Here follows a list of the most common golfing terms.
Albatross: a hole played three strokes under par.
Birdie: a hole played one stroke under par.
Bogey: a hole played one stroke over par
Cut Shot: same as a fade, a cut curves from left to right, but is generally higher in trajectory and more controlled than a standard fade.
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Dormie: in match play, a player is dormie when leading a match by as many holes as there are left (i.e. 4 up with 4 holes to play). The player who is down must win every hole to save the match and force its continuation past the last regular hole (if a winner must be determined) or halve the match (in a team competition such as the Ryder Cup.
Double Bogey: a hole played two strokes over par.
Double Eagle (or Albatross): a hole played three strokes under par.
Draw: a shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves slightly to the left; often played intentionally by skilled golfers. An overdone draw usually becomes a hook. For a complete list of different golf shots, see: Golf shots terminology >>
Drive: a tee shot of great length, usually done with a driver (a type of golf club)
Eagle: a hole played in two strokes under par.
Fairway: the short grass between the tee and the green.
Fat shot: a poor shot in which the club is slowed by catching too much grass or soil, resulting in a short and slow ball flight.
Fade: a shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves slightly to the right; often played intentionally by skilled golfers. An overdone fade usually becomes a slice.
Fore: "Fore!" is shouted as a warning when it appears possible a ball may hit other players or spectators.
Gimme: when a player has only a short putt left to play, other players may grant a gimme, i.e. one stroke is counted, but the ball is not actually played (under the tacit assumption that the putt would not have been missed). "Gimmes" are not allowed by the rules in stroke play, but this is often practiced in casual matches. However, in match play, either player may formally concede a stroke, a hole, or the entire match at any time, and this may not be refused or withdrawn. A player in match play will generally concede a tap-in or other short putt by his or her opponent.
Goldie Bounce: When the ball strikes a tree deep in the rough and bounces out onto the fairway.
Green or putting green: the area of specially prepared grass around the hole, where putts are played.
Halved: in match play, a hole is halved (drawn) when both players or teams have played the same number of strokes. In some team events, such as the Ryder Cup, a match that is level after 18 holes is not continued, and is called "halved", with each team receiving half a point.
Hole In One (or ace): holing out the tee shot.
Hook: a poor shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves sharply to the left (may occasionally be played intentionally but is difficult to control). See also: our complete list of different golf shots.
In regulation: a green is reached "in regulation" with (par minus 2) strokes, i.e. with the first stroke on a par-3 hole, second stroke on a par-4, etc.
Loft: the angle between a vertical plane and the clubface.
Mulligan: a do-over, or replay of the shot. It is not allowed by the rules and not practiced in tournaments, but is not uncommon in casual rounds in some countries, especially the United States.
Par: abbrev. for "professional average result", standard score for a hole (defined by its length) or a course (sum of all the holes' pars).
PGA: any Professional Golfers' Association, especially the Professional Golfers' Association of America.
Pro: a professional is a golfer or person who plays or teaches golf for financial reward, may work as a touring pro in professional competitions, or as a teaching pro (also called a club pro).
Putt: a ball played on the green, usually with a putter.
Putter: a special golf club with a very low loft that makes the ball roll.
Rough: the grass that borders the fairway, usually taller and coarser than the fairway. See also: golf course design terminology
Sand Wedge: a lofted club designed especially for playing out of a bunker.
Slice: a poor shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves sharply to the right (may occasionally be played intentionally but is difficult to control).
Snap Hook: a severe hook.
Tap-in: a ball that has come to rest very close to the hole, leaving only a very short putt to be played.
Tee (part of the course): the specially prepared area, usually grass, from which the first stroke for each hole is made (teeing ground in official terminology).
Tee (piece of equipment): a small peg - made of wood or plastic - placed in the teeing ground, upon which the golf ball may be placed prior to the first stroke on a hole. See also: Golf tees >>
Thin shot: a poor shot where the clubhead strikes too high up on the ball, resulting in a shallow flight path.
Topped: a very thin shot that makes the ball roll rather than fly.
The yips: A tendency to twitch during the putting stroke. Some top golfers have had their careers greatly affected or even destroyed by the yips; prominent golfers who battled with the yips for much of their careers include Sam Snead and more recently Bernhard Langer.
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