40+ Golf Terms

Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world. Golfers from all over come together to enjoy this game, but it’s not always easy for beginners and even some pros. That’s why we put together this golf terminology reference guide! It includes definitions for words that are used frequently on the course to make sure you’re up-to-date with all of the insider lingo.

  • 19th Hole: The 19th hole can refer to the bar in which players often go for drinks after finishing play at any given course.
  • Ball Mark: A ball mark can be either an indentation or scuff left by a golf ball’s impact with a hard surface such as grass, dirt, sand, wood or rock. Ball marks are also known as “spots.”
  • Break: This refers to how far your club head travels back before it swings forward through impact with the ball (also called “clubhead speed”) – it can be measured in either yards or degrees.
  • Bunker: Bunkers are often found around water hazards (lakes) to help catch shots that land short of the green and get too close to a hazard area – they’re there not only to protect the golfer, but also for safety reasons because water is usually about knee high inside these areas. Golf bunkers typically have sand both on top and below ground level for players who hit their ball into them from long distances away.
  • Birdie: A player who makes a hole in one less stroke than par on the next hole is said to have made a birdie.
  • Bogey: A Bogey is equal to one over par for three strokes under par, or two over par for four strokes under. When someone shoots bogeys consistently, they are called “bogey-itis.”
  • Caddie: A caddie’s job is basically walking with golf bags while carrying clubs during play at any given course – this person will generally know where all courses’ hidden holes are located as well as what club would work best for any given situation
  • Dogleg: A dogleg is a course that has one less hole than the usual regulation 18 holes because it’s shaped like an “S” – this usually happens when there needs to be a shorter route for something, such as making sure golfers can’t drive their carts past certain courses and onto a private property without being asked.
  • Double Bogey: The term double bogey refers to both of these things happening at once – hitting your ball out of bounds and then also losing another shot because you didn’t hit it as far as needed in order to make it back onto the course.
  • Divot: Divots are created by hitting your club head into the ground while swinging through impact with the ball (also called “impact area”) so they’re typically found in fairways where players hit shots from long distances away. This type of divot should always have grass around its edges otherwise turf will die over time due to lack of air supply…
  • Draw: Draw is a golf term that refers to when the ball curves sharply right after hitting the ground because it’s been struck with an open clubface. This usually happens on shots where your feet are closer together and then you swing through impact with little or no slice.
  • Eagle: An eagle occurs when a golfer hits their golf ball into the hole with two shots fewer than usual on an 18-hole golf course. Another way to get an eagle is by sinking a ball from over 50 yards out on the green in two shots or less.
  • Fairway: The area of the golf course between tee and hole, excluding rough, sand traps, water hazards (lakes), trees or other obstacles.
  • Fore: This term refers to when a golfer’s ball hits another player who is standing behind them before reaching the hole. Fores are also given if your club accidentally strikes somebody else while you’re preparing for your swing. Tee Box: A tee box is usually where players stand with their clubs at the beginning of each round waiting for play to start – it can be found just off fairways that lead up towards greens.
  • Fat: Fat is a golf term for when balls land far from other, more ideal areas – they’re often found in sand traps, water hazards (lakes), roughs or out-of-bounds zones
  • Gimmie: A Gimmie is given to somebody who doesn’t need any strokes at all for one hole of 18 holes because he/she won either by handicap or match play rules – this player can generally return their unneeded stroke(s) back to the course before finishing play there.
  • Handicap: Courses often have handicap measurements on their signs – this refers to how far a player is from the tournament’s par for that course which would be 18 holes.
  • Hazards: Hazards are typically water hazards or sand traps that can cause your ball to get lost if you happen to hit it in there.
  • Hole-in-One: This is when a golfer gets their golf ball into the hole on one shot without any other shots needed from teeing off, driving, and putting.
  • Hook: Hook refers to when a player’s ball curves sharply left after hitting the ground because they’ve accidentally swung too much with an open clubface. The opposite of hook would be “fade.”
  • Lie: Lie means where the person is standing before making a stroke – this could refer either to how close he/she is to the pin or flagstick at address (typical for putting) or how close the ball is to an obstacle.
  • Line: A line usually refers to where somebody needs to put his/her ball before hitting out-of-bounds or into water hazards (lakes) etcetera – these lines are generally set about 20 feet away from the hazard so they can see them easily during play.
  • Match Play: Match play is when two players compete against each other without any stroke penalties taking place depending on who finishes first…it only counts as the number of holes completed.
  • Mulligan: A Mulligan occurs when a player gets another chance of hitting their golf ball and have it count as if they had just hit their first shot – this can happen only once on any given hole. The opposite of Mulligans are called “Stroke Play.”
  • Out-of-Bounds: If your ball goes out of bounds, you lose whatever stroke you were on that particular hole because you’re not able to play from where your club went out. You’ll also get penalized one penalty stroke in matchplay (or two strokes in Strop Lay).
  • Par: Par refers to the number which represents a golfer’s score for 18 holes (or less) on the golf course. For example, a par 72 is an 18-hole game where you scored exactly 32 strokes in total
  • Pin or Flag: A pin refers to a flagstick used to mark the location of the hole when someone’s putting.
  • Pull: A pull can refer either to an average shot played by somebody who doesn’t have much experience at all or else it could also mean when your club head travels back too far behind you through impact (also called “clubhead lag”) – this happens on shots where your feet are further apart from each other than usual and you swing through impact with the ball’s face open.
  • Putter: Putters are used for shots that land on or around the green, defined as when your feet are in a more side-on position to the target and there is no backswing – it would typically be done standing closer together instead of farther apart from each other like you do while hitting off of a tee.
  • Ranger: The term ranger describes somebody who performs maintenance duties such as cutting grass and removing fallen leaves from fairways – also known as “golf course groundskeepers.”
  • Rough: Rough usually refers to areas of terrain that are covered with long, thick grass that can’t be easily played off because it slows down shots significantly – this could be found around trees, ponds, bunkers and water hazards (lakes). Chipping or pitching out of rough will typically be much tougher.
  • Sand Trap: A sand trap is an area of the fairway that’s covered with deep, loose sand – these can be either behind or in front of bunkers to catch shots hit too hard from runways and rough (places where there are no trees). Sand traps make it difficult for a player to get their ball out because they’ll need more than one stroke off them using a deft touch.
  • Sidehill Lie: This means a player has inadvertently placed his/she clubface open so that the ground slopes away from him/her when he/she addresses the ball at address – this usually happens when you’re standing on your heels or toes when getting ready to swing.
  • Slice: Slice is a golf term that refers to when the ball curves sharply left after hitting the ground because it’s been struck with an open clubface.
  • Starter: A Starter will typically be found at tee boxes and fairways in order to help you find your way around
  • Stroke: This is what was counted for each hole of 18 or less – one stroke per hole. For example, if someone shoots two strokes on their first shot, they would have “par” as their score (or three strokes if they had five). Strokes are also given for penalties like out-of-bounds shots and bad weather conditions such as lightning strikes before finishing play on any particular course.
  • Snowman: Snowmen are shots which are struck when your feet are in a position to the target that is more side-on, like you would be if you were standing closer together from each other instead of farther apart – it’s often done with putters.
  • Shank: A shank refers either to an average shot played by somebody who doesn’t have much experience at all or else it could refer to when your club head travels back too far behind you through impact on a swing (also called “clubhead lag”) – this happens on shots where your feet are further apart than usual and you swing through impact with the face open. This type of divot should always have grass around its edges otherwise turf will die over time due to lack of air supply…
  • Stroke Play: Stroke play is when two players compete against each other with penalty strokes taking place depending on who finishes first…it only counts as the number of holes completed.
  • Tee Box: Tee box usually refer to the ground directly in front of a player’s ball on which they stand when preparing to take his/her first shot.
  • Thin: Thin is a golf term for when the ball hits off-center and doesn’t travel much distance because it’s not been struck with enough power to get past roughs, sand traps or other obstacles – this also results in poor shots that are spinny (the ball will bounce more than usual).
  • The Beach: The beach is where golfers typically go after finishing play for refreshments and good times with friends – sometimes it can refer to somebody who’s been drinking too much before making their way home (sometimes also called “the walk”).
  • Three-Putt: Three-putt is a golf term that means the player has to use three strokes on one hole – this usually happens when they have two “gimmie” putts and miss them both.
  • Top: A top refers either to an average shot played by somebody who has experience but isn’t very good at all or else it could refer to when your club head travels back too far behind you through impact on a swing – this happens on shots where your feet are further apart from each other than normal and you swing through impact with the face open.

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