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:
PGA Championship: the year’s second men’s major championship is hosted by Southern Hills CC, Tulsa, Oklahoma, amidst doubt as to whether reigning champion Phil Mickelson will defend his title (May 19-22).

Soudal Open: Belgium’s return to European Tour golf sees 36-hole Rinkven International GC host the Soudal Open, the country’s national open championship (May 12-15).

Who's Who:
Scottie Scheffler: bags the 2022 Masters Tournament title, and with it a fourth win in six starts on the PGA Tour and his first major championship victory.

Stephen Dodd: took the European Senior Tour’s 2021 Order of Merit honours following the abandonment due to rain of the season’s final event, the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius (April 1-3, 2022).

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Golf World Top 100: Best Golf Courses in Europe. From France to Spain to the Netherlands and Norway, the Golf World Top 100 panel reveals the places you have to play (published 20 October 2021).

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.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club "makes its tournament debut with the hosting of the Italian Open on the European Tour" by Richard Humphreys

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

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