Golf Dictionary

The following is a list of terms used around golf. Please email us with any other terms that ought to be on this page.


The amount of strokes allotted to put the golf ball into the hole, on a golf hole.


One under the par on a hole.


Two under par on a hole.


Three under the par on a hole.


One over on a golf hole.


Two over on a golf hole.


Three over on a golf hole.


The landing zone for a tee shot on a golf hole. The grass is often just a bit longer than what is on the putting surface, allowing for better contact for iron / wood shots.

Tee box

The “start” of a golf hole where golfers hit their drives or iron shots into the fairway or green.

Bunker (sand trap)

A “hazard” on a golf hole that is filled with sand.


If a golfer is unsure whether their ball is “in play”, they will often hit another golf ball from where they last hit. By rules, you need to declare this subsequent stoke, a “provisional” ball.


The putting surface on a golf hole.


Area around the golf course where the grass is longer and offers a semi-penalty of sorts for not hitting the fairway or green.


Often a wooden or plastic object that allows golfers to place the golf ball on, and into the ground. Golfers can adjust the height of the tee by how far one inserts the tee into the ground.


The remnant of dirt, grass, sand from a golfers strike in the fairway or rough. Golfers are expected to replace, or repair their divots according to golfing etiquette. A divot is also referred to as the mark a golf ball makes when it hits the putting surface. Golfers are also expected to repair their divots on the green with a tee or divot repair tool.


The small, circular opening on a green where the golfer is trying to get the ball into. Golf holes, are also referred to as “holes.”

Golf hole

Also referred to as a “hole” – is the routing of land within a golf course that accounts for the golf course. Golfers play different “holes” on a golf course.


Often yelled from one golfer when they are anticipating hitting their golf ball into another group of golfers or persons on a golf course.


When a golfer puts the golf ball into the hole in one stroke on a given golf hole. These happen on par-3 holes most often.


A hitting “club” a golfer uses to advance their golf ball. It is often labeled from a 1-iron to a lob-wedge. With irons, the higher the number, the higher the ball is intended to go – but not as far. For example, a 3-iron will go farther than a 9-iron.


When you hit the ground before you hit the golf ball, which usually results in less distance of the golf ball.


A hitting “club” golfers use to roll their ball when on the putting surface or just off the putting surface. Putters vary the most in their uniqueness.


A stroke a golfer takes on the putting surface to advance their ball towards the hole.


The manner in which the golf ball rests on the golf course. “He had a poor lie, so he didn’t advance the golf ball very far.”


A stroke the golfer takes to initially advance their golf ball off the tee. Many golfers love to “drive” their golf balls.


The longest club in ones golf bag, that is most often used on the tee box. It offers the golfer the ability to hit their golf ball the farthest.

Stroke play

Often used to describe a golf tournament – it is the accumulation of strokes a golfer takes over a given number of golf holes. Most PGA Tour events are a stroke play event.

Match play

Is a golfing tournament or play format where a golfer plays another golfer per hole. So, golfers can only go one-up or one-down each hole, even if they have a much higher / lower score than their opponent. For example, Frank scored a 3 on the par-4th, but Benny, had a 5. Therefore, Frank is 1-up on the hole.


Either referring to a pull, push cart the golfer uses to tote their golf bag around the course or, the motorized vehicle a golfer uses to drive around the golf course in, with their golf bag.


When a golfer is just off the green, and is able to get their golf ball into the hole in one stroke or two strokes.


The “luck” or chance a golfer encounters when playing golf. Sometimes a golfer gets a good lie, and sometimes it is a poor one.

Golf bag

The container used to carry ones golf clubs around the golf course. It can sit on a cart (mechanical / or push, pull).

Golf course

The playing field with an accumulation of golf holes. Golf courses often have a driving range, practice putting area, maintenance facility, clubhouse, and in some instances, tennis courts, restaurants.


Examining the nature a golf ball may roll on the putting surface, usually done when aligned behind the golf ball and the golf hole.


When holding a golf club, it is the farthest end of a golf club head, away from the hosel – like on a foot.


When holding a golf club, it is the closest area on a golf club, nearest the hosel.