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

GCSAA
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Gene Sarazen Cup
Presented to the winner of the WGC Championship (sponsored by American Express). (See Tournaments section in Encyclopedia).
get down
To putt the ball into the hole, as in "my opponent got down in two from the bunker."
Goodwill Cup
Presented to the winner of the annual 2-day match between two teams of mens professionals, one representing the Ryder Cup countries (Europe / USA), the other a Rest of World team. Inaugural year - 2006. Each team comprises 8 players. (See Tournaments section in Encyclopedia).
gorilla
Colloquial term for a player who hits the ball prodigious distances, especially with the driver.
graphite (carbon fibre)
Carbon based substance that when bonded in layers produces an exceptionally strong but very light material ideal for golf-club shafts and increasingly also employed in the manufacture of club heads
grass bunker
A hollow in the ground, which occurs naturally or is designed into the course. Bunkers are usually filled with sand but can be left as areas of grass, where the grass in the hollow is of longer length than fairway grass.
Great Triumvirate
Name given collectively to three outstanding British professionals who were active before the First World War: James Braid, J.H. Taylor and Harry Vardon
green
The area of closely mown grass surrounding the hole, where the ball is struck using the putter. It is separated from the fairway by the "apron", a fringe of grass longer than on the green but shorter than the fairway cut. Originally the term "green" was used for the whole course.
green fee
What you pay to play a round of golf, which can be a visitor's fee, member's guest fee or replay (second round) fee.
Green Jacket
Presented to the winner of The Masters (one of the four Mens' Majors), a tradition that dates back to 1949. This tournament is played annually at Augusta National. (See Tournaments section in Encyclopedia).
greenkeeper
The person responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of a golf course. In the USA usually called the Course Superintendent.
greenkeeping

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.

Greensome
See "foursome (greensome)".
grip
The part of the golf club that is held by the golfer. Grips can be made of leather, cord, rubber or commonly a mixture of the three.
grooves
Indented lines cut into the face of a golf club that create spin on the golf ball.
gross score
The actual number of shots taken by a player or team, before any handicap allowance is deducted.
grounding the club
The act of placing the clubhead head on the ground when addressing the ball, which comes prior to starting the backswing.
Ground under Repair (GUR)
A part of the golf course where the ground or surface has been temporarily taken out of play. The designated area is usually marked by stakes or a painted line, and relief is taken by the player from this marked area (i.e. the ball is moved and then played from a point outside the marked area).
guttie (ball)
The Gutta Percha ball (or Guttie) was introduced in 1848 by Rev Adam Paterson of St. Andrews. The ball was made of gutta percha, a rubber like substance obtained from the latex of gutta trees which grew in the tropics. The ball was cheap to produce and eventually killed off the handcrafted and more expensive "featherie" ball.

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Tournaments

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).

Who's Who

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

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 Cruise & Golf

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 ...

Costa Cruise Travel

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Ryder Cup 2021 at Whistling Straits

Ryder Cup 2023 at Marco Simone

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