Basic Golf Terminology Every Golfer... Should Know

Golf Terminology is a unique language in of itself. You will enjoy the Game of Golf more if you have a good basic knowledge of the Golfing Terms prevalent throughout today’s Golfing World!

Please do yourself a favor and get a good grasp of the following Golf Glossary.

(This glossary is not all-inclusive, and is aimed primarily at the Beginning to Intermediate Golf Level. Words which are italicized in green are also defined elsewhere in the Golf Glossary).

Golf Terminology C:


Caddie: A person who is hired to carry a player's bag and clubs from hole to hole on the golf course. Players are responsible for the actions of their caddies.

Cart (Hand): According to Golf Terminology, a "Hand Golf Cart" is a two or three-wheeled cart pulled or pushed by the player. The cart holds all clubs and accessories for the golfer.

There are some hand carts that are electric-powered and controlled by a remote device operated by the player.

Cart (Motorized): A four-wheeled cart powered by batteries or propane gas for use in transporting players and their equipment from hole to hole around the golf course.

Cart Path: In Golf Terminology terms, a rather narrow path extending from hole to hole on the golf course. This path is for motorized golf carts in transporting players and their equipment.

The cart paths are usually prepared with concrete or asphalt. Driving the carts primarily on the Cart Path saves wear and tear on the fairway turf.

Casual Water: Any temporary standing water.

Chip-in: A chip shot from outside the green or fringe, that runs to and drops into the hole.

Chip Shot (Chipping): A short shot typically played close to and around the green. The chip shot is usually made with a medium- lofted club to produce a medium loft on the ball with the intention of having the ball run to the hole.

Chip Bump and Run: In Golf Terminology terms, a low-trajectory golf shot played around the green where the ball spends more time on the ground than in the air.

Choke Down: Gripping further down the club shaft to shorten the distance from the hands to the ball, usually providing better control of the club.

Chunk: In golf terminology terms, a poor swing that results in the clubhead contacting the ground well before the ball, causing a large "chunk" of turf being taken as a divot. Also known as a "fat shot".

Closed Clubface: When the clubface, relative to the target-line, is angled left towards the player's body (right-hander), which generally results in shots hitting to the left of the target.

Closed Grip: A golf grip referred to as a strong grip because both hands are turned away from the target, and rotated clock-wise from the centerline of the club shaft.

Closed Stance: In Golf Terminology terms, for a right-handed player, when the front foot is set closer to the target-line. Used primarily to prevent a slice, or to draw the ball left.

Club Cover: Factory or Custom-Made covers slipped over each golf club in the bag for protection of the clubs from rubbing or bumping against one another while being transported form hole to hole, or to and from the golf course. The covers also protect the clubs from the elements.

Club (golf): An implement utilized by a Golfer to hit a golf ball. A maximum of fourteen clubs are allowed to be carried in a golf bag by the player.

Clubface: The front or leading edge of the clubhead, which is designed to strike the golf ball.

Clubhead: The impact or hitting part of a golf club.

Clubhead Speed: The absolute maximum velocity of the clubhead passing through the impact zone during a normal golf swing (usually measured while swinging the "Driver").

There are a variety of mechanical and electronic devices on the Market to measure the Clubhead Speed in "Miles per Hour".

Clubhouse: Where play begins (1st Hole) and ends (18th Hole). It is also a gathering place for players and usually contains a restaurant and bar (19th Hole).

It is also a source for information concerning local rules and events. Golf equipment and clothing may also be found here.

Club-Length: In golf terminology terms, a term relating to the club-at-hand utilized for measuring distances relative to elements on the golf course; such as penalty "drops" on the fairway, distances on the Tee Box, and other miscellaneous applications by using the golf club for measuring purposes.

Club Shaft: The long cylindrical tubing which attaches to the clubhead at the hosel. These club shafts are made of a variety of materials which have different "flex" properties.

Come-backer: A putt required after the previous putt went past the hole.

Course (Golf): A large tract of land dedicated to the game of Golf. Usually, the tract contains a regulation 18-hole playing area with each hole consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough areas, a fringe or apron, and a putting green.

The distance covered in traversing the 18-hole course is generally about 7200 to 7500 yards.

Course Slope): The Course Slope is determined by the USGA Slope Rating System, which is a number ranging from 55 to 155 that represents the difficulty of a golf course for "bogey golfers" relative to the USGA Course Rating (which represents the difficulty for "scratch golfers").

Slope rating is expressed as a ratio, not as the number of strokes. The higher the slope, the more difficult the golf course plays for "bogey golfers".

An average slope rating would be considered at a 113 ratio. Slope rating is used to figure Course Handicap as well as figuring Handicap Indexes. Cup (golf): A plastic retainer or "cup" is inserted into the hole in the green which is 4 1/2 inches in diameter, and 4 inches deep.

The flagstick is placed in the cup to indicate where the cup is located on the green. The cup and flagstick are moved to a different location on the green each day. There is only one cup per green. The cup is also referred to as the "hole".

Golf Terminology includes 'Golf Widow

Golf Terminology D:


Decelerate: A slowing or decreasing clubhead speed through the impact area.

Dimples: According to Golf Terminology, the round or cupped indentations on the cover of the ball. They are designed to enable the ball to make a steady and true flight.

The "dimples" reduce the air drag, allowing the ball to stay in the air for a longer flight than would be possible with a smooth surface.

Divot: The chunk of grass (either on the "teeing ground" or in the fairway or rough) displaced when the club has swung through impact with the ball.

Divot Tool: In golf terminology terms, the term "divot tool" refers to a two-pronged hard plastic or metal tool utilized to repair ballmarks on the putting green surface.

Actually "divot tool" is the wrong name for this tool. It is really a Ballmark Repair Tool, and not used to "fix" divots in the fairway or Tee Box)!

Dogleg: A pronounced bend either left or right in the fairway.

Double Bogey: A Score of two (2) above par on a hole.

Double Eagle: A hole played three (3) strokes under par. Also known as an "albatross". Double eagles almost always occur on par five holes when a golfer holes their second shot.

Downswing: The motion of swinging the club from the top of the swing through to the point-of-impact.

Draw: A shot made with the clubface slightly closed at impact, causing the ball to take a moderately curved trajectory to the left (for a right-handed golfer). Opposite of a fade.

Drive: The first shot at each hole executed from an area called the "tee box", usually performed with a club known as the "driver".

Driver: The longest club of the set of fourteen (14) allowed. Also utilized as the primary club for driving the ball from the tee, usually creating the greater distance for ball flight.

Driving Range: A term used for a practice area utilized for "driving" balls with irons and woods. Also known as a golf range, practice range, or golf learning center.

Drop: A term defining the action taken by a player when they hit a ball into a hazard, or area in which the ball is unplayable, which consists of holding the ball at arm's length horizontal to the ground, and "dropping" it a minimum of two (2) club-lengths away from the hole to a new position for hitting.

'Hole-In-One' is part of Golf Terminology

Golf Terminology E:


Eagle: A hole played in two (2) strokes under par.

Electric Caddie: A self-propelled Golf Hand Cart. It's an electric "scooter" to carry your golf bag. The older models require you to guide them with one hand.

The newer models come with a wireless remote control and the cart follows you wherever you walk on the course.

Even: Having a score equal to that of par.

Etiquette (Golf): Within Golf Terminology, "Golf Etiquette" is a set of rules, both written and unwritten, that governs behavior on a golf course. Otherwise known as good manners!

The rules of golf etiquette are designed to keep golf enjoyable for everyone on the course by making sure that golfers keep moving (preventing the rounds from becoming interminably long) and that everyone remains safe.

Explosion Shot: Depending upon the circumstances, a golfer may opt to hit the ball out of a sand trap using a technique called an "explosion shot". The explosion shot is a strong swing of the club, deliberately intended to hit the ball out of the sandtrap by striking the sand just behind the ball and following through with the clubhead, plowing through the sand under the ball.

This propels both the sand and the ball at a high loft angle, perfect for landing the ball softly on the green. The explosion shot can only be used when sand is fine and dry. Wet or granular sand does not work very well on an explosion attempt.

The explosion shot is used mainly for greenside bunkers where the ball does not need to travel very far. You hit an explosion shot because you don't want your ball to travel very far. You just want it out of the sandtrap and onto the green with very little roll.

Also known as a "blast".

'Sunday Golf' is part of Golf Terminology

We hope you have found this Golf Terminology 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 Terminology is a vital link to understanding and appreciating the Game of Golf!

Thanks again for Visiting Us!


Go To Top Of Page Golf Terminology... C-thru-E

Go To Golf Terms... A thru B

Go To Golfing Terms... F thru H

Go To Golf Glossary... I thru R

Go To Golf Dictionary... S thru Z

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