Golf Australia

Golf definitions

A


Addressing the ball: The position when you have taken your stance ready to hit the ball, and have also grounded the club (touching the surface or ground with the sole of the club).
Airswing: A swing and a miss, which counts as a stroke.


B


Birdie: One stroke under the par for the hole.
Bogey: One stroke over the par for the hole.
Bunker: A prepared area of ground, often a hollow, from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand.


C


Chip: A short shot usually around the green where the ball lifts a little off the ground and then runs along the ground for some distance
Course Rating: a number, usually the same or one or two shots above or below the par of the course, which indicates the difficulty of the course. Your handicap is based on the course rating. If two courses have a par of 72, and one has a rating of 70 and the other has a rating of 72, the course with a rating of 72 is considered more difficult than that rated 70.


D


Divot: Turf cut out of the ground by a club when making a swing.
Dog-leg: A hole that does not follow a straight line from the tee to the green. It bends to the left or right.
Draw: A shot that curves slightly from right to left for a right-handed golfer, and curves slightly left to right for a left-handed golfer.


E


Eagle: Two strokes under the par for a hole.
Etiquette: A specific code of behaviour expected of golfers in relation to the course and other players.


F


Fade: A shot that curves slightly from left to right for a right-handed golfer, and curves slightly right to left for a left-handed golfer.
Flagstick: A thin moveable pole with a flag attached, placed in the middle of the hole to indicate the hole’s location. It is also called the pin.
Fore: A warning shouted to alert other players that a ball in flight is heading in their direction.


G


Gross Score: The actual number of shots taken for a hole or a round. It is also known as a “Scratch Score” or “Off the Stick”.
Ground Under Repair (GUR): Marked areas of the course that are damaged or are under repair from which a ball may be lifted and dropped without penalty.


H


Handicap: A number allotted to you that reflects your ability or relative ability. The lower the handicap of a player, the better the player is relative to those with higher handicaps.
Hazard: A term used to describe bunkers or water areas.
Honour: The right of a player to hit off first having had the lowest score on the previous hole.
Hook: A stroke which curves the ball to the left of the target, if made by a right-handed player, and to the right if made by a left-handed player.


I


Index: An indication of how hard a hole is in comparison to the others on the course. The hardest hole on the course is Index 1, and the easiest hole on the course is Index 18. It is used in many competitions, such as Stableford and Par competitions.


L


Loose Impediment: Natural objects that are not fixed or growing, such as twigs, loose rocks, pine cones and leaves.
Lost Ball: Any ball that cannot be found within 5 minutes of searching for it and wasn’t seen to go into a water hazard.


M


Marker: A person who keeps your score.
Match play: A type of competition when two players compete against each other hole by hole, with the number of holes won, lost or halved deciding the match.


N


Net Score: The score after your handicap is deducted from your gross score.


O


Obstruction: Anything artificial or man-made whether erected or left on the course, as well as artificially constructed roadways or paths.
Out of Bounds: Any areas outside the boundaries of the course in which play is prohibited.


P


Par: The number of strokes in which a hole is supposed to be played based on its length. Par also describes the number of strokes in which the course should be played (i.e. par for the course).
Pitch Mark: An indentation made by a ball landing on a green or a fairway. It is also known as a plug mark.
Provisional Ball: Another ball that is played when you think your ball might be lost or have gone out of bounds.


S


Slice: A stroke which curves the ball to the right of the target, if made by a right-handed player, and to the left if made by a left-handed player.
Stance: The position of the feet when addressing the ball.
Stroke: The forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball.
Stroke Play: A competition based on the total number of strokes taken, where each player competes against the rest of the field.


T


Teeing Ground: The area at which each hole commences, indicated by two markers. The ball must be played from between and from behind these markers.
Through the Green: All of the area of the course with the exception of the teeing ground, the green and any hazard.

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Golf Australia