Golfoid’s Dictionary of Golf Terms for Beginners

an in-depth guide of golf terms for beginners. Golfoid’s Dictionary of Golf Terms for Beginners

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation that is way over your head? I’m positive that everyone has had this experience and it can leave you feeling distant and wanting to remove yourself from the situation. Typically, this occurs because a person is not accustomed to the verbiage being used by the other person, aka not hip with the lingo. As alienating as this may seem, only constant exposure can remedy the issue. Golf is not an exception to this lingo gap. So, at Golfoid, we are excited to take you from lingo zero to lingo hero. We hope you enjoy!

Golfoid’s Dictionary – Golf Terms for Beginners


Aim: Your target; the spot that where you are trying to hit the ball.

Albatross:  When you complete a hole with 3 shots under than the par.

Approach: Is when you put the ball on the green, usually on the second shot just after your driver.

Back nine: Holes 10 to 18 in an 18-hole course.

Birdie: When you complete a hole under one stroke to the pair of the hole. For a Par 5, that would be a 4. For a par 4, you score a 3. Last but not least, for a par 3, you score a 2.

Bite:  Its when you’re talking with your ball; a cute way to say: STOP!

Blind shot: Is when you are on the tee box or anywhere on the course and have no visibility of the green. It is when you need to pray in the game because you never know where your ball will land.

Bogey: One stroke more than the par of the hole. This is what will make your score bad. For example, on a Par 5 you score 6, Par 4 you score 5, or on a Par 3, you score 4.

Buggy: Is a small push cart to put your golf bag on it, for those people who like to walk instead of driving a cart.

Bunker: Obstacle built in the sand to make the game more difficult.

Caddie/Caddy: The person who will walk with the player and will help by holding the bag, giving information about each hole of the course, cleaning the clubs after the shots and golf balls, giving advice on which club to use, and information about the distance.

Carry: Is the distance that your ball flies. You usually use that word when you are with a friend and, before you hit your shot you say: ”I hope my 5 iron carries 200 yards”.

Chip: Is a shot when the ball is located near the green and should land on the green and roll near the hole. If that doesn’t happen, it means you need to practice more chipping at the driving range.

Clubhouse: Is where you find the golf course facilities such as bars, pro shop, restrooms, and restaurants. Additionally, of course, the place where you will pay for your golf round.

Dog leg: Is the name that is given to the shape of the hole in the golf course when it begins straight from the tee box and then turns 90º to the left or right.

Double bogey: Two strokes more than the par of the hole. This will really mess up your score and cause you to break clubs! For example, on a Par 5 you score 7, Par 4 you score 6, or on a Par 3 you score 5

Draw: Is the name given to the curvature which the ball does at the end of its trajectory. In the air, when you are right-handed your ball is drawn (goes) to the left.

Drive: Your first shot from the tee box, where you usually use the number 1 club called a driver.

Driving range: Is a space located on all golf clubs where golfers practice swinging, chipping, putting, and long distance shots with drivers, hybrids, and irons.

Eagle: When you complete a hole under two strokes to the pair of the hole. This will make your score better and make you buy more clubs. For example, on a Par 5 you score 3, Par 4 you score 2, or on a Par 3, you score 1 (can be called a hole in one also).

Even: Is when your score is equal to the par of the hole.

Fairway: Is central part of the field between the tee box and green, where the grass is cut short and trimmed, which helps with a player’s contact with the ball. The fairway is where your ball should land so you can have a better chance of a good shot.

Fade: Is the name given to the curvature which the ball does at the end of its trajectory in the air when you’re left-handed your ball fade(goes) to the right.

Fore: What you have to shout loud when you hit a ball towards other players to warn them of imminent danger.

Freshy: Is the shot where you swing and miss the contact with the ball, hitting nothing but air. That always happens to me, so don’t worry if you are starting to play golf then this is going to happen to you too.

Front nine: Holes from 1 to 9 on an 18-hole course.

Green: Its where you will find the flagstick showing where the hole is. This is also where each hole ends.

Green fee: Is the price that you pay for a round of golf.

Groove: The lines that you see on your club face to generate spin.

Handicap: Each golfer is assigned a handicap, depending on the quality of their game. The handicap is the number of strokes above the field par that the player normally does. It must be regularly adjusted in order to maintain the balance and competitiveness of the game among golfers. For the ladies, it goes from 0 (scratch) to 36 and for the men, it goes from 0 to 28. The professionals do not have a handicap, they always play with a handicap of 0.

Headcover: Protection for the head of your clubs.

Hole in one: When a golfer makes the shot into the hole with one stroke.

Hook: When the effect of the draw is exaggerated and the ball turns too far to the left.

Loft: The angle from the clubface to the shaft.

Mulligan: Name given to the second stroke on the ball when you mishit on your first one from the tee box. This typically only happens when the people who are playing with you agree to this rule.

Outofbounds: Outside the field area bounded by white stakes. In the case you hit one outside that marked area, you need to re-hit this shot and add another shot on top of that one.

Par: Is the required number of shots that must be struck from the tee to the hole in the green. The par of each hole varies between 3 and 5.

Pin:  It’s the name of the flagstick on the green.

Pitch mark:  Are the marks left by the ball when it lands on the green.

Pro Shop: Store with golf items located inside of the clubhouse

Putter: Club used on the green to finish each hole; putting the ball into the hole.

Putting green: Space near the clubhouse on the golf course that you can practice putting before a round of golf.

Rough: The bad grass near the fairways, better known as the high stuff.

Sand-wedge: Club used to hit the ball when inside the bunkers.

Scorecard: The card that player write down the number of strokes of each hole.

Signature hole: The most pleasant or photogenic hole. This is basically the hole which you prefer the most.

Slice: It is the effect when a golf ball turns too far to the right when the fade is exaggerated.

Tee box: Small colored boxes that mark the starting point where you will hit the first shot of each hole.

Tee: Wooden or plastic support to stick into the ground and place the ball in the first stroke of each hole.

Triple bogey: Three strokes more than the par of the hole. This will make you want to quit golf. For example, on a Par  5 you score 8, Par 4 you score 7, or on a Par 3 you score 6

Unplayable: when your ball lands in a place where you can not hit the ball, if your ball is unplayable, you will pay a penalty of adding 1 extra stroke to your score in this hole.

Have Some Fun and Show-Off Your Lingo!

We hope you enjoyed browsing through Golfoid’s Dictionary of Golf Terms for Beginners. In this, we also hope that your head is not feeling overloaded with the new knowledge. So, without waiting another minute, go out there on your buggy, use some mulligans to get those albatrosses, avoid the bunkers. and always remember to shout FORE!

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