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Beginners Golf Terms

Here are some basic terms of golf you are going need to know:

BIRDIE: Completing the hole in one less stroke than the par.

BOGEY: Completing the hole in one more stroke than the par.

DOUBLE BOGEY: Completing the hole in two more strokes than the par (catch the trend?).

EAGLE: Completing the hole in two fewer strokes than the par.

FAIRWAY: The stretch of shorter grass that directs you to the hole (it’s where you want to be)

FORE: What golfers yell (hopefully loudly) when they hit a bad shot to alert the golfers in the area where their ball is headed. Generally translated as “duck and cover.”

GREEN: The area of finely trimmed grass at the end of each hole (it’s where you want to end up).

HAZARDS: The crap golf course architects put in your way like water, sand traps, and tall grass.

HOLE-IN-ONE: Hitting it in the hole on your first shot; a moment a golfer, nor their bar tab, will ever forget. Note: any golfer achieving this feat is expected to buy all patrons of the 19th hole a drink upon finishing the round.

HOOK: A golf shot that moves severely right to left for right-handed hitters and the opposite way for lefties, not to be confused with Peter Pan’s nemesis.

LIE: The way the ball has come to rest on the ground. The ball may on a “good lie” in short grass on the fairway or a “bad lie” in deep grass in the rough. You may have a side hill lie, where the ball is either above or below your feet.

MULLIGAN: An unofficial “re-do” or “re-hit” that is undoubtedly a golfer’s best friend

OUT OF BOUNDS: Golf’s point of no return; white stakes designate an area that is out of play for golfers.

PAR: The number of strokes the powers that be determined a golfer should take to complete the hole.

PIN OR FLAG: The object used on the greens to give you hope

RANGER: The woman or man who drives around in the cart monitoring the speed of play. You do not want to be visited by the ranger, that means you are a slowpoke which will not win you fans on the golf course.

ROUGH: The areas of longer grass that line the fairway (it’s where you don’t want to be).

SAND TRAP: The sand-filled pits of despair that line fairways and guard the greens. Slang for bunker.

SLICE: A golf shot that moves severely left to right for righthanded hitters and the opposite way for left, which also happens to be the most common shot shape in golf.

STARTER: The woman or man stationed at the first tee who makes sure you tee off on time.

STROKE: What you have when you miss a short putt; just kidding, refers to the act of making a swing.

TEE BOX: The designated area that marks the beginning of each hole (It’s where you tee off from).

THE BEACH: Another name for the bunker/sand trap. Pass the sunscreen.

THREE-PUTT: When it takes you three putts to get your golf ball in the hole; also the quickest way your putter earns a trip to the time-out closet


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