A helper who carries a player's bag around the course and may advise on the course or the game.
Water on the course which is not part of the design, such as rain puddles or over-watered areas. If a ball is in such water or, to play it, the player's feet would be, one can take a free drop.. If there is casual water on the green, a ball on the green may be moved to the nearest place equidistant from the hole from which the putt will avoid water.
A lofted shot played from around the green. Usually played with a pitching wedge or a sand wedge.
Chip and Run
A low shot that runs towards the flag played from near the green.
The area of the club that you use to hit the ball.
The part of the club attached to the lower end of the shaft, and used for striking the ball.
Edge of a sand hazard.
The tubular lining sunk in the hole. Also the hole itself.
Grass left to grow so that off-line shots are made more difficult. Also called 'rough'.
A chunk of turf removed by the clubhead when you play a shot, usually on the fairway.
A hole with a fairway that bends sharply. A hazard is often positioned at the angle of the dog-leg to put you off driving across it.
A score of two over par for a hole.
A score of three under par on a hole (also called an Albatross)
The part of the golf swing from the top of the backswing to striking the ball.
A shot with a slight, controlled curve through the air, from right to left for a right-handed player and right to left for a left-handed player.
A shot which is played from the tee, usually with a driver (a 1 wood).
The 1 wood, the most powerful club in the set, used for getting maximum distance off the tee.
When a ball must be lifted under penalty or otherwise, the player, standing erect, holds the ball at arm's length and shoulder height and drops it making sure that it does not land any nearer the hole.
Either the odd or even irons, two woods and a putter. A half set of clubs is all a beginning golfer needs to start playing.
A system devised to make play between golfers of different standards an even match. Your handicap is the number of strokes over par you average over four rounds at a golf course. For instance, if your average score is 88 on a par 72 course, you are given a handicap of 16. In strokeplay, if you play with a person that has a 2 handicap, you are allowed 14 strokes - the difference between your handicaps - extra strokes, one on each of the most difficult 14 holes. In matchplay, the longer handicap player would receive 11 shots - three quarters of the difference.
A bunker, stream, ditch, lake, or pond are all hazards. Hazards are defined by a course committee.
The part of the clubhead beneath the end of the shaft.
This can mean the actual hole that you putt into or the entire area between tee and green.
Each score card indicates a handicap number for each hole. The lower the number, the harder the hole is to play. Some courses split odd and even handicap numbers between the front nine and back nine while others handicap all eighteen holes together. For example, the front nine can have handicap numbers 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15 & 17 while the back nine have 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16, & 18. In this case, the number 2 handicap hole isn't necessarily the second hardest hole on the course. It's the first hardest hole for that nine. A lot of golfers prefer to have all eighteen handicapped together but it is up to the course to decide.
Hole in one
Also known as an 'ace'. A 'hole-in-one' is registered when the ball enters the hole direct from the tee shot.
To play first off the tee, the privilege of the winner of the preceding hole.
Faulty stoke when the ball curves to the left for right-handed players and right for left-handed players.
Irons are metal-headed clubs used for most shots between tee and green. Sometimes you can use them from the tee at holes where accuracy is more important than distance. The sand and pitching wedges are also irons.
A ditch, stream, or pond roughly parallel to the line of the hole. A ball picked out may be played from either side, with a one-stroke penalty.
Where the ball is in relation to the ground it is resting on. The more embedded in the grass or sand the ball is, the worse the lie. Lie also refers to the angle of the sole of the clubhead to the shaft.
A seaside golf course, typified by sand, turf, and course grass, of the kind where golf was originally played.
The angle of the clubface to the ground. The more loft a club has (indicated by how high the number is on the club) the higher the ball goes and the shorter distance it travels.
Shots over about 180 yards (164m) long, played from the tee or on the fairway with woods or low-numbered irons.
Twigs and leaves, not actually growing, and not stuck to the ball, which may be removed from around it without penalty. The ball must not be moved.
If after a five-minute search, a ball cannot be found, a competitor is penalized one stroke and plays another ball from the spot where the first one was hit, counting as the third shot.
The standard score for a hole, usually based on it's length. Holes up to 250 yards (228m) long are par 3's, up to 475 yards (434m) par 4's and any longer than that are par 5's. Course committees are now authorized to vary par when a hole's difficulty warrants not sticking rigidly to the distances laid down.
In strokeplay, a rule infringement usually costs two strokes; in matchplay, the hole is generally lost.
Informal name for the flagstick in the hole.
A reasonably high shot onto the green, traveling anything from a few yards to 120 yards (110m). You generally use a 9 iron, a pitching wedge, or a sand wedge.
A short iron with a large degree of loft, used for pitching high but short shots onto the green.
If a competition ends with a tie, the winner is decided by playing further holes. Currently, the winner is usually the first competitor to win a hole. The U.S. and British Opens are exceptions.
A ball played when it seems likely that the preceding shot is lost or out of bounds. It will count, plus a penalty.
The rolling shot taken on the green, with a putter.
A player may choose to deem a ball unplayable, taking a penalty stroke and dropping the ball no nearer the hole. A ball that is unplayable in a bunker must be dropped in the bunker or stroke and distance taken.
When a ball is positioned on ground sloping up ahead of the player.