Golf Glossary

    Golf is a technical sport which needs an adequate vocabulary. For this reason we offer you a glossary containing the various expressions relevant to golf.

    CLUBS AND EQUIPMENT

    Here you will find expressions for the different types of club, for the make-up of a club, and for other equipment.

    The different types of club

    - Driver: The driver or 1-wood is the club generally used to commence play.
    - Wood: Woods are generally used for driving the ball a long distance at the beginning of a hole or over the fairway.
    - Hybrids: Hybrids are a cross between a wood and an iron. Easier to play, they replace the less tolerant long irons (1, 2 or 3-iron).
    - Irons: Irons are used generally for shorter distances than woods and for making approaches towards the green. In general, every kind of shot can be played using an iron.
    - Wedge: These clubs are used primarily for approaches or for exiting a bunker. They create short but high shots.
    - Putter: These clubs are used on the green for directing the ball to the hole.

    The composition of the club

    - Shaft: The club's handle.
    - Grip: An adhesive element placed on the shaft which allows the hand to hold the club more firmly. This term is also used to describe the position of the hand when holding the golf club.
    - Club face: The part of the club head that makes contact with the ball during the shot.
    - Sole: Surface of the club head that makes contact with the ground during the shot.
    - Oversize head: When the club head is larger than average.
    - Lie Angle: The angle between the shaft and the ground.
    - Loft: The angle of the club face in relation to the ground.
    - Offset: Describes the extent to which the clubface is set back from the line of the shaft.
    - Insert: A component that can be added to the clubface to create a softer touch. It is found particularly on putters.
    - Heel: The end of the clubface closest to the shaft.
    - Tolerance: Said of a club which is able to reproduce an optimum trajectory even when the shot has not been centred well on the ball.
    - Sweet Spot: The ideal point on the clubface for striking the ball.
    - Hosel: The part of the clubhead that attaches to the shaft.

    Equipment

    - Tee: A small wooden or plastic support, used for raising up the ball on the first stroke of a hole.
    - Cart: A vehicle used for transporting equipment.
    - Divot Tool: A tool for repairing the ground after a ball has made a hole in the green.
    - Ball Marker: A tool to mark the ball's position.
    - Golf bag: A bag in which several clubs can be stored.

    TRAJECTORIES, SHOTS AND EFFECTS

    Here you will find expressions for shots, trajectories and effects

    Shots

    - Approach: A shot aimed at placing the ball directly onto the green, towards the hole.
    - Hole in One: Describes when a ball lands in the hole in a single stroke.

    Trajectories and effects

    - Trajectory: The flight of the golf ball.
    - Draw: An effect where the ball moves from left to right during its trajectory for a right-handed player, or from right to left for a left-handed player.
    - Fade: An effect where the ball moves from right to left during its trajectory for a right-handed player, or from left to right for a left-handed player.
    - Hook: An effect where the ball moves to the left at the end of its flight, or to the right for a left-handed player.
    - Slice: An effect where the ball moves to the right at the end of its flight, or to the left for a left-handed player.
    Unlike the fade and the draw, the hook and the slice are often undesired effects.
    - Putt: The act of hitting the ball while keeping it low, such that it rolls towards the hole.
    - Spin: An effect whereby the ball is made to rotate. Three main types of spin are the top-spin, where the ball rotates forwards; back-spin, where it rotates backwards; and side-spin, where the ball rotates laterally, either clockwise or anti-clockwise.

    THE PLAYER

    Here you will find expressions describing the player's position and movements and how players are scored.

    Movements and position

    - Address: The position that the player must adopt when striking the ball.
    - Alignment: The player's position in relation to the target, which will determine the direction of the shot.
    - Stance: The position of the feet at address.
    - Swing: The movement of the club when striking the ball.

    Scoring

    Before trying to explain anything about scoring, you will need to know about the par.

    - Par: The number of strokes theoretically set for a hole or a course, determined according to the length and the difficulty of the hole or course. The par of a hole varies from 3 to 5; of a course, generally, from 70 to 72.
    - Handicap: The old measure of an amateur player's ability, replaced today by the index.
    - Index: The measure of an amateur player's ability (formerly handicap). The first classification is 53.5, or a player able to play and average of 3 strokes under par across 18 holes. A player with an index of 0 (known as a scratch golfer) is expected to play a hole or course with the same number of strokes as ‘par'.

    The most common names for scores in relation to par:

    - Birdie: a hole played one stroke under par.
    - Bogey: a hole played one stroke over par.
    - Double bogey: a hole played two strokes over par.
    - Triple bogey: a hole played three strokes over par.
    - Eagle: a hole played two strokes under par.
    - Albatross: a hole played three strokes under par.