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Golf Glossary D-H

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


Divot - Most shots from the fairway with an iron will scrape off the top of the turf where the ball was resting. "Divot" refers to both the turf that is scraped up, and the scarred area in the fairway where the turf had been.

Dogleg - This term refers to the direction of an individual golf hole. Many holes are straightaway from the tee box to the green. However, some holes bend, usually near the middle, in one direction or the other. A hole that bends is called a dogleg.

Dormie - A match-play match is said to be "dormie" when one of the players achieves a lead that matches the holes remaining (i.e., 3 holes up with 3 holes to play), thus assuring at least a halve.

Double Bogey - A score on an individual hole of two strokes more than par.

Downswing - The "Downswing" is the term for that part of the golf swing that occurs between the end of the backswing and the impact with the golf ball.

The downswing portion of the swing is easy to picture if you focus on the "down" part. In the backswing, the player is raising his hands and the club in an arcing, upward motion. That motion reaches the top, the club momentarily stops, and the player transitions into moving the club down toward the ball. That's the downswing.

Draw - A flight path of the ball in which the ball curves gently right-to-left for a right-handed player, or left-to-right for a left-handed player.

Drive - The "drive" in golf is what starts any par-4 or par-5 hole. "Drive" refers to the first stroke played from the tee.

Driver - The driver is one of the standard golf clubs carried by most golfers. Among all standard clubs made for golfers, the driver is designed to hit the ball the furthest.

Driving Range - A golf practice facility that is included at most golf courses; driving ranges also commonly operate as standalone businesses away from golf courses. Typically a driving range will consist of a large, open field with teeing ground at one end. Golfers line up side-by-side pounding golf balls out into the field.

Duck Hook - "Duck hook" is another term for a snap hook, a particularly severe form of a hook.

With a duck hook, the golf ball immediately begins curving hard from right to left (for a right-handed golfer) and "ducks," or dips, to the ground, running off to the golfer's hook side.


Eagle - A score of two strokes below par on any individual hole.

Elevated Green - An elevated green is one that is elevated or higher than its surrounding area. This often means that the sides of the green slope upward to a putting surface that is higher than its surrounds. The term "elevated green" also applies to a green that is higher than the elevation of its fairway; or, on a par-3, a green that is higher than the teeing ground.

Even Par - A score that matches par for a hole or for a round.


Fade - "Fade" describes a trajectory or ball flight in which the golf ball comes off the clubface moving to the left of the target before curving gently back to the right (for a right-handed golfer; reverse directions for a left-hander).

Fairway - The fairway is the closely mown area that usually runs in between the tee box and green of a golf hole, and is the target for golfers on all holes other than par-3's.

Fat Shot - A shot in which the golfer's club hits the ground before making contact with the ball. This usually results in digging up a lot of turf and a shot that travels far shorter than desired.

Finishing Hole - The last hole a golfer players during a round of golf.

First Cut - The "first cut" refers to the grass that is immediately alongside the closely mown fairway. The first cut (or "first cut of rough") is grown higher than the fairway grass, but not as high as the primary rough.

FlagStick - A flagstick is exactly that: a stick with a flag on it. You see them on putting greens to mark the location of the hole.

Front Nine - 'The Front Nine' is the first nine holes played by the golfer, wether it be holes 1-9 or 10-18 etc....


Glove - Golf glove is what you wear on one hand left for right handers opposite for left, for more comfort and grip with holding the club.

Gimmie - A putt that one player requests be conceded by another player, allowing the first player to pick up and move on as if the putt had been holed.

Green - The culmination of a golf hole, where the flagstick and cup are located and where a golfer will "putt out" to end the hole.

Green Fee - The amount of money a club charges to play the golf course. The green fee often varies depending on time of week, time of day and status of the golfer. Weekend rounds usually cost more than weekday rounds.

Greens In Regulation - A statistical category on the pro tours and a popular method for amateurs and recreational players to rate their rounds.

To achieve a green in regulation, your ball must be on the putting surface in the expected number of strokes in relation to par. The par for a hole always includes two putts, so to achieve a GIR on a par-3, you must reach the green with your first shot (on the green in one, two putts for par). On a par-4, you must reach in two shots (on the green in two, two putts for par). On a par-5, you must reach in three shots.

Gross - "Gross," or "gross score," refers to the total number of strokes taken during your round of golf, plus any penalty strokes. In other words, your total score without adjustments.

Greens Under Repair - Exactly what its name implies: ground that is being repaired by the course superintendent or maintenance crew.

Ground under repair should be designated as such by the course, either by staking, roping or otherwise marking the area affected. Relief is given to any golfer whose ball comes to rest in the area or touching it.


Hacker - A very bad player.

Halve/Halved - "Halved" is a match play term that means a hole or match was tied. In match play, the goal is to win individual holes, and to win the match by winning the most holes. When a hole is tied - both players in the match score 4s - it said to be "halved," and the players are said to have achieved a "halve."

Handicap - "Handicap" refers to a numerical representation of a golfer's playing ability. The lower a golfer's handicap, the better the golfer is. A 2 handicapper is better than a 10 handicapper who is better than a 20 handicapper.

Handicaps are meant to represent a golfer's potential rather than simply be an average of a golfer's scores. For example, someone who averages 20-over-par likely won't have a handicap of 20; his handicap will likely be several strokes lower than 20 because of the way handicaps are calculated.


Hole Out - To go out of turn and to'Hole out' is if a player's ball is close to the hole and he/she goes again before another player to get the ball out of play.

Hook - "Hook" describes a trajectory or ball flight in which the golf ball starts out to the right (for a right-handed golfer) before curving severely back to the left and missing its target to the left. (Reverse those directions for left-handed golfers.) A hook is the opposite of the slice.





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