Understanding Golf Words within the Putting Game

The putting game contains its own unique Golf Words. Learn the golf vocabulary of the Putting Game, and enjoy and understand overall Putting philosophy.

We hope you find these Putting Words fun and informative!

(This glossary of Putting Vocabulary Terms about the "Putting Game" is not all-inclusive, and is aimed primarily at the beginner and weekend golfer levels.

Words which are italicized in green are also defined elsewhere in this Golf Words Glossary)

NOTE: All Terms Assume a Right-Handed Player

Golf Words - Putting P:


Pace: Within the glossary of Golf Words, "Pace" is the speed or tempo of the putter stroke. Also, the speed of the green is involved in the putter stroke result, commonly known as "Green Speed", which is the speed at which a putt must be struck to get to the "Cup".

Path: Within Golf Words, the term "Path" is referring to the direction the putter and ball travel during the putting stroke.

Pendulum Swing: During putting, the "swing" or stroke that moves the putter head back and forth on a line without deviation. Like the pendulum movement of a grandfather clock.

Pin: A Golf Slang term for "flagstick".

Pin-High: A term referring to a landed ball, adjacent to or on the green that is positioned along an imaginary horizontal line through and across the width of the green.

Pin Placement: Refers to the location of the Hole on the putting green. The "Pin" or flagstick marks the location of the "Cup". So when golfers talk about pin placement, what they are really talking about is where on the putting green the Hole is located.

Knowing the pin placement assists a golfer in deciding which club and swing technique to utilize on the approach shot. The pin placement can be to the front, center or back of the green. It could also be to the left or right as well. In some situations the pin can be on the upper or lower tier of a two-tier green.

Some golf courses provide the players with "pin sheets" which depict the pin placement on each green for that day.

Pitch Mark: A minor concave depression on the green caused by a ball "pitched" onto the green. According to the "Rules Of Golf" and good golf etiquette, players are required to repair their own pitch marks with a ball mark repair tool, as well as other "Pitch Marks" they see on the green from previous "Hits" caused by other players.

Practice Green: A specially prepared green with a multitude of Holes or "Cups" installed for warm-up and practice putting. Usually there are small or modified "flagsticks" inserted in the cups.

Pre-shot Routine: A series of predetermined actions a player takes when they approach the green and prepare for their turn at putting. Usually, this includes taking one or more practice swings as well as visualizing the intended putting line.

Pro Side: During a putting stroke, if there is a slope or break in the green, the traverse of the ball will curve either from the high-side of the Hole towards the hole, or fall to the low-side or away from the hole.

Balls coming from the high-side are said to be the "Pro Side ", and the balls following the low-side are said to be the "Amateur" side.

Pull: A poor putting stroke which causes the ball to roll to the left of the putting line.

Push: Within Golfing Terms, a poor putting stroke which causes the ball to roll to the right of the putting line.

Putt: A golf shot typically played on the green with a putter.

Putted: A term denoting the ball has been "Hit" or "Putted" with the putter and is rolling towards the target.

Putter: A club primarily used on the greens to stroke the ball into the Hole or "Cup".

Putter Clubface: That portion of the Putter Clubhead that contacts the ball upon impact. The Putter Clubface has the lowest loft angle of the 14 golf clubs allowable in the golf bag. The loft is generally between 3 - 4 degrees.

Putter Clubhead: The Putter Clubhead is that portion of the Putter which is attached to the "action" end of the Putter Shaft by the "Hosel".

Putter Shaft: The Putter Shaft is a long narrow rod of circular cross-section used to lever and hold the Putter Clubhead to the Hosel.

Putting: The term "Putting" is known as the process or action of "stroking" the golf ball with the putter clubface and propelling the ball towards the "Hole or Cup" on a putting green.

Putting Game: That segment of the of golf game known as the "Putting Game", is commonly considered part of the "Short Game". While only using one club, the putting game comprises the most swings of a single club during the round of golf, yet accounts for approximately 43% of the scoring opportunities.

I personally do not consider the putting game part of the short game, but as a stand-alone endeavor all of its own.

Putting Green: The putting green or most commonly described as the "Green", is comprised of a golf Hole or "Cup", in which the plastic retainer Cup and flagstick are placed.

Putting or rolling the golf ball into the Hole on the "Putting Green" is the object of the game of golf.

Greens vary widely in size and configuration, but are usually oblong or oval in shape. The Green will sit level with the fairway or can be elevated higher than the fairway. The Greens can be flat, contoured around the perimeter, or sloped from one side to the other.

Putting Line: Within Golf Terms, "Putting Line" is denoted as the pre-selected path of the ball to the "Cup" while putting. The putting line extends from the ball to the Hole.

Putting Posture: The "Putting Posture" is that portion of the putting Stance that involves the back (spine), neck and head of the golfer while "posturing" in preparation for putting the ball to the Hole.

Putting Stroke: The "Putting Stroke" is the motion a player makes with their putter to "hit" the ball towards the Hole. The term is also known as the "Swing" of the Putter.

Putting Surface: The term "Putting Surface" is another word for the Putting Green. It is the surface upon which the ball is putted towards the Hole, and is usually Bent Grass mown very short to give the surface a "felt-like" smoothness.

Rim (Hole): The edge or "Rim" of the Hole on the Green is that surface of the top-most perimeter of the Hole that is exposed above the plastic retainer set in the ground, known as the "Cup".

Speed (Putt): The "Speed" of the Putt, is referring to the velocity of the ball on its way to the "Cup", after impact by the Putter Clubface .

'Fast Greens' are included in the traditional Golf Words

Golf Words - Putting Q:

Q... (Sorry no Golf Words "Q" Terms available)

Golf Words - Putting R:


Reading the Green: Within the glossary of Golf Words, "Reading the Green" refers to the entire process involved in judging the line and break of a potential putt.

Rhythm: The smooth coordination and timing of movement throughout the golf swing or putting stroke. Rhythm describes the relative duration of the parts of a complete swing.

Rules Of Golf: The Official Rules of Golf take up around 100 pages of a booklet published by the USGA (United States Golf Association). Basically, the "Rules" govern every aspect of the game, for both tournament and non-tournament play.

Golf Words - Putting S:


Setup: Within the glossary of Golf Words, "Setup" within the Putting Game, "Setup" is the process of taking a stance and addressing the ball with good posture, knees slightly flexed, with the putter face and the player's body properly aligned and aimed to the target-line.

Shaft (Putter): A long narrow rod of circular cross-section used to lever and hold the putter head to the Hosel.

Shot: "Slang" for the execution of the putter swing or "stroke". Also considered stroking or hitting the ball towards a target.

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.

Speed (Of Green): A Golf Lingo term used to describe the "pace" of a putt. Proper "speed" of a putt will either hole-the-putt or leave it about sixteen (16) inches beyond the "Cup" (approximately).

Speed (Swing): The "Tempo" of the putter head upon stroking 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 and foot placement assumed by a golfer when addressing the ball. The "Stance" in the Putting Game will almost always be "Square" (parallel to the knees, hips and shoulders).

Stimp: The "Stimp" of the green is a measurement (in feet) of how fast the greens are, as determined by use of a "Stimp Meter". A Stimp of 10 denotes that the green measured at 10 when using the Stimp Meter.

The higher the Stimp reading, the faster the greens. Stimp readings of 10 or higher are considered fast. A Stimp reading of 12 would be about the highest reading for most professional tournaments.

Stimp Meter: A "Stimp Meter" is an instrument used to measure the "speed-of-the-green". The Stimp Meter was invented by a golfer by the name of Eddie Stimpson. In 1978 the USGA adopted and modified the device and pronounced that it was accepted as a universal method for measuring green speed.

Stroke: Relative to the Putting Game, the "Stroke" is the swing of the putter during the process of "Hitting" or stroking the ball towards the Hole.

Sweet-spot: The location on the putter face where optimal ball-striking happens.

Swing (golf): The motion a player makes with their putter to "Hit" the ball. The putter swing is most commonly referred to as the "Stroke".

Swing (practice): A golf swing or "Practice Stroke" taken with the putter just prior to the actual swing/stroke used to propel the ball towards the target. The practice swing should be as close to identical to the actual swing as possible.

Golf Words - Putting T:


Take-a-way (Backswing): The initial movement of the putter at the start of the backswing. This movement is commonly referred to as the "backswing" in the Putting Game.

I guess you could call it the "Backstroke"; however that would mean you might be 'swimming' on a very wet Green!

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 putting line or "target-line" of the ball as it is stroked/impacted by the putter.

Target-Line: 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.

Tempo: The speed of a player's swing/stroke of the putter clubhead from "backswing" to the point-of-impact. Tempo measures the absolute speed of the complete swing/stroke of the putter in motion.

Golf Words - Putting U-V-W-X:

U-V-W-X... (Sorry no Golf Words "U, V, W, or X" Terms available)

Golf Words - Putting Y:


Yips: A Golf Language term referring to a nervous affliction in which the golfer preparing to putt has difficulties in making short putts due to the inability to create a smooth putting stroke. Normally, the "Yips" takes the form of a jerking motion that sends the putt to left or right of the target-line.

Most commonly, the "Yips" is a nerve-tingling experience in which the golfer feels unstable over the ball. The "Yips" is primarily a mental problem as opposed to a physical affliction.

Golf Words - Putting Z:

Z... (Sorry no Golf Words "Z" Terms available)

'Lie' is included in Golf Words (pertaining to golf ball position

We hope you have found this Golf Words list on Terms of the Putting Game helpful. Knowing the basic putting terms should make your game more interesting and informative.

It is a very good idea to be able to talk the golf language of the putting game.

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