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 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.

Find a course

Or

Where2Golf Spotlight

Tournaments:
Women’s major championships: the month of June sees two women’s majors: the US Women’s Open (June 3-6), with A Lim Kim defending, and the Women’s PGA Championship (June 24-27), with Sei Young Kim defending.
Senior PGA Championship: the revered Southern Hills in Oklahoma hosts the 81st staging of this event (May 27-30); Ken Tanigawa holds the title from its last playing in 2019.

Who's Who:
Phil Mickelson: in winning the 2021 PGA Championship, the world’s most famous “leftie” became the oldest winner of a golf major championship.

Hideki Matsuyama: became the first Japanese professional to win a men’s major championship, when he triumphed in this year’s Masters Tournament.

Latest Golf Course Updates

New 27-hole golf complex to be built in southern Belgium
A new golf complex in southern Belgium, close to the border with Luxembourg, will start construction in June 2021.

American Dunes opens for play following Nicklaus transformation
Nicklaus Design has transformed the former Grand Haven Golf Club in Michigan into the American Dunes Golf Club, a new public course that is now open for play

New course opens for play at Barnbougle
Bill Coore designs 14-hole layout with “sporty” holes on dune ridge above Lost Farm (golf carts allowed).

Gamble Sands opens short course:
David McLay Kidd’s 14-hole QuickSands short course has opened for play at Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington.

Travel

Discover the world's finest heathland courses located in Surrey / Berkshire

Popular videos

You can subscribe to the Where2Golf channel on YT if you like to see more video content. You'll find a "Subscribe" button on any of our YouTube videos. Or if you want a quick and direct access subscribe here. Once done, any new published videos will show up in your Subscriptions feed.

Top Golf Courses in the Americas

Top Golf Courses in Australia

Top Golf Courses in Ireland