Golf Terminology & Lingo for Beginners – Complete List

1-9 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

Do you know what a “Bogey” is?

How about a “Double eagle”?

If not, don’t worry – we’ve covered every phrase you might come across from A to Z.

Even avid golfers sometimes have trouble understanding the terminology used between golfers on the green.

In this glossary of golf terms, we will define some of the most commonly used phrases and lingo in the game.

We’ll also explain what they mean and how they can help better communicate with other golfers.

So whether you’re just starting out in golf, or you’ve been playing for years, read on to learn some phrases.


18 holes

A standard golf course has 18 holes, which is what most golf courses do.

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19th Hole (Nineteenth Hole)

The nineteenth hole is where golfers usually go after playing all eighteen holes, which is an on-site clubhouse, restaurant, pub or bar.

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Above the hole

This phrase refers to the higher position of the golf ball in relation to the hole, in other words, the golf ball will be travelling downhill, which is harder to achieve. It’s the opposite of Below the Hole

Ace (aka Hole in One)

To hit the ball into the hole (Tee to cup) in one shot only.

The original meaning of Ace is to excel at something, but in golfer’s lingo it means “to excel at hitting the golf ball”.


This is the moment of focus when you’ve taken your stance and positioned the club-head behind the golf ball, before swinging your club back to hit the ball. (Related to Ground the Cub)

Aggregate (or Aggregate Score)

Aggregate Score has 2 different meanings:

  1. Single-player: The total score of a golfer from playing multiple rounds of golf in a tournament.
  2. Team: The total score a team (2+ golfers) gets in a tournament.


The direction in which the golfer is aiming their shot in order into a specific hole. Much like aiming in Archery or dart. [vidoe]

Aim Line (aka Intended Line)

This is an imaginary line in the minds of golfers to help them visualise the path of the ball after hitting it onto a target.

Much like aiming at an 8-ball pool game below.

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Air shot

Air shot is a failed shot. It’s when a golfer takes a stance, aims and hits the golf ball and it misses the hole.


Albatross (aka Double Eagle)

Three under Par, which is an extremely rare thing to accomplish in golfing.

It means finishing a hole, round, or tournament in 3 fewer strokes than what a proficient golfer needs.

According to statistics, Albatross are around 480x more difficult than hole-in-one shots.

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The golfer’s body position in relationship with the golf ball’s target.

All square (AS)

It means “tie” when both competing players or teams score the same number of points by the end of the match.

Ambrose (aka Texas Scramble)

Ambrose is a golf format where each player in the team hit their own ball, and the best position of all the balls becomes the new position where all of the players will tee off. It’s repeated until the ball is in the hole. This format is Richard Ambrose who popularized it in Australia.

It has some similarities with “Golf Scramble” but it’s not the same.

Angle of approach

The angle at which the clubhead hits the golf ball. It will dictate how high or low the ball will fly and spin.

Imagine kicking a soccer ball, if you hit it from beneath the centre, it will fly high, if you hit it directly in the centre, it will travel in a straight line parallel to the ground, the same thing applies to golf.

Approach shot

Hitting the golf ball with the intention of landing it on to the greens.

This phrase is rarely used on most courses unless it’s a par of 4+.

Apron (aka Collar / frog hair / fringe)

The grass surface area is surrounded by other green areas (fairway or rough). See #Collar

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A golf club’s member-class called Artisan is a form of membership with restricted rights for a low price. In the old days, golf was only for the rich people, the general public couldn’t afford to join a club, thus artisan sections were established in which members were offered to join for low fees but had limited access to the course, the catch was to agree to volunteer working on the course for an agreed frequency & duration.

Attend (the flag-stick)

When a golfer or caddie holds the flag-stick for another golfer.

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The golfer who is away is the golfer whose ball is the farthest from the hole, and he/she should always hit the ball first.


Back nine

Is when a golfer is halfway through the holes (i.e. completed 9 holes and got the remaining 9-holes. it’s also referred as “heading in”.

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Back Swing

When a golfer swings back the golf club to behind his head, this movement is called the “backswing”, which is the first half of the golf swing before swinging forward to hit the ball.

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Backspin (aka Bite, Check or Underspin)

A player striking the golf ball in a backward spin. The backward spin causes the ball to come to a complete stop or spin backwards as soon as it falls on the green. Video

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Balance point

The precise location somewhere on the golf shaft where it can balance because of the clockwise & anti-clockwise moments being equal when placed on a fulcrum. It’s not really important for golfing, but it’s one of the phrases used by golfers, perhaps to balance it on their shoulders.

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“Balata” is a material for golf balls that were very popular among pro golfers due to its very high spin rate, it’s now replaced by Surlyn which is a more durable material.


A round white golf sphere called a golf-ball that has dimples, and it’s the most important thing in the game of golf.

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Ball retriever

A ball retriever is a tool used by golfers to help retrieve balls that have gone into hard to reach places, like water, rocks or even a bush of nettles.

This tool is made of a long telescopic stick that kind of looks like a selfie stick by extending the pole and has a scoop on the end to grab the ball. This helpful tool can give you an advantage on the golf course, and make getting your ball back into play much easier.

Golf Retriever

Ball Marker

It’s a small metal marker (some golfers use a coin) to mark the exact spot of the golf ball before removing it (i.e. before removing the ball). [Ref]

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A washing machine found that is used to clean golf balls, it can be manual like the screenshot below, or it can be a big electric washing machine that cleans hundreds of balls at the same time (these are typically found on golf courses).

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A golf shot that causes the ball to fly slightly to the left and then turn right again in the air, similar to the shape of a banana (aka extreme slice).

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Bandit (Sandbagger)

Sandbagging is when a golfer pretends that his skills are worse than he really is, in order to trick the opponent into accepting higher bets.

This is considered tournament politics in order to have a higher chance of winning. The opponent that gets tricked is referred to as “sandbagged”, that’s why sandbaggers are seen as cheaters in the golfing community.

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Bare Lie

When the golf ball is lying straight on a hard surface like concrete, gravel or hard mats, instead of a ball being on top of a layer of grass that makes it easy to hit the ball from any angle without damaging the clubhead. See #Hard pan

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Baseball Grip (aka Ten-finger grip)

A rarely used grip style with all 10 fingers are gripping on the club.

baseball grip

Below The Hole (aka Low side)

When the position of the golf ball is lower than the hole.

For example, if a golf ball is down a hill and the hole is on top of a hill that is a few meters higher, then the ball is referred to as “below the hole”

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Bent shaft

A bent golf club’s shaft is a damaged shaft that needs repairing because it isn’t fit for purpose.

bent shaft

Best ball

A form of team play (2-4 person teams), where the person with the lowest score is considered “best ball”. [ref]

Best Ball - Golf Format Explained | Golf Distillery

Better ball

Kind of similar to the “Best ball” format but slightly different.

It’s a game format where golfers are grouped in teams of two that play against the whole field, and each of the two players hit their balls and the best score of the two is counted for that hole.

The Better Ball golf play format is explained visually


Biarritz holes are par-3s with a length of 210-240 yards and usually extend up to 80 yards in length, intended to evaluate a player’s long-distance hitting ability.

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It’s the idea of dividing golf rules in regards to golf equipment into two categories, the first set of regulations for professionals & top amateurs, and the second set of regulations for all amateurs & recreational golfers. [ref]


BIGGA stands for “British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association“, which is a professional association in England that focuses on the golf management side of the business from the perspective of a golf course owner/manager.


Birdie basically means finishing a hole with 1 fewer stroke than required.

For example, if a hole requires 5 strokes, and it’s finished with 4 strokes, then it’s called a birdie. It’s the opposite of Bogey.

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A handicap stroke is a different type of #handicap stroke that is can be used by 2 golfers on any hole (subject to negotiations), regardless of the difficulty of the hole. It’s used as an informal/private type of match game and isn’t used in professional tournaments.

The idea is that the golfer with a higher handicap can pick when & which holes they can get their free shots.


See above in #Backspin

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Blade Iron (aka Muscle back)

Also known as blade-style irons, it’s considered the old school type of golf irons that had the higher centre of gravity, smaller & narrower clubheads, toplines, leading edges and striking surfaces, all these make it more difficult to hit the shot.

It has become rare to find these being used by recreational golfers or even some professional tournaments, now it’s only used by professional golfers.

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Blade Putter

A blade putter has a traditional striking head that is much wider than other types of clubs and is a favourite amongst old school traditional golfers.

Blade putters are designed with a heavy toe weight and a shaft connecting near the toe, which causes the sweet spot to be located closer towards the heel as seen below in the photo.

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Blade Shot (Thin Shot)

A Blade shot is a thin shot that is referred to as “thinly”, “bladed shot/ball”, “caught the ball thin” and other variations of these phrases.

This basically means the golf ball was hit out of control on a low trajectory because the upper half of the ball was hit with the bottom edge of the club.

It can also be a shot that’s a little below the centre of the ball.

Whatever it is, it usually causes a vibration in the golf club.

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Blast Shot (aka Explosion bunker shot)

It’s a shot to send the golf ball out of a bunker onto the green while “blasting” the sand with the shot.

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A golf shot where the golfers can’t see the destination target of the shot.

For example, if a golfer is hitting the ball uphill out of a deep bunker onto the hole, he/she will not be able to see the hole while they’re hitting the ball, they can have a peek at it, then go back and try to visualise the target.

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Block (aka Push)

“A push, or block, is shot that unintentionally travels on a trajectory opposite the side of the ball from which the player swings. In match play, a push occurs when neither competitor wins the hole.”


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Bogey golfer

The golfer who often hits one shot over par, and usually has a handicap of 20-24. See #Bogey

Bore-Through (Bore Thru)

A bore-through golf club is a club that is fitted into the hole of the club all the way through the bottom side, it is designed this way to lower the center of gravity, and is mostly used by professional golfers only.

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Borrow (aka Break)

It refers to a putted golf ball that deviates from a straight line (either left or right) which may be caused by external factors such as grass type, uneven surfaces, wind etc or internal factors such as the strength of the shot.

Bounce (Bounce Angle)

A bounce angle is the angle created between the wedge of the golfing iron and the ground. This angle is dependent on your preferences and the course conditions you play at. Each has pros and cons, so knowing when to use each will give you a great competitive advantage.

Low Bounce:

  • Pros: Great for high flop shots and blasting out of bunkers.
  • Cons: Can be very damaging to the turf because of the steep angle.

High Bounce:

  • Pros: It offers more forgiveness and gives your shot more spin
  • Cons: Risk of hitting a thin shot
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Bounce Back

It’s similar to the slang term “a comeback”. It basically means a golfer who got a bogey or worse, makes a comeback by scoring a birdie or better on the next hole.

It’s the opposite of #”Reverse Bounce Back”

Break (aka Borrow)

See above #Borrow

Breaking wrists (aka Wrist Hinge)

It’s a technique about setting your wrists during the backswing while keeping your arms moving in a controlled way in order to give you the maximum power out of your shot and eliminate slices. [ref]

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Broom handle putter




Buggy (aka Cart)

It’s a small electric vehicle used to transport golfers around the golf course to save time walking between holes.

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A golfer who keeps playing against golfers with higher handicaps (whether in a competition or not). It is the opposite of sandbagging.

Bump and run (Bump & Run)

A far & low-trajectory golf shot that is used to get the ball rolling onto the greens as close to the hole as possible. Almost like a Chip shot but not exactly, the only difference is that this usually involves bigger distances.

Bunker (aka Sand Trap / Trap)

A bunker is a sandy pit that is usually lower than the surrounding grass, making it more challenging to accurately hit the ball.

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Bunker (Fairway)

It’s a bunker that is located in the fairway and away from the putting green.

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Bunker (Green-side)

It’s a bunker that is located around the parameter of the putting green.

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The butt is the diameter of the top of the golf club grip.

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It’s a short unofficial game that’s played over the remaining holes usually if the main game has finished too quick, it’s offered by the loser in an attempt to make a comeback and prove their skill.


Caddy / Caddie

Caddy is a person whose main job responsibility is walking around the golf course with the golfer while lifting their golf clubs, and offering advice between shots, especially in tournaments.

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In Calcutta, players or teams are sold by auction to the highest bidder. It’s a type of gambling and USGA discourages golfers from participating in these bets.


It’s most commonly used as a slang term for the grass on a putting green.

However, some golfers refer to an artificial putting green carpet that is installed to play golf (can be indoors or outdoors).

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Carry is the distance the golf ball travels in the air with a single strike, this term is mostly used when talking about the ball flying over an area of hazard (like water, bunker, trees etc).

For e.g. “Tiger woods carried the water 300 yards onto the putting green”

Cart (Buggy)

A Cart is an electric vehicle for transporting players around the course to save time walking between holes.

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Casting The Club

When golfers make the mistake of unhinging their wrists early in the downswing, which is a mistake that will cost them speed and accuracy, which is one of the causes of golf slices. See #Breaking the wrist

Casual water (Temporary water)

Any temporary puddles of water that accumulate on the golf course due to rain are called casual water.

When golf balls are stuck in casual water, there are certain rules that need to be followed for taking out the ball by hand (relief).

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Cavity back

A golf club that has a cavity back is designed to provide the maximum amount of forgiveness with off-centre hits, the reason being is that the weight is spread on both edges of the clubhead.

Unlike Blade clubs which do not have any cavities so they have a centre of gravity in the middle of the clubhead, and is usually only used by experienced professionals because of the lack of forgiveness it provides.

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Centre of Gravity

Also shortened as CG or COG, the example above is a very good example of the centre of gravity. In golf, it’s only used in regards to the weight distribution of golf clubheads and where the weight is centred. Knowing this is very important because COG makes a significant difference in trajectory, speed & accuracy of the golf shots.

Centre Shafted

A centre shafted putter has the shaft connected to the middle of the clubhead.

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Champions Tour

It’s the name of a men’s professional golf tour for seniors that was previously called the Senior PGA Tour.

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Check (aka Backspin or Bite)

A synonym of a Backspin shot, check #Backspin.

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Chilli dip (aka Fluff or Chunk or Duff or Fat)

A synonym of #Fat.

Chip (Opposite of Pitching)

The goal of a chip shot is to make the golf ball travel through the air for a short distance and then hit the ground rolling towards the hole. It’s played usually a few yards away from the green.

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In simple words, Chip shot:

  • the distance it rolls is greater than the distance it flies.
  • minimum backspin

It’s the opposite of a Pitch shot:

  • the distance it rolls is smaller than the distance it flies
  • maximum backspin

Chip & Run

A chip shot is a shot in which the player attempts to play the ball along the green towards the hole from a greater distance.


A chip shot that ends up the ball in the hole.


It’s a golf club that’s built specifically to help the less experienced golfers in hitting chip shots.

Choke Down (aka Chock up)

Choking down means holding the golf club a little closer to the centre of the shaft, which shortens the length of the swing.

Pros of Chocking down:

  • Increased control
  • Less distance off the club

Cons of Chocking down:

  • Shaft gets stiffer
  • Less speed
  • Less spin
  • Less trajectory

Chunk (aka Chilli dip or Fluff or Duff or Fat)

A synonym of #Fat.

Claggy Lie

A mud or wet lie is known as Claggy Lie (mainly in the UK).

It’s an unpleasant situation to be in.


A Clone is mainly used for referring to cheap alternative (and perfectly legal) golf club products that have similar characteristics to the more expensive brands.

Closed face (aka Toed in)

A phrase that describes a club-face that is angled left for right-handed players, or angled right for left-handed players, i.e. club face is pointing towards the body of the golfer.

Closed stance

It’s a stance where the toe line is not parallel to the target line, but the player will be turning his chest a little towards the opposite direction.

For example, if the target is on the left, the toe line will be turned a little bit to the right.

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Club (The tool)

A club is a tool used to hit golf balls.

Club (People)

The official group of people who own & run the golf course.

Club (Golf course)

Refers to the golf course (including all facilities) + club-house + 19th hole + pro-shop etc

Club Head Speed

It’s the velocity of the clubhead.

It’s calculated by dividing the average drive distance by 2.3.

For example, if the average drive distance = 190 yards

Then the average club head speed = 190/2.3 = 82.6 mph

Club length

The distance from the ground to the top of the grip, and it is usually called “wrist-to-floor” length.

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The face of the club head that gets in contact with the golf ball when striking.


The end part of the golf club hits the golf ball.


A clubhouse is a building on the golf course that has customer service, reception, facilities like a restaurant, cafe, changing rooms, golf equipment etc. It’s often referred to as the 19th hole.

Cock Wrist

Cocking the wrist refers to the (almost) 90-degree angle of your thumb in relation to your arm while extending the lower forearm during your swing.


Collar (aka Fringe / Frog hair / Apron)

Area in front of a putting green where the fairway merges with the nearby green.

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A putt shot that is intended to bring back a golf ball that previosuly went past and missed the hole.


Committing to a golf shot means hitting the golf ball without hesitation while maintaining the posture and swing technique. Poor commitments results in poor shots.


Any part of any product is called a component, golfers use this phrase when referring to the individual parts that make up the golf club, i.e. shaft, club-head etc


To compress a ball means to hit it a low angle such that most of the impact is absorbed into the ball causing it to compress and travel maximum distance. See #compression


Compression is the ability of a golf ball to be compressed when getting struck, and the level of compression has consequences that are useful for certain conditions.

Golf Ball Compression vs. Swing Speed - A Match Made In Heaven - The Expert  Golf Website

Concede (aka Gimme)

To concede a putt is when a player gives his opponent a to consider a hole putted without the need to actually putt the ball, for whatever reasons. Among golfers, it’s regarded as a good sports gesture and not the same as a feeling of defeat.

Condor (aka Triple Eagle)

A Condor shot is when a player achieves a hole-in-one on a par 5 hole.

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COR (Coefficient of Restitution)

COR, or Coefficient of Restitution, is a measure of how much energy is transferred from the clubhead to the ball.

A high COR score means results in higher velocities and farther distances.

The minimum legal COR limit that must be complied with by golf club brands is 0.83 which basically means 83% energy transfer.


If two competing players finish the match with a tie, then the count-back method is used to find the winner by comparing (or counting back) their scores of the last 9/6/3 holes.

If a winner was found by comparing the scores of the last 9 holes, then it ends here, if not, then the last 6 holes will be compared, if still a tie, then last 3 holes.


A golf course is an area of green land that is specially designed for golfers (with bunkers, holes and maintained). Usually, all courses consist of 18 holes.

Course handicap

The par for the course is the average scratch golfer’s score.

In other words, the number of strokes needed by golfers with a handicap of 0 to finish the course.

Course rating

It’s a number that is calculated for each set of tees to find out the approximate number of strokes a good golfer with a handicap of zero (i.e. scratch golfer) is able to finish the course.

Courtesy of the course

When a golf course becomes a host for visiting golfers & staff of other golf clubs for free (for example, can be during official competitions).

Cross Handed Grip (aka Left Hand Low)

This is the opposite of how right-handed players grip their golf clubs, so the player will have his right hand higher up the shaft than the left hand, and most of the power will be generated with the left hand.

This grip is mainly used for putting balls with better control & accuracy and without wrist breaks.


The crown is the surface area of a club-head of a golf club.

Cubic Centimetres (CC)

As taught in school, Cubic Centimeters is the volume of an object.

When golfers use it, they are talking about the volume of the club-head.

The maximum legal limit (by USGA) of a club-head is 460 cubic centimetres.

Cup (aka Golf Hole)

A golf cup is a golf hole that is cut into the ground, which is the ultimate target that all golfers aim at.

Cut (Cut shot)

A cut shot is a shot that is used to control the direction of the ball after it lands, and it has:

  • High trajectory
  • Backspin
  • Right sidespin (for a right-handed golfer)

Cut (1st Cut – Light Rough)

A 1st cut grass is the area of grass that is immediately next to the fairway but with grass that grows a little higher.

Cut (2nd Cut – Rough)

A 2nd cut grass is the area of grass that is immediately next to the 1st cut and has significantly thicker grass.



A dead shot is a messed upshot that certainly won’t have a favourable outcome out of it.

Dead Weight

Dead weight is the total weight of a golf club.

Deep face

When the distance from the top to bottom of a club face is relatively big, it’s called a deep face. It’s the opposite of a #shallow face.

Deep rough

The grass area which is too high compared to a 1st/2nd Cut grass, and is bad for golf.

Dimple (Dimple Pattern)

Dimples are the many small dents around the golf ball.

This dimple pattern is designed to create the most aerodynamic and allow the golf ball to travel through the air much longer and farther than if it was a smooth ball without dimples.

Divot (aka Fat shot)

A piece of grass dug out by a golf shot. #Pitch Mark, #Fat Shot

Dog licence

If two players are playing in a match and one of them is winning by 7 holes at the 12th hole, and got 6 more holes to go. It’s called a dog license.

Why is it called that? In the 1970s, British pet owners used to buy licenses for their dogs that cost exactly 7 shillings & 6 pence.

Dog-balls (aka Snowman)

When a golfer finishes a single hole in 8 strokes, that’s a dog ball.

It’s most known as “snowman”, because the shape of 8 is almost the same as a snowman. It’s a negative term that no golfer wants to be associated with.


A dogleg is a hole on a golf course that is straight for some distance and then bends to the left or right. It’s got a dogleg because of the similarity of this golf shot with the shape of a dog’s leg.

Dormie (or Dormy)

This is a situation in a golf match play where a player or a team is leading by the same number of remaining holes.

For example:

  • If there’s 1 hole left to play, it’s called a Dormie
  • If there are 2 holes left to play, it’s called Dormie-Two
  • If there are 3 holes left to play, it’s called Dormie-Three
  • etc

Dormie house

Dormie House is an overnight accommodation (just like a hotel) that belongs to a golf club.

Double bogey

It means 2 over par. When a player finishes a hole with 2 strikes more than par, it’s called a double bogey.

For e.g. A hole requires 5 strokes, and the player finishes it in 7 strokes.

Double cross

A double-cross is a fault shot in golf that goes the complete opposite way from where it was intended.

For e.g. Aiming left (draw) and hitting right instead (slice).

Double eagle (aka Albatross)

It means 3 Under Par. When a player finishes a hole with 3 less strikes than par, it’s called a double eagle or albatross.

For e.g. A hole requires 5 strokes, and the player finishes it in 2 strokes.

Double-bend shaft

A double-bend shaft is a type of putter shaft that has two bends in it. This allows for different amounts of offset, which can help with your putting alignment.


The downswing is the movement of your body and arms to swing back the head of the club from the highest point down to the point of impact with the ball.


A golf shot that curves to the left for a right-handed golfer is called a draw.

Skilled golfers use this shot intentionally as part of their toolset in order to get the ball to go where they want it to and possibly avoid a hazard.

However, if the ball curves too much, the shot will become known as a hook.


Drive is the first shot a player takes using a driver club on a small area called a “tee box”.

Drive the green

To drive the ball (hit the ball) onto the green, in one shot from the tee box.

This is usually done on of the higher par holes (like 4 or 5).


A driver is a specially designed golf club for hitting the maximum distances, mostly for par 4-5 holes. It’s a must-have type of golf club for golfers of all levels.

Driving iron

Driving irons are a type of heavy-duty golf club that are created to strike the golf ball farther and higher than other types of standard irons.

Duck-hook (aka Snap Hook)

A bad & severe low hook that doesn’t get much airtime, snaps down sharply (ducks) to the ground, and then continues to the left.

Duff (aka Chilli dip or Fluff or Chunk or Fat)

A synonym of #Fat.



It means 2 Under Par. When a player finishes a hole with 2 less strikes than par.

For e.g. A hole requires 5 strokes, and the player finishes it in 3 strokes.

Effective loft

An effective loft is about the amount of loft the club has at impact. It’s mainly influenced by the lie and the hand’s grip position compared to the ball. 


It’s an elastic & synthetic adhesive substance that is used in golf clubs, balls, putter face inserts & other pieces of equipment.

Elevated green

It’s any green area that is higher than the surrounding areas.

Errant Shot

A bad golf shot that’s gone astray and out of control.


Golf etiquette is a set of unspoken / unwritten rules that golfers are expected to show around the golf club in order to maintain the spirit of the game. These include proper dress, politeness towards other players, and not disturbing or hindering their play.

European Tour

European Tour is the 2nd most popular tour in the golfer’s community around the world after the PGA Tour.

Even (aka Par)

Acheiving a score wihch is equal to the par score.

For e.g. 5 par hole finished in 5 strikes.

Explosion Bunker Shot (aka Blast)

Synonym of a blast shot, which basically is a strong strike to the ball along with sand to hopefully get the ball out of the bunker and land on the green.


Face angle

In golf, the face angle is the aim of the club face during impact in relation to the intended target. There are three different angles:

  1. Open (Right)
  2. Close/Shut (Left)
  3. Square (Straight)

Face Balanced

A face-balanced golf putter is a putter that is designed to be much more stable because they open & shut less than other putters.

It’s recommended for those who use a particular type of stroke like straight-back-and-through putting stroke.

See #Toe balanced putter.

Face Insert

This is the material that is placed on the face of a golf putter that impacts the ball. Some putters have a face insert and some don’t.

They can be made from soft materials or metal with patterns on them as shown in the image below.

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The face is the front end of the club that makes contact with the golf ball.

It’s flat on metal golf clubs, it’s a little curved on wooden golf clubs.


Fade is a spin on the ball that makes it go to the right.

This allows the ball to travel higher for a shorter distance and have a softer landing than if you hit the ball straight.


A Fairway is a long line of grass (30-50 yards) between the tee box and the green on the golf course.

Fairway Bunker

When a bunker exists on a fairway, it’s called a fairway bunker. It’s a hazard that adds difficulty to the course.

Fairway hit (FH)

Fairway hit is a way to measure the accuracy of drive strikes. When you hit the ball from the tee on a par 4-5, and then any part of the ball touches the fairway, it is called a fairway hit.

Fairway markers (aka Yardage Markers)

Fairway markers are coloured plastic disks with numbers written on them.

The numbers are simply the measurement of the distance (in yards) between the marker to the centre of the green. Numbers are usually 100, 150, 200, 250, and each number has a different colour.

Fat (aka Chilli dip or Fluff or Chunk or Duff or Heavy)

A Fat shot is a term used to describe any ball that is struck AFTER the ground has been struck first. This is a mistake that will lose a lot of power from the shot and the ball will not travel far.

It’s the opposite of a #thin shot, which is hitting the ball above its centre.

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It’s used to describe the vibration feeling coming through the golf club to the hands when hitting the golf ball.


It’s a hole-out from off the green.


It’s a short plastic ring fitted between the shaft and the clubhead, usually black color and mainly used as a decorative addition that doesn’t have any functional role.

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Flag Flagstick

Flagstick is the little flag (& the stick) that is placed next to a golf hole. It helps golfers aim from a far distance.


The flange is the part of a golf club head that sticks out in the back.

Flat Lie (aka Upright Lie)

A flat lie is when the bottom side of the club head is lying flat on the ground.

Usually causing the ball to be struck on the right side of the clubface, which causes the ball to hook (travel to the right of the target).

Flat swing

It’s a backswing where the golfer’s arms move more around the body than vertically, causing the ball to travel on a horizontal plane.

The opposite of #upright swing

Flatstick (aka Golf putter)

A synonym for a golf putter club. #Putter


Flex is a rating used to describe how flexible the shaft of a golf club is.

There are 5 flex ratings:

  1. Extra stiff (X)
  2. Stiff (S)
  3. Regular (R)
  4. Senior (A)
  5. ladies (L)

Different ratings have different effects on the distance, accuracy and trajectory of a golf shot. Generally, the stiffer the shaft, the faster the shot.

Flier (aka Flyer or Rocket launcher)

It’s a shot that travels farther than expected, mainly happens in a rough.

Due to grass/mud getting in the middle between the golf ball and the clubface at impact. It’s considered to be one of the trickiest golf shots.

It’s also known as a “flier”, “jumper”, “heater” or “rocket launcher”.


When the golf ball travels through the air, it’s called a flight.

Flop shot (aka Lob Shot)

A flop shot is a soft shot that flies the ball high and causes the ball to stop as soon as it lands, mainly used by professional golfers when they have little green to work with.

Fluff (aka Chilli dip or Chunk or Duff or Fat)

A synonym of #Fat.

Flush (aka Flush hit)

It’s a golf shot where the ball is struck exactly on the sweetspot (which is the centre of gravity of the club face).

Shots that are struck flash have maximum energy transfer, more backspin and less vibration or twisting at impact.

flush center of gravity term 1

Follow through (Through swing)

Follow-through is the continuation of the golf swing forward after the impact of the ball.


When playing golf, if someone thinks that your ball may hit someone else on the course, they’ll yell “Fore!” so that they get out of the way.

Forecaddie (or Fore caddy)

A forecaddie is a person employed by a group of golfers to help them spot and find their golf balls without offering advice as a typical caddie do.

Forged (or Forging)

A manufacturing process that is used to create golf clubs by pressing rather than moulding, which results in a “better feel” at impact than casted golf clubs.

Forgiveness (Forgiving)

“In golf, “forgiveness” refers to construction and design elements in golf clubs that lessen the effects of bad swings and poor contact with the ball. … Because these designs elements forgive the golfer for some of his mistakes. The higher a golfer’s handicap, the more forgiveness he or she wants in golf clubs. [ref]”

Fourball (Four-ball)

In fourball, two teams compete against each other with two players on each team. The only difference is that each individual player can only hit their own ball, which means every team has 2 balls.

Check #foursome

Foursome(s) (aka Alternate shot)

Similar to a #Fourball, two teams of two players each compete against each other, the difference is that each team has 1 ball, and the two players take turns in striking the golf ball.


Frenchie is when you hit a ball off a tree back onto the fairway.

Frequency matching

Frequency matching is a service by clubmakers to improve the feel and vibration of the shaft when swinging and striking, and ultimately improve the performance.

Fried Egg Lie (aka Plugged)

When a ball lands in a bunker and half sinks into the sand, it looks like a fried egg.

Fringe (aka Collar / Frog hair / Apron)

See #Collar

Front nine (aka Outward nine)

The first 9 holes of 18 hole courses are known as the front 9.

Full swing

It’s a swing with all of the different components that make up a full swing, including:

  1. Aim
  2. Stance
  3. Grip
  4. Posture
  5. Takeaway
  6. Half swing

There are different types of golf swings, the full swing is one of the most popular.


They are all the funny or unusual things that happen during a golf play, they are mainly used during informal matches that involve gambling.



It stands for “Golf Course Superintendents Association of America”, which is an association for golf courses owners/managers.

Gear effect

It’s the physics that explains how striking a golf ball on different parts of the clubface will cause a change in direction, spin rate and flight.

Understanding the Principles of Golf Club Gear Effect



It’s a short conceded putt (a putt that one golf opponent gives to the other without needing to actually play it, just like a free score gift).

The reason for the gimme may be to save time because it isn’t worth it for an opponent to wait for the shot if he believes the shot is too easy for the opponent, for example, the shot less than 2 meters from the hole.

See #Concede

Green in Regulation (GIR)

A green is called hit in regulation if the golf ball touches the putting surface AND being 2 strokes less than par.


Specially made gloves (usually from leather) is worn on the lead hand (which is the top hand on the grip) to help golfers grip the golf club and protect their hands from blisters.

Golden Ferret

It’s a tricky shot that gets the ball holed straight out of a bunker.

Goldie Bounce

“When an errant ball strikes a tree deep in the rough and then bounces out onto the fairway, it’s known as a Goldie Bounce.”

Golf club

An instrument with a grip, shaft and a clubhead that is used by golfers to strike the golf ball into the holes.


When two competing players in a match mutually agree to concede each other (giving them a free score without putting the ball).


Gorse in golf is a bad obstacle on the course that is made from prickly or spiky bushes where golf balls can easily get lost inside, and extremely difficult to find and retrieve them afterwards.


The direction in which the grains of green grass is leaning towards, which has an effect on the speed and roll of the ball.

Grand slam

Winning all the major championships in golf in the same year is a very impressive feat, and it’s called a grand slam.


Graphite is a strong material that is often used in the shafts of drivers, fairway woods and irons because of it’s strength to weight ratio.

Grass bunker

A grass bunker is a phrase used by golfers to describe a hollowed area of grass that looks like a bunker but it isn’t filled with sand, it only resembles the shape of a bunker.


An area where a hole and flagstick exists. The grass on the green is specially maintained to allow putts to be played into the hole.

Green Fee

The fee that golfers pay to play on the golf course.

Green Jacket

A jacket that is awarded by the previous year’s champion to the current year’s champion of the US Masters Golf Tournament.


A bet (in hole-in-regulation) that is won by the player who hits the ball closest to the hole.


An employee whose job is to take care and maintain the condition of the golf course and ensure that the grass is trimmed according to the correct standards.

Greenside bunker

A bunker that exists to the side of a green.


Similar to #Foursome, it’s a match play that consists of 2 teams of 2 players.

The difference here is that each player in a team plays their tee shot, then a decision is made to select the tee shot they prefer, then play the hole in turns.


A grove is a design on a clubface that causes a backspin and lift, there are 2 types of grooves:

  • V Groove
  • U Groove

Gross score

The total number of strokes a player took in a round that is used to calculate the handicap.

Ground the Club

Letting the golf club touch the ground.

For e.g. it’s not allowed to ground the club on a hazard such as the sand of the bunker, whether resting the club behind the golf ball or even during a practise or an actual shot. Otherwise, there will be a penalty for doing so.

Ground Under Repair (GUR)

An area on a golf course under maintenance or repair. If a ball lands in a GUR then there will be a 1 stroke penalty and do a free drop.



A golf hack is when you swing your club at the ball with a poor technique that is not smooth.


A play that demonstrates poor/newbie skills and soon after quits.

Or a play with poor etiquette.


If a match ends with a tie for both teams because each team played the same number of strokes, then the match is halved.

Half set (Hole / Match / Halve / Halved)

It means half (or less than) the set of a complete golf club.

In other words, a standard set has 14 clubs.

It’s typically done by newbies who want to start playing golf with minimal investment and helps them save money until they decide if it’s a hobby that they want to invest more into.

Halfway house (aka Halfway hut)

A small station that is located almost halfway through the 18 holes (usually Holes 9-10). It provides light food/snacks/drinks for those who wish to take a quick break.


A handicap is a numerical calculation that is used to measure a golfer’s skill, which helps golfers with different levels of skill to choose who to compete with.

image 46


A player who doesn’t have proper control on their wrist’s movement during a putt or a swing, which results in bad golf shots.

Hang time

How long the golf ball travels through the air before landing again.

Hanging lie

A golf ball is hanging lie if it’s below the level of the golfer shoes.

Hardpan Lie (or Tight Lie)

A bare lie is a shot outside the green that is very difficult to hit, is called a Hardpan.


A hazard is an area on a golf course that is considered an obstacle, such as:

  1. Man-made Hazards: Bunkers
  2. Natural Hazards: Water lakes, Rivers etc

Head cover

A headcover is a protective cover (usually made of leather) to keep your clubs protected.

image 47

Heavy Shot (aka Fat or Chilli dip or Fluff or Chunk or Duff)

When the clubhead aggressively hits the ground and penetrates through it before touching the ball is referred to as “hitting heavy” or “a fat shot”. See #Fat Shot

image 48


The nearest part of the clubhead to the shaft is called the heel.

The Heel part of a golf club

Heel-toe / weighting

Weighting is when you put the weight of the club at the heel and toe of a golf club instead of the middle. This makes the club more forgiving and reduces the amount of energy that is lost when the club twists.

Hickory shaft

Hickory-shafted golf clubs are made of wood and were most popular between the 1890s to 1935 before steel shafts were introduced.

High modulus graphite

It’s a type of graphite that is very stiff that is used on the golf shafts that helps high handicappers (less experienced golfers) generate more speed with their shots.

High side (aka Pro Side)

The side of the hole that a putt breaks from.

Hold the green

Hitting a golf ball, land it and keep it on the green.

Hole (aka Cup)

The circular hole / cup where golf balls are aimed at.

Hole high (aka Pin High)

To hit the ball and make it travel the correct distance that’s required to reach the hole, regardless of the accuracy of the shot (accurate or not).

Hole in one (aka Ace)

Hit the ball into the hole in 1 shot. See #Ace

image 49

Hole in one insurance

Many tournaments offer big prizes for players who make hole in ones. To protect themselves from this cost, they buy insurance.

Hole out

Hole-out is a shot that makes the ball end up resting in the hole, usually from a putt or a chip shot from off the green.


When a ball enters and stays in the hole.


The player who gets the lowest score on a hole gets to tee off first on the next hole. If two players get the same score, then the player who had the honour on the previous hole keeps it.

Hooding the cub

Hooding the club means closing the clubface to reduce the loft of the club. This is done by moving your hands towards the target area at address.


A hook, for a right-handed player, is a shot that travels sharply to the left.

It’s the opposite of a slice.

Titan Tees

Hosel (aka Neck)

Hosel is the part where the clubhead is connected to the shaft.

Hybrid club (aka Utility, Rescue, Safety, Trouble club)

This word is used to refer to Hybrid golf clubs that combines the best features of two different types of golf clubs.

  1. Iron golf club
  2. Fairway wood golf club



The moment the club hits the golf ball during the swing.

Impossible shot

When a player hits the ball over a large obstacle or from an awkward position (determined by the golf course), it is considered an impossible shot.

Improbable hole

When the player isn’t able to see the flag, yet hits the ball straight into the hole.

In contention

In contention: When a player has a good chance of winning in a tournament.

Moving into Contention: When a player improves their position on the leaderboard during the final round of a tournament.


Golf club insert is a piece of material that is inserted onto the face of a golf clubhead in order to create a softer feel at impact.

Inside Path, Out to In

An inside out golf swing is when you swing the golf club from the inside of your body. This will give you more control over the ball when you hit it.

Inter-Club Courtesies

These are agreements put in place between golf clubs that if one club is closed down for competitions, maintenance etc, then other golf clubs will be willing to accept their golfers temporarily. The terms of these courtesies vary depending on what was agreed (for e.g. regular basis or for a specific date).

Interlocking grip

For right-handed golfers, Interlocking grip is a Grip style where the pinkie finger of the right hand is “interlocked” around the index finger of the left.

Investment casting

It’s a manufacturing process that is used to mould the golf club head through the process of casting molten metal into a mould, cooling down then breaking the mould.

Inward nine

The final 9 holes of a golf course.

It’s named inward because most golf courses were designed to start the game away from the clubhouse into the first 9 holes, and then go back towards the clubhouse for the final 9.


Iron is a name given to a specific type of golf clubs that have a flat face and are made of solid metal.



A short & quick putting stroke.


Kick point

It’s the point on a golf club shaft that has the most flexibility & elasticity at impact. The higher the kick point on the shaft the higher the launch angle, and the opposite is true.

Kill the Ball

To hit the golf ball with an aggressive swing and almost “kill it”.

Knock Down Shot (aka Punch shot)

Knock down shot is a straight golf shot with low trajectory to avoid hitting winds or a an obstacle like a branch of a tree.


Lag (Swing)

A lag is when the club-head is behind your hands before you release it.

Lag (Putt)

The purpose of a lag putt is to get the golf ball as close to the hole as possible.

Laid off

When you are swinging your golf club, if the shaft is pointing to the left of the target, then it is said to be “laid off.”

Lake ball

Lake balls are balls that have been lost in the water and people often find them and sell them again.

Launch angle

It’s the trajectory angle of the golf ball after the impact with the clubface.

Lay up

Lay up (or laid up) is when you make a decision to play a short shot instead of trying to get the ball on the green. This is usually because there is a risk factor involved, like not having enough space to land the ball on the green.

Leading edge

The front edge of the bottom of the face of the club.


For a right-handed player, a leak is a ball that turns to the right direction while travelling.


Leven is a par-four golf hole that is difficult. You will be rewarded if you can drive the ball over a hazard or a bunker, which will also make it much easier to reach the green. This hole is named after a golf hole in Scotland.


A lie is the ball’s position on the ground, which is important because this position will make the next stroke more difficult or more easy.

Lie angle

The angle between the sole of the clubhead and the middle of the shaft.


The force that lifts the ball upwards at impact with the clubface.


The path that the golf ball travels from anywhere on the golf course to the hole.

Line up

To aim and prepare for the shot based on the slope of the green.

Links (Courses)

Links golf courses are golf courses that are located close to the sea or coastal sand dunes.


The edge of the golf hole.

Lip out

When a golf ball goes towards the hole, and then rolls on the edge of the hole and keeps rolling away, then the ball has “Lipped out”.


Lobs are short, high arc shots that can be produced with a lob wedge.

Lob Wedge (aka Lofted wedge or L-Wedge)

It’s a wedge used by golfers to produce the most loft & most arc on a shot and is usually used to shoot the ball over hazards onto the green with a controlled landing and minimal rolling (due to backspinning).

Local rule

These are additional rules (or changed rules) that are specific to a golf course. These are usually applied during competitions. [source]


The angle between the clubface and the club shaft is called “loft”. The smaller the angle is, the higher the loft is. A high loft helps in flying the golf ball higher instead of farther.

Long game

It’s a set of golf shots that are made from 100+ yards away from the green (for e.g. Tee Box shots).

Long irons

Long irons typically refer to golf irons 2, 3 & 4, which have long shafts.

They are designed with low lofts for minimum trajectory and maximum distances (200+ yards). They are considered difficult due to the length of the shafts, and the small area of the clubface. [Source]

Long putter

This is a putter with relatively long shafts (45+ inches). And are “butt” of the putter is pressed against the chest before putting the ball.

Loose impediment

There are some things that can get in the way of a ball. These are called loose impediments because they are loose, not fixed to the ground. For example, things like sticks, leaves, twigs, etc.

Low handicapper

A person who has a low handicap score, the lower the handicap the more skilled the player is. Some professional golfers have negative handicap scores. It basically means they are hitting the holes with fewer shots than par.

See #Handicap

Low profile

Low profile clubs have a shorter height from the bottom to the top. This means that the centre of gravity is lower, making it easier to hit the ball high.


It stands for “Ladies Professional Golf Association”, which is a women’s professional sports association.


Made cut did not finish (MDF)

A term used in tournaments which refers to golfers who made the cut after the first 2 rounds, and didn’t make their 2nd cut into the 3rd round.


The majors are the biggest & most popular men’s golf competitions.

  1. Masters at Augusta National
  2. USPGA Championship
  3. US Open
  4. Open Championship (aka “the British Open”)


A mallet is a putter with a large clubhead. The opposite side of the clubface is usually square or round (half-moon). The purpose of the design is to distribute the weight which makes it easier to aim.

Maraging steel

These are golf clubs that are made from the toughest and hardest types of steel, like the 304 steel.

Mashie (Mashie Niblick)

A redundant term for an old golf club that is similar to a modern 7 iron.

Mashie iron

A golf club that has less loft than a mashie, and is similar to a 4 iron.


This term is mainly associated with the yearly USPGA golf competition that takes place at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Match play

It’s an informal match-play, where the players compete against each other on a hole-by-hole basis. The player who wins the most holes is the winner, even if they have more strokes than their opponent.

Medal play

In golf, medal play is a type of competition where players are scored based on their total number of strokes played. There are usually two rounds of medal play – one to determine who advances to the match play stage, and one to declare the overall winner.


The medalist is the player who finishes in first place in the qualifying rounds before a match play.

Member’s bounce

When a golf ball bounces in a way that improves what initially seemed to be a bad shot, it is called a member’s bounce.

Metal wood

A wood is a type of golf club that has a longer shaft with a larger & rounder clubhead. They were initially made of wood only, that’s where it got it’s name from. A metal wood is simply the same type of golf club that’s made of metal. [Source]

Mid iron

Any iron in the range is 5, 6 & 7.

image 50

Mid mashie

An old golf club that’s similar to the modern 3-iron.

Mid putter (aka Belly Putter)

It’s a golf putter that’s used by players who struggle with their wrists breaking in a putting stroke, so the “Belly putter” is used to press the butt of the putter against their belly to add an extra point of contact.


This term refers to amateur players who are typically under 55 years old, and usually have a low handicap.

Milled putters

A milled putter is a putter that has undergone a manufacturing cutting process to flatten the face of the club.


Used as a “mistake”, so mis-club basically means mistakingly choosing the wrong club due to misjudging the distance required.


Making a mistake when judging the right line to take on a putt, based on winds, slope and surface.

Missing The Cut

If a player doesn’t reach the minimum score after 36-holes (in a 72 hole competition), then this player has missed the cut and will not be able to move to the next round.

MOI (Moments of Inertia)

It stands for “Moments of inertia”, a term used in physics. It’s basically resistance to twisting around its axis. These tests are usually done by manufacturers, so the higher the MOI, the more forgiving the club is.

Monday qualifier

Monday qualifier is a small match that happens on the Monday before a professional golf tournament to qualify top winners into the tournament.

Moving day

Most professional tournaments these days last four days and involve playing 72 holes. “Moving day” refers to the third day, when players who are not doing so well try to move up the rankings, while others fall behind.

Mud ball

A mud ball is a golf ball that has mud stuck to it. It can negatively affect the flight and rolling of the ball, but players are not allowed to clean it except once on the putting green.


Mulligan is a re-shot of a golf ball, without counting it as a stroke. There is no penalty for taking a Mulligan, but it is not allowed in tournaments. It is more commonly used in casual golf matches.

Municipal course

Municipal courses are courses that are owned and maintained by the local government. They are typically less expensive to play than other courses and are open to the public. Tournaments typically don’t happen on Municipal courses, instead they are usually held at private courses.

Muscleback (aka Blade)

See #Blade Iron

MWT (Movable Weight Technology)

It’s a system developed by adidas which allows the weight of the club head to be flexibly moved to control the trajectory of the shots.



Nassau is a popular betting game in golf in which players make three separate bets. The first bet is on the front 9 holes, the second is on the back 9 holes, and the third is on the total 18 holes of the round.

Neck (aka Hosel)

See #Hosel

Net score

Net score = Gross score (of a hole or round) – Handicap

Never up, never in

A phrase term used among golfers which means the a putt will not be succussful if it never enters & stays in the hole.


It’s an old term that isn’t used anymore, which refers to a golf club that is comparable to a modern 7-ron.


Nine-irons are the clubheads with the most mass and the shortest shafts in the iron family. They provide high lofts for short distances.

Nineteenth hole

See #19th Hole.

No Card (NC) or No Return (NR)

When a player doesn’t turn in a scorecard for the round, they receive a No Card (or No Return), and are disqualified.


Off centre hit

When the ball is hit not on the centre of the clubface (i.e. sweetspot).


The distance of how far back the clubface’s leading edge from the shaft.


The opposite of “offset”, it’s the distance of how ahead the clubface’s leading edge from the shaft.

On the charge

When a player is playing very well and hitting birdies in a row, they are said to be “on the charge”. This usually means that they are moving up the rankings and have a chance of winning the tournament.

Open face

It’s the opposite of #closed face.

When the club-face is angled away from the player’s body, it is said to be an open face.

Open stance

An open stance is when you move your front foot back from the target line. This can help you hit the ball to the side (fading it) or stop it from hooking.

Out of Bounds (OB)

The area that is not part of the playing area for a specific hole.

Outside agent

Any person or thing that are part of the match (including players, wind, water) are inside agents. Any that aren’t part of the match (including referee, marker, observer & fore-caddy) are outside agents.

Outward nine

The first 9 holes of a golf course are called “outward nine” because a golfer would go out towards the course for the first half, then come back (inward nine) towards to finish at the 19th hole.

Overlapping grip (aka Vardon grip)

The popular grip in which the right pinkie finger rests on top of the left index finger for a right-handed golfer.


Oversize clubs are those that are bigger in size than the average club. They are often seen as game improvement clubs, as they can help goflers hit the ball further and more accurately.



Pace is how fast or slow you hit the putt in order to make it to the hole. The break of the green is also a factor to consider when putting.


Par is the number of strokes a golfer should require to complete a hole, taking into account the terrain and other challenges. The par for a course is the sum of all the hole’s pars.


Penal is a type of golf hole design that does not allow a player a lot of choices in terms of the shots required to make a score at the hole. This can make the game more difficult. If shots were not successful then the player is “penalised” with sever hazards.

Perfect round

A perfect round is when a golfer scores a birdie (or better) on all of the 18 holes. This is an impressive feat and usually means that the golfer is playing very well.

Perimeter Weighting

Perimeter weighting is changing the placement of weight out of the sweet spot for a more forgiving club. This helps reduce the amount of side-to-side twisting on off-centre hits, which in turn reduces the amount of distance lost on those shots.


Stands for Professional Golfers Association. It can be any professional golf association.

Pick Up

Picking up the ball before finishing the hole is when a golfer decides to end their round, and instead of playing the remaining holes, they pick up their ball and leave. This results in ending the game.


It’s the flag stick that is placed next to holes. See #Flag stick


Pin-high refers to a ball that is placed on the green so that it is horizontally aligned with the hole. This means that the ball is positioned along an imaginary line that goes straight through the hole and across the width of the green.


Pitch is a short shot that is typically played with a high-lofted club, and is meant to fly the ball towards the hole (or a different target) more accurately.

Pitch mark

A pitch mark is little dent on the green caused by the landing of a pitch shot, which must be fixed by the player.

Play through

Play through is when a slower group of players allows a faster group to pass them on the golf course. This is done as a courtesy so that the players can continue playing without any delays.

Plugged lie (aka Buried Lie or Fried egg)

Plugged lie is a bad lie where the ball is at least half-buried. This can make it look like a fried egg.

Plumb bob

Plumb bob is a method used to determine the slope of a green in order to read the break better. This allows golfers to make more accurate putts.

Plus handicap

A “plus” handicap golfer is someone who has a handicap that is less than zero. This means that they must add their handicap to their score when playing in a tournament or match.


rewrite “Pop-up A poor tee shot where the top of the club-head 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 club-head, or dents in persimmon clubs. Also known as “sky shots”.”

Pot bunker

Pot bunkers are small and challenging bunkers that difficult to escape from.

Power transfer ratio

The power transfer ratio is a measure of how efficiently the energy from the golfer’s swing is transferred to the ball. This is important as it determines how far the ball will travel.

Preferred Lie (aka Winter Rule)

It’s a local rule that allows golfers to lift their ball, clean it and place it on the fairway during bad course conditions. This can be helpful when the ball is in a difficult position or when there is too much mud or sand on the ball.

Pre-shot routine

Pre-shot routine is a set of preparation steps that a player will do to plan his shot mentally and physically. These preparation steps can include some practise swings, measuring distances, visualising the shot etc. This allows the player to plan their swing and make sure they are ready to take their shot.

Pro shop

The pro shop is a place at the golf club where you can purchase golf equipment. It’s run by the club professional.

Pro (Professional)

A pro is a golfer who plays golf for money. They may be a professional and play in competitions or they may work at a club and teach people how to play.

Progressive offset

Progressive offset is a feature on some clubs that has increasing offset as the length of the club gets longer. This makes it easier to hit the longer irons, as they have more forgiveness.

Provisional Ball

When playing a provisional ball, you are playing a second ball from the same place as the first. This is done because you have lost the first ball in the last shot.


When you hit the ball, if it goes in a direction on the same side as you swung, it’s called a pull. This can make the ball go off course and into trouble.


When you hit the ball, if it goes in a direction on the opposite side as you swung, it’s called a push. This can make the ball go off course and into trouble. It’s the opposite of #Pull.

Putt (Putting)

A putt is a shot that getting the ball into the hole on the green using a putter.

Putter (aka Flatstick)

The putter is a golf club that is used to get the ball into the hole on the green. It has a very low loft which makes the ball roll along the green.

Putting green

A putting green is a practise surface used for warming up & practising putting.



The Qualifying School is a competition that aspiring golfers must go through in order to qualify for The PGA Tour. It’s not an easy competition and golfers compete for over 6 days, 6 rounds in each day.

Quitting on the ball (aka Quitting on the swing)

It means slowing down the speed of the swing at impact by mistake, which is common amongst beginners.


R & A

The R&A Stands for the popular Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.


A rake is a tool that is used to clear any footprints from the bunker.

Range ball

Range ball is A cheap two piece ball manufactured for use on driving ranges. They are sometimes altered to limit the distance they can travel and therefore not travel out from the driving range.

Range Finder

Golf rangefinder is a tool that estimates a shot’s distance and accuracy. This is done by providing a view of the target and helping the golfer to measure the distance to the target.

Reading the green

When a player is looking at the green and thinking about the best shots that can get the ball from where it is to the hole in the current conditions like wind speed, slope and wetness of the grass etc, he is said to be “Reading the green”.


Recovery is a shot that took a ball out of a difficult situation.


The green at Redan is sloped downwards, making it a challenging shot for golfers.


When you throw a chip or pitch, the ball often bounces and then moves in a certain pattern. This is called the release. The check is where the ball slows down because of backspin, and the release is when the ball starts rolling again after this spin.

Reverse Bounce Back

It’s the complete opposite of “Bounce Back”.

It’s when a player scores a bogey (or worse) then immediately scoring a birdie (or better).

Reverse overlap

It’s a grip used for putting. For the right-handed, the putter is gripped in the left hand with the right hand slightly overlapping it and leaving the left finger to overlap the right hands’ fingers.

Rhythm (aka Tempo)

The speed and pattern of a person’s swing with a golf club.


Used to describe the quality of the ball’s movement after being struck by the putter.


Rough is the grass that surrounds that fairway, which is usually tailer and less maintained than the other parks.

Rowan Match play

A form of singles match play which can be played by 3 or more players

Rub of the Green

Rub of the Green Occurs when the ball is deflected or stopped by a third party/object.


Is the distance a ball travels after it has fallen. The distances of a golf shot are first its “carry” and then its “run.”


Rutter is a small-headed niblick for hitting the ball from a cart track.

Sand iron (aka Sand Wedge)

Sand iron is a golf club that’s designed to hit from the ball out of bunkers. It has a wide and more rounded sole.


Sand save

When the ball ends up in a bunker, and then the golfer is able to get the ball out from the bunker in one shot, then get it to the hole in the next shot.

Sand trap (aka Bunker)

Sand trap is the same thing as a bunker, this phrase is usually used by beginner golfers, more experienced golfers use the term “bunker” instead.

Sandbagger (aka Bandit)

See #Bandit

Sandy (or Sandie)

When a player scores a par or better after the ball lands in a bunker. If it lands in a bunker 2 or 3 times for the same hole, it’s called double or triple sandy.

Scotch Foursomes (aka Greensomes)

When each player of a team tee off, they will agree on a ball to play for the rest of the round, and they take turns for hitting the ball.


Scramble is when a player scores a par or better despite missing the green in regulation.

Scratch golfer

A golfer with a handicap of zero or less.


Senior is a term used for older golfers who compete. The sandard minimum age limit is 45-55 depending on the competition rules.

Senior PGA Tour (aka PGA Tour Champions)

PGA Tour Champions was previously named as Senior PGA Tour up until 2001.


The shaft is the long stick in a golf club that connects the head to the grip.


Shamble is a match format where every player tee off the ball,and they agree on the best shot that they will all continue their round with. It’s similar to a scramble.


A shank shot is when the golf ball is hit by the club hosel.

Shoot your (my) age

Means achieving a score on an 18-hole round of golf that is equal to, or less than, your current age. For example, an 70-year-old man who scores an 70 has shot his age.

Shoot your (my) temperature

A round of 18 holes where a given player has a score equal to 98 or 99.

Short game

Quick shots on or near the green and includes aspects such as putting, chipping pitching & green-side bunker.

Short side (or Short Sided)

A player is short-sided when he/she misses the green on the side that leaves little green between their current location and the hole.

Shot making

Is to be able to fully control the direction, trajectory and distance of a struck ball.

Shotgun start

A Shotgun start is a method used in tournaments in order to allow all players to start playing simultaneosly, let’s say for example that there are 18 players competing. Each player will start at a different hole at the same time, and each of them will play all 18 holes, the player who starts at the 1st hole, will finish at the 18th hole, and the player who starts at the 2nd hole, will finish at the 1st hole, and so on.


It’s a sharp hook shot, and is called a shrimp because the path of the hole kind of looks like the shape of a shrimp.

Sink a putt

Basically means to hole a putt.


Sit! Telling the ball to drop softly, and not roll after landing.

Commanding the ball as it lands to sit & stick where it lands, and not to roll.



To “skull the ball” means to strike it with the golf club’s leading edge which results in a low & far shot with minimal spin.


A Slices are usually bad shots that are extremely common for beginner golfers. It’s when a right-handed golfer hits the ball and it curves to the right.

Slope rating

It’s a rating of difficulty for golf courses (ranging from 55-155, average being 113).

Snap hook

For right-handed golfers, a snap hook is a golf shot that curves to the left.


The shape of a an eight is almost identical to the shape of a snowman. So scoring a snowman means to score an 8 on a hole.


Society is an organized group of golfers that are joined together to form a golfers society (it can be from workplace, profession, alma mater, or other association).

Soft tipped (aka Tip soft shaft)

A tip soft shaft is a shaft that is more flexiblilty in the tip part.


The sole is the bottom side of a golf club that rests on the ground.


If a player is about to putt his ball and there’s a possibility of hitting a marker, then the owner of the marker will “span” the marker, which means to temporarily remove the marker until the other player makes his putt.


Speed is referred to the velocity of a putt shot.

Spike mark

Spiked shoes leave little marks on the grass, these are called spike marks.


The studs on the bottom of spiked golf shoes, provide traction and stability to prevent slipping during a swing.

Spin rate

It’s the unit to measure how fast the ball is spinning in the air after a hit. Spin rate is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).


it’s a term that originated from Scotland which means to play badly.


To spray a ball means to aim for a target and then hit the ball badly in a different direction.

Square grooves (aka U Grooves)

These are grooves that exist on some clubfaces help in building a higher backspin than other types (such as V grooves).


A scoring system where the player with the most points wins. The scores are calculated by taking into consideration the number of strokes relative to par.

Stepless shaft

It’s a golf club’s shaft that has a smooth finish instead of little circular lines called “steps”.

Stepped shaftu

These are circular lines along the shaft of the golf club.


The Stimpmeter is a device for measuring the speed of putting greens.


A 200-year-old term to describe a shot that lands next to the flagstick.


A strategic golf hole design gives you a choice of shots to make par. Usually, the safest shots have the least chance of entering a hazard. This is different from a penal golf hole, which has fewer safe choices.

Stroke Index (SI)

A stroke index is a number assigned to each hole on the course that indicates how difficult a hole is compared to another hole. These stroke index numbers are printed on the scorecard.

Stroke play

In stroke play, the player with the fewest strokes wins, which is very common in tournaments.


The act of swinging a golf club to hit a golf ball (aka golf shot, swing)

Strong loft

A strong loft is a club that has a low loft. A low loft causes a lower trajectory & more distance.


When someone’s ball is in the way of the hole they are trying to put into, you can ‘block’ their path by putting your ball right next to theirs. It’s an old rule that isn’t used anymore. Nowadays you are allowed to mark the spot of your ball on the green, so the other player can putt without it being in the way.

Sunday Bag

A Sunday Bag is a lightweight golf bag that was traditionally used by golfers who did not have a caddy on Sundays. This type of bag is now often used by golfers who prefer to carry a few clubs and avoid the inconvenience of a standard big golf bag.

Sunday Stick (or Sabbath Stick)

Sunday stick is a golf club that looks like a walking stick so you can play golf on Sundays without getting in trouble.


Surlyn is a strong and durable material that the outer layers of golf balls are made of.


The sweet spot is the centre of the clubface, sometimes between the centre and the heel (depending on the type of golf club). Hitting the ball on the sweet spot will result in an accurate shot & a high power transfer ratio.


A golf swing is a movement you make with your arms, body and club to hit the ball. There are different ways to do a golf swing, but among professionals, there’s only one “perfect” way, but it’s impossible to duplicate the perfect swing exactly because everyone will have his unique swing.

Swing plane

The swing plane is the path a golf club moves during the swing.

Swing speed

The speed of the head of the club during a swing. An average man golfer’s swing speed is between 90-125mph.

Swing weight

It is the measurement of how well a club is balanced and is shown by a number & a letter. Then all the clubs in your set will have this balance.



A tap-in is a ball that is close to the hole, so it’s easy to putt it in. Recreational golfers often do this when playing golf because it saves time.


The target line is an imaginary flight path from the current position of the ball to the desired target location.

Tee (aka Teeing groud)

It’s a small plastic or wooden peg (looks like a nail) that is fixed into the grass to support the golf ball above it before “Teeing off” or hitting the 1st golf stroke.


Tempo is the smooth change of speed of the swings during the different stages of a golf swing.

Tending the pin

When someone is on the green and they are struggling to judge the distance of their putt, they may ask someone to “tend the pin” for them, which means that person will hold the flagstick at the hole so it becomes easier to estimate the distance more accurately.

Ten-finger grip (aka Baseball Grip)

The ten-finger grip is when you put all of your fingers on the club.

Texas wedge

Texas wedge is a type of putt you make when you are not on the green. You use this type of putt when the ball is close to the hole but not quite there. You will need a wedge, which is a special kind of golf club, to make this putt.

Thin (Blade shot)

See #Blade Shot

Through line

The “through-line” is the path that a ball would take if it goes past the hole.

Through the green

Every part of a golf course (including hazards) except the teeing ground and the 19th hole is considered “through the green”.

Tiger line

Tiger line is a term popularised after Tiger Woods, which is a shot to the green over a hazard (usually on par 4 holes).

Tiger Slam

Named after Tiger woods, which means winning 4 major championships in a row.


There are two meanings to the word “tips” when it comes to golf.

  1. The first is “the most rearward set of tees on each golf hole”. [source]
  2. The second is playing the golf course starting from the farthest tee box.


A metal that’s used to manufacture the best driver golf clubs due to it’s high strength to weight ratio (lightweight).


The toe of a club is the end of the clubhead that is farthest from the hosel.

Toed in (aka Closed Face)

See #Closed Face

Top line

The topline is the top edge of the iron golf clubface, and it’s mostly visible when holding the club at address. The thickness of the topline is a good indication of how forgiving or workable the club is. Forgiving clubs have thicker toplines, while workable clubs have thinner ones.


It means mistakingly hitting the “top” of the golf ball which causes a weak shot with slow speed and no trajectory. See #Blade shot


Touch is a skill in estimating how far a ball will go after it’s been struck.


It’s the angle & distance at which the ball travels through after a strong strike.

Trampoline effect (aka Spring effect)

“Trampoline effect” is a term used to describe the spring effect of a clubface. This effect makes the clubface act like a trampoline, causing the ball to fly farther and faster.

Travel cover

They are protective covering bags for golf balls during transit.

Tree shot

A bad shot that hits a tree is called a tree shot.

Triple bogey

A triple bogey is when someone takes three strokes more than the par for a hole.


Tungsten is a dense metal that is often used to weight golf clubs. This makes them more stable and less likely to twist when you hit the ball. Some golf clubs, especially putters, have inserts made of tungsten to improve their moments of inertia.


A Turkey is when you make 3 birdies in a row in a single round.


U grooves

see #Square grooves

Under Club Under Clubbing


Check #Backspin

Unplayable ball

It’s a name of a golf rule, where a player announces that his current shot is unplayable. Then the player will need to have 3 options to choose from:

  1. Play again from the last spot under a penalty of stroke & distance
  2. Manually drop the ball within 2 club lengths away from the current position, but not closer to the hole, under a penalty of 1 stroke.
  3. Retreat as far back as they wish under 1 condition, they can only go back on a straight line that extends from the hole to the ball & beyond, under a penalty of 1 stroke.

Up and down

“Up and down” is when a player gets the ball into the hole in two strokes. The first stroke usually gets the ball “up” onto the green (from a bunker, pitch or chip), and then the 2nd stroke gets the ball “down” from the green into the hole.

Upright lie

Check #Flat lie


The governing body of golf is responsible for making the rules for the sport in the U.S. and Mexico. They work together with a different organization (R&A) to create the rules for golf.


It stands for “US” + “PGA”, or PGA of America, which is the main professional organization for golfers in the USA.

Utility Club

Check #Hybrid Club


V grooves

The V-shaped cross-section grooves on irons and wedges are called V-grooves, they provide less spin than U-shaped ones.

Vardon grip / Overlapping

See #Overlapping grip

Variable Face Thickness (VFT)

It’s a technological feature patented by Callaway that makes the clubface more flexible in the centre to increase the distance of your shots. Also check #Trampoline effect

Vaulting dormie

In golf, if you are ahead by as many holes as remain to be played in match play, you have “vaulted dormie.”



It’s a mental prep before a shot. When getting ready to hit the ball, many players move their body, clubs, and practice swings around a bit. This is called a pre-shot routine or waggle.

We Are Golf

We Are Golf is a group of organizations that includes CMAA, GCSAA, NGCOA, and USPGA. that aims to show how golf positively impacts the economy and social aspects of society.


Wedges are golf clubs that are built for short-range strokes.


When you try to hit the ball and the club misses the ball, it’s called whiffing, and it counts as a stroke.


A very elastic & flexible golf club shaft.

Winter green

A winter green is a green that is specifically built to keep golfers away from the summer green during winter and protect it from damage.

Winter rules

Check #Preferred Lie


It’s winning every round of a tournament.


Wood is a type of golf club that has a longer shaft with a large and rounder head compared to other types of clubs. They are used to hitting the ball farther than other clubs.

They fall into 2 categories:

  1. Drivers
  2. Fairway woods

Worm burner

A hard golf shot with a low trajectory.


X-out balls

These are the golf balls that fail the quality control checks in a manufacturing facility.

Yardage marker

Check #Fairway markers


Yips are involuntary wrist twitches that happen mostly when trying to putt.


A hard golf shot with a high trajectory.


A shot that Causes a golf ball to spin.