Golf Terms

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Golf Terms

Golf seems to have its own language. In order to play and keep score you'll need to know what these terms mean.


Ace + A hole in one.

Address + The position of your body in relation to the ball when making a shot.

Away + The word used to describe the ball furthest from the hole. This is the first ball played on the green.


Backswing + The part of the swing where the club moves away from the ball.

Ball Marker + A small, flat object used to mark the place where the ball lies.

Birdie + Score of one under par on a hole.

Bogey + A score of one stroke over par on a hole.

Bunker + A hazard filled with sand + also called a sand trap.


Caddie + The person who carries your clubs for a round of golf. They are used only at major country clubs or resorts.

Carry + The distance the ball travels on your hit.

Chip + A very short shot to the green.

Cleat + Spikes on the bottom of golf shoes.

Course Rating + The difficulty of a course as designated by the USGA.

Cup + The container in the green that holds the flag and ultimately the ball.


Deuce + A score of 2 for the hole.

Divot + The turf displaced when a shot is made.

Double Bogey + A score of 2 over par for a hole.

Double Eagle + A score of 3 under par for the hole.

Draw + A golf shot that curves from left to right.

Drive + The shot from off the tee + usually the first hit of the hole.

Driving Range + A place to practice golf shots.

Duffer + A bad golf player.


Eagle + A score of 2 under par for a hole.


Fade + A golf shot that gently curves from left to right.

Fairway + The mowed grass area leading from the tee to the green.

Flagstick + The flag in the cup of each green. It is removed when players rach the green.

Front Nine + The first 9 holes of the 18 hole course. The last 9 holes are called the Back Nine.


Green + The shortest grassy area where the hole is located. Putting is done on the green.

Greens Fee + The cost to play a round of golf.


Handicap + The number of strokes over par that a golfer is expected to score.

Hazard + Either water or sand on a hole.

Hole + The ultimate goal of golf. There are 18 holes on regulation courses.

Hook + A shot that curves severely from right to left.


Irons + The metal faced golf clubs.


Lie + Where your ball is on the ground.


Misclub + To use the wrong club for the shot.


One-putt + To take only one putt on the green.

Out-of-bounds + The area outside the play area of the course.


Par + The expected score for a hole.

Pitch + A short, high shot used on approach to the green.

Play Through + To go ahead of the group in front when invited to do so. This happens when one group is slower than the one behind.

Putter + A straight-faced club used on greens.


Rough + The area of tall grass outside the fairway.


Scorecard + The card used to record the scores.

Short Game + The shots played near and on the green.

Slice + A golf shot that curves sharply from left to right.

Stance + The position of the feet for the swing.

Stroke + One hit (or attempt to hit) the ball.


Tee + The wooden peg used to hit the ball from for the first hole.

Triple Bogey + A score of three over par for the hole.


Woods + The golf clubs used to tee off with.