The Basic Golf Glossary and Golf Terms
Golf is a game with a lot of different terms and expressions. If you are new to the game, you might be a little intimidated – and a little confused – by all of the various things you hear on the course. It can take a little bit of time to get comfortable with the meaning of everything you will hear while playing golf, so the glossary below has been designed to give you a head start. While this is far from a complete golf dictionary, it does cover some of the basic terms you are likely to encounter.
- Target line. This is the line that you are intending to aim your shot on. Note, that this doesn’t necessarily mean the line from your ball to the hole, as you could be picking a different target to adjust for wind, hazards, ball flight, and more.
- Over the top. This is a common swing flaw, especially among amateur golfers. When you swing ‘over the top’, it means that your hands and arms move up and over the proper swing plane at the top of the backswing. Most slicers suffers from an over the top swing.
- Balloon ball. Some golfers will refer to a shot that floats up high into the air as a balloon ball. Usually, you want to avoid this kind of ball flight and hit a flatter shot that you have more control over.
- Amateur side of the hole. On a breaking putt, the low side of the hole is often called the amateur side. The reason being that most professionals know to play enough break to give a putt the chance to go in – while amateurs often miss low and give the putt no chance at all.
- Scratch golfer. A golfer who plays near a zero handicap is known as a scratch golfer. This should not be confused with a professional golfer, however. Being a zero handicap is good, but pro golfers have handicaps that are several strokes better than that.
- First cut. Some golfers will refer to the rough that is just off the edge of the fairway as the ‘first cut’. This grass is often not as long as the rough that is found farther from the fairway, but is still longer than the short grass in the fairway itself.
- Flat stick. The putter is often called the flat stick because of the small amount of loft of the face of the club head. If you hear someone say they are going to use the flat stick, that means they are going to hit the shot with their putter.