The Golf Glossary
Golf Terminology, the Course, the Players
For The Equipment and Clubmaker's Glossary
Address: Position taken by a player prior to hitting a shot. According to the USGA Rules of Golf, a player has "addressed" the ball when he has taken his stance and grounded his club. In a hazard a player is considered to have addressed the ball when he has taken his stance.
Ace: A hole-in-one; a score of 1 on any hole.
Aerify: Process of boring small holes, typically less than ¾" in diameter, into a putting green (or the fairway) in order to improve growth. The process is usually done once or twice per year.
Albatross: A double eagle; a score of 3 under par on a hole; examples are a 1 on a par 4 or a 2 on a par 5.
Amateur: Any golfer who plays the game for enjoyment and who does not receive direct monetary compensation due to his or her playing or teaching skills.
Approach: A shot from off the green toward the hole; also the closely-mown grassy area leading up to a green.
Apron: The closely mown area encircling a putting green; also called "fringe."
Arc: The nearly circular curve around the body made by a golf swing.
Army Golf: Slang term given to a player who has directional problems, especially from the tee. One shot will go to the right, one will go left...(left, right, left, right.) Hence the term "army golf."
Australasian Tour: Professional golf circuit for players in Australia and Asia. Similar to the U.S. PGA Tour, but playing courses on the continents of Australia and/or Asia.
Away: The player farther from the hole whose turn it is to play.
Back Nine: The final nine holes of an eighteen hole round.
Ball Mark: Indentation made to the grass/ground on a putting green when a lofted shot lands on the green. Ball marks must be repaired as soon as noticed to properly heal and to maintain a uniform putting surface.
Ballooned: A shot pattern wherein a golf ball accelerates upwards to an unreasonably high trajectory.
Banana Ball: A sliced shot that has a flight pattern shaped liked a banana.
Bent Grass: Type of grass, characterized by thin blades, found on most courses with varying seasonal climates.
Bermuda Grass: Type of grass found on most courses located in warmer or tropical climates. Characterized by thick blades and "grainy" surface.
Best ball: A match in which one player plays against the better ball of two players or the best ball of three players.
Birdie: A score of 1 stroke less than par on a given hole, for example, a score of 3 on a par 4.
Bite: Slang term expressed when a player wants a ball to stop.
Black Numbers: Term applied to over par scores in a tournament.
Blast: A shot made from a bunker that displaces a noticeable amount of sand.
Bogey: A score of 1 over par on a hole, for example a 6 on a par 5.
Borrow: A term, mostly British, referring to how much break will need to be anticipated when lining up a putt.
Break: The amount of curvature of a putt as it rolls on a putting green. The more the green slopes, the greater the break.
Bump and Run: A style of golf shot that is most commonly used on traditional British-style courses. With a bump and run shot the golfers aims well short of the intended target and allows for substantial roll to his shot after its initial landing. The majority of American style courses are designed with "Target" golf shots in mind; ones that allow for higher ball flights and less roll.
Bunker: A bunker is a type of hazard consisting of a prepared area of ground, from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand or the like.
Buried (Lie): The lie of a ball, typically in a sand bunker, in which most of it is below the surface. See also "Fried Egg."
Buy.Com Tour: Male professional golf circuit, new in the year 2000, for players one level below the PGA Tour. The Buy.Com Tour plays events throughout the United States; the better players in a given year earn the right to play on the PGA Tour the next year. Sponsored by Internet site Buy.Com.
Caddie (Caddy): One who carries or tends to a players clubs during a round.
Caddie Master: A course employee responsible for managing caddies and assigning them to players as required.
Carry-Double: A caddie employed by two players and who typically carries two bags, one on each shoulder.
Cart Fee: Similar to a greens fee, the fee required to rent a golf cart for either 9 or 18 holes.
Casual Water: Any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is visible before or after the player takes his stance. Water in a hazard is not casual water.
Cat Box: Slang term given to a sand bunker.
Chili-Dip: A shot in which a player hits behind the ball, not moving it very far. May also be referred to as a "fat" shot or a "chunk."
Chip: Any number of short shots, typically played to the green, with a higher lofted club (#7, 8, 9 or wedges.)
Chip-Out: A shot, generally going only a short distance, made from trouble in an attempt to get the ball back in play. Chip-outs are commonly made from trees or similar positions.
Chunk: A shot in which a player hits behind the ball resulting in a more turf being removed than desired. The resulting shot is also much shorter than desired. May also be called a "chili-dip."
Club Pro: See "Golf Professional."
Collar: A closely mown area surrounding the putting green. It may be similar to the green in height (fringe) or it may be higher, similar to rough.
Competitor: A player participating in a stroke play competition.
Country Club: Term typically applied to an upscale (normally private or semi-private) golf club that generally offers other amenities in addition to golf (swimming, tennis, clubhouse, etc.)
Course: The entire area on which a game (or round) of golf is played.
Course Rating: A numerical rating, usually by a recognized organization such as the USGA, that identifies the difficulty of a course. For example, a course rated 72.4 is more difficult than one rated at 68.5. A scratch player should expect to shoot a 68 or 69 on the course rated 68.5.
Cut: Type of shot, played intentionally, which curves from left to right.
Dimple: Depression on a golf ball designed to help get the ball airborne and maintain its accurate flight. Depending upon the number, depth and arrangement of the dimples, ball aerodynamics are greatly influenced.
Divot: Turf removed as a result of contact between the club and the ground. Divots occur as a result of most shots from the fairway or rough.
Dogleg: The design of a golf hole (a par 4 or 5) in which the layout changes direction, usually at the position a drive is designed to land. If the hole changes direction to the right, it is called a "dogleg right"; a direction change left is known as a "dogleg left."
Dormie: The player or side having a lead in a match equal to the number of holes remaining to be played. A player is dormie-two if he is 2 holes ahead with 2 holes remaining to play.
Double Bogey: A score of two over par on a hole.
Double-Cut: Method of mowing putting greens in which the mower cuts in one direction and then cuts again in another direction, creating a fast putting surface. Fairways may be double cut as well.
Double-Eagle: A score of 3 under par on a hole, for example, a 2 on a par 5;also called an "albatross."
Draw: A shot that tends to curve from right to left in the air (assuming a right-handed golfer.) A draw is a controlled shot preferred by many better players.
Drive: The first shot on a hole, played from the teeing ground.
Driving Range: A practice area, either at a course or on its own, where players of all ability levels go to practice their game. A range may be a simple as a large mowed field with hitting areas or may be as elaborate as a facility with target greens and practice putting greens.
Drop Area: An area identified by either paint or chalk in which a player may drop his ball under penalty of one stroke. Drop areas are most often found on holes with water hazards and allow the player relief, with penalty, from the water.
Duck Hook: A shot that starts straight at the target and curves dramatically to the left of target (assuming a right-handed golfer.) One of the most out of control shot types.
Eagle: A score of 2 under par on a hole, for example, a 3 on a par 5.
Etiquette: Accepted code of behavior and dress on the golf course. Examples include quiet while others play, not walking in anothers line of play on the putting green, etc.
European Tour: Professional golf circuit for players in Europe. Similar to the U.S. PGA Tour, but playing courses in Europe.
Even Par: A players score that matches the par for the course at any point during a round.
Executive Course: A course with a par of well less than 72, usually between 54 and 68. Executive courses are designed to be played quickly by those (executives) who do not have ample time to play a full 18 hole round on a regulation course.
Explosion: Type of shot played to extricate a ball from a sand bunker. An explosion, also called a blast, is characterized by a player hitting sand while getting his ball out of the bunker.
Fade: Type of shot that generally tends to curve to the right in the air (assuming a right-handed player.) A fade is a controlled shot preferred by many players.
Fairway: Closely mown area onto which the ball is aimed on most holes.
Fat: Shot type in which a player hits behind the ball, resulting in a much shorter shot than normal. Fat shots are often characterized by a player taking an excessive divot.
First Cut: Term given to a section of rough (or higher grass) directly bordering a fairway. The first cut of rough is deemed to be considered "light" rough and may vary from a few yards wide to over 10 yards wide, depending upon the course.
Five-Minute Rule: The amount of time (5 minutes) that the USGA Rules allow a player to look for his ball. A ball not found after 5 minutes after the search for it is begun is considered to be lost.
Flyer (Flier): A shot that flies substantially longer than desired, usually as a result of too much grass between the club face and ball. Flyers are more common from the rough than from the shorter fairway grasses.
Fore: Term yelled toward a group who may be in danger of being hit by an errant shot. The sound of fore is a danger warning to take cover to avoid injury by being struck with a ball.
Four Ball: A type of match in which two players play their better ball against the better ball of two other players.
Foursome: A match in which two players play against two others, with each side playing one ball. "Foursome" is also applied to any group of 4 golfers playing together; though this is not the USGA definition.
Fried Egg: Lie in a sand bunker in which most of the ball is below the surface of the sand. Visually, the ball looks like a "fried egg", hence the term.
Fringe: Area of grass that borders a putting green. The fringe is typically higher than the grass on the green, but lower than the grass on the fairway.
Froghair: Thick, tall grass that borders the fringe on certain courses. The froghair, due to its thickness, is a very difficult area from which to play a controlled shot.
Front Nine: The first nine holes of an eighteen hole round.
Futures Tour: Professional golf circuit for women players, one level away from the LPGA Tour. The top players on the Futures Tour each year gain membership in the LPGA Tour for the following season.
Gallery: Those who attend a golf event for the purpose of watching the tournament.
GHIN: Golf Handicap Information Network. The USGA system used by a majority of golf courses in the U.S. to calculate handicaps.
Gimme: A shot, usually on the green, but that may be anywhere on the course, that is conceded by a players opponent. Gimmees are usually applied to short putts that are almost certain to be holed.
Golf Club: A golf course, either public or private, dedicated solely to golf. There are no pools, tennis courts, etc. at a golf club. Also, the piece of equipment used to hit a golf ball.
Golf Professional: A career in golf dedicated to helping others to enjoy the game. This may be accomplished in a number ways: giving lessons, managing operations, running events, etc. (See "Professional Golfer.")
Gorse: Very thick grass and/or shrubs from which it may be impossible to play a shot. Gorse is common on European seaside courses.
Grain: Direction of growth of blades of grass. Particularly noticeable on putting greens, the grain will have an influence on the direction and speed of the ball as it rolls.
Greenkeeper: The person responsible for the condition, care and maintenance of the golf course. He or she may also be called the " greens superintendent."
Greens Fee: Fee charged to play a golf course.
Ground Under Repair (GUR): A marked area (usually by paint, chalk or roping) of the course from which a player may move his ball without penalty prior to playing his next shot. Common reasons for GUR to be marked are new constructions, damaged water lines, etc.
All content copyrighted by
Golf Insite unless otherwise specified. c.1999, 2000, 2001, 2002