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

Nassau
A game between two players or teams where one point is scored for the outcome of the front-nine holes, one point for the back-nine and one point for the overall 18 holes.
Nationwide Tour
Established in 1990, the Nationwide Tour is run by the PGA TOUR as the second-tier tour for US-based professional golfers. It provides a high-quality, season long proving ground and stepping-stone for potential US PGA TOUR players. The tournaments are staged in mostly medium sized markets, with some events held outside the USA. [website: pgatour.com].
net score
A player's score after the deduction of his/her handicap from the gross score.
niblick
Like today's short-irons, niblicks were made for shorter approach shots and pitching to the green. They were metal-headed and included: mashie niblick (equivalent to 7-iron); pitching niblick (8-iron) and niblick (9-iron).
Nines
Also known as "Nine-points" or "5-3-1". A scoring system used when three golfers play together, which is based on splitting nine points per hole amongst the three players. Typically the lowest score for the hole attracts 5 pts, next-lowest 3 pts, and highest score 1 pt. Ties are resolved by dividing the points proportionately among the players: a tie for first is worth 4 pts each, a tie for second is worth 2 pts each, and a three way tie gives 3 pts each. A variation of Nines is the slightly easier to calculate Sixes (also known as Split Six), based on distributing six points per hole.
Nineteenth hole
The clubhouse bar, much visited after the completion of a round of golf.

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