Top 31 Slang For Golf Course – Meaning & Usage

Golf, a game steeped in tradition and elegance, has its own unique set of vocabulary and slang. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner looking to navigate the golf course with confidence, we’ve got you covered with our list of the top slang terms for the golf course. From birdies to bogeys, this list will have you speaking the language of golf in no time. So grab your clubs and get ready to tee off into a world of golfing lingo!

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1. Shank

A shank refers to a golf shot where the ball is struck by the hosel of the club, resulting in a shot that veers sharply to the right (for right-handed golfers). It is considered a poor shot and often leads to a significant loss of distance.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I shanked my approach shot and ended up in the rough.”
  • Another golfer might comment, “I always get nervous about shanking my chip shots.”
  • During a round, a player might exclaim, “I can’t believe I just shanked that easy putt!”

2. Short Game

The short game refers to a golfer’s skills and shots played within 100 yards of the hole. It includes shots such as chipping, pitching, and putting. The short game is crucial for scoring well in golf, as it often determines whether a player can save par or make a birdie.

  • For instance, a golfer might say, “My short game is really strong, but I need to work on my driving.”
  • Another might comment, “I spent hours practicing my short game at the practice green.”
  • During a round, a player might say, “I need to focus on my short game to improve my score.”

3. Sink A Putt

To sink a putt means to successfully make a putt, where the ball rolls into the hole. It is a term used to describe a successful putting stroke and is often used to indicate a player’s ability to finish a hole with a single putt.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I finally sank a long putt for birdie.”
  • Another might comment, “I’m struggling to sink putts today.”
  • After making a difficult putt, a player might exclaim, “I can’t believe I sank that putt from across the green!”

4. Slice

A slice is a type of golf shot where the ball curves to the right (for right-handed golfers) and veers off the intended target line. It is usually caused by a side-spin imparted on the ball due to an open clubface at impact.

  • For instance, a golfer might say, “I always struggle with slicing my driver.”
  • Another might comment, “I need to fix my slice if I want to hit the fairway consistently.”
  • After hitting a slice, a player might exclaim, “I can’t believe my ball sliced into the water!”

5. Slope Rating

Slope rating is a measure of the relative difficulty of a golf course for bogey golfers compared to scratch golfers. It takes into account factors such as the course’s length, hazards, and the level of difficulty of the greens. A higher slope rating indicates a more challenging course.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “The slope rating of this course is really high, so it’s going to be a tough round.”
  • Another might comment, “I prefer playing courses with a lower slope rating because they are more forgiving.”
  • When discussing course selection, a player might say, “I always check the slope rating before deciding to play a new course.”

6. Snowman

In golf, a “snowman” refers to scoring an 8 on a single hole. The term comes from the idea that the number 8 looks like a snowman.

  • For example, if a golfer hits the ball into a water hazard and takes a penalty stroke, they might end up with a snowman on their scorecard.
  • A player might say, “I had a snowman on the 18th hole, it really hurt my final score.”
  • Another might joke, “I thought I was playing golf, but I ended up building a snowman instead!”

7. Sole

In golf, the “sole” refers to the bottom of a golf shoe. It is the part of the shoe that makes contact with the ground during a swing.

  • For instance, a golfer might say, “I need to clean the mud off my shoe soles before teeing off.”
  • During a round, a player might notice damage to their shoe soles and comment, “I think I need to replace these shoes, the soles are worn out.”
  • Another might ask, “Do you have any tips for getting better traction with my shoe soles?”

8. Ace

In golf, an “ace” refers to scoring a hole-in-one, which means hitting the ball directly from the tee into the hole with a single stroke.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I finally got my first ace after years of playing.”
  • During a round, a player might witness someone else scoring an ace and exclaim, “Wow, that was an incredible shot! Congratulations on the ace!”
  • Another might say, “I’ve been playing golf for decades and still haven’t had an ace. Maybe one day!”

9. Airmail

In golf, “airmail” refers to hitting the ball over the green, meaning the ball goes past the intended target area.

  • For instance, if a golfer hits their approach shot with too much power and it goes over the green, they might say, “I airmail’d the green on that one.”
  • During a round, a player might comment on an impressive shot by saying, “That shot was so good, it almost airmail’d the green!”
  • Another might joke, “I’m really good at airmailing the green, but I need to work on my accuracy.”

10. Eagle

In golf, an “eagle” refers to scoring two strokes under par on a hole. It is considered a very good score.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I got an eagle on the 5th hole, it really boosted my confidence.”
  • During a round, a player might witness someone else scoring an eagle and comment, “That was an amazing shot! What a fantastic eagle!”
  • Another might ask, “Have you ever had an eagle? It’s such a great feeling to score under par!”

11. Fore

This is a term used to alert others on the golf course that a golf ball is heading their way. It is typically shouted when a player hits a shot that may potentially hit someone else.

  • For example, if a golfer hits a shot that veers off course towards another group, they might yell, “Fore!”
  • In a crowded golf course, a player might yell “Fore!” to warn nearby players of an errant shot.
  • A golfer might apologize to another player by saying, “I’m sorry for hitting into your group. I should have yelled ‘Fore!'”

12. Green

The “green” refers to the area of short grass surrounding the hole on a golf course. It is where the final shots are played, typically using a putter.

  • For instance, a golfer might say, “I had a great approach shot and landed on the green.”
  • When discussing course conditions, a player might comment, “The greens were fast and challenging today.”
  • A golfer might describe a difficult putt by saying, “I had a long putt from one end of the green to the other.”

13. Handicap

A handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer’s playing ability. It is used to level the playing field in competitions between players of different skill levels.

  • For example, a golfer might have a handicap of 10, meaning they are expected to shoot 10 strokes above par.
  • In a tournament, players with lower handicaps are often given fewer strokes as an advantage.
  • A golfer might say, “My handicap has improved since I started practicing regularly.”

14. Mulligan

A “mulligan” is a golfing term that refers to a free do-over or second chance to hit a shot. It is typically used when a player hits a poor shot and wants to take another attempt without penalty.

  • For instance, a golfer might say, “Can I take a mulligan? That shot went way off target.”
  • During a casual round, players might agree to allow each other one mulligan per round.
  • A golfer might jokingly say, “I could use a mulligan on every shot today!”

15. Tee

The “tee” is the designated area where a golfer begins each hole. It is a small peg or wooden peg that is used to elevate the ball for the initial drive.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I placed my ball on the tee and prepared for my first shot.”
  • When discussing strategy, a player might comment, “I always use a tee for my driver to get more distance.”
  • A golfer might ask their playing partner, “Do you have an extra tee I can borrow?”

16. Tee Box

The tee box is the designated area on a golf hole where the player starts their round by hitting their first shot. It is usually marked by tee markers and is the only area on the course where the player can place their ball on a tee.

  • For example, “The golfer stepped up to the tee box and prepared to drive the ball.”
  • A player might ask, “Which tee box should I use for this hole?”
  • During a friendly match, someone might say, “Let’s all tee off from the same tee box to make it fair.”

The term “links” refers to a type of traditional golf course that is typically located in coastal areas. Links courses are known for their natural terrain, sandy soil, and dunes. They often have a more rugged and challenging layout compared to other types of courses.

  • For instance, “I love playing on links courses because of the challenging wind conditions.”
  • A golfer might say, “The Old Course at St. Andrews is one of the most famous links courses in the world.”
  • Someone discussing their golf vacation might mention, “We played on several beautiful links courses in Ireland.”

18. Fairway

The fairway is the well-manicured, grassy area between the tee box and the green on a golf hole. It is the ideal area to hit the ball towards, as it provides a clear path to the green. The fairway is usually shorter and narrower than the rough, which is the longer grass surrounding it.

  • For example, “The golfer’s drive landed perfectly in the middle of the fairway.”
  • A player might ask, “How wide is the fairway on this hole?”
  • During a discussion about course conditions, someone might comment, “The fairways were in great shape after the recent rain.”

19. Par 3

A par 3 is a golf hole that is designed to be completed in three strokes. It is usually one of the shorter holes on a course and requires the player to hit the ball from the tee box and onto the green in three shots or less. Par 3 holes often provide opportunities for birdies or even holes-in-one.

  • For instance, “The golfer’s tee shot on the par 3 landed just inches from the hole.”
  • A player might ask, “What’s the yardage on this par 3?”
  • During a discussion about scoring, someone might say, “I made a birdie on every par 3 during my round.”

20. Par 4

A par 4 is a golf hole that is designed to be completed in four strokes. It is usually of medium length and requires the player to hit the ball from the tee box, onto the fairway, and onto the green in four shots or less. Par 4 holes offer a balanced challenge for golfers of varying skill levels.

  • For example, “The golfer’s approach shot on the par 4 landed just a few feet from the hole.”
  • A player might ask, “Is this par 4 a dogleg left or right?”
  • During a discussion about course difficulty, someone might comment, “The par 4s on this course are particularly challenging.”

21. Par 5

In golf, “Par 5” refers to a hole on the course that is expected to be completed in 5 strokes. It is one of the standard scoring terms used in golf to indicate the difficulty level of a hole.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I birdied the Par 5 on the back nine.”
  • During a round, a player might strategize, “I need to hit a long drive to have a chance at reaching the green in two on this Par 5.”
  • Another golfer might express frustration, “I always seem to struggle on Par 5s.”

22. Caddy

A caddy is a person who assists a golfer during a round by carrying their clubs, providing advice on shot selection, and helping with other tasks on the course.

  • For instance, a golfer might say, “My caddy recommended I use a 7-iron for this shot.”
  • During a tournament, a professional golfer might rely on their caddy for course knowledge, saying, “What’s the best line to take on this hole, caddy?”
  • A caddy might offer encouragement, “You’ve got this, just focus on your swing.”

23. Pin

In golf, the “Pin” refers to the flagstick that marks the location of the hole on each green. It is used as a target for golfers to aim their approach shots and putts.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I hit my approach shot right at the pin.”
  • When a golfer makes a long putt, they might exclaim, “I drained it from 30 feet, right in the heart of the pin!”
  • Another golfer might express frustration, “I kept hitting the pin with my putts today, but they just wouldn’t drop.”

24. Approach shot

An approach shot in golf refers to a shot played from the fairway or rough with the intention of landing the ball on the green, usually for the purpose of setting up a putt for a birdie or par.

  • For instance, a golfer might say, “I hit a great approach shot and left myself with a short birdie putt.”
  • On a long par 4, a golfer might strategize, “I need a solid approach shot to give myself a chance at par.”
  • Another golfer might analyze their round, saying, “My approach shots were the strongest part of my game today.”

25. Putt

A putt in golf refers to a stroke played on the green with the intention of rolling the ball into the hole. It is typically used to finish a hole after the approach shots.

  • For example, a golfer might say, “I sank a 20-foot putt for birdie.”
  • When a golfer misses a short putt, they might express frustration, “I can’t believe I missed that easy putt.”
  • Another golfer might offer advice, “Just focus on your line and speed when you’re putting.”

26. Sand trap

A hazard on a golf course filled with sand, typically located near the fairway or green. It is designed to challenge golfers by making it difficult to hit the ball out of the sand trap and onto the green.

  • For example, “My ball landed in the sand trap, so I had to use my sand wedge to get it out.”
  • A golfer might complain, “I always seem to find myself in the sand trap no matter how well I hit the ball.”
  • Another might say, “Getting out of the sand trap requires a good technique and a soft touch.”

27. Tap-in

A short putt that is so close to the hole that it is considered easy enough to be conceded by other players. It is typically given by opponents as a courtesy to save time and effort.

  • For instance, “After a great approach shot, I had a tap-in for birdie.”
  • A golfer might say, “I missed a tap-in for par, and it cost me the match.”
  • Another might ask, “Can I have a gimme on this one? It’s just a tap-in.”

28. Double bogey

A score of two strokes above par on a single hole. It indicates that the golfer took two more strokes than the expected number to complete the hole.

  • For example, “I made a double bogey on the last hole, which hurt my overall score.”
  • A golfer might say, “I can handle a bogey, but a double bogey really frustrates me.”
  • Another might note, “Consistently making double bogeys can be a sign of poor course management.”

29. Triple bogey

A score of three strokes above par on a single hole. It indicates that the golfer took three more strokes than the expected number to complete the hole.

  • For instance, “I had a rough hole and ended up with a triple bogey.”
  • A golfer might say, “I hate getting a triple bogey because it takes me out of contention.”
  • Another might comment, “Recovering from a triple bogey mentally can be a challenge.”

30. Chip

A short, low-trajectory shot played around the green with the intention of landing the ball onto the putting surface and rolling it towards the hole. It is typically used when the golfer is close to the green but too far to putt.

  • For example, “I used my pitching wedge to chip the ball onto the green.”
  • A golfer might say, “I need to work on my chipping because it often costs me strokes.”
  • Another might advise, “When chipping, focus on getting the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible.”

31. Stymie

In golf, a stymie refers to a situation where one player’s ball blocks the line of putt of another player. The term is used to describe an obstacle or hindrance on the golf course.

  • For example, if Player A’s ball is directly in the line of Player B’s putt, it creates a stymie.
  • A golfer might say, “I had a difficult shot because there was a stymie in my way.”
  • In a discussion about golf strategies, someone might mention, “Dealing with stymies requires careful consideration and skill.”
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