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Golf Terms S to U


Schreckbagger: A golfer who continuously uses poor golf swing and strategy to over achieve in the game of golf. ps has a swing like an octopus and has been known to put fewer strokes on his card than he has.

Sandbagger: A golfer that carries a higher official handicap than his skills indicate, eg, carries an eight, plays to a two. Sandbaggers usually artificially inflate their handicaps with the intent of winning bets on the course, a practice that most golfers consider cheating.

Sand Save: When a player gets up and down from a greenside sand bunker, regardless of score on the hole. Sand Save percentage is a player statistic kept by the PGA Tour.

Sand Wedge: A lofted club designed especially for playing out of a bunker. The modern sand wedge was invented by Gene Sarazen.

Sandie: A Sand Save (see above) that results in a score of par or better. Sandies are counted as points in some social golf games.

Scotch foursomes: In scotch 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. To this point, the definition of ‘scotch foursomes’ is the same as that of ordinary ‘foursomes’; however, players do not alternate hitting tee shots as they would in foursomes. If Player A teed off on the first hole and Player B holed the final putt, Player B would not tee off at the second, meaning that Player A could, in theory, play every tee shot on the round. The team with the lowest score wins the hole.

Scramble: When a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better on a hole. Scrambling percentage is a player statistic kept by the PGA Tour. Also a two or four man format, similar to Best Ball, except in a scramble, each player strikes a shot, the best shot is selected, then all players play from that selected position.

Scratch golfer: A player's whose handicap equals zero.

Shank: A severe mishit in which the golf ball is struck by the hosel of the club. On a shank, a player has managed to strike the ball with a part of the club other than the clubface. A shanked shot will scoot a short distance, often out to the right, or might be severely sliced or hooked.

Short game: Comprised of shots that take place on or near the green. Putting, chipping, pitching, and bunker play are all aspects of short game.

Skin: A skins game pits players in a type of match play in which each hole has a set value (usually in money or points). The player who wins the hole is said to win the "skin," and whatever that skin is worth. Skins games are often more dramatic than standard match play because holes are not halved. When players tie on a given hole, the value of that hole is carried over and added to the value of the following hole. The more ties, the greater the value of the skin and the bigger the eventual payoff.

Slice: A poor shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves sharply from the left to the right (may occasionally be played intentionally but is difficult to control). 9 out of 10 golfers suffer from slicing the ball.

Snap Hook: A severe hook that usually goes directly left rather than curving from right to left. Also known by the somewhat redundant term "Pull-Hook".

Stableford Scoring System: A scoring system using points. The winner accumulates more points over the course of a round. Stableford points are awarded as 1 point for one stroke over a fixed score, perhaps par, on a hole; 2 points for the fixed score; 3 points for one stroke under the fixed score; 4 points for two strokes under the fixed score; etc. There are "modified" Stableford scoring techniques, like that used in the International Tournament on the PGA Tour, which award points (or loss of points) for various scores over or under a fixed score.

Snowman: An eight on a hole.

Sit: Telling the ball to drop softly, and not roll after landing.


Tap-in: A ball that has come to rest very close to the hole, leaving only a very short putt to be played. Oftentimes recreational golfers will "concede" tap-ins to each other to save time.

Tee (part of the course): The specially prepared area, usually grass, from which the first stroke for each hole is made (teeing ground in official terminology).

Tee (piece of equipment): A small peg - made of wood or plastic - placed in the teeing ground, upon which the golf ball may be placed prior to the first stroke on a hole.

Tempo: The pacing of a player's swing. Ideally, the swing should be like a metronome, with the same amount of time being used for the downswing and follow-through as was used for the backswing. Also known as the "rhythm" of the swing. Ernie Els's tempo is the envy of many professionals.

Thin shot: A poor shot where the clubhead strikes too high up on the ball, resulting in a shallow flight path. Also known as "skulling" or "blading" the ball.

Through line: When putting, the imaginary path that a ball would travel on should the putted ball go past the hole. Usually observed by PGA players and knowledgeable golfers when retrieving or marking a ball around the hole.

Topped: An errant shot where only the upper half of the golf ball is struck, causing the ball to roll or bounce rather than fly.


Up and down: When a player holes the ball in two strokes starting from off of the green. The first stroke, usually a "pitch" or a "chip", gets the ball 'up' onto the green, and the subsequent putt gets the ball 'down' into the hole.

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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