Funny Golf Dictionary -
Golf Dictionary - What
golf terms really mean
A golfer who falsely posts high scores
in order to inflate his handicap, thereby
making him more difficult to defeat in matches.
This is serious cheating. Also known as
When you escape from a bunker to make
birdie or par, you've made a sandy. One
of many junk bets golfers make during a
Sand Trap - A deep depression
filled with sand filled with golfers in
a deep depression.
Sand Wedge - an iron normally
used to hit the ball out of the sand. It
can also be used on short pitch shots.
A betting game in which all the members
of a group play against each other for a
predetermined amount on each hole. Ties
carry over to the next hole.
- a player who has a handicap of 0. This
player will theoretically shoot even par
or better every time out.
Sh** bad word
is a very bad word in golf. A shank is a
shot that flies ninety degrees to the right
after the ball has been struck with the
club's hosel. So devastating is this affliction
that if you get the shanks, the best thing
to do is leave the course immediately and
seek professional help— from your bartender.
Game - the part of the game made up
of chipping, putting and other shots
around the green.
Start - a method of starting play
where players go to every tee box on the
golf course and hit their tee shots at
the same time. Sometimes a horn is
sounded to start play.
- Onomatopoetic Scottish word for a flubbed
shot in which the ground is contacted before
the ball is hit. The game's Celtic inventors
had plenty of time to develop a rich vocabulary
for golfing mishaps, such as a ball topped
lightly into the water (firkel), a ball
hit a short distance through dense grass
(glef f ), straight into the air (pooth),
into the woods (slessgrack), into rocks
(lofonnock) and into other players (yebastard).
- The total number of strokes needed to
complete 18 holes or three times the caddy's
tip, whichever is closest to 75.
- A piece of paper on which a player's opening
offer is written prior to the commencement
of serious negotiations.
A golfer who plays somewhat erratically
but manages to salvage good scores from
inconsistent play. A scramble refers to
a golf competition in which each of four
players on a team hits a tee shot and picks
a best ball, then plays a second shot from
that spot. The team continues to pick a
best ball and play from that spot until
a shot is holed.
it around To play spotty or inconsistent
golf but still manage to post a good score.
Great pros like Jack Nicklaus stay in tournament
contention by scraping it around on days
when they don't have their A Game.
Term to describe a golfer who has a
zero handicap; that is, he is starting from
scratch. Dream on.
Player - A player with a handicap of
zero; a par golfer; a rat; a louse; a stinker.
A lousy shot that results from hitting
the ground before hitting the ball. (See
also fat, hit it.}
- A golfer who attributes poor play to the
fact that he or she lacks the physique of
a younger player. See Junior.
Clubs - A collection of no more than
14 golf clubs, usually consisting of three
or four woods, nine or ten irons, and a
putter. The chief distinction among the
types of clubs is that the woods make a
sound like "speck" or "frop" when the ball
is improperly hit, whereas the irons emit
a sharp "jink," "fank" or "whenng" and the
putter produces a soft "tilk."
up What you do when you improve your
lie in the fairway. Also what you ask the
bartender to do after you've taken money
from your archrival. (See also roll it.)
- To retrieve golf balls. Golf is full of
odd terms and expressions. After hitting
a 5-iron shot right onto the green, for
example, you might answer an opponent's
question about what club you used by saying,
"The stick I used was a 7iron"; when citing
a nonexistent rule to improve your lie,
you might say, "I'm claiming relief from
this lie under the rule covering tassleclots";
and after scoring a 6 on a hole, the right
way to report your tally is to say, "I carded
Any container used by a golfer to hold
- The most dramatic and unsettling form
of misplayed shot, in which, as the club
shaft vibrates violently, the ball flies
off to the right at nearly a 90° angle,
embarrassing the golfer and endangering
his or her fellow players. Duffers who consistently
shank their balls are urged to buy and study
Shanks-No Thanks by R. K. Hoffman or, in
extreme cases, M. S. Howard's excellent
Tennis for Beginners.
it To curve a shot intentionally to
fit the hole. Corey Pavin is the absolute
best at this.
the lights out Hitting all the shots
and making low scores.
Game - The short shots played around
the green (chips, putts, pitches and sand
trap blasts) and the cheap shots taken between
the green and the next tee (quips, digs,
cracks, slams and jests).
grass Where you are when you hit the
fairway with your drive.
hole Term used to describe any par three.
stick The putter, so named because it's
the shortest club in the bag. You can make
up for a lot of bad work with other sticks
if you can handle the short stick.
start Some tournaments station players
on each tee to start a round so that they
can all finish at roughly the same time.
This is called a shotgun start because the
beginning of play was once signaled by
a shotgun blast. Now they use a horn to
signal the beginning of play—it's a lot
Each nine holes—front and back. Also
each team in a competition.
Sidehill Lie - this refers to a lie
when the ball is resting on a slope and
the golfer's feet are either above or
below the ball.
Term for a ball sitting atop the grass
in the rough. Pray for a sitter when you
see your tee shot heading for trouble.
- Term used to address a guy when
his drive doesn't make it past the
- To hit the upper part of the ball, causing
a fast, low driving shot. You might try
hitting slightly more under the ball with
a sweeping movement of the arms.
- To hit too far under the ball, causing
a high, ballooning shot. You might try using
your hands to open up the clubface a bit.
To hit the ball into the hole with great
force. This usually happens when a putt
or chip that is moving much faster than
the ideal speed slams into the back of the
cup, pops into the air, and falls into the
- To hit the ball with too open a clubface.
You might try closing it up a little.
A shot that curves to the right. The
most common fault of amateur golfers, generally
caused by an open club face at impact.
Term used to describe fast greens.
A putt that breaks slightly and subtly
in either direction. Also a low, hard left-to-right
shot. Fred Couples hits lots of sliders
off the tee.
Rating - USGA term that represents
the difficulty of a course for bogey
golfers relative to the USGA Course
Rating (which represents the difficulty
for scratch golfers). The higher the
slope, the more difficult the course
plays for bogey golfers. Slope ratings
range from 55 to 155 and 113 is
Balls that are skulled or otherwise
mishit often wind up with a cut on their
surface that resembles a smile, though you
won't be smiling as you reach into your
bag for another ball.
Term for a ball that is hit hard and
Smothered - you have just hit a low
flying ball, that has disappeared into
- To hit the ball with too closed a clubface.
You might try opening it back up and hitting
more on the upper part of the ball.
hook A hook that flies left and low
to the ground, though only for a short distance;
it is struck with a severely closed club
A long putt that breaks in more than
one direction. One of the most famous snakes
ever holed was a sixty-footer by Ben Crenshaw
on the tenth hole at Augusta National Golf
Club during the 1984 Masters Tournament.
See duck hook and rope hook.
See duck hook, rope hook, and snap hook,
all names for the same crummy shot.
A score of eight for a hole, so named
because the digit resembles a snowman. Also
called lots of unprintable names. (See also
- To hit someone under the chin or on the
lower part of the face with a closed hand
driven by a fast, upward-sweeping movement
of the arm.
- Professional golfers and other accomplished
players can apply a variety of spins to
the ball to make it curve around obstacles,
turn into the wind or stop dead where it
lands. These shots take skill and practice,
but most beginners have a bag of tricks,
too! For example, even the rankest of amateurs
can amaze their playing companions and themselves
by making a ball run right across the centre
of the hole without going in, rise straight
up into the air, execute unbelievably sharp
left or right turns,
travel sideways or even backwards,
or disappear entirely.
The roughest of the rough. When you
were a kid, you hated spinach for the taste.
Now, as a mature, open-minded adult golfer,
you hate spinach because you can't play
a decent shot out of the stuff. (See also
Term that means your shot pattern is
all over the place and your misses are about
as predictable as the weather.
it To knock the ball really close to
the hole (stake). (See also leaner.)
- The proper positioning of the feet for
the golf stroke may seem a fairly complex
matter, but there are really only a few
basics to master: just remember to put the
Club Head behind the ball with your left
hand on the grip (some say the right hand),
then step forward with your right foot (some
say the left foot), bring up your left foot
(or right) and grasp the grip with your
right hand (or left). Now line up the ball
with your left heel, your left toe, the
inside of your left foot, or between your
feet, with the left foot slightly forward,
the right foot slightly forward, or both
feet parallel. That's all there is to it!
on it What you do when you swing your
hardest, to get maximum distance out of
Starter - this is the person who is
responsible for sending the groups of
players off the first tee. Usually the
starter is located somewhere close to
the first hole.
Short for flagstick Also, a shot that
hits and stops quickly is said to stick
to the green.
Your clubs. When your tee shot lands
near the hole, your competitor might ask,
"What stick did you use?" Then you hold
up five fingers to identify the three iron
you just hit.
Term used to describe a ball hit very
close to the hole. Also, when a club shaft
has very little bend, it is a stiff shaft.
And when you don't tip your caddie after
the round, you stiff him.
- this is a device which is used to
calibrate the speed of the greens. Often
referred to as 'stimp'. A reading of 5
to 11 is the normal range with 5 being
slow and 11 being extremely (PGA) fast!
When a golfer knocks the ball to within
Gimme range, it is stone dead, or stoney.
bleeding Finally to make a par or birdie
after several less than stellar holes.
Jacket - Confining garment that some
golfers have found to be necessary after
long periods spent attempting to master
it To hit a good tee shot.
- Any forward movement of the club that
is made with the intention of hitting and
moving the ball and is observed by another
- A ball whose path to the hole is blocked
by another ball is said to be "stymied,"
and under current rules the impeding ball
is marked and moved. At one time, such shots
had to be played by making the ball hop
over or curve around the impediment, but
a notorious, deliberately laid stymie during
extra holes of the 1951 English Amateur
Championship led to a modification of the
rule, first in Britain
and then, a little later, in the
U.S. Other important rule changes and the
circumstances under which they were made:
Death - Term for the situation that
exists when a match is tied at the end of
18 holes and the player who feels the least
amount of confidence about beating the opposition
in extra-holes play suddenly remembers the
death, earlier in the day, of a beloved
A ball that hits the green and then
reverses direction due to backspin is said
to have sucked back. As far as amateur golfers
are concerned, this phrase is useful only
as a spectator, since amateurs rarely generate
enough back-spin to get a ball to suck back.
pin A pin that is cut so close to a
hazard that only a sucker would fire right
Rules - ordinary rules according to
Spot - the center point of the face
of the club. When you hit it here it
feels really good!
- A full golf swing consists of the Backswing
that carries the Club Head up to the top
swing point, the downswing that brings the
Club Head to the point of impact, and the
follow through. If the ball dribbles a few
feet forward or hooks or slices violently
into the woods or rough, the follow-through
can be extended into the foresling-a graceful,
lateral motion that sends the club spiraling
into the underbrush. Alternatively, the
follow-through may be stopped and the club
brought up sharply in a vertical arc until
the Club Head is behind the back, pointing
at the ground, then swept smoothly up into
the more classic topfling, which combines
the power and accuracy necessary to send
even the heaviest club into a distant water
doctor A teaching professional. Consult
with caution; often the cure is worse than
Swallow - A
sand shot that goes directly into the
hole, no putt required.