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Golf Instruction Book

The ABC's of Golf

Part A - All About How to Get Started in Golf
Part B - Basic Fundamentals and Concepts in Golf Swing Technique
Part C - Common Golf Words and Phrases - Glossary

Glossary of Golf Terms and Phrases
 Golf Terminology - Definitions and Usages

Golf words or phrases beginning with the letter

image map A words - You're already here B words C words D words E words F words G words H words I words J words K words L words M words N words O words P words Q words R words S words T words U words V words W words X words Y words Z words
Choose a tab above to find words that begin with that letter.

Or enter the word in the form below. If the word you're looking for cannot be found it will automatically be suggested to the Glossarymaster (MB) for review and possible inclusion.

scoreboard abbreviation for amateur
Example: It's always fun to see an a way up high on the leaderboard at a major championship.
A wedge
(also perhaps "approach wedge, attack wedge, AW") similar to a gap wedge, usually around 52 degrees of loft, exact name (what the A stands for), loft and club characteristics are manufacturer-dependent
Example: Sunny used her A/Approach/Attack wedge to knock it stiff on the last hole.
(also "dancing, on the dance floor") safely on the green with an approach shot
Example: Well, you might not be close to the hole but at least you're aboard.
(also called a "hole-in-one") a score of 1 on a hole -- holing the first shot, or tee shot, on a hole
Example: An ace or hole in one is usually made on a par 3, but occasionally it happens on a par 4.
across the line
(also "crossed over, crossing the line") when the club head is more above the plane than the grip end (mainly used in reference to the top of the backswing); for a right-handed golfer the club would point to the right of (or be "crossed over") a line parallel to the target line in a parallel-to-the-ground shaft position at the top of the swing
Example: John's club was across the line/crossed over/crossing the line at the top of his swing.
(also called "set up" or "address position") the position that the player assumes when preparing to make a stroke, according to the Rules of Golf a player has addressed the ball when the club has been grounded in front of or behind the ball, regardless of whether or not the stance has been taken
Example: The address position is one of the main keys to consistency in golf.
in the Rules of Golf-specific sense, counsel/suggestion that could influence a player's club choice, stroke method, etc.; public information (e.g., rules, yardage, hole location) is not advice
Example: A player may only get advice from their partner in a team event, or their caddie(s).
("aeration, aerify, aerification, punch") a machine is used to punch small diameter holes in ground that has been compacted over time to loosen soil and allow oxygen and nutrients to get to the roots of the grass (usually thought of with respect to putting greens, but all grass areas can be done)
Example: The greens were aerated/aerified/punched yesterday, so the course decided to implement an "automatic two-putt" rule for the next few days.
afraid of the dark
a putt that narrowly misses the hole, particularly when narrow misses occur consecutively and/or repeatedly
Example: Todd's ball is afraid of the dark today.
a shot that carries completely over and beyond something in the air
Example: My wedge shot airmailed the green.
(also called a "double eagle") a score of 3 under (less than) par for a hole
Example: A double eagle is very rare, as is the albatross.
the direction that the body and club are "lined up" in the address position
Example: Standard issue alignment is parallel to the target line with a square clubface. An easy way to visualize this alignment is to imagine a railroad track -- your feet are standing on one track; the clubface is on, and square to, the other.
all square
term used in match play scoring to indicate that the match is even at present (abbreviated as "AS" on scoreboard)
Example: The match was all square through 14 holes.
alternate green
a separate second green on a hole, perhaps used for maintenance reasons or just to provide a "different" hole on each hole of a 9-hole course, so it can seem like an 18-hole course
Example: An alternate green on hole number 3 allowed the course to remain intact while extensive maintenance kept the main green closed.
alternate shot
tournament format where teammates take turns playing each subsequent stroke (many variations with different names and procedures -- more on tournament formats)
Example: Alternate shot formats are a nice change of pace for players that mainly participate in stroke play.
alternate tee
a separate second tee on a hole, most commonly used on 9-hole courses to provide a "different" hole during a second nine, so it can seem like an 18-hole course
Example: Each hole had an alternate tee that was so different in yardage and angle to the green that it seemed like a completely different course.
amateur status
the condition(s) necessary for a golfer to be eligible to play in amateur competitions, mainly having to do with accepting money for golf, but based on a fairly involved set of rules and limits that change over time (see the Rules of Golf for many details)
Example: It is possible for a professional golfer to retire and regain their Amateur Status.
same thing as a "scramble" except using handicaps; see scramble and (tournament formats)
Amen Corner
a descriptive expression for the famous stretch of holes, 11 through 13, at The Masters (Augusta National Golf Club)
Example: The wind is notoriously swirly on Amen Corner, which is one reason why it is so unpredictable, and why so many exciting things happen there.
angle of approach
(sometimes "attack angle") the angle formed by the arc of the clubhead in relation to the slope of the ground, usually at impact (e.g., descending, level or ascending)
Example: He took a very deep divot because his angle of approach into the ball was very steep.
approach putt
(also called a "lag" putt) a long putt that is not expected to go in, but hopefully will finish close to hole (sometimes they do go in, though)
Example: His approach putt/lag stopped just short of the hole.
approach shot
a shot intended to reach the green
Example: Her approach shot came to rest within inches of the flag.
(also called "collar, fringe, frog hair") the short grass that separates the putting green from rough or fairway
Example: Though I missed the green with my approach shot the ball was just on the apron/fringe/collar/frog hair.
Army golf
the unfortunate tendency to play wildly from one side of a hole to the other (rather than relatively straight or more directly the green) enroute to the cup, taken from military marching call "left, right, left, right," etc.
Example: Army golf is not usually any fun, but you may get to see some interesting parts of the course, if nothing else.
attend the flag
(also "tend" the flag, flagstick or pin) holding and then removing the flagstick after a player has made a stroke
Example: If another player is away and it is not your turn to putt you might be attending/tending the flag so they have a clearer view of where the hole is.
automatic two-putt
when a golf course declares that players may consider the ball to be holed in no more than two putts once their ball is on the putting surface (most commonly because of aeration or temporary greens in course maintenance or repair situations)
Example: Automatic two-putt is not allowed within the rules of golf, but courses can institute it as a local rule in casual play when conditions warrant.
(also "out") farthest from the hole
Example: The player who is away/out plays first.


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