A tendency to twitch during the putting stroke. Some top
golfers have had their careers greatly affected or even destroyed by the yips;
prominent golfers who battled with the yips for much of their careers include
Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and, more recently, Bernhard Langer.
PGAT says - It really does happen to the best of them, so if you are a crap putter, just pretend you suffer from the yips and enjoy your tee to green work. Poor Langer
A common grip style in which (for right-handed players) the
right pinkie finger rests on top of the left index finger. Also known as the
"overlapping grip", it is named for Harry Vardon, a champion golfer
of the early 20th century.
PGAT says – Harry Vardon must have been laughing that no one
thought of doing this
A possible occurrence in match play when a player converts a
lead into a victory without passing through dormie, a guaranteed minimum of a
tie at the end of regulation play. For example, converting an 8-hole lead with
nine to play into a 9-hole lead with eight to play, or converting a 1-hole lead
with two to play into a 2-hole lead with one to play.
PGAT says – When you are leading and you win the last hole which
your match plays, this happens. Is that clearer than what they said? I’m not
A player can declare his ball unplayable at any time when it
is in play (other than at a tee), and can drop the ball either within two
club-lengths, or further from the hole in line with the hole and its current
position, or where they played his last shot. A penalty of one stroke is
applied. A ball declared unplayable within a hazard must be dropped within that
PGAT says - May apply to European Ryder Cup team on singles
Up and down
Describes the situation where a player holes the ball in two
strokes starting from off the green. The first stroke, usually a
"pitch", a "bunker shot" or a "chip", gets the
ball 'up' onto the green, and the subsequent putt gets the ball 'down' into the
hole. A variation is called "up and in".
PGAT says - To be consistent, one must get up and down well.
The governing body of golf for the U.S. and Mexico. Together
with The R&A, the USGA produces and interprets the Rules of Golf.
PGAT says - The R&A, without the pomp and circumstance
The principal organization for golf professionals in the
PGAT says - The USGA with a silent P. No, sorry, the golf
association sponsored by John Players Specials
Tap-in a ball that has come to rest very close to the hole, leaving only a very short putt to be played. Often recreational golfers will "concede" tap-ins to each other to save time. PGAT says - Make them putt them, they might do this... But then they'll make you hit them too... Target-line the straight line from the ball to its intended target, also extended backward past the golfer's rear foot. PGAT says - That dotted line that you imagine the ball following before you hit the shot, you know, the one that it never follows... Tee (piece of equipment) a small peg - made of wood or plastic - placed in the teeing ground, upon which the golf ball may be placed prior to the first stroke on a hole. PGAT says -A friend of mine heard that if the tee peg bounces out backwards, you've hit a good shot. He judged each of his tee shots by this rule, regardless of whether it landed in a hedge or not. He's a crap golfer... Teeing ground The area from which you hit your drive or tee shot. The teeing ground for a particular set of tees is two club lengths in depth. The ball must be teed between the markers, called tees, that define the teeing ground's width, and no further back than its depth. Tees are colored, but there is no standard for colors. The "teeing ground" refers to one set of tees. Most courses have at least three sets of tees, some have more than twice that many. The areas where tee markers are placed are called "tee boxes." PGAT says -The flat well trimmed areas of the course which have no wee holes to pop a ball into. If you spot they do have a wee hole then you're probably hitting the ball in the wrong direction. Tempo the smooth change of the speed of a player's swing from first movement to ballstrike. Ernie Els's tempo is the envy of many professionals. PGAT says - It's all about rhythm baby, that's the key. And it's true, many professionals do envy Ernies tempo - doctors, lawyers, teachers, exotic dancers - all sorts of professionals. Ten finger grip grip style with all ten fingers on the club. Also known as the Baseball grip. PGAT says - Well, if it's called a baseball grip and you're playing golf, don't you think you might be better to try, I don't know, some sort of golf grip maybe? Some people can get away with it, most are absolutely rubbish. It may feel weird at first, but learn the Vardon grip and you won't regret it. Thin shot a poor shot where the clubhead strikes too high on the ball. When taken to an extreme but still at or below the centerline of the ball it is known "blading" the ball. PGAT says - You've topped it and it goes scooting along the ground, making you look daft as a brush. Through line When putting, the imaginary path that a ball would travel on should the putted ball go past the hole. Usually observed by PGA players and knowledgeable golfers when retrieving or marking a ball around the hole. PGAT says - That dotted line that you imagine the ball would follow before you hit the shot, you know, the one that it never follows... much like the target line... Through the green The entire area of the golf course, except for the teeing ground and the green of the hole that is being played. Through the green includes all hazards on the course. PGAT says - These are exceptionally frustrating, half the time you're struggling to shift the ball forward ten yards, then you connect and it looks great in the air but it keeps sailing over. So next time you try no to hit it so hard and it dribbles forward, about ten yards... Tips The championship tees on a golf course are known as "the tips." PGAT says - Also pieces of advice dispensed by every person to ever touch a golf club, whether they have a clue about what they're talking about or not... Topped an errant shot where the clubhead strikes on top of the ball, causing the ball to roll or bounce rather than fly. PGAT says -Just remember, when this happens, say "I thought a low running shot might be a better idea here, keep it out of the wind". This works less well when, a)there is no wind b) it was your tee shot on a par 5 c)there was a water hazard between you and the green Turkey Three consecutive birdies during one round of golf. PGAT says - I've never understood the ornithological basis of all these golf terms... Which came first, this or three strikes in bowling? Answers on a postcard please...
Sandbagger a golfer that carries a higher official handicap than his skills indicate, eg, carries an eight, plays to a two. Sandbaggers usually artificially inflate their handicaps with the intent of winning bets on the course, a practice that most golfers consider cheating. Also known as a bandit. PGAT says - There are a multitude of four letter terms for these people, too many to list here. Sand Save when a player gets up and down from a greenside sand bunker, regardless of score on the hole. Sand Save percentage is a player statistic kept by the PGA Tour. PGAT says - Sand Trap a greenside sand filled bunker as opposed to a grass or waste bunker. PGAT says - Hopefully your golf club uses sand traps, not waste bunkers - money making initiatives by entrepreneurial diversifying golf course owners, who rent out their hazards for landfill. Sand Wedge a lofted club designed especially for playing out of a bunker. The modern sand wedge was invented by Gene Sarazen. PGAT says - Isn't that kick ass, "Yes I was looking for a better way to play out of bunkers so I invented the sand iron" - You rock Gene Sarazen. Wasn't he in KISS too... Sandy (or Sandie) a score of par or better that includes a bunker shot. Sandies are counted as points in some social golf games. PGAT says - Also the name of the Scot who shall ne'er captain the Ryder Cup, despite really, really wanting to... Scotch foursomes In scotch foursomes teams of 2 players compete against each other. Players alternate hitting the same ball. The first player tees off, the second player hits the second shot, the first player hits the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. To this point, the definition of ‘scotch foursomes’ is the same as that of ordinary ‘foursomes’; however, players do not alternate hitting tee shots as they would in foursomes. If Player A teed off on the first hole and Player B holed the final putt, Player B would not tee off at the second, meaning that Player A could, in theory, play every tee shot on the round. The team with the lowest score wins the hole. PGAT says -Not to be confused with the unofficial form of Scotch Foursomes, which involves the use of hip flasks. Scramble when a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better on a hole. Scrambling percentage is a player statistic kept by the PGA Tour. Also a two or four man format, similar to Best Ball, except in a scramble, each player strikes a shot, the best shot is selected, then all players play from that selected position. PGAT says -Making the best of a bad situation - absoultely essential in the game of Golf. Scratch golfer a player's whose handicap equals zero. PGAT says -Don't be fooled though, zero ain't the best you can acheive - Rory McIlroy was on -4 by the time he went pro... Shamble a format, similar to a scramble, where every player hits from the tee, the best tee-shot is selected, and each player holes-out from the selected tee-shot. PGAT says - Handy in a group where only one of you can drive for toffee Shank a severe mishot in which the golf ball is struck by the hosel of the club. On a shank, a player has managed to strike the ball with a part of the club other than the clubface. A shanked shot will scoot a short distance, often out to the right, or might be severely sliced or hooked. PGAT says - It really does happen to the best of us "The Shanks" a condition in which a golfer suddenly cannot stop shanking the ball; novice and experienced golfers can be affected. PGAT says - Notably, Ian Poulter seems to get afflicted wth mild cases of the shanks, it's been his undoing at a couple of majors now... Shrimp a severe hook, named because it resembles the shape of a shrimp. PGAT says - It depends which side the shrimp is lying on surely.... Shooting your age A round of 18 holes where a given player has a score equal to, or less than, a player's age. For example, an eighty-year-old man who scores an 80 has shot his age. PGAT says - I reckon Tom Watson'll do it in a few years time... Who's the oldest buy to do it? That would be 103-year-old Arthur Thompson of Victoria, British Columbia. Thompson was playing the Uplands Golf Club in Victoria when he accomplished the feat in 1972. Gary Player will surely beat that when he gets to 104... Shoot your (my) temperature usually an uncomplimentary term meaning to shoot a score of 98. PGAT says - I once shot my temperature - in celcius! Oh yeah, that's right I'm that good! I did have an extremely high temperature that day mind... Short game Shots that take place on or near the green. Putting, chipping, pitching, and greenside bunker play are all aspects of the short game. PGAT says -The bit that most people overlook as it's less fun than ripping a drive - it's guaranteed to have the biggest effect on your score though... Skin a skins game pits players in a type of match play in which each hole has a set value (usually in money or points). The player who wins the hole is said to win the "skin," and whatever that skin is worth. Skins games may be more dramatic than standard match play if it is agreed by the players that holes are not halved. Then, when any two players tie on a given hole, the value of that hole is carried over and added to the value of the following hole. The more ties, the greater the value of the skin and the bigger the eventual payoff. PGAT says - Freddie Couples is know as Mr Skins - which sounds a bit creepy but it's due to his dominance of the Skins game Slice a poor shot that, for a right-handed golfer, curves sharply from the left to the right. A shot that follows the same direction but to a lesser degree is referred to as a 'fade' or a 'cut' and is often intentional. The curved shape of the flight of the ball is a result of sideways spin. For that reason "slice" does not refer to a putt which "breaks". PGAT says - Slope Rating Slope Rating is a number, from 55 to 155, used to determine the level of difficulty of a golf course for a bogey golfer. An "average" course has a slope rating of 113. PGAT says - Snap Hook a severe hook that usually goes directly left as well as curving from right to left. Also known by the somewhat redundant term "Pull-Hook". PGAT says - Snowman To score an eight on a hole. So-named because an eight (8) looks similar to the body of a snowman. PGAT says - You can get away with a snowman, it's when you start hitting legs eleven and two fa ducks that it's time to really worry Sit Telling the ball to drop softly, and not roll after landing. PGAT says - Once the ball has left the club face you have absolutely no control over it any more, talking to it then is pointless. But talking to it before you hit it, that might just work - so make sure to threaten it good and proper before you take your shot. Work it into your routine and then just enjoy watching it fly. Society An organised group of golfers, usually not affiliated to any individual golf course. Members are often drawn from the same workplace, profession, alma mater or other association. PGAT says -This is not a golf term... it's a sociological one. Span Move your marker when in the way of another persons line of putt. PGAT says - Move it back mind, it's not a cheeky opportunity to get a few inches closer to the hole. Speed a term used to describe the pace of a putt. Proper 'speed' of a putt will either hole the putt or leave it about 18 inches beyond the cup. PGAT says -Christ if I need to explain that if the balls going too fast int might not drop in the hole... Oh, I see, you didn't know that did you. That's right, forgive me, you're reading a Golf Glossary, you big eejit. Sprachle play badly, Scottish term. PGAT says - I'm Irish, I'm pretty good on Scottish slang too, never heard of this as a golfing term. I have heard it used as a term for falling down though... Stableford Scoring System a scoring system using points, where the winner accumulates the highest number of points over the course of a round. Stableford points are awarded as 1 point for one stroke over a fixed score, perhaps par, on a hole; 2 points for the fixed score; 3 points for one stroke under the fixed score; 4 points for two strokes under the fixed score; etc. There are "modified" Stableford scoring techniques, like that used in the International Tournament on the PGA Tour, which award points (or loss of points) for various scores over or under a fixed score. See full article at Stableford* Stroke Play: see Medal Play PGAT says -much better when it steps up the rewards for birdies and eagles, gets people to attack Stymie To block another player's putting path to the hole with one's own ball. Now an anachronism since the rules of golf permit marking the spot of the ball on the green, thus allowing the other player to putt into the hole without obstruction. PGAT says - Aye, now you just Span. Putting terms we learnt earlier to good use there, that's edumacation... Sweet-spot The location on the clubface where the optimal ball-striking results are achieved. The closer the ball is struck to he sweet-spot, the higher the Power transfer ratio will be. PGAT says - That's why your irons have cavity backs and your drivers head may resemble a frying pan - to increase the size of the sweet spot so you just might hit it! Swing The movement a golf player makes with his/her club to hit the ball. A golf swing is made up of a series of complex mechanical body movements. A perfect golf swing is regarded as the "holy grail" of the sport, and there are many approaches as to how to achieve "perfection". PGAT says - Some people do strive for swing perfection, others less so. Yes Jim Furyk, I'm thinking of you....
Range Finder a measuring device used to determine one's relative distance to an object. In golf, they are most commonly used to find out how far a player is from the hole. PGAT says - A commonly used colloquial term for a hopelessly overhit shot i.e. "I know I went 50 yards over the green, I was just hitting a range finder" Release the point in the downswing at which the wrists uncock. A late release (creating "lag") is one of the keys to a powerful swing. PGAT says - Not the point at which you let go of the club, an important thing to bear in mind when coaching beginners liable to throw their club into the middle of the driving range Rough the grass that borders the fairway, usually taller and coarser than the fairway. PGAT says - Usually? It's a pretty crap course that has fairways kept longer than the rough - I guess maybe Bizzaro would build a course that way, but only if Superman golfed. Rub of the Green occurs when the ball is deflected or stopped by a third party/object, e.g. if a ball is going out of bounds and is deflected in bounds by hitting a spectator or a tree. PGAT says - This is when things happen unintentionally to improve what would have been a bad shot. Of course you could always attempt when in a sticky place to hit a shot off a tree to your advantag but in no circumstances does the PGA Tourist condone the use of specators as objects to ping balls off - thats Actual Bodily Harm, potentially Manslaughter Rutter a small headed niblick for hitting the ball from a cart track. PGAT says - See "Mashie Niblick". I have to question whether its worth having a club in your bag specifically designed to hit the ball from cart paths.