Golf Vocabulary Terms to Know

Albatross:

  • Definition – scoring three strokes under par on a golf hole
  • Example – John hit his second shot into the par 5 hole for an albatross

Ball Striking:

  • Definition – how well you make contact with the golf ball on the club face
  • Example – Your ball striking has improved tremendously

Birdie:

  • Definition – scoring one stroke under par on a golf hole
  • Example – I’ve got this putt for birdie

Bogey:

  • Definition – scoring one stroke over par on a golf hole
  • Example – I missed the par putt but I made the next putt for bogey

Break:

  • Definition – the direction a putt will roll due to slope on the green
  • Example – I think this putt will break to the right so I’m aiming my putt left

Bump and Run:

  • Definition – a low chip shot that doesn’t travel far in the air, but does most of the distance rolling on the green.
  • Example – With the flag on the opposite side of the green I need to hit a bump and run to get there.

Bunker:

  • Definition – a sand pit dug into the grounds of a golf hole, usually near the green
  • Example – I’ve hit my ball into the bunker and now have a tough sand shot to get onto the green

Caddie:

  • Definition – an assistant who carries your golf bag and gives advice on the golf course during your round
  • Example – John’s caddie told him to hit 7 iron from 155 yards to the green

Cart Path:

  • Definition – the roadway that runs on the side of a golf hole for your golf cart to drive on
  • Example – I think my ball came to a stop on the cart path

Chip:

  • Definition – hitting a short golf shot from the grass around a green (usually with a wedge)
  • Example – I need to chip this shot onto the green, close to the hole to save par

Club House:

  • Definition – the building on a golf course that you pay for your golf round, buy food, and use the restroom
  • Example – Let’s go into the club house and set up our tee time to play the course

Course:

  • Definition – the land developed for golfers to play on, referred to as a golf course
  • Example – That course is a tough one to play

Divot:

  • Definition – an indentation on the green putting surface caused by a golf ball landing hard
  • Example – I need to fix my divot first, so the putt can roll smoothly without hopping over the divot

Dog Leg:

  • Definition – a hole that is designed to curve sideways so you can’t see the green from the tee box
  • Example – This hole dog legs right so I’ll try to cut the corner to get closer to the green

Double Bogey:

  • Definition – a score of two strokes above par for a golf hole
  • Example – I’m now two over par on the day after making double bogey on that last hole

Drive:

  • Definition – The first shot to begin a hole, normally using a number 1 wood or driver
  • Example – I hit my drive into the rough

Driver:

  • Definition – a club used for hitting the first shot on long yardage holes (par 4 and par 5)
  • Example – My driver just hit the ball 300 yards leaving me a short iron shot to the green

Fade:

  • Definition – a shot where the ball flight trajectory curves left to right (for right handed players)
  • Example – I need to hit a fade to get the ball around these trees and back on line with the hole

Fairway:

  • Definition – the short grass the runs between the tee box and the putting green on a golf hole
  • Example – I need my drive to land in the fairway to give me an easier chance at making par

Flag Stick:

  • Definition – the pole (stick) that marks the hole position on the green so you can see from far away
  • Example –  I’m aiming straight at the flag stick on this golf shot

Green:

  • Definition: The round circle shaped part of a golf hole that contains the cup you’re trying to get the ball into.
  • Example: Let’s hit the ball onto the green and make the putt for birdie

Grip:

  • Definition: The part of the golf club that you hold onto. Also the position of your hands on the grip to ensure you have grasp of the club
  • Example: Adjust your grip and you’ll stop slicing the golf ball

Hazard:

  • Definition: An area on the golf course that you do not want to be in like water and ground under repair
  • Example: If you hit it into the hazard, you may not find your golf ball again

Hole:

  • Definition: The part of the golf green you’re trying to get the ball into
  • Example: Hit this putt into the hole

Hook:

  • Definition: A golf swing that sends the ball curving severely instead of going straight
  • Example: I just hooked my drive into the rough again

Irons:

  • Definition: A set of golf clubs used to hit higher, softer landing golf shots to get the ball onto the green
  • Example: Which irons are you playing with?

Lie:

  • Definition: The position the ball is sitting in the grass which can be on top of grass or buried down in the grass
  • Example: I have a terrible lie in the rough which makes my shot challenging now

Links:

  • Definition: A style of golf course with few trees but lots of wind in the open plains
  • Example: The links style golf course is popular over seas in Europe

Par:

  • Definition: the score assigned to a hole or golf score indicating how many shots you should take to get in the hole
  • Example: The par of today’s golf course is 72 for 18 holes

Pitch and Run:

  • Definition: A type of golf shot where the ball carries in the air several yards before landing on the green and rolling
  • Example: After coming up short of the green, Tiger needs to hit a pitch and run to get the ball to the hole

Putt:

  • Definition: A golf shot where you swing the putter and hit the golf ball on the putting green
  • Example: Hit this putt into the hole

Putter:

  • Definition: The club used on the putting green to hit the golf ball
  • Example: What type of putter are you playing with?

Rough:

  • Definition: The tall grass that is on both sides of the fairway and tougher to hit out of compared to shorter grass
  • Example: If your ball misses the fairway it will end up in the rough

Golf Practice Routines & Drills to Follow

Before you go check out these practice plans to follow with proven drills and routines to improve your short game and golf swing.

We recommend you start with the break 90 plan to get the basics and upgrade later to the harder plans (break 80, break 70) or try the short game plan with chipping and putting challenge levels to pass.

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