Aerial shot of a lush golf fairway and green next to the sea

Welcome to Golfbase's Golf Glossary, your ultimate guide to deciphering the language of golf. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newcomer, this alphabetical collection of over 60 terms demystifies golf jargon. From 'Albatross' to 'Zigzag,' explore the intricacies of the game, unraveling club techniques, course etiquette, and tournament formats. Gain insights into the 'Vardon Grip,' navigate a 'Dogleg' hole, and enhance your golf experience. Golfbase invites you to dive into the language that connects golfers worldwide, bridging the gap between casual observers and avid enthusiasts. Embark on a journey through the alphabetized lexicon, fostering a deeper appreciation for the timeless sport that challenges and captivates players of all levels.


Albatross: Scoring three strokes under par on a single hole.

Approach Shot: A shot played towards the green, typically with the intention of landing the ball on or near the putting surface.

Augmented Reality (AR) Golf: The integration of augmented reality technology into golf experiences, providing enhanced visuals and information.

Away: Your ball is the farthest from the hole - "You're Away".


Back Nine: The last nine holes of a full eighteen hole course.

Backswing: The initial part of a golf swing where the club is taken away from the ball.

Bag Drop: A designated area near the clubhouse where you can unload your gear before parking.

Ball Mark: The indentation your ball makes when it strikes the green.

Ball Marker: A small object, usually disc shaped, used to mark the position of a ball temporarily removed from the green.

Birdie: Scoring one stroke under par on a hole.

Bogey: Scoring one stroke over par on a hole.

Bunker: A hazard on a golf course, typically filled with sand.


Caddie/Caddy: A person hired to carry a golfer's clubs and assist with course management.

Chip Shot: A short shot played near the green with a low trajectory.

Clubhead: The portion of the golf club that strikes the ball.

Cut Shot: A shot intentionally shaped to move from left to right for a right-handed golfer.


Divot: A piece of turf or grass dislodged during a shot.

Dogleg: A hole where the fairway bends either to the left or right.

Double Bogey: Scoring two strokes over par on a hole.


Eagle: Scoring two strokes under par on a hole.

Etiquette: The established code of behavior on the golf course.


Fairway: The mowed area between the tee and the green.

Fade: A controlled shot that intentionally curves from left to right (for a right-handed golfer).

Fescue: A type of grass commonly found on golf courses.

Fore: A warning shouted when a ball is headed towards other players.

Front Nine: The first nine holes of an 18-hole golf course.


Gimme: A short putt that is conceded by other players.

Green: The highly manicured area surrounding the hole.

Grip: The part of the club that a golfer holds.

Ground Under Repair (GUR): Areas of the course that are marked for maintenance.


Hazard: A bunker or water feature on the course that adds difficulty.

Hook: A shot that curves sharply from right to left (for a right-handed golfer).


Iron: A type of golf club with a metal head, numbered for different distances.


Jigger: An antiquated term for a low lofted iron.


Knockdown Shot: A controlled shot with a lower trajectory.


Lag Putt: A long putt intended to get the ball close to the hole rather than directly into it.

Lie: The position of the ball on the course.

Links Course: A golf course built on seaside land, often characterized by sand dunes.


Mulligan: A do-over, typically allowed in casual play after a poor shot.


Nassau: A type of golf betting game involving three separate bets on the front nine, back nine, and overall 18 holes.


Out of Bounds (OB): Areas outside the course where play is not allowed.


Par: The standard number of strokes a skilled golfer should take to complete a hole or round.

Pitch Shot: A shot played with a high trajectory and a short distance.

Provisional Ball: A second ball played when the original ball might be lost or out of bounds.


Quadruple Bogey (Quad): Scoring four strokes over par on a hole.


Rough: The longer grass bordering the fairway.

Round: A complete 18-hole game of golf.

Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A): One of the two main governing bodies of golf, along with the USGA.


Sand Trap (Bunker): A hazard filled with sand.

Scramble: A golf tournament format where the team chooses the best shot after each stroke.

Slice: A shot that curves sharply from left to right (for a right-handed golfer).

Stableford: A scoring system in which points are awarded based on the number of strokes taken on each hole.

Stance: The position of a golfer's feet in relation to the ball.

Stroke Play: A golf competition based on the total number of strokes taken.


Tee Box: The area from which a hole begins.

Texas Scramble: A format in which each player tees off, and the team chooses the best shot to play from.

Top: To hit the ball above its center, resulting in a low, often poorly struck shot.


USGA (United States Golf Association): The governing body of golf in the United States.


Vardon Grip: A common grip style in golf, named after the legendary golfer Harry Vardon.


Waggle: A rhythmic movement of the club before a shot is taken.

Water Hazard: A hazard filled with water.

Wedge: A type of golf club designed for short, high shots.

Whiff: Swinging and completely missing the ball.

Winter Rules: Local rules allowing for relief from certain conditions like mud and wet grass.

World Golf Rankings: The official ranking system for professional golfers.


X-Out: A golf ball with minor imperfections that is sold at a discount.


Yips: Involuntary muscle spasms or jerks during putting.


Zigzag: A term used to describe a series of holes that alternate in direction.