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Golf Terms Explained

Golf Beginner Guide Cropped

Albatross

A score of three under par, also known as a double eagle. This is the hardest score in golf, much rarer than a hole-in-one. 

Alignment

The position of a player’s stance and body relative to the ball and target. 

Away

After the tee shot, the order of play is determined by the player farthest from the hold, who is “away.” 

Ball Marker

A small, flat object, usually circular, that can be used on the putting green to mark your ball so you can pick it up to clean it or move it out of the way of another player. 

Birdie

A score one less than par. 

Par

The score an expert golfer would be expected to make on a given hole under ordinary conditions. 

Bogey

A score one more than par. 

Eagle

A score two less than par. 

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand on the course. 

Caddie

Someone who helps a player by carrying clubs and giving advice. 

Divot

A piece of turf that is cut out of the ground after swinging. Should always be replaced by the golfer. 

Dogleg

A type of hole design that curves left or right from the fairway into the green. 

Flagstick

A movable pole that is placed in the hole to show players where the hole is. Players may take it out before their shots if they would like. 

Ground Under Repair

A marked section of the course where the ground is unfit for play. Players may take free relief from this area. 

Loft

The angle between a club’s shaft and clubface. Higher loft causes the ball to go higher and generally shorter. 

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural objects like stones, sticks, and leaves. Golfers may move these without penalty so long as the ball does not move. 

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the course. All areas inside that edge are in bounds. 

Penalty Area

A designated area you can move from with a one-stroke penalty if your ball comes to rest there. 

Putting Green

The area on the hole the player is playing that Is specially prepared for putting. 

Tee

An object used to raise a ball above the ground to play it from the teeing area. It must be no longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm). 

Teeing Area

The area the player must play from in starting the hole, defined by two tee markers. 

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