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.
See: WPGA Tour Aus
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.
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".
This popular competition format rewards players with a point for three things on each hole played: the first player in the group onto the green (Bingo); the closest to the hole once all the balls are on the green (Bango), and the first to hole out (Bongo). At the end of the round the player with the most points wins. During the game the players' respective scores, rather than the points they win, determine who has the honour at the next hole ... this is important on the par-3s, as the golfer with the honour gets the first crack at the Bingo point. This format can be played alongside more conventional stroke play and match play formats.
See separate entries (alphabetically listed) provide an explanation of the following:
COMPETITION FORMATS: accumulator / alternate shot / better-ball / Bingo, Bango, Bongo / cricket / devil ball / flags / four-ball / four-ball (aggregate) / four-ball (better-ball) / four-ball (Patsome) / foursome / foursome (Canadian) / foursome (Chapman or Pinehurst or American) / foursome (greensome or modified Pinehurst) / foursome (Scotch) / Nassau / nines (or nine-points or 5-3-1) / par (or bogey) / scramble / scramble (Ambrose) / scramble (Florida or Step Aside or Dropout or Mexican Standoff) / scramble (Miami or Delaney) / scramble (Texas) / sixes (or Split-Six) / skins / strings / wolf.
SIDE BETS/ADD ONS: arnies; barkies (or woodies); Portuguese or Spanish caddie; sandies.
An excellent scoring format for a game involving three players. Six points are available on each hole: four to the player with the lowest net score, two points for the second lowest net score. Points are shared for equal scores on a hole. Also known as "Split Six" and other colloquial terms.
The Don A. Rossi Award is presented annually by the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), in memory of the late Don A. Rossi, former executive director of the National Golf Foundation and executive director of the Golf Course Builders Association of America. The award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth and who have inspired others by their example.
The driver is a standard golf club carried by most golfers and is designed to hit the ball the farthest. It is the club with the largest head, the longest shaft (with the exception of long-handle putters) and the least amount of loft (again, excepting putters). It is alo referred to as the No. 1-wood (or 1-metal), and more colloquially as the big timber, big dog or big stick. The driver is the most commonly used club for tee shots on par-4s and par-5s, where the ball is teed up. Generally only low handicap and professional players have the ability to hit the driver from a fairway.
Some of the most common playing formats used in golf competitions (separately defined in this Dictionary) are: better-ball (also known as best ball); four-ball (and its variations); foursome (and its variations); scramble (and its variations); Bingo Bango Bongo; Devil Ball (or Yellow Ball); Flag tournaments; Nines (or Sixes); Strings; Skins, and Wolf.
The most important scoring formats used in golf competitions (separately defined in this Dictionary) are: match play and stroke play; stableford and modified stableford, and Par and Bogey.
A variation on foursome. Each player plays his/her own ball from the tee and also plays his/her second shot. The team then choose the best placed ball to complete the hole on an alternate shot basis (starting with the player whose ball was not selected to complete the hole).
A variation on foursome (also known as Pinehurst or American foursomes). Each player plays his/her own ball from the tee, then plays his/her partner's ball for the second shot. The team then choose the best placed ball and play that one on an alternate shot basis to complete the hole. Named after Dick Chapman, a leading American amateur player, who developed the system in 1947 and popularised it at his home club, Pinehurst.
The occupation of maintaining the golf course to a standard prescribed by the Greenkeeping Committee, Captain or owner of a golf club. The work is supervised by a greenkeeper (or greenskeeper or course superintendent) and carried out by the greenkeeper and his/her greenkeeping assistants.
The Pam Barton Memorial Salver is presented annually to the winner of the Womens Amateur Championship (formerly known as the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship). Pam Barton was an English Amateur golfer and prolific winner of top amateur championships in the 1930s. In 1936 she held both the British and U.S. amateur titles. She was killed in a plane crash at RAF Detling, in 1943, aged 26.
Between 1920 and 1935 the Rivermead Challenge Cup was presented to the winner of the Canadian Open Championship. The Cup was originally commissioned by Rivermead GC, where the 1920 championship was held. After the introduction of the Seagram Gold Cup in 1936, the Rivermead Cup became the trophy awarded to the lowest scoring Canadian professional in the Canadian Open.
Between 1936 and 1970 the Seagram Gold Cup was presented to the winner of the Canadian Open Championship by the tournament's then sponsor Seagram Company.
Established in 1972, the WPGA Tour Australasia (formerly the ALPG - Australian Ladies Professional Golf) is the governing body for womens' professional golf in Australia and coordinates the WPGA Tour Australasia. The organisation started out in 1972 as the LPGAA (Ladies Professional Golf Association of Australia) and launched a tour for professional women golfers in 1973. The name change to ALPG came in 1991. [Website: wpga.org.au].
Zoysia is a type of grass native to parts of Asia and Australasia, and named after the Austrian botanist Karl von Zois. Zoysiagrass can withstand wide variations in temperature, sunlight and water, making it a widely used grass for lawns in temperate climates, not least on the fairways and teeing areas of golf courses.
Tournament of Champions: the PGA Tour’s calendar-year starts, as it has done since 1999, with this iconic event in Hawaii. The field is drawn from players who won a PGA Tour event in 2022, or were amongst the top 30 in last year’s FedEx Cup final standings (Jan 6-9).
Desert Swing: the European (DP World) Tour launches into 2023 with three events in its UAE “Desert Swing”. Up first is the Abu Dhabi Championship (Jan 19-22), followed by the Dubai Desert Classic (Jan 26-29) and the Ras Al Kaimah Championship (Feb 2-5).
Kathy Whitworth: the end of 2022 saw the passing of LPGA Tour legend Kathy Whitworth. Her 88 LPGA Tour victories is more than achieved by any other golfer on either the LPGA or PGA Tours. Amongst her victories were six major championship titles.
Barry Lane: the golfing world was also saddened by the passing of Barry Lane, one of the European Tour and European Senior Tours most popular players. Enjoying success on both Tours, Lane was know for his excellent ball-striking and amiable personality.
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.
Costa’s "Cruise & Golf" allows golfers and their families to combine a unique golfing experience with the relaxation and fun of a cruise on board Costa Smeralda. Golf enthusiasts are offered a choice from 23 top-quality golf clubs; their chosen courses are played during the ship’s port calls in Italy, France and Spain. While the golfers are driving the fairways, accompanying non-golfers are able to enjoy the amenities and activities on-board, or explore wonderful places on day excursions organised by Costa. Read more ...
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