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Explained: All Golf Terms in One Place

Golf is an entertaining sport many people enjoy due to the fact that it’s low-impact, it offers the opportunity to spend time outdoors and can be enjoyed regardless of one’s age a physical readiness. That being said, not many people who play golf casually worry themselves about keeping the score and are not even familiar with all the different golfing terms out there.

So, with that in mind, if you wish to learn a bit more about this fun sport and some of the most common terms used, make sure you keep on reading.

Par

In order to be able to understand the majority of these golf terms, we first need to define the term par. The term par is actually an abbreviation from the term “professional average result”. Par refers to the number of shots a professional would take in order to hole the ball (see below). Par can refer to a standard score for a particular hole or the entire course, in general.

Hole the ball

To hole the ball means to be able to successfully drive a golf ball into a cup – or the hole in the ground. Pretty self-explanatory, but additional clarifications can’t hurt.

Bogey

Bogey is a golf term used to describe any hole that’s played one stroke over par. So, for instance, if you are playing a par-3 hole and need 4 strokes to hole the ball, you have made a bogey. Not so uncommon, you can even make a double or triple bogey, with a quadruple bogey and bogey five also being an option – not a favorable one, but an option nonetheless.

Hole-in-one

Hole-in-one refers to a swing that drives a golf ball directly into the hole from the very first shot. It’s quite rare to score a hole-in-one and this type of score can have different names, depending on the hole you manage to score it on. 

Birdie

Birdie is the term used to denote a swing that resulted in a score that’s one swing better than the standard. So, what this means is that if you hole the ball in two swings on a par-3 hole, you have managed to score a birdie. Now, if you do it from a single swing on a par-2 hole, you have made both a birdie and a hole-in-one.  

Eagle

Since eagles are usually quite bigger than any regular birds, this term is used to describe a swing that resulted in a score that’s two swings better than the expected standard. So, if you hole the ball in 3 swings on a par-5 hole, count that one like an eagle. Interestingly enough, par-5 holes are usually where golfers manage to achieve this score.

Golf Terms

Albatross

Being an even bigger bird than an eagle – what’s up with these birdwatching names? – an albatross is the name given to a swing that results in a score that’s three swings better than the overall expected standard. So, if you manage to hold the ball in one swing on the par-4 hole, you have scored an albatross. Of course, in this instance, you have also scored a hole-in-one. Landing an albatross – or double eagle – also most commonly happens on par-5 or par-6 holes.

Green

Green – as a color – really doesn’t need any explanations. However, green in golf terms refers to specially prepared grass surface around the hole where golfers attempt to putt (see below) the ball. This area usually features very short and well-maintained grass that’s meant to enable clean putting.

Putt

As mentioned earlier, next on the list we have the term putt. To putt means to hit a golf ball with a putter (flatted-edged golf club) in order to try and get it into the cup (hole). These swings are usually quite delicate and well-calculated and resemble more a nudge (in most cases) than an actual swing.

Tee

Tee is the name that’s used to describe the part of the course where you start each hole. However, it is also used to describe the peg (either plastic, wooden or metallic) that is placed in the ground, on top of which you place your golf ball. Once you have your golf ball in place, it’s time for a tee shot.

Tee shot

As the name suggests, a tee shot is a shot you make on or from the tee. This is your initial opening shot. Usually, these shots are the most powerful ones, most commonly carried out with wood – a specific club made particularly for this type of swing.  All in all, if you are at the very beginning and just entered the world of golf, consider membership at the indoor golf club. First just to learn, practice, and, after all, start to use some of the most common golf terms.

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