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Golf Glossary I-R

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


Interlock - The Interlocking Grip literally locks the hands together by intertwining the little finger of the bottom hand (trailing hand) with the index finger of the top hand. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods both use the interlock, along with many LPGA players.



Kick - Another term for bounce, as in bouncing ball. Kick is usually used as a command shouted by the golfer at his golf ball in flight: "Kick left!" or "kick right!"


Lag - A long putt which, because of its length, the putter does not expect to make but hopes to get close to the cup, usually leaving it a bit short. A good lag putt positions the golfer to have a simple and easily makeable follow-up putt.

Lateral Water Hazard - The reason the rules differentiate a "lateral water hazard" from a "water hazard" is that in the case of a lateral water hazard, the option to drop behind the hazard does not exist. Because the lateral water hazard runs along the side of the playing area, not across it.

Lay up - "Lay up" is a term that can be used as a noun, verb or adjective, but always describes the same thing: choosing to hit a shot shorter than you are capable of in order to avoid a hazard or to position the ball in a certain spot. For example on a par 5, youcan maybe reach the green but there is a water hazrd in front, so you 'Lay up' leaving you an easier shot into the green.

Lie - It is simply where the ball sits. A golfer's lie is the location of the ball at rest.

Line of Putt - The path a golfer expects his ball to travel after it's been putted, and a reasonal amount of space on either side of the indended path. Line of putt does not extend beyond the hole.

Links - "links" is a specific type of golf course and what The Open Championship is always played on.

A traditional links course will have many - perhaps all - of the following features:

• The course is built along the seaside;
• The soil is sandy and drains easily;
• The course is laid out naturally, so that unusual bumps and slopes in the fairways and greens remain, rather than being smoothed over;
• The rough features natural seaside grasses;
• Bunkers are numerous, very small and very deep (to keep the seaside breezes from blowing the sand away)
• Fairways are rarely (if ever) watered and play firm and fast;
• Links courses usually have few if any trees;
• The course routes out and back. The No. 1 hole begins at the clubhouse and the front nine plays straight out so that No. 9 is farthest hole from the clubhouse; the direction turns back in at No. 10 and the course ends with No. 18 back at the clubhouse.

Lip - "Lip" has a couple of meanings:

1. A rim of sod usually a couple inches above the level of the sand in a bunker that prevents the possibility of putting out of the bunker.So you would say"the lip of the bunker"

2. The rim of the hole or cup, which leads to the phrase "lip out" when a putted ball catches the edge of the hole without going in.

Loft - A measurement, in degrees, of the angle at which the face of the club lies relative to a perfectly vertical face. Technically, iron loft and wood loft are measured slightly differently, but the effective result is the same.

The loft will also give you an idea of how far your ball will travel, the higher the loft, the less distance you will get.


Make the Cut - Many golf tournaments include a cut, a trimming of the field that eliminates golfers in (typically) the lower half of the standings, while those in the top half of the standings continue playing. A 72-hole tournament with 144 golfers in the field, for example, typically has a cut after 36 holes to the low 70 scores plus ties (although specifics vary). When a golfer is said to "make the cut," it means he continues playing beyond the point where the field is cut.

Mid Iron - Exactly what it says on the tin, a middle iron that you have in your bag, anything from 5-6 or 7 iron.

Miss the Cut - Exact opposite of 'making the cut'. When a golfer is said to "miss the cut," it means he did not score well enough to continue playing beyond the point where the field is cut.

Movable Object - An obstruction is defined a movable if it can be - without unduly delaying play, causing any damage or requiring unreasonable effort - moved. No penalty.

Mulligan - Hit a bad shot? Take a mulligan and replay that stroke. Usually used in non-competetive games or practice rounds.

Municipal - A golf course owned by a city (municipality, hence the term). County-owned courses are also referred to as municipals.


Nearest Point of Relief Players are allowed to drop without penalty within one club length of the "nearest point of relief" when there is interference from an immovable obstruction or abnormal ground condition, or when the player's ball is on the wrong putting green.

Nearest the Pin - Mostly used in society day's and club competitions, on one or all par 3's there will be a 'Nearest the Pin' competition, whereby the player wins by getting the tee shot closet to the hole.

Net Score - The "net score" is a player's gross score minus the strokes his or her course handicap allows to be deducted during the course of the round.

A golfer may have a gross score of 92 (gross score being the actual number of strokes played), but with a course handicap of 9. So 92 minus 9 equals the net score, in this case 83.


Open - An "open" golf tournament is one in which participation is not limited only to golfers who have been invited or only to those who have gained entry through some pre-set list of qualifications.

Open Face - "Open face" refers to the position of the clubface relative to the target line at impact (the moment the clubface strikes the ball).

An open face is one of the common causes of the slice and the push.

Out of Bounds - Those areas outside the course from which play is not allowed, or any area designated as out of bounds by the committee. Out of bounds will be marked usually by white stakes.

Over Par - Any score, whether on an individual hole or for a completed round, that is above the given par for that hole or round. If a hole is a par-4, "over par" is any score greater than 4 for that hole. If the par for the course is 72, over par is a score of 73 or higher.

OWGR - he initials "OWGR" are sometimes used on golf Web sites or in golf media, usually followed by a number. OWGR stands for Official World Golf Ranking, and when the initials are used in conjuntion with a number - for example "Tiger Woods (OWGR 1)" - the numeral represents the player's standing in the rankings.


Par - A number assigned to an individual hole and to the full collection of holes on a course that represents the expected number of strokes it should take to play each hole.

Par 3 Course - A course that consists of nothing but par-3 holes.

Pin - Another name for the flagstick.

Pin High - "Pin High" is a term that describes the depth to which a golfer places his or her approach shot onto the green. Picture the green from front to back; "pin high" means your ball comes to rest even with the pin, or flagstick. You didn't leave the ball short, you didn't hit it long - your shot was pin high.

Pitch Shot - A pitch or "pitch shot" is a shot played with a highly lofted club that is designed to go a short distance with a high trajectory. Pitch shots are usually played into the green, typically from 40-50 yards and closer.

Pitch Mark - The indentation or depression that a golf ball makes in the putting surface when it lands on the green. Pitch marks should be repaired with a pitch mark repairer.

Preferred Lies - "Preferred lies" (also known as "winter rules") is a condition that exists by local rule only and under which golfers are, on certain parts of a golf course, allowed to improve their lies without penalty.

Professional - A golfer that gets prize money for a finish in an event. The best golfer in the world are Professional's or Pro's.  A pro golfer would play golf for a living.

Pro Shop - The location at a golf course, where green fees are paid and where golf merchandise is sold.

Provisional Ball - A second ball played by a golfer who believes his first ball may be lost (but not in a water hazard) or out of bounds.

Pull - "Pull" describes a trajectory or ball flight in which the golf ball starts to the left (for a right-handed golfer) of the target line and continues traveling left in a straight line, ending up well left of the target. The opposite of a pull is a push. A pull is distinguished from a hook by the fact that a hook curves to the left (for a righthander), while a pull flies on a straight path to the left.

Punch Shot - A type of golf shot designed to fly lower than normal. It is hit with the ball played farther back in the stance and a shorter follow-through. The player often chokes down on the club used. Punch shots are frequently used in windy conditions.

Push - "Push" describes a trajectory or ball flight in which the golf balls starts out right (for a right-handed golfer) of the target line, and continues traveling right on a straight line, winding up well right of the target. A push is the opposite of a pull. A push is distinguished from a slice by the fact that a slice curves to the right (for a righthander) while a push travels on a straight path to the right.

Putt - You "Putt" the ball when your ball finds the putting surface (Green).



Range Ball - A golf ball specifically manufactured for use on a driving range, or used balls that in use at a driving range.

Rough - The areas outside of fairways that generally features higher, thicker grass or naturally growing (unkept and unmowed) vegetation. Rough is designed to be punish players who miss the fairways.

Round - A completed 18 holes of golf, or the score you recorded for those 18 holes.









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