This is my golf glossary! Its intention is to not only help you understand this site as well as other sites, but also the terms and jargon you will hear on the course and while discussing the game.
The position you take prior to hitting a shot. As defined by “the Rules of Golf”, you have addressed the ball when you have taken your stance and grounded your club behind it.
The closely mown area that surrounds a green (also see fringe).
Ball spin up towards the sky, away from the target.
Movement of the golf club from at rest behind the ball to the top of the swing plane before the pause to the down swing.
An indentation made (most typically) on a green when your ball lands on it.
A coin or token of some kind that you must place behind your ball while it is on the green prior to moving/picking the ball up.
A sand hazard.
Word used to describe a ball that stops on impact rather than continues to roll.
Type of shot made from a sand hazard that displaces a considerable amount of sand.
The angle formed on the sole of the club (an iron) between the bottom edge and the lowest portion of the sole.
Refers to both the slope of a green as well as the path a putted ball takes along that slope after being hit, or while moving.
Bump and Run
A shot that is hit with a low trajectory well short of the target where is is intended to roll the majority of the distance between you and the target.
A sand hazard. A well hidden area where an enemy tends to shoot you or hide.
When the ball’s lie is primarily below the surface, typically in sand (see “fried egg or “plugged lie”).
the bottom or back of any club’s shaft.
Refers to the green or fairway, slang.
The distance the ball flies in the air.
Jargon that refers to a shot with backspin that stops once it lands.
A flared out elbow.
A short, lofted, precise shot near the green.
To play poorly. Usually in high pressure situations.
Gripping the club’s handle lower than normal. May also be referred to as Choke Up.
A shot where you hit the ground behind the ball. Usually making a large diviot and not advancing the ball very far. (see Fat Shot)
If right handed, the toe of the club face is pointed left of the target line at address. Reverse if left handed.
If right handed, addressing the ball so you toe line points to the right of the target line. Reverse if left handed.
Area of a golf club when contact with the ball is made.
A terms that relates to the amount of turn in your shoulders and hips while in the process of swinging the golf club, usually the back swing.
Refers to the top portion of the head of a driver, fairway wood, or hybrid golf club.
Right handed: shot moves left to right sharply. Left handed: shot mover right to left sharply.
Dance Floor (Dancin’)
The green, or when your ball is on the green.
The depressions on a golf ball.
A chunk of grass taken by the club during a shot, can also refer to the resulting void.
A hole where the fairway bends to the left or right.
The motion of a swinging club from the top of the swing plane down to the point of impact with the ball.
To make a putt, slang.
For right handed players, a shot that starts strait, or slightly right and gently arcs to the left. Revers for lefts handed players.
For right handed players, a shot that starts strait and violently curves to the left of the target line. Reverse for left handed players.
Jargon that refers to a shot where the club hits the ground first and then tops the ball making it bounce a few times and not advance very far.
An unskilled golfer, negative connotation.
Green that sits above you and you ball’s position.
A gentle, intentional slice.
When your club head hits the ground before the ball and results in poor advancement. (see Chunk).
Section of “rough”, or higher grass that boarders the fairway or fringe.
Movable marker that shows the location of the hole on the green.
A swing where the plane is below that of your shoulders.
Refers to the measurement of how much a club shaft will bend during a swing. Most fall under, “stiff”, “regular”, “senior or M”, and “ladies”. Flex is relative to swing speed.
A specialized shot played with a very open stance and open clubface, designed to “pop” the ball up high in the air and land softly on the geeen.
A poorly hit shot, usually when the club hits the ground before the ball.
Lie where the ball is sitting high in the grass. Typically in the rough or tall grass. Sometimes used to describe a ball’s lie in a sand hazard.
Refers to the portion of the swing right after impact with the ball.
Degree to which you bend toward the ball from your hips at address.
Action of moving your hands toward the target when you club is at rest behind the ball at address.
Situation where a ball has “plugged” in a sand hazard where the majority of the ball is below the sand’s surface. Give the appearance of a fried egg, slang.
The grass that boarders a green, usually surrounding it. The length is usually a medium between the green and the fairway.
A utility wedge that has a loft between that of a sand wedge (SW) and a pitching wedge (PW).
The direction the blades of grass a growing, or have been “rolled” on a green.
The manner or act of how you place your hand on the club handle. It may also refer to the actual area on the club shaft itself, as well as the material on that area.
The pressure with which you hold the club, light, strong, etc.
The lines cut into the club face. They are intended to impart spin on the ball at impact. Maximum allowable width in .035 inches.
Describes a player of lesser ability, slang. Carried negative connotations.
Obstruction on a golf course. They can be “playable” as well as “unplayable”, and include (but not limited to) bunkers, lakes, ponds, fences, and wooded areas.
Part of club head closest to hosel.
Refers to a ball on the green that is even with the hole’s distance, but off to either side.
For right handed players, a shot that starts strait and dramatically curves to the left of the target line. Reverse for left handed players.
Area of the club head where the shaft enters.
Style of grip where your left little finger intertwines with your right forefinger. Reverse for left handed players.
Term that refers to a type of shot that is intentionally kept at a low trajectory.
Describes a very long distance putt, or a long putt that is intended to get “hole high” for a short following putt.
The angle on which the ball comes off the club face at impact.
The bottom portion of the club head closets to the ball at address.
The angle formed between the club shaft and the ground at address. Most often used when custom fitting clubs and measured in degrees.
A putt that hit the edge of the hole but does not go in. Most commonly follows the edge around and continues to roll away from the hole.
A very high, soft shot, generally played around the green with a high lofted wedge. Usually preformed with an open face and stance.
The highest lofted club in your bag, usually 58 degrees or more. Most typically used for lob shots, flop shots, and in sand hazards.
The angle of the club face, usually measured in degrees.
1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 irons. Irons with the least amount of loft.
6,7, & 8 irons.
Moment of Inertia (MOI)
Property of physics that indicates the relative difference in how easy or difficult it will be to set any object in motion about a defined axis of rotation. In terms of a golf club, the MOI of the club is important to matching the swing feel of all the clubs in the bag. Clubfitting theory states that if all clubs in a set are made to have the same, identical MOI, the golfer will be more consistent because each club will require the same effort to swing.
Distance from the front of the hosel to the leading edge of the club. The more the offset the easier it is to square the face at impact.
When the toe of your club face points to the right of the target or target line. Reverse for left handed players.
Usually coupled with and openfaced shot, you address the target so your toe line points left of the target. Reverse for left handed players.
Describes the type of grip where your right little finger rests in the groove between your left fore and middle fingers. Reverse for left handed players.
Swinging the club past parallel at the top of your backswing.
To hit the ball cleanly at impact. Club does not hit the ground or take a divot. Sometimes said as “picked clean”.
Another term for the flagstick.
Same as “Hole High”, slang.
The rotation of your body during the swing.
Same as “Burried Lie”. Sometimes just referred to as “plugged”.
High, short shot hit with a wood or hybrid club. Unintentional in nature.
A strait shot that is unintentionally hit left of the target line. Reverse for left handed players.
A strait shot that is unintentionally hit left of the target line and then dramatically curves to the left even further. Reverse for left handed players.
A strait shot that is unintentionally hit left of the target line and then dramatically curves to the right. Reverse for left handed players.
Shot played low intentionally to avoid wind, low hanging tress, etc.
Shot played low intentionally, usually when in trees or a hazard, to get the ball back in play.
Shout that is hit strait but right of the target line. Reverse for left handed players.
A strait shot that is unintentionally hit to the right of the target line and then dramatically curves to the left. Reverse for left handed players.
A strait shot that is unintentionally hit to the right of the target line and then dramatically curves to the right even further. Reverse for left handed players.
Reading the Green
Process of determining the path the ball will take to the hole while putting, taking such things into consideration as the contours and textures of the putting surface.
Point during the downswing where you unhinge your wrists.
Refers to a situation when your ball’s position is “unplayable” and you are granted permission to move it in accordance with the rules. May or may not carry a 1 stroke penalty.
Grass that boarders the fairways and green thats generally much higher and thicker than that of the fairway.
Making a shot out of a green-side sand hazard and making the ensuing putt, slang.
A wedge that is typically high in loft and bounce that is used primarily to get out of green-side sand hazards.
Refers to a situation where you hit too much under the ball causing it to pop up.
Short irons and wedges. Along with your putter, sometimes called your “money clubs”.
Apart from being the most dreaded phenomena in golf, it is officially defined as: A shot struck upon the hosel portion of the club head, causing the ball to fly dramatically to the right. Reverse for left handed players.
Part of the game that involves pitching and chipping. Some include putting as well.
9, PW, AW, SW, i.e. pitching irons.
A lie where the ball is either above or below your feet at address.
This type of shot occurs when you hit the top portion of the ball causing it to advance low to the ground.
Shot that starts either strait or slightly left of the target line and then curves dramatically to the right. Reverse for left handed players.
Bottom of the club head or a shoe.
The degree of your spine. Depends on context, but normally used when speaking of a person’s address.
The clubface is pointed directly at the target at address or at impact.
Position of your feet at address.
Area dead center of any clubface.
Radius of your swing measured from your hands to the clubhead. A wider swing is associated with more speed.
The start of your backswing.
Very short putt. Sometimes called “a gimi”.
A narrow fairway, or a fairway that requires a precise shot.
A lie on very short fairway grass or hard packed sand.
Area of the clubhead farthest away from the hosel. A ball struck in that area is said to be “toed”.
A shot where only the top of the ball is struck, causing it to bounce ahead, usually not very far.
Portion of the clubhead sole farthest from the leading edge.
The flight path of the ball.
Trapping or to Trap
Correctly pinching the ball against the turf at impact with an iron. Ball first, turf second.
A ball hit to a position which does not allow for a shot to be taken from said position. Usually requires “relief” that may or may not carry a 1 stroke penalty.
Up and Down
Phrase that refers to a situation where you are off the green and only need one shot and one putt to finish the hole.
A poor shot that does not get airborne and typically skips forward.
A condition, mental or physical, where a golfer misses an easy putt. Said miss is “yipped”.