Golf Terms – Illustrated & Defined

Visual representation of different types of golf clubsThe illustrated definitions and in-depth guides of golf terms are grouped along the categories listed on the left.

Alternatively, you may use the golf term glossary which allow you to search for terms in alphabetical order.

Types of Golf Clubs

Golfers have at their disposal a collection of tools that assist them in bringing the golf ball into the hole in the least amount of strokes possible. These tools are called golf clubs and mastering each of them is the ambition of any serious golfer.

A golfer is allowed to carry 14 of these clubs in his bag but is free to decide what the final makeup ultimately looks like. Here are golf terms related to the types of golf clubs available:

Golf Club Parts

If you’re at all interested in the game of golf you’ll inevitably run into golf lessons and instructions which will refer to specific club parts. Here are golf terms related to the club parts.

Parts of a Golf Club

Parts of a Golf Clubhead

Golf Setup Terms

Before a golfer is to even feel comfortable hitting a shot he will meticulously position several key parts of his body in relation to the ball, to the club in hand, and to the target. Only after everything is in place will he be ready to begin his swing. The following golf terms relate to the golf setup and are explained below.

Golf Swing Terms

The golf swing is the relatively complex result of a carefully choreographed sequence of movements. Indeed, it starts as the golfer lines up for an upcoming shot and ends when he stands immobile, watching the ball fly in the air. The golf terms representing the many movements involved are broken down into sections and are presented below.

Golf Swing Errors

The golf swing is a complex procedure, necessitating the timely and orderly flow of various movements that solicit muscles and joints in the entire body. As a result, it is not uncommon that one strays away from the textbook swing and commits one of these golf swing errors.

Golf Ball Flights

From the moment it is struck to the moment when it finally lands a golf ball can travel along a variety of ball flights. Indeed, as golfers can attest, balls do not always travel along a straight line. Some are more desirable than others, and the golf terms related to the ball flights are explained and illustrated below.

Other Golf Terms:

Golf Shots

For many reasons golf is a sport unlike any other. Indeed, in order to play it one must learn to perform an incredible variety of different shots, using many different clubs. How one will select which shot to perform next will depend on the environment around the ball, around the target, and everywhere in between said ball and said target. Here are the different shots that a golfer will need to master in order to confidently go through a whole round of golf.

Golf Shot Errors

Inevitably, golfers will execute bad shots from time to time. Reducing their frequency is key to lowering one’s score and ultimately one’s handicap. Still, there are several ways a golfer can mishit shots. Here are golf terms related to golf shot errors.

Golf Shot Lies

Starting from the tee-box and through his journey onto the green and ultimately into the cup, a golfer will have to contend with shots of varying difficulty based on where the ball is located. Here are the golf terms that represent the types of lies that golfers will face, fully explained and illustrated.

Golf Handicap Concepts

handicapBecause no two golf courses are identical the scores posted on different venues can be difficult to accurately compare, unless other factors are brought in to standardize them. Here are key concepts and golf terms related to handicap and their related formulas.

Golf Game Formats

formatsPeople often assume incorrectly that golf is played using a single format. This misconception surely stems from the fact that most golf played and viewed on TV does indeed feature the same format as it is played on one tournament after the next. Rather, there are at least fourteen different formats that one can use when golfing, each adding different challenges and sets of goals. The golf terms related to the different playing formats are below.

Golf Scores

scoresThe ultimate objective in a traditional game of golf is to finish a round of 18 holes using the least amount of strokes. After each hole is completed, the golfer will write down the number of strokes that was required in bringing the ball from the teeing ground all the way to the hole. Names are given for each of those numbers and the golf terms related to golf scores are explained in depth below.

Golf Course Elements

Occupying a large area of land a golf course features many different types of areas and objects. Over the course of a round a golfer will find himself or encounter many of those. The golf terms related to the course elements are defined below:

Away from the Green

Near the Green

Sand Related Challenges

Other Challenges

Course Layout

Other Golf Terms