rating of 62 to 65.
A golf shot that literally flies too far. Usually the result of catching a “flyer lie,” when grass gets trapped between the clubface and ball at impact, impeding the grooves on your club to spin the ball. You can spot a “flyer lie” when you see thick rough growing in the same direction as the intended flight of your ball.
"Footwork" in golf encompasses the movements and positioning of a golfer's feet throughout the swing. Effective footwork plays a vital role in maintaining balance, generating power, and ensuring a stable and consistent swing. Think of it as the secret sauce in your golf swing recipe. Your feet are the chefs, adding just the right ingredients of pivot, balance, and flair to make your swing sizzle.
It's like golf's version of a cliffhanger. Is your ball on the green or not? The fringe is where your golf ball lives life on the edge, literally.
It's like reading the first half of a gripping novel, but you haven't yet reached the plot twists and climax. You're golfing through the introduction, waiting for the story to unfold.
Green In Regulation
When you reach the green in two less shots than the par of the hole (1 shot for par 3s, 2 for 4s and 3 for 5s). Improve and track your progress by keeping track of your GIRs!
Hitting a green in regulation. One shot on a par 3, two shots on par 4, three shots on a Par 5. Or the amount of Benjamins you win when you’re playing lights out.
It's not just a job; it's a sacred duty to keep the greens pure and fairways pristine. The greenskeeper is the Michelangelo of golf courses, sculpting the landscape into art.
Half swing. This shot will not go quite as far or as high as a full swing shot.
In the match play format, when opponents tie a hole or a bet (front nine, back nine or overall), the opponents split the point resulting in each side earning ½ point. Sharing sucks.
Refers to a number given to players that determines their “potential” average score in relation to par, not their day jobs.
The position that your body and club are in when you make contact with the ball. Impact Position, the split second in golf where your fate is sealed; it's the point of no return, where your swing meets destiny. Use AI Coach to perfect your Impact position today!
When your ball lands In Play, the ball is in a place where you can make a shot. It's not OB or in a hazard but it's in play!
In The Leather
The ball is close enough to the hole that if you put your putter head in the hole, the ball would be closer to the hole than the grip. Use 3D greens to leave your putts In The Leather!
Inside the Leather
Refers to the imaginary distance that makes a putt a gimmie or not (it can vary depending on how nice your golf buddies are). The more money you have on the line, the smaller the circle of friendship.
A way to grip the golf club with the pinky on your dominant hand(Right for rightys and left for lefties) interlocking between the index and middle finger of your non-dominant hand.
It's like your golf ball found a cozy hideaway and decided to go on a mini-vacation, leaving you with the task of a rescue mission. A juicy lie is your ball's version of a "do not disturb" sign.
This point on your club's shaft is where the spring-loaded action happens. The "Shaft Kick Point" is the secret to those extra yards on your shot.
These aren't just golf pants; they're a stylish trip back in time to an era when the fashion was as legendary as your golf game. Wearing knickers is like saying, "I've got class both on and off the fairway."
It's when your golf swing gets a case of the sideways shuffle. Your feet decide they want to boogie, and you end up with a move that's more "Strictly Come Golfing" than a smooth, straight shot.
Think of it as the golfing equivalent of a tightrope walker on a calm day. You're walking the line of perfection, with every stroke meticulously balanced, and the gallery holding their breath.
Think of it as golf's way of saying, "So close, yet so far." The ball flirts with the hole's edge, but just like a teasing dance partner, it refuses to take the final step. It's a putt that's got commitment issues.
It's like telling your ball, "Fly, my little friend!" The lob shot is the golfing equivalent of sending a message via carrier pigeon, but instead, your pigeon is a dimpled sphere of joy.
A low handicap is typically someone with a single digit handicap. It's not just a number; it's a symbol of golfing prowess. A low handicap is like having a secret weapon in your golf bag, and every time you tee up, you're a contender for the championship, making high-handicappers envy your skills.
It's not just an acronym; it's the powerhouse of women's golf. The LPGA is where the fiercest, most talented female golfers gather to show the world that they can outdrive, outputt, and outshine anyone on the course.
It's not just a simple piece of plastic; it's your golfing mentor. A marker is like a knowledgeable caddy, silently pointing you in the right direction and helping you navigate the green with confidence.
A devilish situation where mud has caked itself onto your golf ball making it nearly impossible to tell which direction it will go.
It's not just math; it's the golfer's version of secret sauce. The net score is your chance to shine because it's your raw score minus your handicap, revealing your true golfing prowess. It's the number that turns bogeys into birdies, at least on paper. Get your free 18Birdies Handicap today!
It's not just a number; it's the ultimate golfing destination. The nineteenth hole is where golfers recharge, refuel, and retell their round with embellishments that turn bogeys into eagles. It's the place where you toast to the game and to camaraderie that's as smooth as a well-putted birdie.
Think of it as golf's version of surgery with a sand wedge. When you "nip it," you're not just making contact; you're performing a delicate operation on the golf ball, sending it soaring with grace and precision.
It's not just a word; it's a golfing metronome. The right pace is like the perfect song on the course - it keeps you in harmony with the game, and when it's off, you'll find yourself swinging to a different tune.
It's not just three letters; it's golf's Mount Olympus. The PGA is where golfers ascend to legendary status, and if you ever find yourself on its hallowed fairways, you'll know you're in the presence of golfing greatness.
Think of it as golf's goldilocks zone. Being pin high is when your ball is just where it should be, not too long and not too short. It's like finding the perfect temperature for your golf round.
It's golf's version of granting passage. When you let someone "play through," you're saying, "After you, dear golfer, I insist!" It's an act of golfing chivalry, or maybe it's just a sneaky way to admire their swing.
It's not just a predicament; it's a golfing challenge. A plugged lie is what happens when your golf ball decides to make its own bunker hotel. It's like a vacation spot for golf balls, but not one you want to visit.
It's not just a backup plan; it's golf's safety net. When you hit a provisional ball, you're basically saying, "I think I lost my ball, but just in case, here's another one!" It's like golfing with a spare key.
For right-handed hitters, it’s when a shot goes immediately to the left after you hit it (opposite direction for lefties).
Think of it as golf's way of testing your patience. A push is when your swing and your ball have a minor disagreement, resulting in a trip to the right side of the fairway, the trees, or possibly another time zone.
It's not just a tool; it's a golfing oracle. A range finder is your crystal ball for golf. It's like having a fortune teller whispering, "You will hit that 7-iron precisely 164 yards," saving you from the anguish of coming up short or overshooting the green.
It's not just a do-over; it's a golfing declaration of intent. When you "re-load," you're announcing to the universe, "I demand another attempt, and this time, I'm going to nail it." It's the golfing equivalent of a second chance in the spotlight.
Reading The Green
It's not just a skill; it's golf's secret code decryption. When you're "reading the green," you're essentially becoming a golfing detective, deciphering the mysteries of slopes, breaks, and hidden secrets.
It's not just a game; it's a golfing brainstorming session. In a scramble, you and your teammates put your heads together to outsmart the course. It's like having a golfing think tank on every hole, strategizing for birdies.
It's not just a word; it's a golfing badge of honor. Achieving "scratch" status means you're basically a golfing superhero, a par-crushing machine, the golfing equivalent of a unicorn. You're so good, they should make a statue of you on the course. Start tracking your handicap for free with 18Birdies!
Feared by all golfers, this is one of the most dreaded shots in golf. Produced by hitting the ball on the hosel of the club.
Sink A Putt
Think of it as golf's version of a mic drop. When you "sink a putt," you're delivering a performance that leaves your playing partners in stunned silence. It's the golfing equivalent of a standing ovation.
Slope rating is used to describe the difficulty of the course for bogey golfers. Think of it as golf's fortune teller. The Slope Rating is that mystical number that predicts how many challenges the course has in store for you. It's like a crystal ball, but instead of seeing the future, it reveals the golfing obstacles you're about to face.
When you make an 8 on a hole (because the 8 looks like a snowman, get it?).
It's not just the bottom of your club; it's the club's fashion statement. The sole is that stylish part of your club that decides how it dresses up for the turf. Will it be a sleek tuxedo, ready to dance across the fairway, or a work boot, digging deep for a solid shot?
It's not just about angles; it's about hitting the golfing bullseye. Being square is like sinking a hole-in-one in the world of clubface orientation. It's the alignment equivalent of a high-five from the golfing gods.
Think of it as the golfing playground. In Stableford, the more points, the merrier. It's where you can have a bad hole and still be the life of the golf party. It's golf's way of saying, "Let's have fun, no matter the score."
It's not just standing; it's striking the perfect pose. Your stance is like your red carpet moment in golf, where you get to show off your golfing grace and tell the ball, "Prepare to be impressed."
This is the golf course's guardian angel. The superintendent is the green whisperer, the bunker guru, and the fairway fairy godparent, all rolled into one. They make sure the course is a golfer's paradise.
Think of it as the club's orbit around the ball. The swing arc is where the clubhead takes its majestic journey, crafting the golfing symphony. It's like the Earth circling the sun, but with a lot more style.
The golfing freebie that's almost too easy, a "tap-in" is the shortest of short putts where you could sink it while blindfolded. It's like a gentle nudge for your ball, a polite way to say, "Please, just go home."
It's the golfing heartbeat. Tempo is the rhythm of your swing, where grace and power do the tango. Find the right tempo, and you'll waltz your way to golfing success.
Tending The Flag
It's golf's version of being the knight in shining armor. Tending the flag is your chivalrous duty to protect the hole, so that the golfing royalty can putt with confidence.
A golf shot played using a putter from off the green. It is typically employed when the ball is positioned on the fringe of the green or just off the green itself, and there is a considerable distance between the ball and the hole on the putting surface. The term "Texas Wedge" is believed to have originated in Texas in the early 20th century, where golf courses often had hard, dry turf. Golfers in Texas found it challenging to make clean contact with the ball when it was just off the green, so they began using their putters to strike the ball instead of wedges or irons. The flat face of the putter made it easier to handle the dry turf, and over time, this technique earned the nickname "Texas Wedge."
Another name for the bunker/sand trap. Pass the sunscreen.
In golf, "the turn" marks the halfway point of an 18-hole round. It's the moment when you transition from the front 9 to the back 9, which can feel a bit like intermission during a theatrical performance. Golfers often take advantage of this pause to grab a quick bite, such as a hot dog and a refreshing drink, to recharge for the next act on the course.
When you hit the golf ball too low on your clubface.
The dreaded 3-putt. Hey, it beats a four jack.
The back tees, where the PGA pros play from and where your alter ego thinks it plays from.
The golfing conundrum where your ball decides to rest on a hillside like it's found the coziest recliner on the course. It's as if your ball said, "I'll take the high ground, please," and now you're faced with an uphill battle to reach the green.
The golfing warm-up dance, "waggle" is the little pre-swing shimmy that golfers do to get into the groove. It's the club's way of saying, "I'm ready to boogie down the fairway."
Another way to say you pulled a golf shot.
The "zinger" is the shot that makes your hands feel like they've just experienced an electric shock therapy session. It's the golfing equivalent of ringing the dinner bell, announcing to the world that you've just sent a low-flying messenger to the next county.
Golf slang for when you hit your approach shot over the green. You might hear a player say, “I hit too much club on #7 and airmailed the green.”
Angle Of Attack
The up or down movement of the clubhead at the time of compression of the golf ball. Attack angle is measured relative to the horizon. Your angle of attack is different with different clubs. This is one of the metrics measured when you use a golf simulator (ie TrackMan).
Common golf betting term - it means that automatic new bets start at a specific time in the match. Typically, golfers play “2 down automatics” which means a new bet starts anytime someone is down two holes.
Hitting a tree and still making a par.
Golf slang for when a player hits a shot with the bottom of an iron instead of the face. This causes a low shot that goes way too far.
Golf slang for making a double bogey on a hole. A double-bogey is when you score 2 over par. For example, you make a 6 on a par 4.
golf slang for high grass and deep rough.
The one club in your bag that you can always rely on, your go-to safety club.
DNF / DFL
The first is an acronym for not finishing a hole or tournament (Did Not Finish) while the second is a way to say you finished last (as in Dead F@&$ing Last).
A really, really, really bad snap hook often accompanied by your golf buddies’ quacking sounds. As Lee Trevino once said, “You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen.” The duck hook even talks back.
Golf slang for when you make a shot from off the green, typically for par or better.
A putt that circles the entire cup, then goes in. You might need to wipe after that one.
A fun rule to spice up your next golf match. If you play a “Gilligan” you can make your opponent re-play any 1 shot during the match. For example, if they make a long putt, you can make them do it again.
If a PGA tour player wins all 4 major championships (The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, PGA Championship) they have won the “grand slam.”
A putt that’s nearly impossible to read.
Jerked The Putt
Golf slang for a putt that’s immediately pulled to the left (right-handed player).
golf slang for an approach shot that is hit very close to the hole. In other words, it is so close you could “kick it in”.
Golf slang for a short, but important putt. The golfer's “knees are knocking” because they’re nervous about missing it.
A golf shot with a lower ball flight, usually played to keep it out of the wind.
Golf format where teams must have both a man and a woman playing.
Golf slang for a golfer that plays well on a wet golf course.
A common betting game in golf. If you’re playing Nassau you have one bet on the front 9, one bet on the back 9, and one bet on the total 18.
When your golf shot never leaves the pin.
Hitting a ball out of bounds and still making par. Platypuses aren’t normal and neither is making par after hitting one O.B.
Short for “qualification school”, Q-school is the tournament that allows players to make professional tours. You must advance through Q-school before you can play on the PGA or LPGA tours.
Golf swing term that describes when your weight’s shifting in the wrong direction.
Hitting the ball in the water, and still managing to make a par. The great white ain’t scaring you.
When you hit your approach shot very close to the pin, you’ve stiffed it. Stiffing an iron is applauded, stiffing the cart girl is not.
That Dog Will Hunt
A complement given to a well-struck tee shot.
Not to be confused with the United States Golf Association, this stands for “ugly shot, go again.”
Golf slang for when a putt rolls around the lip of the cup before falling in.