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Golf jargon guide
Around the Academy:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


SKILLS ::
Golf skills


RULES ::
Golf rules

OTHER JARGON GUIDES ::

Find out what all the chat means



 
A

Address
The way you set the club at the ball immediately before you strike it

Approach shot
A shot played to the green


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B

Back nine
The second nine holes of a golf course

Backswing
The movement of the club away from the ball

Backspin
All properly-struck golf balls rotate away from the target when struck, making them spin backwards when hitting the ground. Some clubs and swings can exaggerate this movement

Bandits/golf banditry
Amateurs who keep their handicaps high in order to win a match

Bump and run
Where the ball is made to land short of the green such that it will bounce or roll up onto the green

Bogey
One stroke taken over the par for the hole

Birdie
One stroke taken under the par for the hole

Break (or borrow)
The way the slope of the ground will effect a putt


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C

Caddie/Caddy
Person who carries a player's bag

Challenge Tour
Stepping stone for the European Tour

Chip
A short shot with a short swing normally played to the green with a lofted club. The hands do not pass hip height and the wrists hinge very little

Cup
The hole on the green into which the ball is putted

Cut
A cut (shot) is a shot with a lot of backspin causing it to stop quicker on impact.


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D

Distance marker
Posts along the fairway or coloured discs on the fairway or other markers indicating 150 or 100 yards (or meters) from the green or from the front of the green

Driving range
Practice range

Divot
A chunk of turf displaced when playing a shot

Draw
Moving the ball from right to left through the air

Driver
One wood, the longest club in the bag, used for hitting from the tee


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E


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F

Fade
Moving the ball from left to right through the air

Fat
As in catching the ball fat i.e. taking too much turf before hitting the ball

Flag
Marks the position of the cup on the green

Fluffing the ball
Moving the ball only a few inches when attempting a shot

Front nine
The first half of a round of golf: the second half is the back nine


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G

Grand slam
The word is loosely borrowed from bridge. The general meaning of the term is winning a series of events in the same season. In golf, it means winning the four majors (the four major golf tournaments, i.e. The Open, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the U.S. PGA

Graphite
Material used in golf clubs

Green in regulation
How many greens do you hit in regulation? Reaching the green in two shots less than par


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H

Hacker
An inexperienced player, a poor player

Handicap
A calculated number that indicates your level of play. Most people who play golf do not bother to maintain a handicap

Hazard
Permanent features on the golf course designed to obstruct play, such as bunkers and water

Halfway cut
After the first two days of a tournament, players who are a too many shots (usually about ten) behind the leader are elminated form the field. The rest go on to play the final two days.


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I

Iron
Those clubs other than woods or the putter. Irons have different lofts and lengths with the 9 iron hitting it shorter and higher than a 6 iron for example


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J


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K


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L

Loft
Amount the clubface is angled away from 90 degrees. The more lofted it is, the higher the ball will go


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M

Magic Move
The word teaching guru Harvey Penick used for the transition from the top of the backswing into the start of the downswing. It needs to be pretty smooth. You need to shift your weight to the left, clear your left side out of the way

Matchplay
A competition where each hole is won, lost or halved. The winner is the player who wins the most holes. A winning score of 3 and 2 means that the winner won by 3 holes with 2 left to play. The highest score possible is 10 and 8

Major
One of the four main tournaments in the golfing calendar - The Open, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the U.S. PGA

Moving day
The third day of a four-day tournament. The players try to move to a top-10 position

Mulligan
Being given a mulligan means being allowed to play again after a rubbish shot without counting the first one


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N


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O

Open clubface
Rotate the club slightly so the face points more skywards, then place your hands on the grip as normal


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P

Par
The number of strokes which a first class player should normally take to sink the ball on a hole or course

Pin
The pole in the centre of the green with the flag attached that marks the position of the cup or hole

Pitch
A short shot with a fullish swing normally played to the green with a lofted club

Pitchmark
Indentation left by the ball on the green after it has landed

Putter
Club designed for use on the green


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Q

Qualifying school/Q School
Tournament where you can win your PGA or European Tour card

Quitting
Decelerating the clubhead at impact - the root of many swing problems


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R


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S

Shut clubface
Rotate the club slightly so the face points more towards the ground, then place your hands on the grip as normal

Stance
The position of your feet in relation to the rest of your body

Stableford
Point scoring competition. One point for a bogey, two points for a par, three for a birdie, four for an eagle and five for an albatross

Sweetspot
Sweet spot/area: The "effective hitting area" - anything but the toe or heel of a club. When you hit the ball on the sweet spot, the impact feels pure or sweet.


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T

Tee
A small peg stuck into the ground on which a golf ball is placed. Also area where golfers play first stroke of any given hole

Teebox
A box that marks where a player should tee off from. Usually labelled with number of whole, yardage and the par

Thinning the ball
Hitting the ball with the leading edge rather than the face

Topping the ball
Hitting the top half of the ball rather than the bottom, resulting in it scuffing along the turf in a very unsatisfactory manner


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U


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V


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W

Wedge
A metal club with an extremely lofted club head used for pitching

Wood
Clubs used for long range shots. Traditionally made with a wooden head, they are now mostly made with metal alloy heads


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X


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Y

Yips
He has the yips. A well-known putting problem. The inability to sink putts because of a nervous twitch or jerk


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Z



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