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Golf Terms D to F


Dance Floor: Slang term for the green.

Dead: TV-broadcaster slang for a shot in which there is no favorable outcome possible. Variations include "Get the body bags!" A favorite of Gary McCord.

Divot: The chunk of grass (either fairway or rough) displaced when an iron or wedge shot is played. Or, the indentation on the green caused by the ball on an approach shot (also called a pitch mark).

Dormie: In match play, a player is dormie when leading a match by as many holes as there are left (i.e. 4 up with 4 holes to play). The player who is down must win every hole to save the match and force its continuation past the last regular hole (if a winner must be determined) or halve the match (in a team competition such as the Ryder Cup).

Double Bogey: A hole played two strokes over par.

Double Cross: A shot whereby a player intends for a slice and hits a hook, or conversely, intends to play a draw and hits a slice. So called because the player has aimed left (in the case of a slice) and compounds this with hitting a hook, which moves left as well.

Double Eagle (or Albatross): A hole played three strokes under par.

Dogballs scoring an 'eight' on any single golf hole. The origin of the term is in reference to what the number 'eight' looks like on its side.

Draw: A shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves slightly to the left; often played intentionally by skilled golfers. An overdone draw usually becomes a hook.

Drive: A tee shot of great length, usually done with a driver (a type of golf club).

Duck Hook: See snap hook.


Eagle: A hole played in two strokes under par.

Explosion: A bunker shot that sends the ball, and accompanying sand, (hopefully) onto the green. Also known as a "blast".


Fairway: The short grass between the tee and the green. Also, "fairway percentage" is a statistic kept on players in the PGA TOUR. A player is awarded a fairway if, after a tee shot, the ball comes to rest touching a fairway.

Fat shot: A poor shot in which the club is slowed by catching too much grass or soil, resulting in a short and slow ball flight.

Fade: A shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves slightly to the right; often played intentionally by skilled golfers. An overdone fade usually becomes a slice.

Flier: A type of lie where the ball is in the rough and grass is likely to become trapped between the ball and the clubface at the moment of impact. Flier lies often result in "flier shots", which have little or no spin (due to the blades of grass blocking the grooves on the clubface) and travel much farther than intended.

Flop shot: A short shot, played with an open stance and an open clubface, designed to travel very high in the air and land softly on the green. The flop shot is useful when players do not have "much green to work with", but should only be attempted on the best of lies. Phil Mickelson is a master of the flop shot.

Fore: "Fore!" is shouted as a warning when it appears possible a ball may hit other players or spectators.

Fourballs: In fourballs teams of 2 players compete against each other. There are four balls in play at any time, one for each player, with the player with the lowest score among the four competitors winning the hole for his team. This shouldn’t be confused with the term ‘fourball’, which is often used to describe a casual or social game with 4 players. Fourballs are the opening matches played on the Friday and Saturday of the Ryder Cup.

Foursomes: In foursomes teams of 2 players compete against each other. Players alternate hitting the same ball. The first player tees off, the second player hits the second shot, the first player hits the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. Players alternate hitting tee shots so that the same player doesn't hit every drive; therefore, one member of each team will always tee-off on the odd holes and the other will tee off on the even holes. Only one ball is used by each pairing in foursomes. If Player A teed off on the first hole and Player B holed the final putt, Player B would still tee off at the second, even though this means in effect 2 consecutive shots (over 2 holes) by Player B. The team with the lowest score wins the hole. Foursomes can be played as stroke play or match play. As match play, foursomes are the matches played on the Friday and Saturday afternoon of the Ryder Cup, with 4 ‘foursome’ matches being played on each day.

Front nine: Holes 1 through 9 on a golf course.

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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