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Golf Terms A to C


Ace: A hole in one whether it be on a par 3, 4 or 5.

Action: To impart backspin onto the ball.

Address: When a player lines up to hit the ball and begins the pre-swing routine, adjusting one's stance and position relative to the ball. If the ball moves once a player has addressed the ball, there is a one-stroke penalty.

Aim: Generally, the direction in which your target lies and the direction you intend for your ball to go.

Aimline: When lining up for a putt, the direction of the invisible straight line running from the ball directly to the pin, which you must then adjust according to the amount of break which you have determined the green to have, based on your read of the green.

Airmail the green: When a player overpowers a shot aimed at the putting green, and the ball flight carries it completely over the green.

Albatross: A hole played three strokes under par. They are statistically more difficult to get on a par 5 than it is to get a hole in one on a par 4.

Alignment: The position of a player's body relative to the target line of the ball.

All Square: In match play, a match is all square (tied) when both players or teams have won the same number of holes. It is abbreviated "AS" on the scorecard.

Ambrose: A system of team play whereby each player takes a shot, and the ball is next played from the best position. All players then take a shot from this position, and so on.

Angle of Attack: Also referred to as "Angle of Approach". The angle at which the club head strikes the ball. This affects the trajectory the ball will travel and spin.

Approach Shot: A shot intended to land the ball on the green.

Apron: The grass surface on the perimeter of the green that separates it from the fairway.

Attend (the Flagstick): When a player holds and removes the flagstick for another player.


Back nine: Holes 10 through 18 on a golf course.

Backspin: Striking the ball with a sloped clubface, a wedge for instance, with a downward motion that catches the rim of the ball along the ridges within the clubface, causing the ball to spin backward as is its lifted into the air. Backspin causes a ball to travel less far in the air, and to stop more quickly once it strikes the ground. Also called bite or action.

Ball: A small sphere used in playing golf, which is intended to be struck by a club and soar in the general direction of the green for a particular hole, if one is playing on a regulation golf course. The important thing is to be able to identify your ball and distinguish it from the balls used by other players. Normally this is done by noting the brand and number of a ball, though some players will often add personalized markings to further differentiate their own sphere of choice.

Ball-marker: Any small object used to indicate where a player's ball is on the green. Coins are common ball-markers.

Banana-ball: An extreme slice.

Bare Lie: When your ball is almost completely visible and free from interference from the grass or other surface. Also often the case when practicing at home with mats and practice tees, as the ball is always slightly elevated and free.

Barkie: Achieving a score of par or better on a hole after the ball hits a tree on the same hole.

Baseball grip: Grip style with all ten fingers on the club. Also known as the "Ten-Finger Grip".

Best ball: Game for two teams of two players, in which each player plays all of their shots, and the low score on each side counts as the team's score for the hole.

BIGGA: The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association is the professional association dealing with all matters of golf management from a greenkeeper's viewpoint.

Birdie: A hole played one stroke under par.

Bite: Heavy backspin applied to a ball that causes it to stop quickly instead of rolling when it lands.

Blade: Term used to describe the type of iron made by forging the metal rather than from a cast mold. Also, describes a shot struck "thinly" with an iron in the middle of the golf ball.

Blind: A shot that does not allow the golfer to see where the ball will land, such as onto an elevated green from below.

Block: A shot played severely to the right; as opposed to slices, which curve from left to right, a blocked shot goes directly right. Similar to the "push".

Bogey: A hole played one stroke over par.

Bounce: Technically, the measure of the angle from the front edge of a club's sole to the point that rests on the ground when addressing the ball. Clubs (usually wedges) with a higher bounce angle will resist digging into the turf.

Break: The amount of lateral slope one must account for on a putt. In the United Kingdom, it is known as "borrow".

Bump and run: A low-trajectory shot that is intended to get the ball rolling along the fairway and up onto the green. Similar to a chip shot, but played from a greater distance.

Bunker Fairway: Hazard of bare earth or sand usually in a recessed depression. Grass and wooden walls or banks are not part of the hazard.


Caddie: A person paid to carry a player's clubs and offer advice or suffer abuse. Players are responsible for the actions of their caddies.

Carry: How far the ball travels through the air. Contrasted with "run."

Cart: 1) The four-wheeled electrical vehicle for use in transporting players from hole to hole. 2) A hand-pulled cart for carrying a bag of clubs, also now available in powered versions controlled by remote.

Casual water: Any temporary standing water visible after a player has taken his stance. Snow and ice can also be taken as casual water, as well as water that overflows the banks of existing water hazards.

Chip: A short shot (typically played from very close to and around the green), that is intended to travel through the air over a very short distance and roll the remainder of the way to the hole.

Chunk: A swing that results in the clubhead hitting the ground several inches before the ball, resulting in a large "chunk" of ground being taken as a divot. Also called a "fat" shot, or "chili-dipping".

Clone: An umbrella term for generic brand golf clubs.

Closed Face: Caused when the clubface does not strike the ball in a neutral plane of impact, but instead strikes it at an angle, sending the ball toward the player's front foot, to the left for right-handed players.

Closed Stance: When a player's front foot is closer to the ball, used to draw the ball or to prevent a slice.

Club: A tool for the player to hit the ball. 14 clubs are allow by the rules.

Clubface: The angled surface of the club head that is used to strike the golf ball. The center of the clubface is known as the "sweet spot." Players should strive to hit the ball with the center of the clubface to maximize distance and accuracy.

Clubhouse: This is where play begins and ends. The clubhouse is also your source for information about local rules, the conditions of the course, upcoming events and other essential information for the avid golfer. Normally, you can also purchase balls, clubs, clothes, and other golfing equipment at the clubhouse.

Come-backer: A putt required after the previous putt went past the hole.

Compression: The measurement for expressing the hardness of a golf ball, normally 90 compression. Harder balls (100 compression) can be used in windy conditions.

Condor: A four-under par shot, a hole-in-one on a par 5 . This has occurred on a hole with a heavy dogleg, hard ground, and no trees. Might also be called "a triple eagle".

Cross-handed: Putting (and, occasionally, full-swing) grip in which the hands are placed in positions opposite that of the conventional grip. For right-handed golfers, a cross-handed grip would place the left hand below the right. Also known as the "left-hand low" grip, it has been known to help players combat the "yips".

Cut or the cut: After the first two rounds of a tournament, a select number of players will have earned the right to play over the weekend for a chance to win the championship on Sunday, by having a score at or lower than this number. The cut is calculated as (??) the mean average? median average? of all scores. As an example, if 5 players in a tournament score respectively 148, 144, 142, 140, and 146, then 142 would be the cut, and those scoring higher will watch as those who scored lower play on through the weekend.

Cut Shot: Same as a fade, a cut curves from left to right, but is generally higher in trajectory and more controlled than a standard fade. The "high cut" is a staple among PGA Tour players.

All golf term definitions are taken from Wikipedia

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Golf Dictionary

golf terms golf dictionary

Man with golf clubs on golf course Creatas/GraphicObsession

Golf terminology can be off-putting for a beginner golf player. Some can be downright confusing for the uninitiated. This is why it's best to visit the nearest available Golf Dictionary for a quick peek at what "putt", "bogey" and "tee" might mean on the greens.

Featured Golf Word


The shot made on the putting green. From a Scottish term meaning to push gently or nudge.

Other terms:

putt out To hole the ball with a putt.

putter A short-shafted club with a straight face for putting.

putting green The surface area around the hole that is specially prepared for putting.

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