Golf Terms

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Published: 29th June 2012
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Golf seems to have its own language. In order to play and keep score you’ll need to know what these terms mean.

Ace – A hole in one.
Address – The position of your body in relation to the ball when making a shot.
Away – The word used to describe the ball furthest from the hole. This is the first ball played on the green.

Backswing – The part of the swing where the club moves away from the ball.
Ball Marker – A small, flat object used to mark the place where the ball lies.
Birdie – Score of one under par on a hole.
Bogey – A score of one stroke over par on a hole.
Bunker – A hazard filled with sand – also called a sand trap.

Caddie – The person who carries your clubs for a round of golf. They are used only at major country clubs or resorts.
Carry – The distance the ball travels on your hit.
Chip – A very short shot to the green.
Cleat – Spikes on the bottom of golf shoes.
Course Rating – The difficulty of a course as designated by the USGA.
Cup – The container in the green that holds the flag and ultimately the ball.

Deuce – A score of 2 for the hole.
Divot – The turf displaced when a shot is made.
Double Bogey – A score of 2 over par for a hole.
Double Eagle – A score of 3 under par for the hole.
Draw – A golf shot that curves from left to right.
Drive – The shot from off the tee – usually the first hit of the hole.
Driving Range – A place to practice golf shots.
Duffer – A bad golf player.

Eagle – A score of 2 under par for a hole.

Fade – A golf shot that gently curves from left to right.
Fairway – The mowed grass area leading from the tee to the green.
Flagstick – The flag in the cup of each green. It is removed when players rach the green.
Front Nine – The first 9 holes of the 18 hole course. The last 9 holes are called the Back Nine.

Green – The shortest grassy area where the hole is located. Putting is done on the green.
Greens Fee – The cost to play a round of golf.

Handicap – The number of strokes over par that a golfer is expected to score.
Hazard – Either water or sand on a hole.
Hole – The ultimate goal of golf. There are 18 holes on regulation courses.
Hook – A shot that curves severely from right to left.

Irons – The metal faced golf clubs.

Lie – Where your ball is on the ground.

Misclub – To use the wrong club for the shot.

One-putt – To take only one putt on the green.
Out-of-bounds – The area outside the play area of the course.

Par – The expected score for a hole.
Pitch – A short, high shot used on approach to the green.
Play Through – To go ahead of the group in front when invited to do so. This happens when one group is slower than the one behind.
Putter – A straight-faced club used on greens.

Rough – The area of tall grass outside the fairway.

Scorecard – The card used to record the scores.
Short Game – The shots played near and on the green.
Slice – A golf shot that curves sharply from left to right.
Stance – The position of the feet for the swing.
Stroke – One hit (or attempt to hit) the ball.

Tee – The wooden peg used to hit the ball from for the first hole.
Triple Bogey – A score of three over par for the hole.

Woods – The golf clubs used to tee off with.

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