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Golf Glossary

Ace

A hole in one. The shot off the tee makes it into the hole and only one shot is taken to complete the hole.

Address

The position of the body before taking the first swing.

Approach

Usually used in the phrase "approach shot". Refers to the shot that plays to get the ball from the fairway onto the green.

Backspin

Refers to the backwards rotation of the ball on it's flight where the top of the ball is spinning back towards the player. Causes the ball to stop very quickly on the green.

Birdie

A score of one under par on a single hole.

Bogey

A score of one over par on a single hole.

Albatross

Sometimes called a "Double Eagle", an Albatross is a score of three under par on a singlehole.

Bounce

The angle between the ground and the club sole at correct address. Limits how much contact the club has with the ground. The only time golfers really need to worry about bounce is when they're buying a wedge. Low-bounce means the club will dig into the ground more. High-bounce means it the front edge won't ever make contact with the ground or could cause it to hit the ground before even meeting the ball.

Break

The curve or movement a ball makes on its path to the hole due to contours on the green. The deviations from a straight line to the hole.

Bunker

word called "Beach". Refers to the sand trap(s) on a golf course.

C.O.R. (Coefficient of Restitution)

Energy loss or retention when two objects collide. 0.000 being all energy is lost and none transferred. 1.000 meaning all energy is transferred and none is lost.

Carry

Most often used as a noun, carry refers the distance shots travel off the club head to where they touch the ground and doesn't include the distance added by ball roll.

CG (Center of Gravity)

CG is often used when describing golf clubs. A single point in the club head, there are three dimensions to it: vertical which is height from the sole; horizontal which is distance from the center hosel; and how far back on the head it is. The lower and farther back the CG is, the higher the shot goes. Horizontal CG determines shot precision.

Chip Shot

Short approach shot with little height that hits from close to the green. When the ball goes into the hole from a chip shot, it's called a Chip In.

Clubface

The area of the clubhead where the ball should make contact. Can be "open" or "closed," which refers to the angle of the face.

Cut

Usually refers to the type of shot that makes a large curve of the ball. The travel path should go left to right for right-handed golfers and right to left for left-handed golfers.

Divot

Piece of the course that gets taken up by the club on a swing. A divot tool fixes these holes and pats them back down so grass can grow over the soil.

Double Bogey

A score of two over par on a single hole.

Eagle

A score of two under par on a single hole.

Scratch Golfer

A golfer with a handicap of 0 and averages a par of every hole.

Last

Term used when discussing golf shoe construction. The last is the mold on which the shoe is made. Determines fit and shape of the shoe.

Links

Another term for a golf course.

MOI (Moment of Inertia)

MOI is a physics term that applies to golf equipment such as clubs and balls. It specifies just how much force golfers will need to put an object into motion. High MOI means that more energy needs to exert, while Low MOI means less energy.

Draw

A type of shot that gives a slight curve of the ball from right to left in right-handed golfers, and left to right for left-handed golfers.

Duck Hook

Also called "Snap Hook". Refers to a violent curve of the ball from right to left for right-handed golfers, and left to right for left-handed golfers. The ball will also dip or "duck" down to the ground.

Fade

Refers to a slight curve of the ball from left to right for right-handed golfers and right to left for left-handed golfers.

Hazard

word of the course designed to present challenges to golfers. Includes sand traps, lakes, ponds, etc.

Hook

Refers to a large curve of the ball from right to left for right handed golfers and left to right for left-handed golfers.

Lie

Angle from the shaft to the ground when the club is in normal playing position. Determines where the sole of the clubhead hits the ground.

Loft

Angle of the clubface that controls ball trajectory and affects distance as well. The loft angle will determine whether the shots will be higher, lower, longer, or shorter.

Par

Refers to the number of strokes expected to complete a hole. The par number of a hole always allows for two putt shots

Rough

The area of long grass that surrounds the fairway. Considered a type of hazard and makes for difficult play.

Shank

Refers to a violent curve of the ball from left to right in right-handed golfers and opposite for left-handed golfers after being struck on the heel or other part of the club that isn't the face. Can commonly be heard in phrases like "have the shanks", "shanking it", or "a case of the shanks". Essentially every golfer's worst nightmare.

Short Game

The type of game play that involves shorter shots with clubs such as putters and wedges. Also refers to the play around the green.

Slice

Refers to a violent curve of the ball from left to right for right-handed golfers and right to left for left-handed golfers.

Sweet Spot

Center point on the clubface that results in the best shots.

Trajectory

Physics term that relates to golf clubs and balls. Refers to the path followed by an object (in this case a golf ball) after it encounters a force that puts it into action. Usually the path is curved in some way, shape, or form.

Triple Bogey

A score of three over par on a single hole.