Golf Terms

Golf can sometimes feel intimidating with it’s own vocabulary that seems to defy logic. The following may be helpful in your journey to learn the game, however please visit www.playgolfamerica.com/pages/glossary.cfm for a more complex and searchable glossary.

ADDRESS
The act of setting the body and club up to the ball when preparing to hit a shot.

BIRDIE
A score of one-under par on a hole.

BOGEY
A score of one-over par on a hole.

BUNKER
A hollow comprised of sand or grass or both that exists as an obstacle.

CHIP
A chip is a very short shot used when the ball is close to the green but not on the green.

DIVOT
The turf displaced when the club strikes the ball on a descending path. It also refers to the hole left after play.

DRIVER
Typically the longest club in the bag. It is intended to advance the ball as far as possible.

EAGLE
A score of two-under-par on a hole.

FLUFFY LIE
A lie in which the ball rests atop the longish grass. This can be a tricky lie because the tendency is to swing the clubhead under the ball, reducing the distance it carries.

FRIED EGG
The slang term for a buried lie in the sand.

GREEN
The green is a big, closely mown area where the flag and hole are located.

HOOK
A shot that curves sharply from right to left for righthanded players.

IRON
Irons are typically the thinnest club heads in your bag.

LIE
As it relates to the ball, the position of the ball when it has come to rest.

LINKS
The term for a course built on linksland, which is land reclaimed from the ocean. It is not just another term for a golf course.

MULLIGAN
The custom of hitting a second ball—without penalty—on a hole, usually the first tee.

PAR
The score an accomplished player is expected to make on a hole, either a three, four or five.

PRACTICE GREEN
Area maintained like an actual ‘green’, but is not part of the golf course. Golfers use the practice green to warm up before playing.

SLICE
A shot that curves sharply from left to right for righthanded players.

TEE BOX
The area where players tee off to start a hole.

YIPS
A condition, generally believed to be psychological, causing a player to lose control of his hands and club. In Great Britain, the condition called “Twitchies.”

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