When we are not experts there are many definitions that escape us in this sport, so we have developed an entry with the most important vocabulary of the terms of golf.
Address: Prepared position of the player with the intention of hitting the golf ball.
Albatross: Result obtained by playing a hole in three strokes less than its par.
All square: Term used in the Match Play mode to indicate that the hole is tied.
Ante-green: Area surrounding the green, whose grass is higher than that of the green, but shorter than that of the fairway.
Approach: to the green. An approach can be high, but it can also be low.
Augusta Masters (The US Masters): A major men’s golf tournament held each year at the Augusta National Golf Club in the United States. It is one of the four major annual tournaments.
Backspin: Backspin effect that is printed when hitting the ball. When it hits the green, it returns in the opposite direction to the trajectory of the shot.
Backswing: It’s the part of the golf swing where we raise the club. It begins when we start the head of the club at the beginning of the swing and ends at the top of the rise of the club.
Benjamin Category: This is the category in which children federated as golfers are included until December 31 of the year they turn 10.
Birdie: A result obtained by playing a hole on a stroke less than its par. For example, when a par 4 hole is played in 3 strokes, or a par 5 hole is played in 4 strokes.
Blaster: This is the most open iron in the bag used to make approach shots to the green over and out of the bunkers. It is also known as SW (Sand Wedge).
Bogey: Result obtained when playing a hole in a stroke more than its pair. For example, a par 3 hole is played in 4 strokes.
Boys Category: This is the category in which junior boys are included, who are in the age bracket from January 1 of the year they turn 17 years old until December 31 of the year they turn 18 years old.
Brassie: Name formerly used to designate wood number 2.
British Open (The Open Championship): A major men’s golf tournament held annually in the United Kingdom. It is considered one of the four major annual tournaments on the international calendar.
Bunker: Sand trap considered an obstacle. They are usually located around the green and in the areas of the street where the golf balls fall from the tees.
Cadet Category: This is the category in which federated children are included, who are placed in the age group from January 1 of the year they turn 15 years old until December 31 of the year they turn 16 years old.
Caddie: Person in charge of carrying a golf player’s bag of clubs on the course. The professional caddies take measurements of the holes, advise the player on the club to play. They usually receive a percentage of the player’s winnings, in addition to a fixed amount.
Card: Card provided by the Competition Committee to each player in a tournament, in order to keep track of the strokes. It is also used to record the score in the training rounds. The golf card also provides players with technical information about the course such as distances, course pair, slope, course value, hole pair and handicap.
Children’s Category: This is the category in which federated children are included as golf players, who are in the age bracket from January 1 of the year they turn 13 until December 31 of the year they turn 14.
Chip: Short approach shot to the hole from outside the green.
Chop: Portion of grass that pulls out the stick when hitting the ball and must be replaced in its place.
Competition Committee: A sports committee belonging to a golf club that organises competitions, advises, provides results and deals with questions about the rules of golf.
Counterpart Mode: Points-based golf game mode in which each player plays on each hole against the pair of that particular hole, obtaining the following points:
- For each hole made in 1 less than par: 1 positive point.
- For each hole made in the pair: 0 points.
- For every hole made in 1 or more of the pair: 1 negative point.
Course: Minimum set of 9 golf holes. A course, to be considered as such, must be valued by the national golf association of the country in which it is located. The most common course in golf is 18 holes.
Course marking: It is the function of the Competition Committee of a golf club to properly mark the boundaries of the course, water obstacles and areas considered terrain in repair.
Courtesy (rules): Important section of the Golf Rules book that describes the rules of courtesy or etiquette that all golfers must respect and practice on the golf course.
Disqualification: Penalty contemplated in the Golf Rules consisting of the expulsion of the player from the competition for violating one or more rules.
Doublebogey: Result obtained when playing a hole in two more strokes of its pair.
Dog-leg: Golf hole designed with a pronounced angle. Dog-leg holes are holes that require strategy in their approach, as it is important to place the first tee shot well.
Dormie: In the match play modality, it is said that the player who has a disadvantage of holes equal to those still to play is asleep. Down swing: Descent of the club that begins from the top of the back swing until the moment of the impact of the face of the club in the golf ball.
Draw: It is a golf stroke in which the ball maintains a straight flight and that when lowering acquires a soft effect to the left.
Driver: It is the club of the golf bag with which the longest distances are reached. It has a rod of greater length and few degrees in the face of the stick.
Driving range: Place specifically designed to throw golf balls to practice swing or aim. It is usually provided with putting green, bunkers and approach area to practice the short game.
Dropping the ball: A procedure of adhering to the Rules of Golf that allows us to relieve ourselves when our ball has become in an “uninjuitable” situation. By means of this procedure we drop the ball on the ground, without influencing it, in the place and in the way indicated by the Golf Rules, with or without penalty, depending on the circumstances.
Eagle: Result obtained by playing a hole in two strokes less than its par. For example when a par 5 is played in 3 strokes.
Eclectic mode: A game mode in which players play two or more laps of the course and the best result obtained on each hole during all laps is counted as a valid result.
EGA handicap game: It is the number of points that a player receives when playing on a field depending on his exact handicap, the difficulty of the field and the output from where it belongs to play. It must be a number from 0 to 48 without decimals.
Etiquette (norms): Important section of the book of Rules of the Golf where are described the norms of courtesy or etiquette that all the players of golf must respect and to put in practice in the golf course.
European Golf Tour: Important circuit of professional male golf tournaments based in Europe.
Exact handicap: It is the real and precise handicap of a golf player. It is a number ranging from 0 to 48 that can have a decimal. The golf associations of each country have the exact handicaps of all the federated golf players with handicaps in their country.
Exact handicap plus (+). There are amateur players who because of their high level of play must give up points to the field, instead of the field to them. That is to say, these players to fulfill their level of game, must play below the par of the field. They are commonly called handicap + 2, + 3, etc.
Exits or marks: Objects located on the tee from which golfers start playing on each hole. They are of different colors, depending on the category of players.
Explosion: Happens in bunker sacks around the green. When the head of the club first hits the sand, a quantity of it is fired along with the ball.
Fade: It is a golf shot in which the ball maintains a straight flight and that when lowering acquires a soft effect to the right.
Fall: Deviation suffered by the golf ball on the green due to the inclinations of the green, the direction of the grass, the wind, etc.
Fairway: Area of hole between the tee of exit and the green, in which the grass is mowed of uniform way and by where we will play the hole with greater comfort. We can find water obstacles, bunkers and other elements.
Fairways per round: Average number of fairways for every 18 holes a player reaches during a given period of time.
Federated golf player: A golf player who has joined his or her country’s national golf association.
Finish: Posture in which the golf swing ends.
Flagpole: An indicator of the position of the hole on the green. Under this term is also included the fabric it carries.
Follow through: It is the continuation of the head of the stick, after the impact. It is an indication of how the swing has been.
Forecaddie: Person designated by the Competition Committee to be placed in certain areas of the field where there is a special risk of losing balls.
Four ball mode: Pair golf game mode in which all players play their ball and the best result of each pair counts as valid.
Fry Category: This is the category in which children federated as golfers are included until 31 December of the year they turn 12.
Girls Category: This is the category in which girls in the junior category are included, who are in the age bracket from January 1 of the year they turn 17 until December 31 of the year they turn 18.
Given: In match-play matches, a given ball is when a player awards his opponent the ball pocketed on the next stroke.
Go below (match play): Playing in the match play mode (for holes), means that you are losing the match by one or more holes of disadvantage.
Go to top (match play): Playing in match play mode means that you are winning the match by one or more advantage holes.
Golf club: Association of people who practice the sport of golf, non-profit and who make elections to elect the president
Golf course: Entity that, without necessarily being a club, develops the practice of golf in its facilities…
Golf Swing: Movement we use to hit the golf ball.
Grand Slam: A golfer wins a Grand Slam when in the same year wins the four major tournaments (Majors) of the international calendar: the Masters of Augusta, the U.S. Open (U.S. Open), the British Open and the PGA Championship.
Green: Specially prepared area where is located the flag that indicates the exact position of the hole, where we must pocket the ball. In this area the grass is cut shorter and there are gentle slopes called falls to make the game difficult.
Greens per round: Average of greens reached by a player per 18-hole round, for a given period of time or a given number of tournaments.
Greensome mode: Pair golf game mode in which all players make their start, but then each pair chooses one of the two balls that will continue to play a stroke each, until the hole is finished.
Green-fee: Una tarifa que cobran los campos de golf a los jugadores por jugar 9 o 18 hoyos.
Greenkeeper: Person responsible for the maintenance of a golf course.
Grip: Position of the hands when holding the golf club.
Grip: Rubber handle located on the shaft of golf clubs to facilitate their grip. There are different types and thicknesses, depending on the players for whom they are intended.
Gross result: Total result of a round of golf, without deducting the player’s handicap.
Handicap result: Total result of a round of golf, when the player’s handicap has been deducted.
Hazard: (danger, risk) English word referring to water obstacles on the golf course.
Hole: Hole located in the green of each hole, where the golf ball must be pocketed to finish the hole.
Hole handicap: Difficulty level of a given hole. The lower the handicap of a hole, the greater its difficulty and the higher the handicap, the lower its difficulty.
Hole in one: When a player plays a hole by pocketing the ball in a single stroke, usually a par 3 hole.
Hole pair: Professional Average Result; The stipulated number of strokes on which a golf hole is to be played. A golf hole can be par 3, par 4 or par 5, depending on its distance and difficulty.
Homologated Balls: Balls that have passed the tests of the Royal & Ancient, organism in charge of dictating the specifications that must fulfill the golf balls to be able to compete.
Hook: A pronounced effect to the left that the golf ball takes during flight.
Identifying mark: A mark or signal that is made to a golf ball before starting the game to distinguish it from other balls that may be of the same make and number.
Ladies European Tour (LET): Important circuit of professional women’s golf tournaments based in Europe, but extended to other countries outside the European continent.
Lie: The angle formed by the base of the club head and the part of the club head where the rod is inserted.
Lie: This word refers to the situation in which a golf ball is resting on the ground.
Links field: Golf course, generally near the sea, which is characterized by undulating forms, caused by sand dunes in the area.
Local rules: Special rules arranged by a club’s Competition Committee to deal with special conditions, such as a piece of land being repaired or a special feature of the course.
Loft: Degrees of inclination of the face of the stick.
Major Category: This is the category in which players are included from January 1 of the year they turn 22.
Marshall: A person employed by the golf club to ensure compliance with the rules of courtesy and rules of the game by players.
Match Play: Important game mode in which opponents count the difference between winning and losing holes. The match ends when a player has more won holes ahead of his opponent than holes to play.
Medal Play or Stroke Play: Important game mode in which the total number of strokes on 18 holes or in all matches is counted, in the case of a tournament of several days. All golfers play against all.
Moveaway: Pulling out of the club at the beginning of the golf swing.
Mulligan: In informal matches consists of repeating the first stroke on the first hole, without counting the first.
Net result: Total result of a round of golf, when the player’s handicap has been deducted.
Net Score: Total result of a round of golf, when the player’s handicap has been deducted.
Junior Category: This is the category in which federated boys are included as golf players, who are in the age bracket from January 1 of the year they turn 17 until December 31 of the year they turn 21.
Out of bounds: It is the part of the golf course that is not considered a playing field.
Par of the course: The stipulated number of strokes on which a given 18-hole course is to be played. A golf course can be par 71, par 72, par 73 or even par 70 or 69, although most courses are par 72. This number corresponds to the sum of the par of all the holes on the course.
Peek-a-boo: A small U-shaped tool designed to repair the peeks or cracks produced by golf balls.
PGA Championship (USPGA): A major annual men’s golf tournament organized by the U.S. Professional Golf Association, USPGA. One of the four major annual tournaments on the international calendar.
PGA (Professional Golf Association): Association of professional golfers.
Placement: Prepared position of the player intending to hit the golf ball.
Player’s handicap (in general): It is one of the elements in which the game of golf is structured at an amateur level. Basically it is the advantage in blows that receives an amateur player, with respect to the pair of the field, according to his level of game. It goes from 0 to 48, depending on the category of the player.
Putt line: An imaginary line that a golf player expects to follow his ball on the green after hitting it.
Recessed ball: It is the situation that occurs when a golf ball is stuck in its own pique when it comes into contact with the ground after being hit.
Red lines: Lines delimiting a lateral water hazard.
Red Stakes: Stakes that delimit the lateral water obstacles.
Referee: A person accredited by a national golf federation to apply the rules during the course of the game.
Rough: Land not mowed at ground level where there may be higher grass, weeds, stones, etc. The rough can be situated around the streets, greens and tees.
Ryder Cup: A biennial men’s golf tournament pitting Europe against the United States. The teams compete in different modalities.
Provisional ball: A ball that the player plays after having made a hit in which the ball may be outside the boundaries of the field or loss.
Sand Wedge: The most open club in the bag of golf clubs. It usually has about 56 degrees of loft, which means that the face of the club looks quite up when the club is resting on the ground. The trajectory of the ball is very high and the maximum distance is around 80 meters. It is used for shots approaching the green from the fairway, taken from bunkers, difficult shots from the rough and shots where it is required to provide height to the ball.
Score gross: Total result of a round of golf, without discounting the handicap of the player.
- 1; Amateur golf player with approximately 0 handicap.
- 2; It is said of the golf competition whose participants have a low handicap and do not apply any discount on strokes in their final results.
Scratch result: Total result of one round of golf without deducting the player’s handicap.
Second blaster: The secon blaster is more open than a normal blaster. It has approximately 60 degrees and is used by golf professionals and low handicaps to hit where the ball requires a lot of height to avoid an obstacle or it is necessary that the ball does not roll much when bouncing on the green.
Senior Category: This is the category in which federated golf players are included, starting on January 1 of the year they turn 55.
Shaft: Rod of the golf club, which goes from inside the handle or grip to fit the head of the club. The rods of a set of golf clubs have different measures and flexibilities, depending on the physical conditions of the golfer and the purpose of the club.
Shooting line: An imaginary line that a golf player expects to follow his ball after hitting it.
Slice: A pronounced effect to the right that takes the golf ball during flight, as a result of reaching the face of the club open at the time of impact.
Slope value: Index used to define the degree of difficulty of a golf course for amateur players who are not scratch (handicap 0 or next), with respect to the value of the course. This allows amateur players to better adjust their game handicap according to the real difficulty of a given course.
This value ranges from 55 to 155, the average Slope value being 113. This rating system has been conceived by the United States Golf Association.
Stable Mode: Points game mode in which each player plays on each hole for a certain number of points depending on their result.
Stance: Prepared position of the player, with intention of hitting the golf ball.
Start time: In club competitions, the club’s Competition Committee is responsible for setting the start time of the players.
Starter: Person employed by the golf course to give outings on a golf course. This position is of special importance during the development of the championships.
Stats: Game statistics.
Stones in bunkers: Usually the stones on the course are considered loose impediments, but when they are in a bunker (obstacle) they cannot be touched or moved.
Stretch marks on the face of the club: Cracks in the face of the club, so that the golf ball, when hit, acquires effect.
Stroke average: Average number of strokes per turn made by a player in a given period of time.
Tee (exit): Place of the golf hole where golfers start the game on each hole. In traditional golf courses it is usually one or more raised rectangular platforms with different colored markings for different categories of players. In pitch and putt courses the starting tees are artificial rectangular carpets from where the players start the hole.
Tee (soport): A wooden or plastic instrument designed to be used as a golf ball support when teeing off each hole. Its use is not obligatory.
Tie: When kicking, the ball touches the edge of the hole and surrounds it without entering it.
Pique: Impact or cleft that presents the green, after a golf ball has impacted on it, being hit from a certain distance. All bumps must be properly repaired by the players.
Pitch & Putt: Sport derived from golf whose main difference from this is that it is played in shorter holes.
Pitching Wedge: Bag stick equivalent to 10 iron. It is the stick of the most open golf bag, after the SW (Sand Wedge), ie, the face of the stick looks quite up and when hitting the golf ball this has a high trajectory and the maximum distance is around 100 meters.
Pro-am: Competition that pairs a professional with one or more amateur players. It is usually played the day before the start of a professional competition.
Putt: A shot we make on the green with a club designed for this purpose, with the intention of rolling the golf ball and put it in the hole.
Putter: Golf club specially designed to play on the green.
Putting green: Green specially dedicated to putt practice. It consists of several holes oriented to practice different distances and falls. It is usually close to the clubhouse.
Rake: A tool located in or near bunkers used by players to smooth and erase the shoe tracks marked on the sand.
Uninjuitable (ball): It is the golf ball that during the game of a hole the player decides that because of the difficulty of his position can not or does not want to play it.
U.S. Open: A major men’s golf tournament held each year at different courses in the United States. It is considered one of the four major annual tournaments on the international calendar.
White Stakes: Stakes that delimit the outside limits of the field.
Yellow lines: Lines delimiting a frontal water obstacle.
Yellow stakes: Stakes demarcating frontal water obstacles.
Young trees: Newly planted trees that the Local Rules of the golf club mark with stakes or ribbons so that they are not damaged. During play, according to the Local Rules, they are considered an immovable obstruction.
As you can see there are many terms used in the vocabulary of golf.