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.



Ladies American Tour
[See LPGA].
Ladies Asian Tour
[See LAGT].
Ladies Australian Tour
[See ALPG Tour].
Ladies European Tour
[See LET].
Ladies Japan Tour
[See LPGA of Japan].
Ladies Korean Tour
[See KLPGA].
lag putt
A putt where the golfer tries to ensure the ball finishes close to the hole, without worrying too much whether it goes in or not. The objective is to get down from his/her current position in no more than two putts.
Established in 2005, the LAGT (Ladies Asian Golf Tour), coordinates a growing number of womens' professional golf tournaments in Asia. It operates separately from the Japan, Korea and Australia womens' tours. The LAGT's first and only event in 2005 was the Phuket Thailand Ladies Masters. Events in 2006 and 2007 saw the tour expand to India, Malaysia and China. [Website:].
A term used by some golf commentators to mean striking the ball with great force and creating prodigious distance.
lateral water hazard
A lateral water hazard typically runs parallel with the hole and is usually marked by red stakes. This type of hazard, as distinct from a normal water hazard, occurs when it is difficult to take relief by dropping a ball behind the hazard. As such, there are more options available for taking relief from a lateral water hazard.
Legends Tour
The legends Tour is an official tour of the US LPGA, which coordinates professional golf for US-based women golfers aged 45 and above. [Website:].
Established in 1979, the LET (Ladies European Tour) is the coordinating body for the leading womens' professional golf tour in Europe. In 1978 the WPGA (Women's Professional Golf Association) was formed as a division of the PGA (UK & Ireland). A womens' professional tour was established the following year. In 1988 the tour members decided to become independent from the PGA, and created the WPGET (Women Professional Golfers' European Tour). In 1998 the Tour changed its name to European LPGA and then in July 2000 to LET (Ladies European Tour). Most players on the tour are European, with the largest non-European contingent coming from Australia. [Website:].
Lexus Cup
Presented to the winner of the annual 3-day match between two teams of women professionals, one representing Asia, the other an International team (non-Asian). Inaugural year - 2005. Each team comprises 12 players. (See Tournaments section in Encyclopedia).
LGU (GB & Ireland)
Founded in 1893, the LGU is the governing body for ladies' amateur golf in Great Britain and Ireland. [Website :].
The position of the ball after the completion of a shot when the ball comes to rest. The lie can vary from good to bad, depending on how far the ball has settled down in the grass or, in the case of a bunker, in the sand. One of golf's fundamental rules is "play the ball as it lies", unless another rule gives you "relief" from where the ball is lying.
The direction in which a player intends to hit the ball.
The original golf "links" were courses that occupied land close to the sea. The land in question was usually characterised by sand dunes and undulating terrain, such land being unfit for building development or agricultural. Links land is usually low-lying, with the sand dunes supporting fine, salt-resistant grasses. The word "links" probably derives from the fact that the land in question provides a link between the coastal foreshore and agricultural land that is set further back from the sea. Many would say the only true golf links are those built on this type of coastal duneland. However, "links-style" courses are found in abundance both in non-duneland coastal regions and inland.
The edge of the golf hole.
A ball that hits and runs round a section of the rim of a hole, but does not fall into the hole.
lob shot
A high trajectory shot played over a short distance, usually with a lob wedge. Sometimes called a pop-up shot.
local rules
Additional rules applying to a specific golf course, over and above the accepted R&A and USGA rules of golf. Local rules are generally determined by a committee within the respective Golf Club.
The angle of slope of the club face away from the vertical. The loft increases with the number of the iron (e.g. 1-iron has the least loft) giving a higher flight trajectory and less distance.
lofter (club)
Early club with a loft equivalent to a modern five or 6 iron and used to strike the ball on a high trajectory. Also called a lofting iron, it superseded the wooden baffy for approach shots to the green.
An iron club for hitting long-range shots; the term is usually applied to 1, 2, 3 and 4-irons. Other types of irons include: mid-irons (numbered 5 to 7) and short-irons (8, 9 and pitching wedge). Long-irons have the least amount of loft of the irons and are often regarded as the most difficult irons to use. Many golfers nowadays prefer to use hybrid clubs rather than long-irons.
loose impediments
Natural objects on the ground that are not fixed into place or attached (e.g. stones, twigs, leaves, etc). Providing you do not cause your ball to move, you can remove loose impediments unless they are in a hazard.
lost ball
A ball that cannot be found after it has been hit.
Louise Suggs Award
Established in 1962, the Louise Suggs Award, is presented to the (US) LPGA Rookie of the Year. The winner is the highest-placed, first-season Tour player, determined using a points system that reflects performance in tournaments during the full Tour season.
Established in 1950, the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) is more than just the governing body for the top-level womens' US-based professional golf tour. The organization has grown to become a non-profit organization involved in every facet of golf. The LPGA Tour and the Teaching & Club Professional membership is the backbone of the LPGA, while the Association also devotes considerable time to its charitable activities, tournaments, junior and women's programs, and The LPGA Foundation. [Website:].
LPGA of Japan
The LPGA of Japan is the governing body for womens' professional golf in Japan. It coordinates the LPGA of Japan Tour, one of the leading womens' tours in Asia. [Website:].
LPGA Player of the Year
Established in 1966, the LPGA Player of the Year is awarded annually by the (US) LPGA. The winner is the highest-placed LPGA tour player determined by a points system, based on top-10 finishes during the tour season (with double-points for Majors and the season-ending ADT Championship).
LPGA Playoffs
Established in 2006, the (US) LPGA Playoffs is a year-long competitive structure that includes a "regular season" that splits the LPGA schedule into two halves. 15 players from each half qualify for the season-ending ADT Championship, determined by a performance-based points system in each half of the season. Two additional "wild card" players make up the 32-player field for the ADT Championship. The starting line-up for the ADT Championship / LPGA Playoffs is cut to 16 players after two rounds, then to 8 after round three, for a final round shootout for the Playoff's first prize of $1,000,000, the biggest prize in women's golf. The LPGA Playoffs 2006 were the first-ever playoff system for professional golf.

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