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Golf Glossary A-C

Glossary A-C | Glossary D-H | Glossary I-R | Glossary S-Z 


Above the Hole - Above the hole describes the position of a golf ball in relation to the cup, or hole, once the ball is on the green. It will also mean that you will be putting downhill towards the hole.

Ace - Alternative word for a Hole-in-One.usually occur on par 3's but they have been know to happen on short par 4's.

Address - The position a golfer takes as he or she stands over the ball, ready to hit.

Albatross - A term for a double eagle, or 3-under par on any one hole.

Alignment - "Alignment" refers to the way a golfer positions himself relative to the golf ball - feet, knees, hips and shoulders should all be lined up square (parallel) to the target line

All Square - In match play competition, "all square" means the match is tied.

Amateur - "Amateur status" is what is held by any golfer who is still an amateur, and what is given up when an amateur golfer turns professional.

A golfer who has amateur status is one who has never accepted money in exchange for golf; e.g., has never accepted prize money for tournament play; has never been paid to endorse a product; has never accepted appearance fees, and so on.

Amen Corner - The nickname of holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National Golf Club, site of The Masters.

Approach - Your shot into the green usually named from the fairway.

Apron - The closely mowed area around a putting green, between the putting surface and any rough that might also surround the green. May also be know as 'Fringe' or 'Collar'


Back Nine - In most usages, the final nine holes of an 18-hole golf course.

Back Spin - The backward rotation of the golf ball in flight. backspin is what causes shots to "back up" on the green, or roll backwards after hitting the green

Back Swing - he backswing is the movement of the golf club rearward, away from the ball, and then up and around the body, until the golfer reaches the point where he/she transitions the movement of the club forward again (the downswing)

Back Tees - The most rearward set of tees on a golf course; the tees from which the golf course plays the longest. Often called Championship Tees.

Ball Marker - A small, flat object used to mark the position of a golf ball when the ball is lifted on the putting green.

Ball Retriver - A utensil most commonly carried, naturally, by players who hit a lot of balls into the water.

Bandit - A golfer playing well under their alloted handicap and most likely winning an event in the process.

Below the Hole - Opposite to above the hole, you will generally be putting uphill towards the hole.

Birdie - A score on an individual hole that is one stroke below par.

Blades - blades are a type of iron that has a full, smooth back (as opposed to a cavity back) and a thin topline.Blades are usually forged and many better players prefer them because they believe blades allow them to more easily work the ball and feel softer at impact.

Bogey - A score on an individual hole that is one stroke above par.

Bounce - Measurement in degrees of the angle from the front edge of a club's sole to the point that actually rests on the ground at address.

Break - Can refer to the amount the path of the putted ball curves, or to the amount the green itself curves or slopes. It's the slope of the green - the contours of the green - that causes the ball to deviate from a straight line, so the two usages of the term are close to identical.

Buggy - Golf buggy" is a term used that refers to the device used to transport a golfer's bag of clubs around the course.

Bump and Run - A Shot played close to the green with a lower-lofted club relative to a wedge (an 8-, 7- or 6-iron, for example), and with very little airtime for the ball. With a bump and run shot, the ball is typically played from the back of the stance, producing a very shallow trajectory, with the ball mostly scooting along the ground and running up to the green.

Bunker - A hazard that is a hole or depression that has been filled in with sand. You cannot ground you club in a bunker. Also known as Trap or Sand Trap

Burn - Simply a creek or similar water feature on a golf course. "Burn" is the term used in Scotland for such small streams.


Caddie - A person whose job it is to carry the golf bag of a player. Caddies for pro players assist with club selection and strategy.

Cart Path - The "cart path" is the designated route around a golf course that golf cars are expected to follow.

Casual Water - A temporary accumulation of water on the golf course. In other words, a lake is not casual water, but a puddle of rainwater (that will disappear once the sun comes out) is.

Championship Course - 18 holes came to be termed the "championship course" because it was the one used to host championships.

Chip Shot - A shot typically played from very close to the green, usually within a few yards of the putting surface, in which the ball is struck using a club (usually 6-iron to PW) played back in the player's stance. Such a combination produces a shot that is in the air very briefly before settling to the putting surface and rolling toward the cup.

Chip In - A "chip-in" is a chip shot that drops into the hole.

Claret Jug - "Claret Jug," is the trophy awarded to the winner of the British Open.

Closed face - Refers to the position of the clubface relative to the target line at impact (the moment the clubface strikes the ball).

The ideal is to get the clubface to the ball square at impact. Picture a line extending straight forward from the ball on the target line. Now picture a line extending along and out from the clubface (from the heel to the toe and out). If the club is square at impact, those two lines will be perpendicular, forming a right angle.

A closed face is one of the common causes of the hook and the pull.

Club Face - The "clubface" is the striking surface of a golf club, that part of the club designed to strike the golf ball at impact.

Club Head - The clubhead is the part of the golf club attached to the end of the shaft.

Club House - The main building at a golf course where golfers will first head when arriving at a golf course.

Compression - A term applied to golf balls, compression is a rating of how dense a ball is. Another way of putting it: it's a rating of the softness or hardness of the ball.

Contoured Greens - Simply enough, "contoured greens" are putting greens that have a lot of contour, or undulation, in their surface. Because of those contours in their surface, contoured greens are ones on which a golfer should expect to find a lot of breaking, as opposed to straight, putts.

Course Management - refers to the golfers' decision-making during a round of golf. What are the strategies and tactics employed by the golfer?

Cup - In everyday usage, "cup" is simply another name for the hole on the putting green - the place where every golfer is trying to put his or her golf ball.

In more specific usage, "cup" is the liner-slash-receptacle that is sunk down into the hole on the putting green, usually made of a white plastic. The cup cradles your ball after it finds the hole, and is fitted to keep the flagstick upright.

Cut - "Cut" has several meanings in golf:

1. The "cut" in a tournament is the elimination of, typically, the lower half of a stroke-play field at the midpoint of the tournament. 

2. A "cut" is a type of golf shot in which the player induces a fade; a right-handed golfer makes the ball curve left-to-right in flight, while a left-hander creates a right-to-left ball flight.

3. "Cut" can also refer to the positioning of the cup on the green. For example, "the hole is cut on the front-left portion of the green.


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