Address The act of setting the body and club up to the ball when preparing to hit a shot.
Aiming The act of aligning the clubface to the target.
Alignment The position of the body in relation to the initial target.
Backswing The motion that involves the club and every element of the body in taking the club away from the ball and setting it in position at the top of the backswing from which the club can be delivered to the ball at impact.
Baseball Grip A grip in which all ten fingers are placed on the grip of the club.
Birdie A score of one-under par on a hole.
Bogey A score of one-over par on a hole.
Bump and Run A pitch shot around the green in which the player hits the ball into a slope to deaden its speed before settling on the green and rolling towards the hole.
Bunker A hollow comprised of sand or grass or both that exists as an obstacle and, in some cases, a hazard.
Caddie A person hired to carry clubs and provide other assistance.
Carry The distance a ball will fly in the air, usually to carry a hazard or safely reach a target.
Cart Path Usually a black top, concrete or dirt path that connects the tee box to the green.
Chip A chip is a very short shot used when the ball is close to the green but not on the green. The intention of the chip is to make the ball roll low to the ground and go in or near the hole.
Chip and Run A low-running shot played around the greens where the ball spends more time on the ground than in the air.
Club Face The actual part of the club you want to hit the ball on. This is the flat part of the clubhead (which may be at an angle).
Club Head The part of the club you hit the ball with.
Divot The turf displaced when the club strikes the ball on a descending path. It also refers to the hole left after play.
Double Bogey A score of two-over-par on a hole.
Double Eagle A score of three-under-par on a hole.
Downswing The swing forward from the top of the backswing.
Draw A shot that flies slightly from right to left for righthanded players.
Driver A "driver" is typically the longest club in the bag. It is intended to advance the ball as far as possible. This club requires the most skill to use and some newer golfers will find they hit other clubs further with a driver.
Driving Range Another term for a practice area. Also known as a golf range, practice range or learning center.
Eagle A score of two-under-par on a hole.
Explosion A shot played from a sand bunker, usually when the ball has buried or settled down into the sand.
Fade A shot that flies slightly from left to right.
Fairway Wood Sometimes now called a fairway metal since they are now made from metal. The fairway wood is typically a rounded club and looks a bit like a smaller version of a driver. They often come numbered 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Fat Shot A description of a shot when the clubhead strikes the turf behind the ball, resulting in poor contact and a shot that comes up well short of the target.
First Swing The “First Swing” program is a “Program in a Box” lesson program specifically designed to introduce the non-golfer to the game of golf in a non-threatening, non-intimidating way.
Flop Shot Similar to a flip shot except that it involves a long, slower swing.
Fluffy Lie A lie in which the ball rests atop the longish grass. This can be a tricky lie because the tendency is to swing the clubhead under the ball, reducing the distance it carries.
Follow-through That part of the swing that occurs after the ball has been struck.
Fried Egg The slang term for a buried lie in the sand.
Golf Range A facility where people can practice their full swings and, in some cases, their short games.
Grain The direction which the blades of grass grow, which is of primary importance on the greens (particularly Bermuda grass greens) as this can effect how much and in which direction a putt breaks.
Green The green is that big, closely mown area where the flag and hole are located.
Greenkeeper An older, outdated term for the course superintendent.
Grip The placing and positioning of the hands on the club. The various types include the Vardon or overlapping, the interlocking and the 10-finger or baseball grip. (The Vardon grip is the most popular grip today.)
Grip (Equipment) That part of the golf club where the hands are placed.
Group Lesson A teaching session in which several pupils work with one or more PGA Professionals. This type of lesson is particularly effective for beginners, especially juniors.
Heel The part of the clubhead nearest the hosel. A shot hit off the heel is said to be “heeled.”
Hook A shot that curves sharply from right to left for righthanded players.
Hosel The part of the club connecting the shaft to the clubhead.
Hybrid Club This type of club is new in the last few years and is a cross between an iron and a fairway wood. Hybrids usually replace longer irons (3, 4, 5, 6 irons) or fairway woods.
Impact The moment in the swing when the club strikes the ball.
Iron Irons are typically the thinnest club heads in your bag. A typical player's bag may have numerous irons numbered 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and/or P. Clubs with smaller numbers have less loft (point more horizontal, less "up in the air") and are longer.
Lag A shot (usually a pitch, chip or putt) designed to finish short of the target.
Learning Center A complete practice and instruction facility, which may or may not be on the site of a golf course.
Lie As it relates to the ball, the position of the ball when it has come to rest. As it relates to the club, it is the angle of the sole of the club relative to the shaft.
Line The intended path of the ball, usually referred to in the context of putting.
Line of Flight The actual path of the ball.
Link Up 2 Golf Link Up 2 Golf is a group lesson program covering all you need to know to start playing the game. The program includes eight hours of on-course group instruction over a 4- to 5-week period on etiquette, speed of play and proper behavior.
Links The term for a course built on linksland, which is land reclaimed from the ocean. It is not just another term for a golf course.
Lob Shot A short, high shot, usually played with a wedge, designed to land softly.
Loft The degree of angle on the clubface, with the least loft on a putter and the most on a sand wedge. It also describes the act of hitting a shot.
Looking Up The act of prematurely lifting your head to follow the flight of the ball, which also raises the swing center and can result in erratic ballstriking.
Mulligan The custom of hitting a second ball—without penalty—on a hole, usually the first tee.
Off-Green Putting When a player elects to putt from off the green rather than chip.
Overclub To pick the wrong club, usually for an approach shot, causing the ball to go over the green.
Pace The speed of the golf swing or the speed of the greens
Par The score an accomplished player is expected to make on a hole, either a three, four or five.
Pinch Shot A shot played around the green in which a player strikes the ball with a crisp, clean descending blow.
Pitch-and-Run A shot from around the green, usually with a middle or short iron, where the ball carries in the air for a short distance before running towards the hole.
Plugged Lie The condition when the ball comes to rest in its own pitch mark, usually in a bunker or soft turf.
Plumb-bob A method many players use to help them determine the amount a putt will break. When you position yourself behind the ball and hold the putter vertically so it covers the ball, the shaft of the putter indicates how much the ball will break.
Practice Green Area maintained like an actual 'green', but is not part of the golf course. Golfers use the practice green to warm up before playing.
Pre-Shot Routine The actions a player takes from the time he selects a club until he begins the swing.
Private Lesson Generally speaking, when a PGA Professional gives a lesson to a single pupil.
Punch Shot A low-flying shot played with an abbreviated backswing and finish. The key to the shot is having the hands slightly ahead of the clubhead at impact, which reduces the effective loft of the club.
Putt A putt is a very short swing taken with the putter that is intended to move a ball that is on or near the green into the hole.
Putter The putter is the club in your bag that has a completely flat side and a flat base. Putters come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Putters are intended to roll the ball along the ground and are typically used when on or near the green.
Reading the Green (or Putt) The entire process involved in judging the break and path of a putt.
Release The act of freely returning the clubhead squarely to the ball at impact, producing a powerful shot.
Rhythm The coordination of movement during the golf swing or putting stroke.
Scorecard The scorecard tells you the length of each hole from each tee box as well as the "par" rating for the hole. Golfers keep track of their score on these cards.
Scramble To recover from trouble or a popular form of team play in which the team members pick the ball in the best position and everyone plays from that spot.
Setup The process of addressing the ball, so that the club and body are properly aimed and aligned.
Shaft The thing that connects the grip and the clubhead. Typically made of metal or graphite.
Shank When the ball is struck on the hosel of the club, usually sending it shooting off to the right.
Shape To curve a shot to fit the situation. The word is also used to describe the flight of the ball. (The usual shape of his shots was a fade.)
Short Game Those shots played on and around the green, including putting, chipping and pitching, and bunker shots.
Sky A high, short shot caused by the clubhead striking the underside of the ball. Also known as a "pop-up."
Slice A ball that curves from left to right to a greater degree than a fade.
Sole When referring to equipment, it is the bottom of a club. When referring to the swing, it is the point when the sole of the club touches the ground at address.
Square A term frequently used in golf. It can be used to describe a stance or to describe contact with the ball. It can also refer to the status of a match (they were all-square (tied) at the turn.)
Stance The position of the feet at address.
Stroke Play Also known as medal play, it is a form of competition based on the cumulative number of strokes taken, either over one round or several.
Swaying An exaggerated lateral movement of the body on either the backswing, forward swing, or both, which results in inconsistent shotmaking.
Sweet Spot The point on the clubface where, if it is struck with an object, the clubface will not torque or twist to either side.
Swing Plane An imaginary surface that describes the path and angle of the club during the swing.
Takeaway The movement of the club at the start of the backswing.
Target Line An imaginary (often visualized) line drawn behind and through the ball to the point a player is aiming. If the player is planning to curve the ball, this point is the initial – not the ultimate – target.
Tee Box The area where players tee off to start a hole.
Tee Time A "tee time" is the time your group is assigned to begin play. This is the time the group should be on the tee ready to play rather than the time you should arrive at the golf course.
Tempo The speed of the swing (not necessarily the clubhead speed.)
Texas Wedge A term describing a shot played with a putter from well off the green. It is a good shot for players who lack confidence in their chipping and pitching, or in extremely windy conditions.
Three-Quarter Shot A shot played with a shortened backswing and lessened arm speed.
Timing The sequence of motions within the golf swing.
Toed Shot Any shot hit off the toe of the club.
Topped Shot A low, bouncing shot caused by the bottom of the club striking the top half of the ball.
Touch A player’s sense of feel, generally around the greens.
Visualization A mental image of a swing or shot or even an entire round.
Wedge A "wedge" is a special type of iron used for hitting the shortest shots in golf. This club usually has an "S", "W", "L", or a number such as 55, 56, or 60 on it.
Whiff A complete miss. Also known as an "air ball."
Yips A condition, generally believed to be psychological, which causes a player to lose control of his hands and club. In Great Britain, the condition is referred to as the "Twitchies."