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Ultimate Source for Golf Definitions
A-G / H-S / T-Z A / B / C / D / E / F / G
Ace - Away
Ace(s) A hole made in one stroke.
Address Refers to a score made over more than one round of play, or by 2 or more players playing as partners.
Airball A swing and a miss. You knew the ball was there, you just couldn't find it.
Albatross Former name of a "Double Eagle" - the score for a hole made in 3 strokes under par. A British term.
Amateur A player who doesn't play for money.
Angle of Approach The angle or degree at which the club moves downward, or upward, toward the ball.
Approach Shot Normally a short or medium shot played to the putting green or pin.
Apron The grassy area surrounding the putting surface. See fringe.
Away The ball that is the greatest distance from the hole when more than one golfer is playing. It is the first to be played.
Back Door - Bye
Back Door The rear of the hole.
Back Lip(s) The edge of the bunker that is farthest from the green.
Backspin A reverse spin placed on a ball to make it stop quickly on the putting surface.
Backswing The backward part of the swing starting from the ground and going over the head.
Baff An obsolete term, Scottish in origin, meaning to hit or graze the ground behind the ball.
Baffle Previous name given to a 5 wood.
Baffy A lofted wooden club developed from the baffling-spoon no longer in use. Also the alternate name given to the 4 wood.
Bail Out To avoid trouble, such as a water hazard, in one area by hitting the ball well into another area.
Balata A hard resilient sap-like substance that is used to make a cover for rbber-cored golf balls.
Ball The round object which we attempt to hit into the hole. Prior to the 17th century it was made from wood or wool in a leather cover. After the 17th century feathers were boiled and compressed, then sewn in a leather cover. In the 1850's it was made of strip rubber wound around a core. Presently made of compressed synthetic rubber with hundreds of surface indentations which aid the flight of the ball.
Ball in Play A ball is in play as soon as the player has made a stroke in the tee off area. It remains in play until it is holed out, lost, hit out of bounds, or lifted when allowed by the rules of golf.
Ball Marker A circular token or small coin used to mark the spots on the green that the ball rests on. Purpose of this is to clean or replace the ball, also so opponent doesn't have to putt around your ball.
Ball Retriever A long pole with a scoop at the end which is used to collect balls from water hazards and other areas.
Banana Ball A slice that curves to the right in the shape of a banana. An extreme slice.
Baseball Grip Holding the club with all ten fingers on the grip.
Beach A sand hazard on the course.
Bent Grass Type of grass seen for the most part on Northern courses. It is native to North America and Eurasia. It is very hardy and resilient allowing it to be cut very short.
Bermuda Type of grass seen mostly on Southern courses in North America. It was introduced to warmer areas of the world where bent grass will not grow.
Best Ball A match in which one player plays against the better of two balls or the best ball of three players.
Birdie One stroke under par for a hole. Possibly derived from term "It flew like a bird." to indicate a good shot.
Bird's Nest A lie in which the ball is cupped in deep grass.
Bite The backspin imarted on the ball that makes the ball stop dead, or almost so, with little or no roll.
Blade 1) The hitting part of an iron clubhead, not including the hosel. 2) To hit the ball with the leading edge of the blade of an iron.
Blast A shot that takes a large amount of sand with it when hitting out of a sand trap. An explosion shot. An aggressive shot. A powerful drive.
Blind Hole If the putting green cannot be seen by the player as he approaches, the hole is called blind.
Block To play a shot by delaying the rotation of the wrists during a swing. This causes the clubface not to be square at the point of impact resulting in a sliced ball.
Bogey A score of one over par for the hole. To play a hole in one stroke over par.
Borrow To play to one side of the hole or the other to compensate for the slope of the green.
Bowker This refers to a shot that appears to be horrible and then hits a tree, a rock, a spectator, etc. and bounces back into play. Pronounced "boughkur".
Brassie Former name given to a 2 wood. A wooden club with a brass sole plate with more loft than a driver and less than the than the spoon.
Break The way in which the ball will roll or bounce. Also the sideways slope on the green.
Bulge The curve across the face of a wooden club.
Bunker A depression in bare ground that is usually covered with sand. Also called a "sand trap". It is considered a hazard under the Rules of Golf.
Burn Scottish term for a creek or stream.
Bye A term used in tournaments. The player who draws a "bye" is allowed to advance to the next round without playing an opponent. In match play, it is the hole or holes still left to play if the match is won before the 18th hole.
Caddie - Cut
Caddie (caddy) Someone who carries a player's club during play and offers him assistance in accordance with the rules.
Can In slang, to hole a putt.
Card A card used to record scores in stroke play. Also, to make a record of your score.
Carpet A slang term referring to the putting green or fairway.
Carry The length of travel by the ball after it is hit to the place where it first hits the ground.
Cart A two-wheeled trolley on which a golf is fitted and pulled around the course. In some cases trolleys are battery powered. Can also refer to a golf car.
Casual Water Any temporary accumulations of water that are visible before or after a player takes his stance and is not a hazard or in a water hazard. A player may lift his ball from casual water without penalty.
Chart the Course Pace each hole so that you know how far you are from the green.
Chili-Dip To hit the ground before the ball, producing a weak lofted shot.
Chip Shot A short approach shot of low trajectory usually hit from near the green. It is normally hit with overspin or bite.
Chip-and-Run A chip shot including the run of the ball after landing.
Chip in A holed chip shot.
Choke 1) To grip down farther on the club handle. 2) A slang term used to indicate a collapse under pressure.
Chop To hit the ball with a hacking motion.
Cleek Any one of many narrow-bladed iron clubs used for long shots through the green from the rough or sand. Another name for the # 1 iron.
Closed Face When the clubface is pointed to the left of the target when you address the ball.
Closed Stance The left foot extends over the balls line of flight while the right foot is back.
Club The implement used in golf to strike the ball. Consists of a shaft, grip and a clubhead of wood or metal.
Club Head The hitting area of the club.
Clubhouse The main building on the course.
Cock To bend the wrists backwards in the backswing.
Collar The grassy fringe surrounding the putting green.
Come Back Shot The shot you make after you have overshot the hole.
Compression The flattening of the ball against the clubface at impact. Also the degree of resilience of a ball.
Control Shot A shot that is played with less than full power.
Course The playing area which is usually made up of 9 or 18 holes with each hole having a tee off area, fairway and green.
Cross Bunker A lengthy bunker that is situated across the fairway.
Cross-Handed Grip A grip where your left hand is below the right.
Cut 1) The score that reduces the field to a pre-determined number and eliminates players in a tournament. Usually made after 36 of a 72 hole tournament. 2) A controlled shot that results in the ball stopping almost immediately on the green without roll.
Deuce - Dunk
Deuce A controlled shot that results in the ball stopping almost immediately on the green without roll.
Dimple The round indentations on the golf ball cover which are scientifically designed to enable the ball to make a steady and true flight.
Divot A piece of turf removed with by the club when making a shot. It is always replaced and tamped down.
Dogleg A left or right bend in the fairway.
Dormie When playing in match play, being five up with five to go, four up with four left, etc. To be as many holes up as there are to play. Sometimes spelled dormy.
Down Being a specific number of holes behind your opponent.
Downhill Lie When addressing the ball and your right foot is higher than your left (for right-handed players).
Downswing The motion of swinging a club from the top of the swing to the point of impact.
Drain To sink a putt or chip.
Draw 1) The pairing of golfers for a match play tournament. 2) The pairing of golfers for a match play tournament.
Drive To hit the ball with maximum force and full stroke. Usually with a driver from the tee.
Driver The longest-hitting modern wooden club, used primarily from the tee when maximum distance is required. Also called the No. 1 wood.
Driving Range An area or building used for the purpose of practicing tee-shots and other strokes.
Drop 1) To deposit the ball on the course after which you put the ball back in play after it has been declared unplayable or after the ball has been lost. 2) Lose a shot to par. 3) To drop in standings in a tournament. Such as from 1st to 3rd.
Duff To mishit a shot by hitting the ground behind the ball and then top the ball. Duffer An unskilled golfer. Also called a hacker.
Dunk To hit ball into a water hazard.
Eagle - Explode
Eagle Two strokes under par for a single hole. To play a hole at 2 under par.
Equipment Anything that is used by a player or is carried or worn. His ball in play is not included.
Explode To hit the ball from sand using a steeply lofted club with the club hitting into the sand behind the ball and spraying a large amount of sand.
Face - Front
Face The hitting area or surface of the club head.
Fade A term used to describe the slight turning of the ball from left to right (by a right-handed player) at the end of its flight. From right to left for a left-handed player.
Fairway The area of the course between the tee and the green that is well-maintained allowing a good lie for the ball.
Fan To miss the ball completely.
Fat Shot When the club hits the ground behind the ball. This results in high or low shots with a loss of distance.
Fetherie (feathery) An old leather ball stuffed with compressed feathers. Replaced by the gutta percha after 1848.
Fescue Grass of the genus Festuca, widely used on for rough on golf courses.
Field The players in a tournament.
Flag The marker attached to the flagstick.
Flagstick A movable marker to show the location of the hole.
Flex The amount of bend or the degree of stiffness of the club shaft.
Flat Swing The type of swing that occurs when the club head is carried back in a flat manner - usually inside-out.
Flier A ball is hit without spin and goes for a greater distance than normal.
Flight 1) In tournament play, the division of players with players of equal ability being placed in the same flight. 2) Could also refer to the flight of the ball.
Flip Shot A short shot played with a high trajectory with a highly lofted iron. Usually played with a nine iron.
Flub A poorly hit shot usually caused by hitting the ground before the ball.
Follow-Through The continuation of the swing after the ball has been hit.
Form A golfer's standard of play based on past performance.
Four Ball A match in which the better ball of two players is played against the better ball of their opponents.
Foursome A term given to four players playing together. Also a match in which two players play against another two players with each side playing one ball. Standard grouping in recreational play.
Free Drop A drop where no penalty stroke is incurred.
Fried-Egg A ball half-buried in the sand.
Fringe Short grass surrounding green. Same as "apron".
Front The first nine holes of an 18 hole course.
Gallery - Gutta Percha
Gallery The group of tournament spectators.
Gimme A putt that is certain to be made on the next shot and will most likely be conceded by an opponent.
Goose-Neck Having the neck of a club curved so that the heel is slightly offset from the line of the shaft.
Gorse A shrub primarily found on linkland type courses. It is a spiny evergreen with bright yellow flowers. Same as whin.
Grain The direction in which the grass on a putting lies after it has been shortly cut.
Grand Slam The four major championships: the British Open, the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and the Masters.
Graphite A lightweight material used to make shafts and clubheads.
Green The whole golf course according to golf rules. However, in popular usage, it refers to the putting surface.
Green Fee The charge made by the course to allow the player to use the course.
Greenkeeper The charge made by the course to allow the player to use the course.
Greenside Adjacent to the putting green.
Grip The part of the shaft by which the club is held. Covered with leather or other material. Also means the manner in which you hold the club.
Groove Linear scoring on a clubface.
Gross The total number of strokes required to complete a round of golf after the player's handicap is deducted.
Grounding the Club Placing the clubhead behind the ball at address.
Ground Under Repair Any part of the course being repaired is ground under repair. A ball that lands in such an area must be removed without penalty.
Gutta Percha Material used in the manufacture of early golf balls. It was a hard, molded substance made from the sap of several types of Malaysian trees. These balls were in use from 1848 until the early 1900's.
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