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Golf Dictionary

Golf has a language all its own. Golf for Dummies™ brings you the phrases, terms and slang to help make sense of it all. Besides, if you're going to be a real golfer, you need to sound like one.

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


ace: A hole-in-one. Buy a round of drinks for the house.

address: The positioning of your body in relation to the ball just before starting your swing. And your last conscious thought before the chaos begins.

airball: Your swing missed the ball! Blame it on an alien’s spacecraft radar.

albatross: British term for double eagle, or three under par on one hole. I’ve only had one.

amateur: Someone who plays for fun — not money. Playing golf for fun?

angle of approach: The degree at which the clubhead moves either downward or upward into the ball. A severe test of agility.

approach: Your shot to the green made from anywhere except the tee. Sounds dangerous; really isn’t.

apron: The grass around the edge of a green, longer than the grass on the green but shorter than the grass on the fairway. Or what I wear to barbecue in.

attend: To hold and remove the flagstick as a partner putts, usually from some distance.

away: Term used to describe the ball farthest from the hole and, thus, next to be played.

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back door: Rear of hole.

back lip: The edge of a bunker (a hazard filled with sand) that’s farthest from the green.

back nine: The second half of your round of golf; the first half is the front nine holes.

backspin: When the ball hits the green and spins back toward the player. Galleries, or spectators, love backspins.

backswing: The part of the swing from the point where the clubhead moves away from the ball to the point where it starts back down again. I hope that your backswing is smooth and in balance.

baffie: Old name for a 5-wood.

bail out (hang ’em high): You hit the shot, for example, well to the right to avoid trouble on the left.

balata: Sap from a tropical tree, used to make covers for balls.

ball at rest: The ball isn’t moving. A study in still life.

ball marker: Small, round object, such as a coin, used to indicate the ball’s position on the green.

ball retriever: Long pole with a scoop on the end used to collect balls from water hazards and other undesirable spots. If the grip on your ball retriever is worn out, get some lessons immediately.

ball washer: Found on many tees; a device for cleaning balls.

banana ball: Shot that curves hugely from left to right (see slice).

bandit: See hustler. Avoid bandits at all costs.

baseball grip: To hold the club with all ten fingers on the grip.

best ball: Game for four players; two teams of two. The low score on each side counts as the team score on each hole.

birdie: Score of one under par on a hole.

bisque: Handicap stroke given by one player to another. Receiver may choose which hole it is applied to.

bite (vampire, bicuspid, overbite): A spin that makes the ball tend to stop rather than roll when it lands.

blade: Not pretty. The leading edge of the club, rather than the clubface, strikes the ball, resulting in a low shot that tends to travel way too far (see thin or skull). Also a kind of putter or iron.

blast: Aggressive shot from a bunker that displaces a lot of sand.

blind shot: You can’t see the spot where you want the ball to land.

block (H&R Block, Dan Blocker): Shot that flies straight but to the right of the target (see push).

bogey: Score of one stroke over par on a hole.

borrow: The amount of curve you must allow for a putt on a sloping green. Or what you need to do if you play a hustler.

boundary: Edge, of course; it confines the space/time continuum. Usually marked by white stakes.

brassie: Old name for a 2-wood.

break: See borrow.

British Open: National championship run by Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews — known in Britain as "the Open" because it was the first one.

bulge: The curve across the face of a wooden club.

bunker: Hazard filled with sand; can be referred to as a sand trap.

buried ball/lie: Part of the ball below the surface of the sand in a bunker.

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caddie: The person carrying your clubs during your round of golf. The person you fire when you play badly.

caddie-master: Person in charge of caddies.

Calamity Jane: The great Bobby Jones’s putter.

carry: The distance between a ball’s takeoff and landing.

cart: Motorized vehicle used to transport lazy golfers around the course.

casual water: Water other than a water hazard on the course from which you can lift your ball without penalty.

center-shafted: Putter in which the shaft is joined to the center of the head.

character builder: Short, meaningful putt; can’t possibly build character.

charting the course: To pace each hole so that you always know how far you are from the hole.

chili-dip (Hormel, lay the sod over it, pooper scooper): A mishit chip shot, the clubhead hitting the ground well before it hits the ball.

chip: Very short, low-flying shot to the green.

chip-in: A holed chip.

choke: To play poorly because of self-imposed pressure.

choke down: To hold the club lower on the grip.

chunk: See chili-dip.

cleat: Spike on the sole of a golf shoe.

cleek: Old term for a variety of clubs.

closed face: Clubface pointed to the left of your ultimate target at address or impact. Or clubface pointed skyward at the top of the backswing. Can lead to a shot that goes to the left of the target.

closed stance: Player sets up with the right foot pulled back, away from the ball.

clubhouse: Main building at a golf club.

club length: Distance from the end of the grip to the bottom of the clubhead.

collar: See apron.

come-backer: The putt after the preceding effort finished beyond the hole. Usually gets harder to make the older you get.

compression: The flattening of the ball against the clubface. The faster you swing and the more precisely you hit the ball in the middle of the clubface, the more fun you have.

concede: To give an opponent a putt, hole, or match.

core: The center of a golf ball.

course rating: The difficulty of a course, measured with some silly formula by the USGA. (NOTE: "Course Rating" is registered trademarks of the USGA.)

cross-handed: Grip with the left hand below the right.

cross wind: Breeze blowing from right to left or from left to right.

cup: Container in the hole that holds the flagstick in place.

cuppy lie: When the ball is in a cup-like depression.

cut: Score that eliminates a percentage of the field (or players) from a tournament. Usually made after 36 holes of a 72-hole event. I’ve missed a few in my time.

cut shot: Shot that curves from left to right.

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dance floor: Slang for green.

dawn patrol: The players who tee off early in the day.

dead (body bags, cadaver, on the slab, perdition, jail, tag on his toe, wearing stripes, no pulse — you get the idea): No possible way out of the shot!

deep: High clubface from top to bottom.

deuce: A score of two on a given hole.

dimple: Depression on the cover of a golf ball.

divot: Turf displaced by the clubhead during a swing.

dogleg: Hole on which the fairway curves one way or the other.

dormant: Grass on the course is alive but not actively growing. Also my hair.

dormie: The player who’s winning the match in match play — for example, five up with only five holes left, or four up with four left.

double bogey: Score of two over par on a hole.

double eagle: Score of three under par on a hole. Forget it, you’ll probably never get one. See also albatross.

down: Losing.

downhill lie: When your right foot is higher than your left when you address the ball (for right-handed players).

downswing: The part of the swing where the clubhead is moving down, toward the ball.

DQ’d: Disqualified.

drain: To sink a putt.

draw: Shot that curves from right to left.

drive: Shot from teeing ground other than par-3 holes.

drive for show, putt for dough: Old saying implying that putting is more important than driving.

driving range: Place where you can go to hit practice balls.

drive the green: When your drive finishes on the putting surface. Can happen on short par-4, or when the brakes go out on your cart.

drop: Procedure by which you put the ball back into play after it’s been deemed unplayable.

dub: Bad shot or player.

duck hook (shrimp, mallard, quacker): Shot curving severely from right to left.

duffer: Bad player.

dying putt: A putt that barely reaches the hole.

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eagle: Score of two under par for a hole.

embedded ball: Portion of the ball is below ground.

erosion: Loss of land through water and wind damage — most common on the coasts.

etiquette: Code of conduct.

explode: To play a ball from a bunker moving a large amount of sand. Or what you do if the ball doesn’t get out of the bunker.

extra holes: Played when a match finishes even (is tied).

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face: The front of a club or bunker.

fade: Shot that curves gently from left to right.

fairway: The prepared surface running from tee to green.

fairway wood: Any wooden club that’s not your driver. Nowadays, you say fairway metal because you don’t see many wooden clubs anymore.

fat: To strike the ground before the ball.

feather: To put a delicate fade on a shot — don’t try it yet!

first cut: Strip of rough at the edge of a fairway.

first off: Golfers beginning their round before everyone else.

flag: Piece of cloth attached to the top of a flagstick.

flagstick: The stick with the flag on top, which indicates the location of the cup.

flange: Projecting piece of clubhead behind the sole (bottom).

flat: Swing that is less upright than normal, and more around the body than up and down.

flub: To hit the ball only a few feet.

flex: The amount of bend in a shaft.

flier: Shot, usually hit from the rough, that travels way too far past the target.

fly the green: To hit a shot that lands beyond the putting surface.

follow-through: The part of the swing after the ball has been struck.

foozle: To make a complete mess of a shot.

Fore!: What to shout when your ball is headed toward another player.

forged irons: Clubs made one by one, without molds.

forward press: Targetward shift of the hands, and perhaps a right knee, just prior to takeaway.

foursome: Depends where you are. In the States, a group of four playing together. In Britain, a match between two teams of two, each hitting one ball alternately.

free drop: Drop for which no penalty stroke is incurred, generally within one club length of where the ball was.

fried egg: When your ball is semiburied in the sand.

fringe: See apron.

frog hair: Slang for apron, fringe, or collar.

front nine: The first half of your round of golf; the second half is the back nine holes.

full swing: Longest swing you make.

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gallery: Spectators at a tournament.

gimme: A short putt that your opponent doesn’t ask you to hit, assuming that you can’t possibly miss the shot.

G.I.R: Slang for greens in regulation — greens hit in regulation number of strokes.

glove: Usually worn on the left hand by right-handed players. Helps maintain grip.

Golden Bear: Jack Nicklaus.

golf widow(er): Your significant other after he or she finds out how much you want to play!

go to school: Watching your partner’s putt and learning from it the line and pace that your putt should have.

good-good: Reciprocal concession of short putts. (See gimme.)

grain: Tendency of grass leaves to lie horizontally toward the sun.

Grand Slam: The four major championships: Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship.

graphite: Lightweight material used to make shafts and clubheads.

Great White Shark: Greg Norman.

green: The shortest-cut grass where you do your putting.

greenies: Bet won by player whose first shot finishes closest to the hole on a par-3.

green jacket: Prize awarded to the winner of the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

greens fee: The cost to play a round of golf.

greenside: Close to the green.

greensome: Game in which both players on a team drive off. The better of the two is chosen; then they alternate shots from there.

grip: Piece of rubber/leather on the end of a club. Or your hold on the club.

groove: Scoring along the clubface.

gross score: Actual score shot before a handicap is deducted.

ground the club: The process of placing the clubhead behind the ball at address, generally touching the bottom of the grass.

ground under repair: Area on the course being worked on by the groundskeeper, generally marked by white lines, from which you may drop your ball without penalty.

gutta percha: Material used to manufacture golf balls in the 19th century.

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hacker: Poor player.

half: Tied hole.

half shot: Improvised shot with ordinarily too much club for the distance.

halve: To tie a hole.

ham and egging: When you and partner play well on alternate holes, forming an effective team.

handicap: For example, one whose handicap is 16 is expected to shoot 88 on a par 72 course, or 16 strokes over par.

hanging lie: Your ball is on a slope, lying either above or below your feet.

hardpan: Very firm turf.

hazard: Can be either sand or water. Don’t ground your club in hazards — it’s against the rules!

head cover: Protection for the clubhead, usually used on woods.

heel: End of the clubhead closest to the shaft.

hickory: Wood from which shafts used to be made.

high side: Area above the hole on a sloping green.

hole: Your ultimate 4 1/4-inch-wide target.

hole-high: Level with the hole.

hole-in-one: See ace.

hole out: Complete play on hole.

home green: The green on the 18th hole.

honor: When you score lowest on a given hole, thus earning the right to tee up first on the next tee.

hood: Tilting the toe end of the club toward the hole. Lessens the loft on a club, and generally produces a right-to-left shot.

hook: Shot that curves severely from right to left.

horseshoe: When ball goes around the edge of the cup and "comes back" toward you. Painful!

hosel: Curved area where the clubhead connects with the shaft.

hustler: A golfer who plays for a living. Plays better than he claims to be. Usually leaves your wallet lighter.

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impact: Moment when the club strikes the ball.

impediment: Loose debris that you can remove from around your ball as long as the ball doesn’t move.

Impregnable Quadrilateral: The Grand Slam.

improve your lie: To move the ball to make a shot easier. This is illegal unless local rules dictate otherwise.

in play: Within the confines of the course (not out-of-bounds).

into out: Swing path whereby the clubhead moves across the ball-target line from left to right.

in your pocket: After you’ve picked up the ball! (Generally after you finish a hole without holing out.)

insert: Plate in the face of wooden clubs.

inside out: Clubhead moves through the impact area on a line to the right of the target. Most tour players do this. (See also outside in.)

inside: Area on your side of a line drawn from the ball to the target.

intended line: The path on which you imagine the ball flying from club to target.

interlocking: Type of grip where the little finger of the right hand is entwined with the index finger of the left.

investment cast: Clubs made from a mold.

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jail: Slang for when you and your ball are in very deep trouble.

jigger: Old term for a 4-iron. Also a great little pub to the right of the 17th fairway at St. Andrews.

jungle: Slang for heavy rough, or an unprepared area of long grass.

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kick: Another term for bounce.

kill: To hit a long shot.

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ladies day: Time when course is reserved for those of the female persuasion.

lag: A long putt hit with the intent of leaving the ball close to the cup.

laid off: When the club points to the left of the target at the top of the backswing.

lateral hazard: Water hazard marked by red stakes and usually parallel to the fairway.

lay-up: Conservatively played shot to avoid possible trouble.

leader board: Place where lowest scores in tournament are posted. I don’t stay on the leader board too long. In fact, when the scorers are putting up the "d" in McCord, they’re usually taking down the "M." Sometimes I wish my name was Calcavecchia.

leak: Ball drifting to the right during flight.

lie: Where your ball is on the ground. Also, the angle at which the club shaft extends from the head.

lift: What you do before you drop.

line: The path of a shot to the hole.

line up: To stand behind a shot to take aim.

links: A seaside course. Don’t expect trees.

lip: Edge of a cup or bunker.

lip-out (cellophane bridge): Ball touches the edge of the cup but doesn’t drop in.

local knowledge: What the members know and you don’t.

local rules: Set of rules determined by the members, rules committee, or course professional.

loft: The degree at which a clubface looks upward.

long game: Shots hit with long irons and woods. Also could be John Daly’s game.

loop: Slang for "to caddy." Or a round of golf. Or a change in the path of the clubhead during the swing.

low-handicapper: Good player.

low side: Area below the hole on a sloping green.

LPGA: Ladies Professional Golf Association.

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make: Hole a shot.

makeable: Shot with a good chance of being holed.

mallet: Putter with a wide head.

mark: To indicate the position of the ball with a small, round, flat object, such as a coin, usually on the green.

marker: Small, round object, such as a coin, placed behind the ball to indicate its position when you lift it. Or the person keeping score.

marshal: Person controlling the crowd at a tournament.

mashie: Old term for a 5-iron.

mashie-niblick: Old term for a 7-iron.

Masters: First major tournament of each calendar year. Always played over the Augusta National course in Georgia. The one tournament I can’t go to.

match of cards: Comparing your scorecard to your opponent’s to see who won.

match play: Game played between two sides. The side that wins the most holes wins the match.

matched set: Clubs designed to look and feel the same.

medal play: Game played between any number of players. The player with the lowest score wins (can also be called stroke play).

metal wood: Wooden club made of metal.

mid-iron: Old term for a 2-iron.

miniature course: Putting course.

misclub: To use the wrong club for the distance.

misread: To take the wrong line on a putt.

miss the cut: To take too many strokes for the first 36 holes of 72-hole event and be eliminated. I did this once or twice.

mixed foursome: Two men, two women.

model swing: Perfect motion.

mulligan: Second attempt at a shot, usually played on the first tee. This is illegal.

municipal course: A course owned by the local government and thus open to the public. Generally has lower greens fees than a privately owned public course.

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nassau: Bet in which a round of 18 holes is divided into three — front nine, back nine, and full 18.

net score: Score for a hole or round after handicap strokes are deducted.

never up, never in: Annoying saying coined for a putt that finishes short of the hole.

niblick: Old term for a 9-iron.

nine: Half of a course.

19th hole: The clubhouse bar.

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O.B. (Oscar Bravo, set it free): Out-of-bounds.

off-center hit: Less than a solid strike.

offset: Club with the head set farther behind the shaft than normal.

one-putt: To take only a single putt on a green.

one up: Being one hole ahead in the match score.

open face: Clubface aligned to the right of the target at address, or to the right of its path at impact. Can lead to a shot going to the right of the target.

open stance: Player sets up with the left foot pulled back, away from the ball.

open up the hole: When your tee shot leaves the best possible angle for the next shot to the green.

out-of-bounds: Area outside the boundaries of the course, usually marked with white posts. When a ball finishes "O.B.," the player must return to the original spot and play another ball under penalty of one stroke. He or she thus loses stroke and distance.

outside: Area on the far side of the ball.

outside in: Swing path followed by the clubhead into the ball from outside the ball-target line. (See inside out.)

over the green: Ball hit too far.

overclub: To use a club that will hit the ball too far.

overlapping: A type of grip where the little finger of the right hand lies over the index finger of the left hand.

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pairings: Groups of two players.

par: The score a good player would expect to make on a hole or round.

partner: A player on your side.

penal: Difficult.

persimmon: A wood from which many wooden clubs are made.

PGA: Professional Golfers’ Association.

Piccolo grip: A very loose hold on the club, especially at the top of the backswing.

pigeon: An opponent you should beat easily.

pin: The pole placed in the hole.

pin-high: See hole high.

pin-placement: The location of the hole on the green.

pitch: A short, high approach shot. Doesn’t run much on landing.

pitch and putt: A short course. Or getting down in two strokes from off the green.

pitch-and-run: Varies from a pitch in that it flies lower and runs more.

pitching-niblick: Old term for an 8-iron.

pivot: The body turn during the swing.

plane: The arc of the swing.

playoff: Two or more players play extra holes to break a tie.

play through: What you do when the group in front of you invites you to pass.

plugged lie: When the ball finishes half-buried in the turf or a bunker.

plumb-bob: Lining up a putt with one eye closed and the putter held vertically in front of the face.

pop-up: High, short shot.

pot bunker: Small, steeply faced bunker.

practice green: Place for working on your putting.

preferred lies: Temporary rule that allows you to move the ball to a more favorable position because of wet conditions.

press: You’ve lost your match, but you want your money back. This new bet takes place over any remaining holes.

private club: A club open to members and their guests only.

Pro-Am: A competition in which professional partners team with amateurs.

professional: A golfer who plays or teaches for his or her livelihood.

pro shop: A place where you sign up to start play and can buy balls, clubs, and so on.

provisional ball: You think your ball may be lost. To save time, you play another from the same spot before searching for the first ball. If the first ball is lost, the second ball is in play.

public course: A golf course open to all.

pull: A straight shot that flies to the left of the target.

punch: A shot hit lower with the ball back in the stance and a shorter-than-normal follow-through.

push: A straight shot that flies to the right of the target.

putter: A straight-faced club generally used on the greens.

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quail high (stealth, skull, rat-high): Low.

qualifying school: A place where aspiring professional golfers try to qualify for the PGA and LPGA Tours. A punishing week of pressure golf. The ultimate grind.

quitting: Not hitting through a shot with conviction.

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rabbit: A beginning player.

rake: Device used to smooth the sand after you leave a bunker.

range: Practice area.

range ball: Generally a low-quality ball used on a driving range.

rap: To hit a putt firmly.

read the green: To assess the path on which a putt must travel to the hole.

regular: A shaft with normal flex.

regulation: Par figures.

release: The point in the downswing where the wrists uncock.

relief: Where you drop a ball that was in a hazard or affected by an obstruction.

reverse overlap: Putting grip in which the little finger of the right hand overlaps the index finger of the left hand.

rhythm: The tempo of your swing.

rifle a shot: To hit the ball hard, straight, and far.

rim the cup: See lip out.

ringer score: Your best-ever score at each hole on the course.

Road Hole: The 17th hole at St. Andrews — the hardest hole in the world.

roll: On wooden clubs, the curve on the clubface from the top to the bottom of the face.

rough: Unprepared area of long grass on either side of the fairway.

round: Eighteen holes of golf.

Royal & Ancient Golf Club: The organization that runs the British Open.

rub of the green: Luck.

run: The roll on the ball after landing.

run up: A type of shot to play when the ground is firm. You bounce the ball onto the green and let it roll to the hole.

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sandbagger: A golfer who lies about his or her ability/handicap to gain an advantage.

sand trap: A bunker.

sandy: Making par after being in a bunker.

scorecard: Where the length, par, and rating of each hole is recorded. Also, your score.

scoring: The grooves on the clubface.

scramble: To play erratic golf but still score well. Or a game where a team of, say, four all tee off and then pick the best shot. All then play their balls from that spot; continues with each set of shots.

scratch play: No handicaps used in this type of game.

scratch player: One with a 0 handicap.

second cut: Second level of rough, higher than first cut. Some courses have three cuts of rough.

semiprivate: A course with members that is also open to the public.

semirough: Grass in the rough that is not too long, not too short.

setup: See address.

shaft: The part of the club that joins the grip to the head.

shag: To retrieve practice balls.

shag bag: To carry practice balls.

shallow: Narrow clubface. Or a flattish angle of attack into the ball.

shank: Shot struck from the club’s hosel; flies far to the right of the intended target.

shooting the lights out: To play very well.

short cut: Cut of grass on the fairway or green.

short game: Shots played on and around the green.

shut: Clubface aligned left at address or impact; looking skyward at the top of the backswing. Results in a shot that goes to the left of the target.

sidehill lie: Ball either above or below your feet.

sidesaddle: Putting style where a player faces the hole while making the stroke.

sink: To make a putt.

sit down (full flaps, pull a hamstring, develop a limp): A polite request for the ball to stop.

skins: Betting game where the lowest score on a hole wins the pot. If the hole is tied, the money carries over to the next hole.

skull (hit it in the forehead): See blade or thin.

sky: Ball flies off the top of the clubface — very high and short.

sleeve of balls: Box of three golf balls.

slice: Shot that curves sharply from left to right.

smile: Cut in a ball caused by a mishit.

smother: To hit the ball with a closed clubface, resulting in a horrible, low, hooky shot.

snake: Long putt.

snap hook: Severe hook.

socket: See shank.

sole: Bottom of the clubhead.

sole plate: Piece of metal attached to the bottom of a wooden club.

spade-mashie: Old term for a 6-iron.

spike mark: Mark on the green made by a golf shoe.

spin-out: Legs moving too fast in relation to the upper body on the downswing.

spoon: Old term for a 3-wood.

spot putting: Aiming for a point on the green over which the ball must run if it is to go in the hole.

square: Score of a match is even. Or the clubface and stance are aligned perfectly with the target.

square face: Clubface looking directly at the hole at address/impact.

square grooves: USGA banned them from clubfaces.

St. Andrews: Located in Fife, Scotland, the home of golf.

stableford: Method of scoring by using points rather than strokes.

stance: Position of the feet before the swing.

starter: Person running the order of play (who plays when) from the first tee.

starting time: When you tee off at the first tee.

stick: The pin in the hole.

stiff: A shaft with reduced flex. Or very close to the hole.

stimpmeter: Device used to measure the speed of greens.

stroke: Movement of club with the intent to hit the ball.

stroke hole: Hole at which one either gives or receives a shot, according to the handicap of your playing.

stymie: Ball obstructing your route to the hole — now obsolete.

sudden-death: Form of playoff whereby the first player to win a hole wins the match.

superintendent: Person responsible for the upkeep of the course.

surlyn: Material from which most balls are made.

swale: Depression or dip in terrain.

sway: To move excessively to the right on the backswing without turning the body.

sweet spot: Perfect point on the clubface with which to strike the ball.

swing plane: Angle at which the club shaft travels around the body during a swing.

swing weight: Measure of a club’s weight to its length.

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takeaway: Early part of the backswing.

tap-in: Very short putt.

tee: Wooden peg on which the ball is set for the first shot on a hole. Also, the area from which that initial shot is hit.

teeing ground: Area in which you must tee your ball, between the tee markers and neither in front of them nor more than two club lengths behind them.

tee it up: To start play.

tempo: The rhythm of your swing.

temporary green: Used in winter to save the permanent green.

Texas wedge: Putter when used from off the green.

that’ll play: A kind reference to mediocre shot.

thin: To hit the ball around its equator — don’t expect much height.

three-putt: Undesired number of strokes on a green.

through the green: The whole course except hazards, tees, and greens.

Tiger tee: Slang for the back tee.

tight: Narrow fairway.

tight lie: The ball on bare ground or very short grass.

timing: The pace and sequence of movement in your swing.

titanium: Metal used in lightweight shafts and in golf balls.

top: Ball is struck on or above the equator. See thin.

torque: Twisting of the shaft at impact.

tour: Series of tournaments for professionals.

tradesman’s entrance: Ball goes in the hole from the rear of the cup.

trajectory: Flight of the ball.

trap: See bunker.

triple bogey: Three over par on one hole. Not good.

turn: To make your way to the back nine holes. Or the rotation of the upper body during the backswing and forward swing.

twitch: See yips.

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uncock: See release.

underclub: To take at least one club less than needed for distance.

unplayable lie: You can’t hit the ball. One stroke penalty is your reward.

up: Ahead in the match. Or the person next to play. Or reaching the hole with a putt.

up and down: To get the ball into the hole in two strokes from somewhere off the green.

upright: To swing with a steep vertical plane.

USGA: United States Golf Association. The ruling body for golf in the United States.

U.S. Open: National men’s golf championship of America.

U.S. Women’s Open: National women’s golf championship of America.

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Vardon grip: See overlapping.

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waggle: Movement of the clubhead prior to the swing.

water hazard: Body of water that costs you a shot to leave.

wedge: Lofted club (iron) used for pitching.

whiff: See airball.

whipping: The string around the shaft/head of a wooden club.

whippy: A shaft more flexible than normal.

windcheater: Low drive.

winter rules: See preferred lies.

wood: Material that long clubs used to be made of.

wormburner: Low mishit.

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yips: When a golfer misses short putts because of bad nerves, which reduces the afflicted unfortunate to jerky little snatches at the ball, the putterhead seemingly possessing a mind all its own.

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From Golf for Dummies®, 2nd Edition by Gary McCord.
Copyright© 1999 IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved.
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