Golf Terminologies

June 11, 2018

Golf Terminologies

Are you a beginner in playing golf? Do you ever get wonder or perhaps confuse what each one of those golf terms mean? What's a Bogey? Or much does a free drop cost? What is all this talk about the back side? Who's caddie? Being a newbie to anything is difficult. Adapting and learning all there can be overwhelming

Loving golf is embracing whatever accompanies it. Understanding the fundamental golf terms is vital regardless of whether you are just simply playing golf for fun. You will get greater happiness from the game if you understand the vocabulary used by golfers.

So, breeze through the terminologies that commonly used in golf so you have a good grasp of the basic language involved in the game.. Or visit Common Golf terms for more information.



A hole in one. It is when a player hits the ball into the hole in one single stroke.


Air Shot

 A shot where the player addresses the balls, swings, and completely misses the golf-ball. An air shot is counted as a stroke.



 A term used described as the three strokes under par on a sole hole, is tremendously hard to achieve. The probabilities of achieving albatross are set at 6 million to 1. To make an albatross you must: Score a 1 (hole-in-one) on a par-4 hole Score 2 on a par-5 Score 3 on a par-6.



 The shot a player takes from the fairway to the green.



 A short grass that isolates the green from rough or fairway


All square

 Term used in scoring when tied in match play to point out that the match is even at present (abbreviated “AS” on scoreboard)



The player farthest away typically hits first. The ball that's farthest away from the hole, as in "you're away."



 In general refers to a straight line (the spine) that the upper body rotates round in the course of the golf swing.


Back tees

 The farthest set of tees from the hole on each hole also referred to as "the tips."


Ball marker

 A coin-sized object, typically round, used to mark the position of a player's ball on the green.


Ball mark

 A small space on the surface of a green resulting from the impact of a golf ball



Extreme climbing or lifting of a shot further than its normal direction, usually into the wind and frequently causing the shot to fall short of the aiming distance


Bag Stand/Bag

 Term used that is intended to hold a players golf bag while they are practicing on the driving range.

Golf bags comes with various style and colour at suitable to any player preferences and convenience.



 Slang term for a sand bunker.


Better Ball/ Best ball

 Best score on a hole by partners in a best-ball match.



 A player who sinks the ball in the cup single stroke under par for that hole. For instance, if a player takes four strokes to position the ball in the cup on a par five, he or she gets a birdie.



 A ball with lots of backspin is said to "bite," since it remains pretty close to where it landed or even spins reverse toward the player.


Bladed Shot

 Frequently referred to as a "skulled" shot, it happens when the top half of the ball is struck with the bottom portion of an iron, which results a low-running shot.



 A score of one over par. When the quantity of strokes it takes to go down the ball in a hole exceeds the par by one.




 A quick game played over the remaining holes after the primary match wraps up early because one player or team has won by a huge margin. It serves the combined reason of adding some of competitive meaning to the rest of the holes and as well for the losing side to challenge to recover some of the pride lost as a result of their embarrassment in the main competition.



 A concave area containing sand or the like, considered a hazard.



 Describes a point where the rear boundary of the sole is lower than the front edge, keeping them from digging too deep in sand or being stopped by tall grass.


Chicken Wing

 A swing flaw in which the lead elbow bends at an angle pointed away from the body, mostly resulting in a blocked or pushed shot


Chip Shot

Short shot played with least amount loft from off the green.


Club Face

The surface area of the club head used for striking the ball.



 The four inch deep, 4.5 inch diameter hole on the green.



The person who carries a golfer’s bag around the golf course.


Dance floor

Slang term for the green.



A flagstick or hole that is located toward the back of the green.



 The small chunk of grass dug up when a club head strikes the ground as a player hits the ball.


Divot repair tool

 A small metal or plastic tool with a prong(s), used to repair ball marks on the green.


Double bogey

 a score of two over (more than) par for a hole



 Left or right bend towards the green



 A movement involving the body and golf-club used to move the club from the top of the swing to the point of impact.



 Slang term for having sunk a putt.



 A golf shot in which the ball gradually moves right to left (for a right-handed golfer).



 The initial shot taken at the teeing ground at every hole even if you don't strike it with a Driver.



 The longest club with the biggest head, utilized for tee shots as it's designed to hit the ball the farthest away.



 Unskilled golf player, mediocre player 


Duck hook

 a shot that curves abruptly and severely right to left and stays low to the ground (right-handed player)



 scoreboard abbreviation for “disqualified”



 A score of two under par.



 The rules governing a golfer's behaviour.


Executive course

 a golf course with very short holes, mostly par 3′s and short par 4′s


Explosion Bunker Shot

 A bunker shot that sends the ball, and accompanying sand, onto the green. Also called as "blast"



 A golf shot in which the ball gradually moves left to right (for a right-handed golfer). Sometimes called "a cut shot."



 The long stretch of neatly trimmed grass portion of a golf hole in between the teeing ground and the green.



 A shot in which the club hits the ground prior to striking the ball.


First tee

 A round of golf play begins.



 flier lie, flyer, shooter, jumper. A shot that causes the ball to fly farther than intended


Fly the green

 A shot that goes over the green.



 A warning shouted when the ball is heading toward a person.


Forward tees

 The teeing ground located closest to the green.



 Gathering of two sets of golfers playing shots on the other hand with a similar ball.



 Very short putt close to a hole, awarded by other players. Only used in match play, or in friendly golf - in stroke play everything must be holed out.


Get up

 A phrase shouted at a ball that looks like it's going to land short of the target.


Green Fee

 The cost to play a round of golf.



 Setting the heel of the golf club on the ground



 When Gilligan are agreed in a match, your opponent has the right to ask you to play - The opposite of a Mulligan.



 A typical difference of a golfer's playing ability.



 A obvious tough spot or hitch in the flow of a golf swing



 hole out, make, drain, sink; to play the ball into the hole.



 The right to tee off first based on having the best score on the last hole or being furthest away from the hole.



 to reach the green with a shot 



 When a right-handed player strikes the ball such that it curves sharply from right to left.



 A shot that goes faster or farther than intended.



 A club with a head made of steel or press and a genuinely narrow sole



 closer to the hole



 A putting stroke that is short, quick, and, often, erratic.


Knee knocker

 A short putt, which you really shouldn't miss, but often do.



 The position of the golf ball while in play. 



 If your ball hits the lip but doesn't go in the hole, then you have "lipped out."



 The degree or angle of the face of the club.



 Refers to a tournament (The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open or PGA)


Match play

 A format of golf in which the goal is to win individual holes rather than tallying the total of all of the strokes’


Modified Scramble

 Arrangement in whichthe players choose the best shot off the tee, move all balls to that spot, and play individual stroke play for the rest of the hole.



 Chance play again one last shot, settled in a friendly game by an opponent. Not allowed in competition - The opposite of Galligan


Nineteenth (19th) hole

 A golf course's restaurant or lounge.



 To stop a ball, or catch it on the upper half, causing a low, weak, running shot, called a 'noodler'



 Out of bounds.


Off the deck

 Hitting a Golf driver off the fairway or ground rather than on a tee


Out of bounds

 area that is not part of the course, on which play is not permitted



 Standard number of strokes for each hole, always including two putts. Almost all golf holes are par 3, 4 or 5, although some new courses are building ultra-long par 6 holes.



 Extra stroke(s) added to a player's score for violation of the rules, loss of ball, out of bounds, etc...



 The flagstick standing inside the cup on the green



 Professional Golfers’ Association; organization to promote and regulate the profession of golf


Pitching and run

 a lofted shot that is also intended to release/run/roll



 A lie where the ball is on the lip of a lake or other water hazard.


Pull cart

 Used by golfers who prefer to walk but don't wish to carry their golf bags. Collections of carts that are power-assisted or freewheeled are already available at


Pop Stroke

 a (typically putting) stroke characterized by an abrupt little “hit” or twitch of force at the ball rather than a smooth acceleration through the ball


Provisional ball

 A second ball that is played in the event that the first ball is or may be lost or out of bounds.



 A well-struck shot, often used as a verb. "She purred her shot!"



 The golf stroke used to roll the ball on the green



 The golf course staff member who provides player assistance on the golf course and who is responsible for keeping the overall pace of play.


Ready golf

 Players hit when ready in order to speed up or maintain pace of play.


Regulation In

 When a player's ball is on the green in one shot .



 The long grass bordering the fairway. On some courses, there is a "first cut" of shorter rough and a "second cut" of heavier, longer rough.



 not following-through completely with momentum, decelerating through impact


Sand bunker

A bunker filled with sand.


Sand trap

 Slang for "sand bunker". "Trap" is not defined in the "Rules of Golf."



 Hitting the ball out of a sand bunker and hitting (usually putting) the ball into the cup on the very next shot.



 A hit a shot from the tee, and each subsequent golf location, always playing from the position of the best or preferred ball until the ball is holed (more on tournament formats) 



 Shot struck by the hostel of the club which causes the ball to go sharply right. Also called a 'socket'.


Shotgun start

 When golfers are sent to every hole so that play begins for everyone at the same time.



 Said of a shot hit thin, which flies lower than usual and with no control.



 A mis-hit golf stroke in which contact is made above the equator of the ball, resulting in a line-drive trajectory.



 When a right-handed player strikes the ball such that it curves sharply from left to right.



 the person in charge of controlling play at a golf course



 card; the card used to record and tally scores during and after a round of golf


Stroke play

 A golf format in which the objective is to finish the game using the fewest total shots.



 A darkly humorous reference to scoring an 8 on a hole.


Sweet spot

 The centre of the clubface, which will produce the longest shot from a given club



 A very short putt.


Tee box

 The area on a golf hole where the ball is first struck, also known as the "teeing ground." Although you hear "tee box" a lot, "teeing ground" or "tee" are the preferred terms.



 A small (usually, but not always, wooden) device for setting the ball up above the ground



 The movement of the club at the start of the backswing.


The turn

 The halfway point in a round of golf.


Three-Quarter Shot

 A shot played with a shortened backswing and lessened arm speed 



 The change of direction in the swing, from the backswing to the forward swing. (It's very important to make a smooth transition in your swing).


Up and down

 Chipping or pitching the ball onto the green and putting it into the hole on the very next shot.


Unplayable Lie

 When it is impossible to play a shot because of ground conditions



 A movement for the purpose of staying loose, feeling the club, keeps the body in motion instead of holding still.



 To swing and miss the ball completely.


Wrong Ball

 Any ball other than the player’s ball in play, provisional ball or second ball played under Rule 3-3 or Rule 20-7b in stroke play



 A type of golf club with a round head, usually made out of wood, metal or composite materials. The most common woods include the Driver, 3-wood and 5-wood.


Worm burner

 A golf shot (not a putt) in which the ball never rises off the ground.



 A shot that goes severely to the left of the target line



 The inability to make short putts due to nervousness and lack of a smooth putting stroke.



 A ball hit high and hard



 When you're playing well, you're said to be "in the zone."


People are under the similar misinterpretation that GOLF meant for “Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden”. Despite the fact that this is a logical theory as history shows much of the sport being reserved designed for male players, while women were on the odd occasion identified to hold a club. Some long-established golf clubs to this day still impose a gender restriction, which enforces the acronym falsehood even more. On the other hand, with a widely less controversial origin, GOLF in point of fact stems from an Old Dutch or Scottish language.

At this point, you've probably felt overwhelmed the sheer amount of golf jargon and are sick of those dreary definitions. I hope you have found this essential Golf Terms significant and informative.

Please bear in mind that Golf Terms are a fundamental link to understanding and appreciating the GAME.