Golf terminology can be perplexing to those who are unfamiliar with the game, as well as to those who are just starting out.
There are so many words and phrases that you’ve probably never heard before.
To help you navigate the confusing world of golf, I put together this glossary of terms from A to Z.
I wanted to make a thorough vocabulary for all of you so that you can genuinely understand what someone is saying throughout a round.
Ace – also known as a hole-in-one.
Albatross – Another term for double eagle or scoring three under par on a hole. This happens only if you make a hole in one on a par 4 or hole out on your second shot on a par 5.
Birdie – A score of one stroke under par on a round of golf. A birdie would be a two on a par three or a three on a par four.
Block – When a golfer shoots a shot directly to the right, this is referred to as a block (for a right-handed golfer)
Bogey – A score one shot higher than par. Making a five on a par, for example, would be termed a bogey.
A double bogey – is a score that is two strokes higher than par. This is the one golf score you should avoid at all costs. Double Bogey is a round breaker!
Chunk – When a golfer says, “I chunked it,” it usually signifies that they made contact behind the golf ball and dug too deeply into the ground. It’s sometimes referred to as hitting it big.
Coming Over the Top — A word that is frequently used in the golf teaching field. We still don’t know what it signifies.
Divot – The little (or huge) piece of turf that emerges when your club makes contact with the ground. Sometimes a divot isn’t even necessary.
Draw — A right-to-left ball flight that is more controlled than a hook.
Double Cross -When a golfer intends to hit a fade or a draw but instead hits the exact opposite. For example, suppose a golfer tries to hit a fade but ends up hooking it.
Instead of flying from left to right, the ball moves from right to left.
Dogleg – is a term used in golf course architecture. This is a hole that starts with a straight fairway and then curves to the right or left.
Duck Hook – A low hook shot that does not travel very far.
Fade – A fade is a left-to-right (for righties) ball trajectory that is more controlled than a slice. A cut shot is another term for a cut shot.
Flop Shot — A wedge shot played around the green in which you totally expose the face of the club and try to strike the ball high in the air so that it lands softly on the green.
Flyer – A “flyer” lie occurs when your ball is in the rough but raised up slightly. The ball will travel further than usual as a result of this.
Fried Egg – When your ball lands in the bunker, it may become buried. It is perfectly like a fried egg!
Fore – When you hit your ball in the direction of another golfer, you cry “fore” as loudly as you can. You must warn them!
Gimme – When your putt is close enough to the hole to be considered a made putt. Golfers can be a little too liberal with gimmies at times, counting putts 3 feet and beyond as gimmies.
Greenie – When playing a gambling format such as Nassau, it is common for groups to place side bets. A greenie is a side bet that is commonly played on a par 3 hole, with the player who lands the ball closest to the pin (while on the green) winning the greenie.
Green in Regulation – One of the golf terminology you should know – a green in regulation is when any part of the golf ball touches the putting surface, and the number of strokes taken is two fewer than par.
On a par 4, for example, if you reach the putting surface with your first or second shot, you have hit the green in regulation.
Hook — A hook happens when the ball travels from right to left in an exaggerated route for a right-handed golfer.
Lip Out — When your putt rolls around the edge of the cup, change direction. This is extremely annoying because it indicates you nearly made the putt!
Mulligan – An unauthorized rematch. Many times, golfers will be gracious to one another and choose to grant mulligans (typically on the first tee shot) instead of penal strokes.
This is not one of the official golf regulations!
Par – When your hole score equals the listed par.
Pitch Mark — A little indent made by your ball when it lands on the green. You must repair them!
Playing it “Up” or “Down” – Playing the ball down requires you to hit your stroke regardless of the lie. Golfers are permitted to play the ball “up” in specific conditions, which allows them to enhance the lie.
When there is severe weather, such as rain, it makes logical to exaggerate it.
Playing the Tips – When a golfer chooses to play the course’s most distant tees. Beginners should avoid this game.
Press – When playing a betting game with your friends, a press refers to placing another stake. Usually, it is for the same amount as the original wager.
Pull – When a golfer says they pulled their shot, it means they hit it to the left.
Rangefinder — A laser-based device that measures the distance to the hole.
Sandbagging – When a golfer claims to have a handicap that is far higher than their true ability. If golfers play against one another based on handicap, this activity is frowned upon because that golfer will receive extra strokes that they do not properly earn – don’t be a sandbagger, be honest!
Shank — This is the most repulsive of all golf phrases, and you should never utter it aloud. When a golfer makes contact with the hosel of the club, the ball normally goes straight to the right.
Short-Sided – If your approach shot lands on the side of the green where the pin resides. It significantly complicates your chip/pitch shot. To avoid this, always aim for the “fat” side of the green!
Slice — This is arguably the most well-known golf term in terms of a player’s swing. A slice happens when a golfer puts too much bend on the ball. If the ball moves disproportionately from left to right for a right-handed golfer, they have sliced it.
Snowman – Of all the golf phrases listed, this is definitely the one you don’t want to be connected with. When you get an 8 on a hole, you make a snowman.
Texas Wedge – is another word for utilizing a putter while you are off the green. Some golfers will putt from the fairway, rough, or even the bunker on occasion.
Up and Down – If you miss a green in regulation but still have a chance to make par. For example, if you hit your approach shot into the rough, then pitched the ball onto the green and holed your putt, you have effectively gone up and down for par.
Worm Burner — A shot that barely gets off the ground and simply rolls.