PGAProfessional.com logo

Golf Instruction

 Golf Tips
 Golf Articles
 Golf Schools
 Golf Lessons
 Golf Clinics
 Golf Books
   ABC's of Golf
     Glossary
 Golf Dictionary
 Golf Handicaps
 Get More Distance

Main Menu
Home

Ask the Pro

Golf Pro Shop

Newsletter

Free Gifts

Tell a Friend

Entertainment

About

Contact

Site Search

Site Map

Golf Instruction Book

The ABC's of Golf

Introduction
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
Conclusion

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

Golf words or phrases beginning with the letter
S

image map A words 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 - You're already here 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 inclusion.

sand and seed
(also "divot mix") a mixture of sand and grass seed (sometimes also including soil and/or fertilizer) used to fill in divots
Example: Using sand and seed is better than replacing divots with some kinds of grasses.
sand iron
(also "sandwedge, sand wedge") a lofted club with a flange specifically designed for (but not limited to) use in the sand
Example: My 56° sand iron/sand wedge is also effective from the fairway and rough.
sand save
(also "sandy, sandie") getting the ball in the hole in just two shots from a green side bunker (usually assumes making par or better)
Example: I made/had a nice sand save/sandy/sandie from a deep greenside bunker yesterday.
sand trap
(also "trap, bunker, sand bunker") another commonly used term (although misused - "bunker" is actually the correct term) for a sand-filled bunker - a depression in the ground filled with a prepared surface of sand or similar
Example: His approach shot caught the sand trap/trap/bunker/sand bunker in front of the flag.
sand wedge
(also "sandwedge, sand iron") a lofted club with a flange specifically designed for (but not limited to) use in the sand
Example: My 56° sand wedge/sand iron is also effective from the fairway and rough.
sandbagger
(euphemism for "liar, cheater") a golfer who lies about their ability in order to gain an advantage in a match or wager, or posts (submits/enters/turns-in) artificially high scores in order to inflate their handicap
Example: Sandbagging demonstrates a lack of integrity.
scoop
erroneously attempting to get the blade of the club under the ball so as to lift up on it, usually by actively flipping the low hand/wrist
Example: Many high handicap golfers have a tendency to try to scoop the ball up into the air instead of letting the loft of the club create the lift.
scoop sole
(also "digger") a club whose loft angle is such that the sole's leading edge is lower than its trailing edge, thereby causing the club to gouge into the turf or ground too abruptly
Example: Barney had the loft angle on his 5 iron made stronger only to find out that he had himself a scoop sole/digger that was almost impossible to hit.
score
1. the number of strokes taken on a hole or course (see also the chart of scores and their names)  2. to keep the number of strokes taken to a minimum
Example: Karl had an unusually low score today.  2.How can I learn to score?
scorecard
(also "card") the card (usually stiff paper) used to record and tally scores during and after a round of golf
Example: Bill had four birdies on the scorecard/card today.
scoring
1. the markings (grooves, dimples, scratches, etc.) on the face of a golf club  2. the act of keeping one's total strokes taken to a minimum  3. the act of recording scores or running the scoreboard (see also the chart of scores and their names)
Example: 1. Have you ever seen a golf club without scoring?  2. Jim was hitting the ball miserably, by his standards, but scoring well.  3. A separate company was in charge of the scoring.
Scotch Foursome
a game where 2 two-man teams play one ball per team and teammates alternate strokes, the tee shot being hit by one team member on odd numbered holes and the other on even numbered holes (see also "Chapman Scotch" or "Pinehurst")
Example: We played a Scotch Foursome for a change last weekend.
scramble
1. a tournament format in which all players in a group (foursome or otherwise) hit a shot from the tee, and each subsequent location, always playing from the position of the best or preferred ball until the ball is holed (more on tournament formats)  2. to extricate oneself from trouble, or recover, after an errant shot well enough to salvage a decent score
Example: 1. The scramble is a good tournament format for beginners, as even a blind squirrel finds an acorn occasionally. Smile, I'm just playing  2. She really had to scramble to save her par after playing into the woods off the tee.
scratch
1. zero handicap, no handicap strokes deducted  2. a player with (approximately) a 0 handicap
Example: 1. The tournament was played at scratch.  2. Jill was a scratch player from the regular men's tees.
screws
(also "on the screws") the sweetspot, usually refers to hitting a wood, or driver in particular, right in the center (many woods originally had an insert in the center of the face that was attached with screws, thus the expression)
Example: Jim, you really hit that one on the screws; too bad it went out of bounds (he he he).
seagoer
a long putt, usually used in reference to making such a putt
Example: Greg could not seem to get a break Saturday, until he made a seagoer on 17 and won a bunch of skins.
second cut
the second longest rough in relation to the fairway (also see first cut and primary rough for further clarification)
Example: In a Major Championship the second cut of rough is usually pretty bad (deep, thick).
semi-private course
a course that has members but is also open to public play
Example: A semi-private course sometimes has certain tee-times reserved for members only.
set
1. a collection of clubs taken as being together  2. when the wrists are cocked at the top of the backswing
Example: 1. I carried only 4 irons, a 3 wood and a putter in my mixed set, while Roland's matched set consisted of 14 clubs (1,3 woods, 2-PW,SW,LW and a putter).  2. A good way to identify the wrist set at the top of the swing is to feel the club pull down on the left thumb (for right-handed players).
set up
(also "setup, address, address position") the position that the player assumes when preparing to make a stroke
Example: The set up/setup/address/address position is one of the main keys to consistency in golf.
seven iron
(also "7 iron") a middle iron with a typical loft of around 33-40 degrees (club specifications can vary between manufacturers)
Example: A common club for beginners to start practicing the full swing with is a seven iron/7 iron.
seven wood
(also "7 wood") a fairway wood, sometimes called a utility wood, with a typical loft of around 20-24 degrees (club specifications can vary between manufacturers)
Example: A seven wood/7 wood seems to be more popular with women than with men.
shaft
the part of the club that extends from the grip (actually all the way to the top of the club inside the grip) to the clubhead
Example: Her clubs had L flex shafts.
shaft butt
(also "butt, butt end") the end of the shaft farthest from the club head; shaft butt diameters are usually measured in thousandths of an inch (e.g., .600) and are combined with grip core measurements as one way of varying grip sizes
Example: Shaft and grip butt diameters vary.
shag bag
a bag or container for carrying practice balls
Example: I brought a shag bag full of balls with me to the practice bunker.
shamble
(also "Texas scramble") a tournament format that is a variation of a scramble, where each member of a team (usually a foursome) hits a tee shot on each hole, the best tee shot on the hole is selected, each team member then completes the hole with their own ball from that chosen location and is awarded a given number of points (usually based on a Stableford-type system) for their score (e.g., par = 1 point, birdie = 2 points, etc.) -- the benefit of this system over a scramble is that scoring can be done on both a team and an individual basis (more on tournament formats)
Example: My company tournament used a shamble/Texas scramble format.
shank
(also "hosel rocket, lateral") when the ball is contacted by, and ricochets off, the hosel or neck before it hits the clubface causing an errant direction and trajectory (low and to the right for a right-handed player) Note: not usually much fun
Example: His hacking style frequently resulted in an ugly shank/hosel rocket/lateral.
sheet wrapped
(or "sheet wrapping") a method of constructing composite shafts by wrapping sheets of graphite—or some other synthetic fiber material—around a mandrel (compare filament wound)
Example: Some graphite shafts are filament wound and some are sheet wrapped, the respective phrases being fairly descriptive.
shoot
1. the act of playing a golf shot  2. another way to refer to one's score for a round of golf, or tournament
Example: 1. Though the water loomed ominously, I decided to gamble and shoot right at the pin.  2. If you shoot a lower score than I shot yesterday, I will carry your bag for you the next time we play.
shooter
1. (also "flyer, flier, jumper") a shot that flies further than desired as a result of decreased backspin, usually resulting from long grass (but also could be water) between the ball and clubface at impact  2. a lie that causes the ball to fly farther than intended  3. colloquial term for a golfer or player
Example: 1. She hit a shooter from the rough and her 7 iron shot airmailed the green.  2. She got a shooter lie in the left rough and her 9 iron shot wouldn't hold the green.  3. Let's have another shooter up here on the tee right now.
shootout
1. (also "horse race, shoot out") a match play format in which one player is eliminated at the conclusion of each hole based on having the highest score or, in cases of a tie for the highest score, a sudden death type playoff (called a "shootout") decides which player is eliminated  2. generic term for a playoff or on some golf tournament titles (e.g., "The Shark Shootout")
Example: 1. 10 players began the 9-hole shootout/horse race and only one was left at the end.  2. A bogey on the last hole left him facing a shootout, instead of winning outright.
short game
the part of the game that consists of short range (usually not full swing) shots (i.e., putting, chipping, pitching, greenside bunker shots, etc.)
Example: Some people think of the short game as anything inside of 100 yards, while some others think of it as only the shots on, or in the immediate vicinity of, the green.
short grass
another phrase for the fairway (in contrast to "long grass" which would be the rough)
Example: Biff found the short grass off the tee, which made his second shot much easier.
short iron
any of the more lofted, shorter-shafted irons (usually considered the 8 through all wedges)
Example: After a good drive she only had a short iron left into the green.
short side
1. the side of the putting green closest to the position of the cup  2. (short-side) when hyphenated, the act of playing one's ball into a position off the short side of the green, (commonly but not always) making the next shot very difficult
Example: 1. He missed the green on the short side.  2. He short-sided himself with his approach shot.
shot
1. a stroke in golf and its result (assumes contact with the ball)  2. the act (past tense) of playing a stroke  3. another way (past tense) to refer to one's score for a round of golf, or tournament
Example: 1. That was a great shot.  2. Though the water loomed ominously, I shot right at the pin.  3. If you shoot a lower score than I shot yesterday, I will carry your bag for you the next time we play.
shotgun
(also "shotgun start") a method of starting a round of golf (usually, but not exclusively, a tournament) where a group starts on each hole at the sound of a shotgun, or simply at a specified time
Example: A shotgun/shotgun start usually saves time, as all groups start and finish at the same time instead of waiting to tee off one group at a time.
shotmaker
1. a golfer with a very high skill level and wide variety in terms of controlling trajectory, shape and distance on full shots
Example: 1. He was a great shotmaker in addition to having a great putting stroke.
shotmaker's course
1. a golf course that tends to demand a wide variety of full shots in terms of controlling trajectory, shape and distance
Example: 1. It was a shotmaker's course, so his limited repetoire of shots made it tough to score.
side
1. ("back side, front side") another term for each 9 holes of an 18 hole course  2. a player, or 2 or more players who are partners
Example: He was excited to play the back side after doing well on the front.  2. Our side was 2 up at the end of nine holes.
side-hill lie
(also "uneven lie") when the ball lies on an uneven slope, with either the ball above the feet or below the feet
Example: A(n) sidehill lie/uneven lie will effect the direction of a shot.
sidesaddle
a putting stance where the legs and feet are, more or less, facing the hole and the stroke is made to the side of, rather than in front of, the body
Example: Sam Snead popularized the sidesaddle style of putting.
signature hole
a hole that that uniquely identifies a course by its characteristics or style
Example: Hole #17 at the TPC at Sawgrass is the course's signature hole.
Silver Cup
(or "The Silver Cup") the trophy awarded to the low amateur at The Masters
Example: If one or more amateurs make the cut at The Masters, the low amateur receives The Silver Cup.
single
(or "Single" in the Match Play sense) 1. one golfer  2. a match in which one golfer plays against another
Example: If a single shows up to play at a course, they might be included in a group of other golfers.  2. Singles matches are one of the formats in The Ryder Cup.
sit
(also "sit down, check, grab, hold, hit a house" and so on) 1. a command* issued to the ball by a player who believes their ball is going too far or too fast  2. the act of the ball stopping quickly as a result of backspin
* some players feel that issuing commands to their ball during its movement can alter its final resting point Grin
Example: I was really hoping my ball would sit when I saw it heading toward the water.
six iron
(also "6 iron") a middle iron with a typical loft of around 29-36 degrees (club specifications can vary between manufacturers)
Example: Bill's six iron/6 iron shot cleared the trap by just a couple inches.
skins
(also "skin game, skins game") a type of competition or wager format where only a uniquely low score can win a hole
Example: In skins/a skin game/a skins game to win a hole one must be the only one with the lowest score, and if nobody has the lowest score alone the bet typically "carries over" to the next hole until someone does have the lowest score alone.
skull
(also "blade, thin, belly") when the ball is contacted with the leading edge instead of the face of the club, producing a low trajectory shot with less than the usual amount of spin
Example: He hit a good drive, but then skulled/bladed/thinned/bellied his wedge shot.
sky
(also "skyball, pop up, rainmaker") when a shot is hit off the top edge of the clubface resulting in a much more vertical shot than the club was designed to produce or you had intended
Example: When you sky it/pop it up/hit a skyball/hit a rainmaker it doesn't go too far.
sleeve
a container (usually a rectangular box) of (usually 3) golf balls
Example: Terry went through a full sleeve on just the first hole.
slice
(also "banana ball") a wildly curving shot from left to right for a right-handed player (scourge of many a beginner)
Example: Jeff just [thought he] knew that if he could get rid of his slice he would be a scratch player.
slide
an excessive lateral move toward the target in the downswing with either the hips or the entire body, commonly causing a push and or slice
Example: There is certainly a lateral component to a good golf swing, but a slide is usually thought of as too much lateral movement.
slider
(also "power fade") a slight curve from left to right for a right-handed player (usually thought of in terms of tee shots or long shots)
Example: A slider/power fade is a very effective and controllable shot.
slinger
(also "draw, turn over, turn it over") a shot that curves gently from right to left (right-handed player), usually used in reference to a shot that starts to the right of the intended target line and then bends back toward the target
Example: Some holes favor a slinger/draw/shot that turns over by design.
slope
(slope rating) the relative playing difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers; slope ratings are determined by teams of players/evaluators representing state or local golf associations; the formula for slope rating is course bogey rating minus course rating times a set factor (of 5.381 for men, 4.24 for women), e.g., if course rating is 72 and bogey rating is 95 the slope for men would be 95 - 72, or 23 X 5.381 = (rounded to a whole number) 124
Example: The slope of a course is an integer between 55 and 155—the higher the number, the harder the course.
slot
(also "the slot") a position (hopefully) reached in the downswing in which the pelvic girdle has shifted onto the forward foot, the arms and hands have come down in close to the body and the club head is still substantially behind the hands and on the correct plane
Example: The slot is a position that very few players using a hacking style of swing ever pass through.
slow play
(also "undue delay") not keeping up with the pace of play as determined by the committee
Example: Bob was taking too much time reading his putts, and finally was penalized two strokes for slow play/undue delay.
small ball
(also "British ball, European ball, British Open ball") a slightly smaller golf ball (1.62 inches in diameter instead of the standard 1.68 inches) that was common many decades ago, but that has not been allowed by the R & A since 1990 (and has been disallowed from The Open Championship, or British Open, since 1974)
Example: Because the Small ball/British ball/European ball/British Open ball was smaller in diameter it probably went a little farther than the standard ball, all else being equal.
smash factor
a ratio of ball speed over club speed, which indicates how efficiently force was transferred from the clubhead to the ball
Example: Smash factor is basically a measure of how square the clubface was to the path of the clubhead at impact, and how centered the contact was; the more square and the more centered the higher the smash factor.
smile
a cut in the cover of a golf ball which, because of the spherical shape of the ball, appears as a curve similar to a smiling mouth
Example: Seeing a smile in a ball was much more common in "the olden days" of balata covers, but it still happens today occasionally, with some balls.
smother
a shot that either doesn't leave the ground or flies very lowly because the clubface contacted the ball in a position that was much to closed and hooded (delofted)
Example: Karen smothered her tee shot by rolling the clubface closed.
snake
a long putt with multiple breaks (curves) in opposite directions
Example: Ted drained a snake on the ninth hole to win the front nine for his team.
snap hook
(also "duck hook, snapper, quacker") a shot that curves abruptly and severely right to left (right-handed player)
Example: Leonard tried to kill his drive on the first hole and was rewarded with an ugly snap hook/duck hook/snapper/quacker.
snowman
a score of 8 on a hole (most commonly a quadruple bogey on a par 4)
Example: Tiffany made a snowman on the first hole.
sole
1. the bottom surface of the clubhead  2. to rest the clubhead on the ground
Example: A sandwedge has a bounce sole to keep it from digging into the sand too much.  2. Cap' hadn't yet soled his club when the ball moved so he didn't have to take a penalty stroke.
sole plate
metal plate on the bottom of wooden clubs to improve wear
Example: The sole plate on my old 4 wood was so worn you couldn't read any of the markings on it.
spade mashie
archaic term for a 6 iron
Example: A spade mashie was probably more like an 8 iron in the year 2000.
specification gauge
(also "specs gauge, loft-lie machine, loft and lie machine") a device that can measure the loft, lie, face angle, face progression and offset of clubs
Example: A specs gauge/loft-lie machine is an indispensable piece of equipment for a club maker.
spikes
1. (also "cleats") originally sharp metal tines or prongs on the bottom of golf shoes to help keep a player's feet from slipping, now mainly a thing of the past; more recently, "soft spikes" are typically made of plastic, consist of a circle of smaller spikes rather than one large spike and usually leave less severe marks on putting greens; also see spikeless  2. a general term for golf shoes
Example: Sometimes metal spikes leave marks which are substantial and not much fun to putt over.  2. Sam said he was ready to go as soon as he put on his spikes.
spike mark
(also "cleat mark") a small bump or depression, or both, left by a golf shoe spike (usually thought of in reference to the putting green surface); the Rules of Golf do not allow spike marks to be repaired, which is becoming less of a problem with soft spikes and spikeless shoes
Example: If you don't walk carefully on putting greens you may leave monstrous spike marks, which are not much fun to putt over.
spikeless
(also "spikeless shoes, spikeless soles") golf shoes with a pattern of nubs, molded cleats or "traction lugs" in the sole rather than replaceable spikes (also see hybrid shoes)
Example: One great thing about spikeless shoes is that you don't ever have the hassle of changing spikes.
spin axis
the tilt of the backspin direction (tilted to the right causes a curve to the right, and vice versa)
Example: The more tilted the spin axis the more the ball will curve.
spin out
usually thought of as the leading side of the body (left side for a right-handed player), especially the pelvic girdle, turning too early in the sequence of the swing (many times before the weight has been transferred to the front foot)
Example: Lots of different results could be caused by a spin out, but they'll almost never be good. Smile
spin rate
ball rotations per minute off the clubface
Example: Supposedly the spin rate goes down about 4% per second.
spine align
(also "spine aligning, splining") installing shafts so that the most stable side (the so-called spine) is oriented either directly toward or directly away from the target, depending on the desired effect
Example: Unless you are EXTREMELY highly-skilled and consistent in your ballstriking spine aligning/splining your shafts will not produce a noticeable result.
split tees
when golfers begin on both the front nine and the back nine (this gets more golfers on the course more quickly -- sometimes necessary with large tournament fields or even crowded courses); Note: I have heard Pro Shop crews refer to this practice as "split shift" or "double shift," as well
Example: Using split tees saves some time.
spoon
archaic term for a 3 wood or more lofted wood
Example: Though "spoon" is an archaic term, I have seen a few modern day clubs with that name.
spray
hitting the ball wildly in all directions with no consistency
Example: I guess it was Murphy's law, the day I was putting my best I was spraying my full shots everywhere.
spring-like effect
(also "trampoline effect") the "bouncing back" of a club's face contributing force to the shot, limited by the rules of golf (see also COR)
Example: Drivers with the spring-like effect/trampoline effect tend to hit the ball slightly farther than those without.
square
1. at a right angle to (i.e., perpendicular, 90°)  2. also can mean parallel to  3. tied or even (as in a match)
Example: 1. To hit the ball straight the clubface must be square to the clubhead's path at impact/separation.  2. A square stance is one that is parallel to the target line.  3. Our match was all square at the end of the front nine.
square grooves
(also "box grooves") see grooves
St. Andrews Foursome
(also "Fensome") an alternate shot tournament format with two two-man teams in each foursome, each player hits a tee shot, then the best tee shot of each two-man team is selected and the other ball is picked up, the second shot is played by team members in pre-determined order (odd/even, etc.) (more on tournament formats)
Example: St. Andrews Foursome is one of many alternate shot tournament formats.
Stableford
a system of scoring where a player's score is based on points earned rather than absolute number of strokes taken (e.g., in The International tournament on the PGA Tour, par = 0 points, birdie = 2, eagle = 5, double eagle = 8, bogey = -1, double bogey or worse = -3) (more on tournament formats)
Example: The PGA Tour's International tournament uses a modified Stableford scoring system, which encourages aggressive play.
stadium course
a golf course designed specifically with spectators in mind, typically having lots of mounds, bumps or slopes placed to allow for high ground and/or comfortable ground angles for sitting and viewing golf action
Example: The PGA Tour has many stadium courses in their usual schedule.
stance
placing one's feet in preparation for a stroke (sometimes used loosely to include the entire set-up, e.g., alignment, posture, etc.)
Example: Once he took his stance the spectators got quiet.
starter
(less frequently "tee master, master of the tee") the person in charge of controlling play at a golf course
Example: The starter said we would be next on the tee.
starter set
(also "beginner set, half set") a partial set of golf clubs usually consisting of either the odd or the even numbered irons, a putter and a reduced number of woods
Example: A common configuration for a starter set/beginner set/half set might be 4, 6, 8, PW for the irons, a 3 wood and a putter; but sets vary.
starting time
(also "tee time, time") a reservation or appointment to play at a specific time
Example: The more popular and crowded a golf course is the more necessary a starting time/tee time/time is.
static weight
(also "dead weight, overall weight, total weight") the total weight of a golf club (see also "swingweight")
Example: The static weight/overall weight of clubs is different than the swingweight.
steps
ridges or creases commonly seen around the circumference of steel shafts, creating a terraced taper in the shaft rather than the smooth continuous taper seen in most graphite shafts
Example: The step pattern of a shaft effects its performance.
stick
1. another name for the flagstick or pin  2. (also "stiff, stoney") to put a shot close to the hole
Example: My approach shot hit the stick.  2. I just knew she was going to stick it/knock it stiff/hit it stoney.
sticks
another term for golf clubs
Example: My sticks are in the trunk of my car.
stiff
(also "stick it, stoney") to put an approach shot close to the hole
Example: I just knew she was going to knock it stiff/stick it/hit it stoney.
Stimp meter
a small, short ramp down which a golf ball rolls to give it a constant initial velocity so that the speed of greens can be measured uniformly
Example: A Stimp meter reading indicates how far a ball rolls on a green when propelled/started by running down a Stimp meter.
stinger
a low penetrating long shot, usually with a long iron or wood (term mainly used in reference to tee shots) played with the hands forward and ball position back farther than normal to decrease trajectory
Example: The term stinger was popularized by Tiger Woods.
stoney
(also "stick it, stiff") a shot that stops close to the hole
Example: I just knew she was going to hit it stoney/knock it stiff/stick it.
stop the bleeding
usually a commentator's expression indicating that a player needs to get back on track or right the ship, etc., after a number of bad holes in a row
Example: If Jeremy can't stop the bleeding he's going to give this tournament away.
straight-faced
a club that has a relatively steep (not much loft) clubface
Example: To keep the trajectory of the shot under the branches I would need a fairly straight-faced club.
stripe
to hit a tee shot solidly and straight, implying that it finds the center stripe of the fairway (the direction of mowing and subsequent leaning of the grass blades has the visual effect on the fairway of making it appear striped: grass that is mown and leans in the direction away from the tee appears lighter in color than areas mown toward the tee)
Example: Tom striped his drive off the first tee.
stroke
1. (also perhaps "shot") the act of swinging a club with the intention of striking the ball  2. the qualitative aspect of the swing (most frequently associated only with putting)
Example: It took him 5 strokes/shots to get the ball in the hole from the greenside bunker.  2. The grocery clerk has an exceptional putting stroke.
stroke and distance
(also "2-stroke penalty") counting one stroke for the stroke itself and one stroke for the distance travelled by the ball (meaning the ball must be replayed from the original point)
Example: A two shot penalty is also called stroke and distance.
stroke hole
a hole on which a player's handicap strokes fall in net scoring match play situations (e.g., a 1 handicapper only gets a stroke on the number 1 handicap hole, whereas an 18 handicapper gets a stroke on every hole)
Example: Bob was one down in the match with one hole to play, but he felt good about his chances, as the 18th was a stroke hole for him.
stroke play
(also "medal play, stroke-play") scoring by the total number of strokes
Example: The PGA Championship used to be decided by match play, but now it is a stroke play/medal play competition.
strong
1. (regarding grip or hand position) where the hands are rotated into a position of more physical advantage on the grip and, all else being equal, the club face has a tendency to close during the swing (e.g., for a right-handed player the hands would be in a strong position if the "V" formed by the thumb and forefinger pointed more to the player's right than the right shoulder; the grip might generally be referred to as strong if either the left hand or both hands were in a strong position -- what constitutes strong or weak may vary between players and opinions may vary slightly between experts)  2. some manufacturers use the term strong to indicate stiffer shafts
Example: A strong grip may contribute to a hook or pull.  2. Check with the manufacturer to find out what a strong shaft actually is.
stymie
1. term referring to another player's ball (usually on the putting green) blocking one's path to the hole -- obsolete since the practice of marking the ball on the green  2. general term for a situation where the desired line of play to the hole is blocked by an object or obstruction
Example: 1. In the "old days" some players became quite good at chipping the ball instead of putting it in stymie situations, as the ball could then hop over their opponents ball.  2. Tom was stymied behind a tree, so his only reasonable option was to play sideways.
summer rules
another way some people use to indicate that the ball will be played "down" or "as it lies" (as opposed to "lift, clean and place," "preferred lies" or "winter rules")
Example: There really is no such thing as summer rules in the rules of golf, but some courses that institute "winter rules" as a local rule during bad weather or poor course conditions use the term "summer rules" just to clarify the current mode of play.
Sunday bag
an extremely lightweight golf bag, usually very small in diameter and easy to carry
Example: A half set of golf clubs and a Sunday bag makes walking the golf course a breeze.
Sunday ball
(also "lunch ball, Muligan") taking a second attempt (replay, "do over") at a shot when one doesn't like the result of the first
Example: Taking a Sunday ball/lunch ball/Mulligan is not allowed in the rules of golf, but is usually tolerated (only if time allows) in casual play.
superintendent
(also "head greenkeeper or greenkeeper") the person in charge of overseeing the golf course maintenance and crew
Example: The superintendent / head greenkeeper usually has to answer for the condition of the course.
surlyn®
(also "surlyn cover") a plastic in common use for golf ball covers (the outer layer) since the 1970's
Example: Surlyn is a fairly durable type of plastic used in golf ball manufacturing.
swale
a depression, valley, or low portion of undulation on a course
Example: My tee shot was right down the middle of the fairway but it disappeared from sight, so I figured it made it down into the swale.
sway
generally considered to be an excess of lateral (side to side) body motion in a golf swing
Example: Many players have a noticeable or even pronounced sway in their swing.
sweet spot
(also "sweetspot, screws, nut") the center of mass of the club (the solid spot on the clubface)
Example: I nailed it right on the sweet spot/sweetspot/screws/nut.
swing
1. to make a stroke  2. a significant change in the score (as in a scale, or the balance, shifting)
Example: His swing had flaws but he was very effective.  2. When Tamara birdied the 3rd hole there was a two shot swing.
swing hard in case you hit it
a facetious suggestion, and plainly bad advice, but surprisingly prevalent in practice; perhaps analogous to "go down swinging" (i.e., you might get lucky?)
Example: After seeing three of Jackson's practice swings, Miles asked, are you of the swing hard in case you hit it mindset or are you just trying to wear yourself out as soon as possible?
swing path
(also "path, club path") the direction the clubhead is traveling (generally referred to through the impact area and in relation to the target line)
Example: An outside-in swing path/path will cause a slice if the ball is contacted with a square or open (to target line) clubface.
swing plane
(also "plane") most easily visualized as the plane that the shaft of the club or the clubhead's arc describes during the swing
Example: The subject of swing plane can be very complex or very simple depending on how deeply you get into it.
swing speed
(also "club head speed, clubhead speed") another term for clubhead speed at impact
Example: One of the factors in how far the ball travels is swing speed/clubhead speed.
swing weight
(also "swingweight") the relative weight of the heavier clubhead end of a club to the lighter grip end, usually measured on a balance scale with a 14-inch fulcrum; swing weights are comprised of a letter and a number, e.g., D-3 (A is the lightest letter, 0 is the lightest number, so for example C-6 is a lighter swingweight than D-1); most golf clubs' swing weights fall between the letters C and E, the majority of ladies clubs are in the C range and the majority of men's clubs are in the D range
Example: The swing weight of a club is different than its overall weight or dead weight.
swingweight scale
(also "swing weight scale") a balance scale used for measuring the swing weight (and the overall weight) of golf clubs; the scales usually use a 14-inch fulcrum, but less common models use a 12-inch fulcrum
Example: A swingweight scale is a standard device in a club repair and fitting shop.
syringe
watering by hand (most commonly putting greens) in spots or at times when the usual water sprinkler routine is not sufficient (e.g., for reasons of heat or dryness)
Example: It was so hot that they had to syringe some of the greens between groups.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

If you have a suggestion as to how this book could be an even better resource for brand new golfers or feedback of any kind please

No copying, reprinting or reproduction
of any material on this website without
written consent from the site's author