How to Speak Golf


Do you find yourself nodding along in vague agreement whenever golf fans get together? Tired of pretending like you know what they’re talking about?

Here are a few golf terms that might help you fake your way through Heritage week with at least a little more authority.


Golf Terms19th hole (n): The bar or any of the areas around the tournament that serves alcoholic beverages, from charity tents to random backyard parties.

20th hole (n): A cab or Uber. Please, for all our sakes.

dribbler (n): An approach shot that never quite achieves liftoff, merely dribbling forward a few feet. (Alt.) That one friend you told yourself you were never taking to the tournament again. Example: “Todd was being a total dribbler. He’s on the 20th hole now.”

Golf Terms3

Facebeg (v): When everyone goes on Facebook to ask if anyone has spare passes. Example “Oh jeez, Todd’s on here Facebegging again. Just buy a ticket, dude.”

Hit a house! (excl.): Verbal pleading a golfer will make toward his ball when he realizes he’s hit it entirely too far. Also see: hit a tree, grow teeth.

marching shot (n): An approach to the green that sails wide left of the fairway, then right and then left.

nope (v): To take a penalty-free redo stroke after landing your ball within the general vicinity of an alligator.

Golf Terms2Shankapotamus (n): An appropriate nickname for any fellow golfer after a particularly bad shot, especially if he announces his drive with something along the lines of, “Here’s a free lesson.”

silent (adj.): Mystifying hieroglyphics that appear on tall placards held up by Heritage volunteers.


approach (n): A shot hit toward the green, where the flagstick and hole are located; typically the second shot on a par-4 or the third shot on a par-5.  

birdie (n): A score of 1-under-par on a hole.

bogey (n): A score of 1-over-par on a hole.

divot (n): Refers both to the chunk of turf displaced while taking a shot and the hole left afterwards.

double bogey (n): A score of 2-over-par on a hole.

draw (n): A shot that moves slightly from right to left while in the air for right-handed players.

Golf Terms5eagle (n): A score of 2-under-par on a hole; a rare occurrence.

fade (n): A shot that moves slightly from left to right while in the air for right-handed players.

fairway (n): The area of closely cut grass leading from tee to green where a golfer aims to land the tee shot.

fried egg (n): A slang term for a buried lie in the sand in which only the top half of the ball is visible.

hazard (n): An area, often water, that invokes a one-shot penalty when the ball is hit into it; a golfer may avoid the penalty by playing the next shot from the hazard without touching the ground, sand, or water with the club.

Golf Terms6hook (n): A shot that curves sharply from right to left while in the air for right-handed players.

rough (n): Taller grass adjacent to the fairway that penalizes an inaccurate shot by making for a more difficult approach.

slice (n): A ball that curves sharply from left to right for a right-handed player.