Golfing Terms Every Golfer . . . Should Know

Golfing Terms involve the entire spectrum of the Game of Golf.

If you want to be respected by your golfing partners and other players with which you play golf or socialize, you need to have a good grasp of the basic Golfing Terms.

Golf Vocabulary confounds many new players. You can help them by being able to speak the "Golf Language"!

We hope you enjoy your surfing through the following Golf Glossary.

(This glossary 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 Terminology glossary).

Golfing Terms F:


Fade: Within Golfing Terms, a shot made with the clubface slightly open at impact, causing the ball to take a moderately curved trajectory to the right (for a right-handed golfer). Opposite of a draw.

Fairway: The area of the course that lies between the "tee box" and the green. It is well-maintained with the grass mowed shorter than the "rough", and allows for a good lie of the ball.

Fairway Hit: A fairway is considered "hit" if any part of the ball is touching the fairway surface after the tee shot on a par four or par five hole.

Fairway Markers: Fairway Markers indicate the distance (in yards) from the Marker in the fairway to the center of the green. Some courses use a sunken and anchored, colored metal disk in the center of the fairway as a marker.

Others may use a colored pole set back from the fairway a distance, with an opposing pole of the same color directly on the opposite side of the fairway. Sometimes a course may have opposing shrubs or trees of different types used as markers.

Fat Shot: Within Golfing Terms, a "Fat Shot" is a shot where the club strikes the turf behind the ball, resulting in very poor impact, and generally comes up well short of the target distance. Also known as a "chunk".

Flagstick: Within Golfing Terms, "Flagstick" is a tall pole used to indicate the position of the hole on a green. The flagstick is usually an aluminum pole with a triangular "flag" attached to the top.

Follow-through: According to Golfing Terms, "Follow Through" is that part of the swing that occurs after the ball has been struck.

Fore: "Fore" is shouted as a warning when it appears a ball may possibly hit other players or spectators. (The "hitting" player is required to shout the warning)

Free Drop: The following are excerpts from the Rules of Golf:

Dropping and Re-dropping

a. By Whom and How

A ball to be dropped under the Rules must be dropped by the player himself. He must stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm’s length and drop it.

If a ball is dropped by any other person or in any other manner and the error is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.

If the ball when dropped touches any person or the equipment of any player before or after it strikes a part of the course and before it comes to rest, the ball must be re-dropped, without penalty.

There is no limit to the number of times a ball must be re-dropped in these circumstances.

(Taking action to influence position or movement of ball — see Rule 1-2.)

b. Where to Drop

When a ball is to be dropped as near as possible to a specific spot, it must be dropped not nearer the hole than the specific spot which, if it is not precisely known to the player, must be estimated.

A ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course where the applicable Rule requires it to be dropped. If it is not so dropped, Rules 20-6 and -7 apply.

Fringe: In golfing terms, the "Fringe" is the closely mowed grass between the green and the fairway, usually around five feet in width. Also, called the "apron".

Front Foot: According to basic Golfing Terms, "Front Foot" refers to the golfer's foot, closest to the target when addressing the ball.

Front Nine: Holes one through nine on a golf course. The first nine holes of an 18-hole golf course. Playing the "front nine" is referred to as "heading out" (away from the clubhouse).

Golfing Terms include 'Fore' as a safety factor on the Golf course

Golfing Terms G:


Gimme: Within basic Golf Terms, (in non-tournament play), a "Gimmie" refers to a putt that the other players agree can count automatically without actually being played. Therefore, conceding the Score for that putt.

Glove (golf): In Golfing Terms, a "glove" worn on the left hand (right-hander) for purposes of maintaining a good "grip" on the golf club.

Golf: A game in which clubs with wooden or metal heads are used to hit a small ball into a number of holes, usually 9 or 18, in succession, situated at various distances over a prescribed course having natural or artificial obstacles.

The object being to get the ball into each hole in as few strokes as possible.

Golfer: A "sportsperson" who uses a flawed swing, a poor stance, and a weak grip to hit a small ball badly, towards the wrong hole.

Green: In Golfing Terms, a "Green" is the area of specially prepared grass where the hole or "cup" and flagstick are located, and where the putting action occurs. Also, known as the putting green.

Grip: The act of placing and subsequently positioning the hands on the golf club shaft. There are several recognized "grips" involved in the game of golf.

The most prevalent is the "Vardon or overlapping grip named after a famous golfer. There are other accepted grips as well.

Grip (equipment): That part of the golf club where the hands are placed for striking the ball.

Grip (Overlapping): The "Overlapping Grip" was made famous by Harry Vardon, an avid Golfer in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. The Vardon Grip is the method of holding the golf club that is most popular among advanced as well as amateur golfers.

To use the Vardon grip, place the little finger of your trailing hand between the index and middle finger of your lead hand, overlapping those fingers.

The thumb of your lead (top) hand should fit in the lifeline of your trailing (bottom) hand.

Grip (Strong): A term referring to the position of the right hand when gripping the club at address (For right-handed golfers).

With this grip position, the hands are rotated in a clockwise manner, right of the club shaft center line.

This in turn, encourages the right hand to twist over the left at impact, causing the club to rotate closed and the ball to draw or hook.

Grip (Weak): A term referring to the position of the right hand when gripping the club at address (For right-handed golfers).

With this grip position, the hands are rotated in a counter-clockwise manner, left of the club shaft center-line.

This in turn, encourages the left hand to twist over the right at impact, causing the club to rotate open and the ball to fade or slice.

Groove (equipment): The horizontal crevices or "grooves" on the clubface that impart reverse spin to the golf ball when struck, which causes the ball to rise during flight.

Grounding-the-clubhead: To place the clubhead behind the ball on the ground at address. Grounding-the-club is prohibited when playing from marked" hazards" or when playing from a sand bunker.

Ground under Repair: According to basic Golfing Terms, "Ground under Repair" is an area of the golf course that is being repaired or altered. A "free drop" is allowed if the ball lands in an area marked "GUR" (Ground under Repair).

'Rich Man's Sport' in included in Golfing Terms

Golfing Terms H:


Handicap: According to basic Golfing Terms, "Handicap" is a number assigned to each golfer on their ability, which in turn is used to adjust each player's score in providing equality among the players.

The handicap number, based upon the course slope, is subtracted from the player's gross score which then gives that player a net score of par or better half the time.

Hazard: Any bunker or permanent water including any ground marked as part of that water hazard.

Heading In: Playing the "back nine" is referred to as "heading in" (towards the clubhouse). The last nine holes of an 18-hole golf course.

Heading Out: Playing the "front nine" is referred to as "heading out" (away from the clubhouse). The first nine holes of an 18-hole golf course.

High Side: The side of the hole that a putt breaks from, towards the hole. Also, known as the "Pro Side".

Hit (Placement): A term referring to placing the ball in the fairway or on the green.

Hitting (Action): A term referring to the action taken when striking the ball.

Hitting It Thin: "Hitting It Thin" means to strike the ball with the leading edge of the club sole rather than on the clubface. The ball will be propelled with very little loft and likely no backspin, and even sometimes over-spin. Also known as "Blading".

Hole: A 4 ½" diameter hole bored 4" in the ground which is located on the green. There is only one hole per green and is designated by a pole or flagstick inserted in the hole. The hole is also known as the "cup".

Hole (Par 3): A hole or green meant to be reached in one stroke from the "Teeing Ground". Generally 125 yards to 220 yards in length. Two successful putts would secure a par for that hole.

Hole (Par 4): A hole or green meant to be reached in two strokes from the "Teeing Ground". Generally 350 yards to 450 yards in length. Two successful putts would secure a par for that hole.

Hole (Par 5): A hole or green meant to be reached in three strokes from the "Teeing Ground". Generally 490 yards to 550 yards in length. Two successful putts would secure a par for that hole.

Hole in One: Hitting the ball directly from the tee into the hole or "cup" with one swing of the club. It is usually executed on a par three (3). It is also, known as an "ace".

Holes (Verb): When a player "holes" a putt, it means the ball has been struck successfully, and drops into the "Cup".

Honor: The side or player having priority on the tee to hit their drive first. The "honor" is usually decided by the side or player winning the previous hole.

Hosel: The cylindrical portion of a clubhead into which the shaft is cemented.

'You have the honor' is included in Golfing Terms

We hope you have found this Basic Golfing Terms 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.).

Please remember Golfing Terms are a vital link to understanding and appreciating the Game of Golf!

Thanks again for Visiting Us!


Go To Top Of Page Golfing Terms...F thru H

Go To Golf Terms...... A thru B

Go To Golf Terminology...C thru E

Go To Golf Glossary...I thru R

Go To Golf Dictionary...S thru Z

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