Golf Lingo and Sayings

Below is a list of terms, golf lingo and sayings, that you may hear around the golf course either on the lesson tee, practice range or on the links. I tried to define them in layman’s terms as best I can. A lot of the better players know these but there are still some in here that even the better player hasn’t heard.

The edge of the cup farthest away from the player making the stroke. The back of the cup such that when a putt rings the cup and falls in ‘the back’, it is said to have fallen in the backdoor. Example: I thought you missed the putt, but it fell in the backdoor.

(aka: “sand trap” or “bunker”) Any hazard on the golf course consisting of sand. Often found near a putting green or around the landing area of the fairway. Example: “Your approach shot fell short of the green and into the beach.”

(aka: “check” or “sit” or “sit down”) The result of backspin when the ball lands on the green. Players yell ‘bite’ (or ‘hold’ or ‘sit’ or ‘hit a house’) when they want the ball to stop quickly. Most often used on an approach shot.

“Do you need a tend?”
I ask this to my playing partner if I think they can’t see the hole. If they can’t I stand away from the hole (not on top of it) holding the flagstick. Once my playing partner putts, I pull the flagstick.

(aka: “chunky”, “fat”, “thick”, “heavy”, and many more) When too much contact is made with the ground before contact is made with the ball resulting in a shot that does not travel as far as intended. Example: “Oh, I chunked it”.

In golf vernacular, “you’re a grinder,” means you’re capable of bouncing back from adversity or scoring well even without your “A” game.

Knee knocker
(aka: “tester”) A short putt that is, for whatever reason, challenging. For most average golfers a good example of a knee knocker is a 3-6 foot putt. Example: “That bunker shot was well played, but still left him with a knee knocker for par”.

“Mark It!”
Refers to my playing partner to mark their ball resting on the green so my putt doesn’t run into it. Proper etiquette is to always mark your ball once on the green.

Mulligan or Breakfast ball.
This is the practice of getting a “free hit” or “free swing”, which is also referred to as a “breakfast ball” when used during early morning rounds. It is against the rules and draws a penalty if used in competitive play.

“One right or one left?”
Usually a question to my playing partner to mark my ball one putter head to the right or left of their line of putt if my ball lies on the same line of putt.

“Scrape it!” or “Pick it up!”
Acknowledging to my fellow competitor or opponent that the “put is good” so get it out of there.

(aka: “blade”, “ thin”, “scull”, “belly”) Hitting the ball with the leading edge of the flange of any iron. The result is that the ball flies with lower trajectory and longer than intended.
Example: “Man, I hit my driver to about 75 yards from the green, but I hit my wedge so skinny, it went over the green”.

“Yank it!”
Implicating to pull the flagstick to my playing partner closest to the hole, meaning I can see the hole enough to not need the flagstick.

“Your honor!”
If this is directed to you, it means that it’s your turn to hit first on the tee. Another words, you beat all the players in your group on the last hole so your get “the honor” to swing first.

“You’re away!”
Long hitters usually say this to the short knockers. This means it’s the short knockers turn to hit since the long hitter is closer to the hole.

If I have missed something, if you have heard a new term that you don’t recognize or if there is a term that should be added to my list, please comment below.

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