My golf vocabulary has also quite grown considerably, thanks to the Internet (and to my assistant, Nerie Jimenez, who actually did the researching for me). Here are some of the basic golf terms that I now have in my Glossary of Golf Jargons. I am quite confident that I can now con myself into any discussion that involves these golfing semantics:
Par For The Course!
Play begins on each hole from the ìtee box.î Players try to ìdriveî the ball onto the ìfairway,î hit an ìapproachî shot onto the ìgreen,î and then putt the ball into the ìcup.î Along the way from tee to green, different ìhazardsî exist which can hinder play and increase the difficulty of a hole. A ìparî system, determined by the length of each individual hole, grades the overall difficulty of an entire course.
Birdie – Scored by a player who sinks the ball in the cup one stroke under par for that hole. For example, if a player takes four strokes to put the ball in the cup on a par five, he or she gets a birdie.
Eagle – When a golfer is two strokes under par for a given hole. On a par four, for example, if a player hits his or her second shot into the hole, the player gets a score of two and it counts as an eagle.
Double Eagle (or Albatross) – Quite rare, it is when a golfer is three strokes under par on a single hole.
Bogey – When the number of strokes it takes to sink the ball in a hole exceeds the par by one. On a par three hole, a score of four is called a bogey, and the golfer scores one over par on that hole.
Double Bogey – Getting the ball in the cup two strokes above par. A score of seven on a par five, is a double bogey.
Triple Bogey – Scored to a player when he or she sinks the ball three strokes over par for the hole.
Get A Grip!
The Stance – The first element to correctly hitting a golf ball. A player is said to ìaddressî the ball when he or she stands facing it with a club in hand. The golfer must keep his or her head down and eyes on the ball at all times. The shoulders and feet should be square with the ball and feet firmly planted.
The Grip – Without a proper grip, successful contact with the ball is unlikely. A player grips the club in a manner similar to shaking a personís hand. With both hands clasped snugly around the club handle, pressure is exerted by the two middle fingers on the right hand and the last three fingers on the left hand (for right-handed players). Players can choose to link the little finger on the front (right) hand over or under the fourth finger on the back (left) hand.
The Swing – The final and equally important component to hitting the ball well. The golfer grips the club with both hands and holds it with outstretched arms, positioning the ìclub faceî directly behind the ball. Keeping the left arm straight on the backswing (for right-handed golfers), the player swings the club across his or her body and over the shoulder. The player must keep his or her head down when swinging through the ball.
Club The Ball!
During a round of golf, players may carry up to fourteen clubs in their golf bags. Every club is numbered and each is designed for a particular shot. Each club face is angled at a different degree of ìloftî with clubs ranging from open faced ìwedgesî to larger headed ìwoods.î The lower the number on the club, the less loft on the club face; thus, the farther the ball will travel when it is hit.
Woods – Made of graphite or wood, these large headed clubs are for teeing off on long par four and par five holes and for long distance fairway shots. The ìoneî wood or driver is generally the most powerful club in a golferís bag.
Irons – The flat, steel-faced clubs used for short and long fairway strokes. Irons vary in design from sand and pitching wedges with the greatest amount of loft (for short approach shots), to irons with very little loft, like a two or three iron for long distance shots. The putter has an upright face and is used on the green to push the ball toward the cup.