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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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

Woking Golf Club