If you're ready to learn the lingo and what to do and not do, then this blog is for you!
For first time players, it can be daunting coming into a world that has its own sports lingo and seemingly endless rules – but not to worry. Here are some of the basic things to get you talking like a golfer in no time!
Learning Basic Golf Lingo
Completing the hole in one less stroke than Par.
Par is the number of strokes (golf swings or putts) a golfer should take to complete the hole. So, a "par 4" means that you should hit a driver, then an iron or wedge, and putt one or two times to equal four "strokes."
When a player needs one stroke more than par to "finish" a hole, it's called a "bogey." Example using the "Par" term above. If the hole is a Par 4 and you take 5 strokes to sink your ball in the hole, then you got a Bogey.
The mowed area of grass between the Tee Box (where you hit your drive or tee shot) and the green.
The area that is not manicured or mowed on the left and right side of the fairway.
The way the ball has come to rest on the ground. The ball lands on a "good lie" if you're in the fairway or a "bad lie" in deep grass or the rough.
In the iron family, a wedge is a part of the iron family of golf clubs designed for special uses, all within close proximity of the hole. Usually, 100 yards or less.
This will be the lowest-lofted, longest, and more than likely lightest golf club, designed to launch the ball a greater distance than other clubs. You might have heard of "bombing it off the tee" . . . the Driver, also known as the Big Stick, is what you use to drive it off the tee.
Used on the green, when you are ready to putt. Ball markers are designed to mark where a player's ball is on the green and also used to "mark" the position of the ball, so you may legally pick it up to get out of the way of someone else putting, to clean the ball, or reposition the ball's alignment before you putt.
Whoever scores the lowest on a hole is considered to have the "honors" and is entitled to hit first on the next hole.
When playing golf, this refers to the ball that lies farthest from the hole. Typically, the player who has the ball farthest away plays, but with "speed" coming into the game of golf now more than ever you should also know the term "Ready Golf" – if you are ready, just go.
Also known as a sand trap, these are the areas where you will see a concave area filled with sand. Speaking of sand, if you want to be a cool golfer, next time your golf buddy hits it in the Bunker, you can ask "Hey, did you bring your swim trunks, 'cause you're heading to the "Beach."
Now let's talk about some commonly used slang terms, so you sound like an expert when rousing your friends!
A person who is not very good at golf. They literally just "hack" at their shots.
In casual play (not legal on the PGA or competitive play), a Mulligan is a "do-over" shot intended to replace a poorly hit shot, without counting the stroke.
Quite simply, a bad shot. Used in a sentence: "Boy, that shot was a duff."
The Turn is the halfway point in golf. So, if you are playing a typical 18-hole course, you hit The Turn coming up after hole 9. Used in a sentence: "At the turn, I'll get the next round of cold beers." In case you didn't know it, golf is an excuse for many to enjoy a relaxing afternoon and drink cold beer. Don't judge!
Golf lingo for the clubhouse or bar area where you enjoy food or beverages after your round.
The dreaded score by any golfer, when you have to mark an 8 on the scorecard.
The Right Equipment
Now that you know some of the basic lingo and slang, the next step is to go to a professional to set you up with the right gear. Don't feel like you have to go after the most expensive equipment simply because you think it's best – listen to the suggestions of the professional and get set up with equipment that you're comfortable with. Of equal importance, make sure you are getting sound advice on what type of golf ball to use. Golf balls designed for tour pro or advanced players are expensive and since you're bound to loose some starting out, opt for a more beginner ball that won't break the bank.
Sign Up for Local Golf Lessons
To put your equipment to good use, sign up for golf lessons with our Director of Better Golf, to start improving your skill set. At our course we have small, group lessons for beginners and you can even schedule private one-on-one lessons to advance your game and work on specific areas you want to improve in, like driving, chipping or putting. Our Directors of Better Golf make sure lessons are tailored to your exact needs, and always encourage a fun, judgment-free environment.