Friday, 1 November 2013

Golf Beginners Jargon - Birdie, Albatross & Eagles

This article is all about golf jargon and will help beginners to golf understand what on earth is going on. Like any sport, golf is no different, and has a language all of its own. Most of the words used go back many years to when golf first started. Below we will have a look at many of the slang words and idioms used in the world inhabited by golfers.

There are hundreds of these but in this list I have included the ones that are most popular and the ones you should become familiar with.

Slang or Jargon Used by Golfers

Ace - More commonly known as a hole in one. This is where a golfer hits the ball only once and it goes into the hole. Very few golfers ever achieve this no matter how much they play. I myself have yet to do this and the closest I have come was to leave the ball about 6 inches short of the hole. Normally the opportunity for a hole in one will come on a Par 3 and on the shorter Par 4 holes.

Here is a video below, showing you ten of the best "aces" ever shot on the PGA Tour.
Address - This is the way our stance is required when lining up the ball to strike. We are said to "address" the golf ball.

Air Shot - You really want to avoid these. This is where we try to hit the golf ball and miss it completely. Not only do you look like an idiot but it also counts as a shot.

Albatross - Again something very few people achieve in their career. This is where a golfer plays a hole in three strokes under par. For example taking only two shots on a Par 5 hole. You will not see this too often so I have included a video below.

Apron - This is the grass surface on the edge of the green that separates it from the fairway or rough. It will not be cut as smooth as the green but cut a bit shorter than the fairway grass.

Back Nine - This refers to the last 9 holes of the golf course. The first 9 holes are referred to as the front 9.

Bare Lie - This is where the ball lands on bare ground that has no grass. It means that the ball can be hard to control when striking as it is tough to get a good divot.

Birdie - This is when a hole is completed one stroke under par

Blind Shot - This is where a you can not see where the ball is going to land.

Bogey - This is where a hole is completed one stroke over par

Break - When putting a ball can roll either left or right of a straight line. This is known as the break.

Bump & Run - This is where a golfer will chose to play a low trajectory shot that runs on t the green. It is similar to chipping but usually from a distance that is farther away.

Bunker - Sand filled holes that are on the course and something you want to avoid.

Caddy - The person who carries the golfer's bag. These people require payment and are usually only used by professionals. Some courses however insist on golfers using a caddy and they can be expensive.

Carry - This is how far the ball travels through the air. You will often hear commentators say that the golfer has to carry 200 yards to get over the water.

Divot - This is the amount of grass removed when playing a shot

Dogleg - This describes the shape of a hole, where the fairway is straight and then turns left or right.

Double Bogey - This is a hole played two strokes over par. You will have a lot of these as a beginner golfer.

Duck Hook - A really bad low hook that hardly gets off the ground. It looks really ugly and is common among beginner golfers.

Duff - Beginners better get used to this term as it is a horrible shot. You do hit the ball but it barely moves.

Eagle - This is a hole played in two strokes less than par.

Flier - This is where the ball is found in the rough and it is likely that you will have to hit the grass before you get to the ball. This makes it difficult to control and stop as the ball tends to fly through the air with no back spin.

Fore - Amateurs and beginners use this word a lot. It is a warning shout you must call out if you think the ball you have just hit may hit another player or spectator.

Grounding the Club - This is where you place your club on the ground behind the ball before striking. You are not allowed to do this in a bunker or marked hazard.

Ground Under Repair (GUR) - This is a part of the course that is being repaired. You are allowed a free drop if your ball lands in an area like this.

Hacker - Someone who hacks their way around the course with little regard for others. This type of person is really not liked on a course.

Handicap - This is a number assigned to each player and helps provide equality among players. This number is subtracted from a golfer's gross score to leave them a net score. If you had a handicap of 20 that means that say the pa for a course was 72, then the number of shots for you to make par would be 92.

Hook - This is where a ball hooks violently. For a right handed golfer this would mean the ball swings wildly left.

Hybrid - A type of golf club that combines both the head of a wood and the shaft or an iron

Lie - This is simply how the ball is resting on the ground.

Mulligan - This is where you are allowed to play your shot again. This is only allowed in casual rounds and by mutual consent without a penalty. It means someone is being kind to you.

Out of Bounds - This is an area that has been designated as being outside of the course. You really want to avoid those at all costs. You get an instant one shot penalty and have to drop and play the ball from the original spot.

Par - The standard score to complete a hole

Pin - Another name for the flag on a green

Play Through - This is where permission is given by a slow group to allow the group behind to play through.

Plugged Lie - This is a lie where your ball can be plugged. It means that the ball is at least half buried and is also known as a "fried egg."

Shank - This is where the shank of the club hits the ball rather then the club face. It is a horrible shot and could go anywhere.

Slice - This is where the ball goes wide right and is the opposite of a hook.

Sweet Spot - This is the perfect place on the golf club to strike the ball.

Tap In - Sometimes called a "gimme" where a little tap is all that is needed to putt the ball into the hole.

As I said earlier, there are many other words and jargon used in golf. If you know these however you are well on your way to the wonderful words of golf.

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