Glossary of golf terms

Our golf dictionary covers the main terms used in golf. The first step in demystifying the game is to understand the language and terminology that golfers commonly use.

Term

Definition

Accumulator
In this team competition format, play is generally in 3 or 4 person teams. Assuming three-person teams: for the first six holes the best score of the three counts towards the team total (each player must contribute at least one score). For the second six holes, the best two scores count. For the last six holes all three scores must be taken. The team with the best points tally or lowest number of strokes wins.
ace
A hole-in-one.
action
Backspin on the ball, also referred to as "bite" or "zip".
addressing the ball
A player is said to have addressed the ball when the he/she has taken his/her stance and adopted the position from which the backswing is started.
advice
The provision of instructions or help on how to play a shot. In competition only a player's partner or caddy can give advice without penalty.
aeration
[See Hollow tining].
air shot
Occurs when a player intends to hit the ball but misses it completely.
albatross
British term for a score of three under the par for a hole, e.g. a two scored on a par-5 hole. In the US it is known as a double eagle.
Alfred S. Bourne Trophy
Presented annually to the winner of the US Senior PGA Championship.
ALPG Tour

See: WPGA Tour Aus

alternate shot
See "foursome".
amateur
A golfer who does not receive money for playing the game, i.e. this applies to the vast majority of people who play the game.
anti-shank
Golf club design that attempts to eliminate the possibility of striking the ball with the hosel of the club.
approach
Shot played to the green from the fairway or rough
apron
The short grass surrounding the green, which separates it from the fairway.
Arnies
A type of side bet in golf, which provides a pre-determined reward to any player who makes a par without having their ball on the fairway during the playing of a hole.
Arnold Palmer Award
Presented each year to the leading money-winner on the US PGA Champions Tour.
Arnold Palmer Cup

This annual competition is played between college/university golfers representing the USA and an International team representing the rest of the world. From its establishment in 1997 as the Palmer Cup, until 2002 it was contested between teams representing the USA and GB&I. From 2003 until 2017, a European team competed against the USA; from 2018 onward an International (RoW) team replaced the European team. Originally played between two eight-man teams, it is now an event played between 12 men and 12 women per team.

Arnold Palmer (drink)

An "Arnold Palmer" is a popular non-alcoholic drink in the United States, which combines iced tea with non-fizzy lemonade. An alcoholic version of the drink, in which vodka is added, is commonly referred to as a "John Daly".

ASGCA
American Society of Golf Course Architects
Asian Tour
In January 2004 the tournament playing professionals of Asia formed a new player representative body named the Asian Tour to ensure control over the development of professional tournament golf in Asia. The Asian Tour's principal role is the sanctioning, management, marketing, technical administration, development and promotion of professional golf tournaments in the region. [Website: asiantour.com].
attend the flag
To hold the flagstick while another player makes a putt towards the hole.
Australasian Tour

See PGA Tour of Australasia.

away
The away ball is that which lies furthest from the hole when more than one golfer is playing; it is usually played first

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Tournaments

The Masters: The 88th Masters Tournament at Augusta National sees LIV golfer Jon Rahm defend his title against the world’s best. Pressing hard will be world No.1 and 2022 champion Scottie Scheffler and world No.2 Rory McIlroy (April 11-14).

Chevron Championship: the women’s major championship season gets underway for the second year at its new Carlton Woods home outside Houston, Texas. World No.2 Lilia Vu defends (April 18-21).

Who's Who

Nelly Korda: records a perfect start to 2024 with four wins out of her last four appearances on the LPGA Tour, a feat last achieved by Lorena Ochoa in 2008. Korda's win at the T-Mobile Match Play brought up her 12th LPGA Tour victory.

Scottie Scheffler: narrowly missed out on matching Nelly Korda’s three-in-three, when he placed second at the Houston Open. This followed back-to-back wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players. Like Korda, he remains comfortably ahead in the official world golf rankings.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.

Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.

Prince's Golf Club, Kent (UK)

Here at Prince’s Golf Club you'll find 27 excellent holes of links golf. Just over the fence and sharing similar terrain is Royal St George’s; but Prince’s is far from overshadowed by its venerable neighbour. The three nine-hole loops at Prince's, laid out over gently undulating terrain, are sure to bring a smile of satisfaction to all lovers of links golf.

Stay&Play at Prince's: excellent onsite Lodge accommodation available

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