Golf is a game of skill, strategy, and etiquette. But it's also a game of fun, banter, and beer. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned player, you need to know the lingo of the game to communicate with your buddies and understand what they're saying. In this blog post, we'll give you the ultimate guide to golf slang, so you can talk like a pro and a Bogey Bear OG.
Golf slang is the colorful and often random language that golfers use to describe different aspects of the game. It includes terms for different types of shots, holes, equipment, players, and situations. Knowing golf slang will equip you with an arsenal of puns to impress your friends. It will also make following TV coverage of the PGA Tour much easier. Here are some of the most common golf slang terms that you should know:
- Ace: It's in the hole. A 1 on your card. A euphoric feeling that no drug can top. And Ace is what all those newfound friends in the bar will be calling you as you buy them drinks. Cheers.
- Birdie: When you make one less stroke than the par on a hole. For example, if you make three strokes on a par four, that's a birdie. Good job.
- Bogey: When you make one more stroke than the par on a hole. For example, if you make five strokes on a par four, that's a bogey. Not so good.
- Eagle: When you make two less strokes than the par on a hole. For example, if you make two strokes on a par four, that's an eagle. Amazing.
- Albatross: When you make three less strokes than the par on a hole. For example, if you make one stroke on a par four, that's an albatross. Legendary.
- Mulligan: When you get a do-over for a bad shot off the tee. You won't see this on tour, but it's common among casual golfers who want to have fun and not ruin their scorecard. Just don't abuse it or ask for it too often.
- Gimme: A very short putt that is assumed to be made without actually hitting it. Your friends can allow you to pick up your ball and count it as in if they think it's too easy to miss. There is no official length for this, but usually anything within a foot or less is considered a gimme.
- Fore: What you shout when your ball is headed towards someone or something that might get hit by it. It's a warning and an apology in one word. Always shout it loud and clear if you think your ball might cause any harm or damage.
- Out of bounds: Any area outside the golf course's designated boundaries where you're not allowed to play from. If you hit your ball out of bounds, you have to take a penalty stroke and hit another ball from where you last played it.
- Water hazard: Any body of water on the course where your ball might end up in. If you hit your ball into a water hazard, you have to take a penalty stroke and either drop another ball outside the hazard or play from where it entered the hazard.
- Sand trap: Any area of sand on the course where your ball might end up in. If you hit your ball into a sand trap, you have to play it as it lies without touching the sand with your club or hand before hitting it.
- Rough: Any area of grass on the course that is longer and thicker than the fairway or the green. If you hit your ball into the rough, you might have a harder time finding it or hitting it out.
- Fairway: The area of grass on the course that is shorter and smoother than the rough or the green. It is usually where you want to hit your ball after teeing off.
- Green: The area of grass on the course that is closest to the hole and where you putt your ball into the hole.
- Tee box: The area of grass on the course where you start each hole by hitting your ball off a tee.
- Hook: A shot that curves sharply from right to left for a right-handed golfer or from left to right for a left-handed golfer. It is usually caused by a closed clubface or an inside-out swing path. It is also known as a snap hook or a duck hook.
- Shank: A shot that hits the hosel of the club and flies off at a right angle to the intended direction. It is also known as a hosel rocket or a lateral.
- Duff: A shot that barely or doesn't get off the ground. It is also known as a fat shot, a chunk, or a worm burner.
- Top: A shot that hits the top of the ball and causes it to roll along the ground. It is also known as a thin shot or a skull.
- Whiff: A swing and a miss that counts as a stroke. It is also known as an air shot or a freshie.
- Flop: A shot that goes very high and lands very softly. It is usually used to get over an obstacle or stop the ball quickly on the green. It is also known as a lob shot or a Phil Mickelson.
These are just some of the most common golf slang terms that you should know. There are many more that you can learn and use on the course to spice up your game and have some fun with your friends.
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Happy golfing! 🏌️♂️