Golf Lingo

April 23, 2009

A

Address – The position a player assumes when preparing to hit the ball, either a full shot or a putt.

Albertross – Also called a “double eagle”.  This is 3 under par on a hole.

B

Back Foot – The foot that is farthest from the target. For a right handed player this will be their right foot.

Backswing – The backward movement of the golf club and body away from the ball. It is the coiling action before beginning the downswing.

Ball Mark – An indention made to the green after a shot has been hit into it. These should be repaired using a ball mark repair tool.

Birdie – A score that is 1 – under par for a hole

Bogey – A score that is 1 – over par for a hole

Bunker – A depression in the ground filled with sand. An area where you are not allowed to ground your club before playing a shot or you will incur a penalty.

C

Club – An instrument made of metal, wood, or other materials.  This is used to hit the golf ball.

Club Face – The area on the club where you strike the ball.  Normally is where the grooves are located.

Chip – A shot that rolls farther than it travels in the air and is usually hit from near the green onto the green.

D

Divot – Turf that is torn from the ground, usually from hitting a iron shot that digs into the ground.

Downswing – The part of the swing that starts after the backswing, reversing movement toward the ball and target

E

Eagle – This is the term for scoring 2 under par on a hole

F

Fairway – The closely mown area between the tee and green.  Often referred to as the “short grass”

Flagstick – A slender pole that usually has a flag attached to the top. It is placed inside the cup on the green to mark the location of the hole.

Follow Through – the continuation of the golf swing after the ball has been hit

Fore – A word that is yelled out to warn golfers that a golf ball is headed towards them, allowing them to duck or seek cover.

Front Foot – The foot that is closest to the target. For a right handed player this will be their left foot.

G

Green – The most closely mown and smooth area on the course, where the hole is located. It can be referred to as the putting green, putting surface, or the dance floor.

Grip – The handle of a golf club, or the method of holding a golf club

Grooves – Indentations on the clubface that help move the club through grass and can produce spin on the golf ball.

H

Hazard – Any bunker or bodies of water. A body of water will have either yellow or red stakes around it, depending on whether it is a regular water hazard or lateral water hazard. A golfer’s club cannot touch the ground before hitting a shot out of a hazard or a penalty shot will be incurred.

Hole – The object in which you are trying to get the ball into.  A ball is deemed to be holed if it fully rests inside the circumference of the hole.  This is where the flagstick will be held into place.

Honor – The player that is first to play on a hole or had the lowest score on the previous hole is said to have the “honor”

I

Interlock Grip – A type of grip where the pinky on the right hand goes in between the index and middle fingers of the left hand (for a right handed golfer).

J

K

L

Loft – The angle of the club face.  Look on your driver and see what it says.  Most are  between an 8 and 14.

Lie – The angle of the hosel of the golf club and the sole of the golf club.  Extremely important for accuracy depending on the player.

M

N

O

Out-of-Bounds – An area not part of the golf course and where play is not permitted. This area is usually marked with white stakes or white lines. If a player hits a ball out-of-bounds, a stroke penalty results and the ball must be played from where the player hit their last shot.

Overlap Grip – A type of grip where the pinky on the right hand lays over the crease between the index and middle finger of the left hand (for a right-handed golfer)

P

Par – The number of strokes it should take to accomplish the hole.  This is normally determined by the course designer or architect.  It can be changed by the golf course for tournament play or can be set for different sets of tees.

Penalty – A punishment for making a mistake on the golf course.  There are a variety of different ways you could incur a penalty and it will be normally assessed in a form of 1 stroke or 2 strokes depending on the infraction.

Pitch – This is a shot that travels longer in the air than on the ground. It is intended for shots farther from the green and need to be hit over a hazard or elevated surface.

Provisional Ball – This is a 2nd ball played, under the rules, when your original ball is deemed to be lost or out-of-bounds.  You must announce you are playing a “provisional” ball or that will become your ball in play once you hit it.

Putt – A shot usually hit with a putter on the putting green. A putter can also be used from off the green.

Putter – A type of golf club that has little loft, is often shorter than the other clubs, and stands more upright.  Normally are in the category of a blade, standard blade, or mallet.

Q

R

Rough – Longer grass that is adjacent to the fairways, greens, and perhaps tees. It is designed to penalize golfers that are not accurate because the longer grass is harder to hit from.

S

Stroke – The act of swinging a club with the intention to hit it.

T

Target Line – An imaginary line that is between the ball and where your intended shot will go.

Tee – A piece of wood or plastic material that you can use to place the ball on.  This can only be used on the teeing ground.

Teeing Area – Area defined by the tee markers and can be no more than 2 club lengths back from tee markers.  This is where your ball must be played from to start the hole.

Tee Markers – Two objects that indicate the forward boundary of the teeing area. Players cannot hit from in front of the markers without incurring a penalty.

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

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