Golf Dictionary terms consist of a variety of categories.
Golf Language is a category that includes Golf Slang and Golf Lingo as well as a distinct Golf Vocabulary.
As you are searching through these Golf Definitions, understand that there are many hundreds more Golfing Terms that we have not included. We have only scratched the surface with the basic words!
(This Golf Dictionary listing is not all-inclusive, and is aimed primarily at the Beginning Golf Level. Words which are italicized in green are also defined elsewhere in the Golf Dictionary).
Golf Dictionary Term S:
Sand Trap: A fairway or greenside bunker filled with sand, as opposed to a grass bunker or waste bunker.
Sand Wedge: In the Golf Dictionary terms, a "Sand Wedge" is a highly lofted club designed especially for playing out of a sand bunker.
Score: The numerical summation of the strokes taken to finish a hole, or the strokes taken to play the entire round of golf.
Score (Gross): The total number of strokes taken by the player during a round of golf, plus any penalty strokes resulting from breaches of rules, losing a ball, going out-of-bounds or going into a hazard. There are no downward adjustments made to this number.
Score (Adjusted Gross): A player's gross score when adjusted (reduced) according to the rules of Equitable Stroke Control and / or any special local conditions (when approved by a sanctioning body).
Score (Net): In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Score" is a player's net score is their adjusted gross score minus any handicap strokes resulting from competition against a superior golfer.
Score Card: A rigid rectangle of paper used to record hole-by-hole scores for each player. A typical score card is pre-printed with a grid of squares containing useful in-formation such as each hole's yardage, par and handicap sequence number.
Setup: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Setup" is the process of taking a stance and addressing the ball with good posture, knees slightly flexed, with the club and the player's body properly aligned and aimed to the target-line.
Shaft (Club): A long narrow rod of circular cross-section used to lever and hold the clubhead to the grip.
Shank: A shot when the ball is struck on the "hosel" of the club, normally sending the ball severely to the right (for a right-hander).
Short Game: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Short Game" is comprised of Golf shots played on or adjacent to the green including, pitching, chipping, and greenside bunker shots.
Short Irons: Clubs with a higher loft. The eight (8), and nine (9) irons, as well as the pitching wedge, lob wedge, gap wedge and sand wedge. The sand wedge is considered a specialty club.
Shot: "Slang" for the execution of a golf swing. Also considered stroking or hitting the ball towards a target.
Sit: "Slang" for describing the landing of a ball hit from an approach shot to the green, when the player wants the ball to stop rolling, or even to "backspin".
Sky Shot: A golf shot that travels very high with little distance. This elevated shot is usually caused by teeing the ball up too high, and/or getting the clubhead (usually a driver) too far under the ball at impact.
Slice: A poor golf shot that curves from left to right (for a right-hander) to a much greater degree than a fade. The curved shape of the flight-of-the-ball is a result of "sideways spin" imparted to the ball at impact.
Sliding (Sway): An exaggerated lateral movement ("sliding" motion) of the body on either the backswing, downswing or both, which results in inconsistent shot-making.
Slope (Green): It's the slope of the green or contours that cause the ball to deviate from a straight line. If the putting green or surface is flat, the ball will roll fairly straight and true. If there are any contours to the green, the ball will "break" away from the straight line.
The "Break" refers to the degree the path of the putted ball curves, or to the amount the green slopes or curves.
Sole (Club): In golf terminology terms, the Sole of a golf club is cambered both (heel to toe) front to back and side to side. Camber assists golf clubs, especially the irons, to travel more smoothly across the turf, and burrow less into the ground when taking divots. A cambered sole, allows a golf club too perform much better than one who's sole is not cambered.
Observing the "sole" of a golf club you will see that the sole is not perfectly flat, it is rounded and curved a noticeable amount.
Speed (Of Green): In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Speed of the Green" is a term used to describe the "pace" of a putt. Proper "speed" of a putt will either hole-the-putt or appropriately leave it about sixteen (16) inches beyond the cup.
Speed (Swing): The velocity reached with the clubhead upon impact with the ball.
Spot: A term for "marking" the ball on the green so it can be lifted.
Spot Putting: Utilization of an intermediate target as a means of establishing a target-line for putting.
Stance: The posture assumed by a golfer when addressing the ball. The types of stances are usually categorized as; Open, Square, or Closed.
Stance (Closed): The term "closed stance" means that a line drawn from the player's right toe to the left toe would point to the right of the target-line rather than directly at the target or to the left of the target-line.
It indicates that the golfer's body is closed to the target-line. (For a right-handed golfer). A closed stance is normally used to affect a "Draw".
Stance (Open): In golf terminology terms, the term "Open Stance" means that the player's body is open to the target.
For a right-handed golfer, having an "open stance" means that a line drawn from the golfer's right toe to their left toe would point to the left of the target-line rather than parallel to the line.
An open stance is used primarily to affect a "Fade" shot. This is a golf shot that will play from left to right. (For a right-handed golfer).
Stance (Square): A position taken at address where the feet, shoulders, knees and hips are all parallel to the target-line, either open or closed.
Stroke: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Stroke" is generally speaking, a player's score grows by one stroke whenever the golfer strikes the ball with their golf club. Under the USGA Rules of Golf in tournament play, a stroke is incurred even when contact is not made with the ball if a player's intent was clearly to strike the ball with the swing.
The complete miss is also known as a "Whiff". A player's score can also include penalty strokes.
Swaying: An exaggerated lateral movement ("sliding" motion) of the body on either the backswing, downswing or both, which results in inconsistent shot making.
Sweet-spot: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Sweet-Spot" is the location on the clubface where optimal ball-striking happens.
Swing (golf): The motion a player makes with their club to hit the ball. A complete golf swing consists of a series of complex mechanical body movements.
Swing (practice): A golf swing taken just prior to the actual swing used to propel the ball towards the target. The practice swing should be as close to identical to the actual swing as possible.
Golf Dictionary Term T:
Take-a-way: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Take-a-way" is the initial movement of the club at the start of the backswing.
Tap-in: A ball that has come to rest very close to the cup, leaving only a very short putt to be made. Often, non-tournament players will concede "tap-ins" (gimmies) with one another to save time on the green.
Target: The "target" actually represents the goal the player has in mind for the initial trajectory of the ball as it is impacted by the club, and/or the final destination for the landing of the ball.
Target-Line: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Target-Line" is an imaginary line visualized by a player, consisting of a line drawn from behind and through the ball to the point or target for which a player is aiming.
Target (Intermediate): When a player selects an imaginary line or "Target-Line" from behind his golf ball forward to the chosen target, he then can choose an "Intermediate Target" a few feet in front of the ball to help with alignment or aiming properly.
This "Intermediate target" can be used for any golf shot, including for putting purposes.
Tee (equipment): In golf terminology terms, a small wooden or plastic peg inserted in the teeing ground in line with the "tee markers", upon which the ball is mounted prior to being hit by a club during the first stroke (drive) on a hole.
Tee Box: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Tee Box" is the designated area where a player hits the "drive" or "tee shot". Also known as the "teeing ground".
Teeing Ground: The designated area where a player hits the "drive" or "tee shot". The teeing ground for a particular set of tees is generally two club lengths in depth. The ball must be teed between the tee markers that define the teeing ground's width, and no further back than its depth.
The areas where the tee markers are placed are called "tee boxes".
Tee Markers: Markers which are made up of a variety of designs and colors, which are placed on the "teeing ground" or within the "tee box" to designate to the players where they are to place their ball prior to executing the "drive".
Tee markers are colored, but there is no standard for the colors. Generally the championship tees are blue, the men's tees are white, and the women's tees are red.
Tees (Championship): A colored rock, monument, marker or plaque situated in the Teeing Ground or Tee Box at a precisely measured distance from the center of the putting green on each hole. Different colors correspond to different distances and these colors have significance as follows:
BLUE Referred to as the "Championship Tee" or "Pro Tee". This Tee Marker is place farthest away from the putting green, at a significantly more challenging distance, suitable for a male player of superior skill.
Black-Colored markers are also used to designate the championship tees on some courses.
GOLD markers when located at a distance greater than the blue markers are then utilized as the championship tees, used for tournament play.
GREEN These are the novice or amateur tees. These are typically located significantly closer to the putting green*** than even the red tee markers.
Tees (Men's): A colored rock, monument, marker or plaque situated in the Teeing Ground or Tee Box at a precisely measured distance from the center of the putting green on each hole. Different colors correspond to different distances and these colors have significance as follows:
WHITE Referred to as the "men's tee". Located from the putting green at a distance reasonable for a male player of average proficiency.
GOLD The gold markers are sometimes situated closer to the putting green than the white tees, these are the markers used by seniors.
GREEN These are the novice or amateur tees. These are typically located significantly closer to the putting green*** than even the red tee markers.
Tees (Women's): A colored rock, monument, marker or plaque situated in the Teeing Ground or Tee Box at a precisely measured distance from the center of the putting green on each hole.
Different colors correspond to different distances and these colors have significance as follows:
RED Referred to as the "women's tee". Situated a reasonable distance from the putting green for an average female golfer.
GREEN These are the novice or amateur tees. These are typically located significantly closer to the A colored rock, monument, marker or plaque situated in the Teeing Ground or Tee Box at a precisely measured distance from the center of the putting green on each hole.
Tempo: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Tempo" is the speed of a player's swing from "take-a-way" to the point-of-impact. Tempo measures the absolute speed of the complete swing.
Thin Shot: A poorly executed shot where the clubhead strikes too high on the ball. Also known as "blading".
Topped Shot: In Golf Dictionary Terms, a "Topped Shot" is a poor shot where the clubhead connects with the top of the ball, causing the ball to bounce rather than fly.
Trajectory (golf ball): In golf terminology terms, the path or angle and height the ball travels when struck.
Trajectory (High): A high-trajectory flight path refers to a high-altitude three-dimensional path taken by the golf ball from the moment of impact and is propelled by the clubhead until its initial contact with the ground, on either the fairway or the putting green.
The trajectory is also referred to as the "Launch Angle", and can be accurately measured.
Trajectory (Low): A low-trajectory flight path refers to a low-altitude three-dimensional path taken by the golf ball from the moment of impact and is propelled by the clubhead until its initial contact with the ground, on either the fairway or the putting green. The trajectory is also referred to as the "Launch Angle", and can be accurately measured.
Golf Dictionary Term U:
Unplayable: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Unplayable" refers to when a player is allowed to declare his "lie" unplayable at any time when it is in play (other than at a tee), and can drop the ball a minimum two club-lengths away from the hole, and in line with the hole.
A penalty of one stroke is applied. A ball declared unplayable within a hazard must be dropped within that hazard.
USGA: The United States Golf Association is America's primary sanctioning body for amateur golf competition. Together with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, they publish The Rules of Golf, regulate Equipment and maintain the USGA Handicap System.
Golf Dictionary Term V:
Vardon Grip: In Golf Dictionary Terms, a "Vardon Grip is a golf grip style named for Harry Vardon, a champion golfer of the early 20th century. The grip (for right-handers) consists of the right little finger overlapping the top of the left index finger.
Also, known as the "overlapping grip". It is the most popular grip among golfers universally.
Golf Dictionary Term W:
Waggle: A back-and-forth sweeping motion initiated by wrist movement, behind the ball with the clubhead raised at address, designed to keep a player relaxed and help establish a smooth pace in the take-a-way and swing.
Water (Hazard): Water hazards*** tend to consist of a pond or small lake within the golf course boundaries. Water hazards can also be any body of water into which your ball can land whether or not it contains water at the time, such as a dry stream or ditch.
Water hazards normally are bounded by prescribed, colored stakes. If a golf ball lands and stops on the grass within the boundary described by the stakes, the ball is considered to be within the "water hazard".
Water (Permanent): Permanent Water is considered those "Water Hazards" located within the parameters of the golf course that are of a permanent nature which virtually "never" dry up. Typical are lakes and ponds, rather than streams or ditches.
Wedge: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Wedge" is a type of club with a steep loft used for hitting a high soft-landing shot. The types of wedges used during tournament and non-tournament play on the golf courses are the following: Pitching Wedge, Lob Wedge, Gap Wedge, and the Sand Wedge.
Wedge (Gap): A golf club within the "irons" category utilized within the "short game" of golf. The club has an average or approximate loft angle of 50 degrees.
Wedge (Lob): A golf club within the "irons" category utilized within the "short game" of golf. The club has an average or approximate loft angle of 60 degrees.
Wedge (Pitching): A golf club within the "irons" category utilized within the "short game" of golf. The club has an average or approximate loft angle of 45 degrees.
Wedge (Sand): A golf club within the "irons" category utilized within the "short game" of golf. The club has an average or approximate loft angle of 55 degrees. The Sand Wedge is considered a "Specialty Club" among the Wedges.
Whiff: In Golf Dictionary Terms, "Whiff" is an attempt to hit the ball where the player fails to make impact with the ball, a "complete miss". A penalty of one stroke is assessed in tournament play.
Wood: In golf terminology terms, a type of golf club where the clubhead is rather bulbous in shape with a flat face. Originally made of wood, but now almost all new "woods" are made of metal.
X-Y-Z (Sorry these Golf Dictionary terms not available)
We hope you have found this basic Golf Dictionary listing helpful and informative!
Please see the links below for the remainder of basic terms as well as Golf Terms regarding specific areas within Golf (Such as Putting, Short Game, etc.).
Remember, Golf Dictionary terms are a vital link to understanding and appreciating the Game of Golf!
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