Do you ever hear words your buddies who play golf talk about all the time like birdies, bogeys, and par, and have no clue what they ever mean? Or are you new to golf and heard people screaming FORE! really loudly and have no clue how to react? Just so you know, if you hear someone yell FORE! you better find cover because a golf ball might be coming your way at full speed. Golf terms may sound weird but they are valuable to golfers.

Whether you are new to golf or have played for a while, there might be terms that you still do not understand. Here is a list of basic golf terms which are essential for you to understand the golf slang better.

Golf Terms on golf hole
Par 3 Condominium at Palm Garden Golf Club

List of Golf Stroke Terms:

AceWhen a player hits the ball from the tee into the hole with one stroke. Commonly on Par 3s. Also known as a hole in one. 
AlbatrossWhen the ball is hit into the hole 3 strokes under par typically on Par 5s.
BirdieWhen the ball is holed 1 stroke UNDER par.
BogeyWhen the ball is holed 1 stroke OVER par.
Condor A condor would be a hole-in-one on a par-five.
EagleWhen the ball is hit into the hole 2 strokes under par. Typically in Par 4s and Par 5s
ParBased on the length of the hole. Also for the course which is the sum of all the holes’ pars. Commonly on golf courses holes are either a Par 3, Par 4 or Par 5 (In some cases there are Par 6 long holes).

List of Basic Golf Terms:

19th HoleTypically the clubhouse bar is where golfers head to after their 18-hole match.
ApproachA shot to the pin or the green after the tee-off. 
BreakWhen putting a ball, the curve of the ball is due to the slopes or the grain of the green.
BunkerA sand-filled area below ground on the fairway or around the greens. Designed to be hazards. Also known as Sand Traps.
CarryThe distance of the ball from impact until it touches the ground.
CaddyA caddy is a person that is hired to carry your golf clubs and give advice during the round.
ChipA short shot played with minimum loft from off the green.
DoglegLeft or right bend in the fairway from the tee box until the green. The direction is also mentioned ie, dogleg right or dogleg left.
DivotTurf removed when hitting a shot.
DrawA controlled shaping of the shot from right to left with a curve (Left to right for left-handed golfers)
DropWhen the ball is lost, or there is an unplayable lie, a ball is dropped from arm’s length at shoulder height onto the course.
DuffA horrendous shot. Usually, a shot is when there is little to no contact between the golf ball and the club face.
FadeA controlled shape of a shot from left to right with a curve. (Right to left for left-handed golfers)
FairwayThe short-grass area between the tee and the green.
Follow-throughThe latter part of the swing from striking the ball to completion of the motion.
FringeThe area of green surrounding the greens. The grass that is in between the green and the fairway.
Free DropWhen a player is entitled to make a drop without a penalty stroke.
FORE!!!An important term to remember is to save lives! It is a warning shout for when the ball is flying in the direction of people at risk of hitting them. Remember to shout it out loud!
GimmeThis refers to when the other players in your flight agree that the distance of your ball to the hole is very short hence awarding you with a putt without actually playing it. Gimmes are only allowed in match play or friendly matches. In stroke play, everything must be holed out.
GreenA wide area around the hole with very short grass for putting.
The ground under Repair (GUR)If an area of the course is under maintenance and your ball lands there, you can remove your ball without penalty. Normally identified by stakes or a line.
HandicapA system is used to rate a player based on their average number of strokes above par. 
HazardAnything on a golf course that is designed to cause trouble to your scores. Like bunkers and water.
Hook A shot that curves violently from right to left (left to right for left-handed golfers)
Hollow-TiningHollow-Tining is a method used by greenkeepers at golf courses to aerate the greens.
In RegulationA ball on the green is considered in regulation if the ball is touching the surface of the green when the number of strokes taken is at least 2 lower than par. (On par 3s first stroke, on par 4s second stroke, and on par 5s 3rd stroke)
LipThe edge of the hole or bunker
LieResting place of the ball on the course, hence a ‘good lie’, or ‘poor lie’. Also, the angle at which the clubhead is set on the shaft. Tall people usually have clubs with an ‘upright’ lie (making the shoft more vertical) and shorter people use a ‘regular’ or ‘flatter’ lie (placing the cubhead further away from the body).
Match PlayA competition scored on a hole-by-hole basis. The total number of strokes does not determine the winner. The number of holes won determines the winner therefore there is a possibility of not playing all 18 holes.
MarkerA thin, flat item is used to mark the position of a golf ball on the green to prevent your ball from obstructing other players’ shots.
MulliganA chance for redemption if you felt like you hit a bad shot. It allows you to take another shot from the tee with no penalty to your strokes. Very common in casual play with one mulligan. Rules between friends may differ but it is not allowed in tournaments.
OBOB is short for Out of Bounds. Usually marked by white stakes, it is the area outside the course play area.
PenaltyExtra stroke(s) added to a player’s score for violation of the rules, loss of ball, out of bounds, etc.
Pin HighA pin is a flagstick and a pin high means that a ball is a level with the pin but to the side. 
Plus golferA player with a handicap less than zero. This is when golfers add their handicap to their score. 
RecoveryThe shot played back into a good position from an unfavorable one.
RangeThe practice area is known also as the Driving Range.
RoughLonger and thicker grassed area of the course.
ReliefThis is permission to lift and drop the ball without having a penalty stroke. Typically when the ball is unplayable such as in a drain in the middle of the fairway or on the cart path.
Scratch golferA player whose handicap is zero.
ShankA shot hit by the hosel (butt) of the club causes the ball to shoot out sharply to the right.
SliceA shot that curves violently from left to the right (Right to left for left-handed golfers). Most common shots among beginners and high handicappers due to striking the ball with an open clubface or an in-to-out swing.
Stroke playThe most common scoring in professional tournaments. It is scored based on the total amount of strokes taken in the tournament and the fewest strokes wins. 
TeeA small peg is placed into the ground to hold the ball up. Typically used in the first shot of a hole. 
Tee offThe beginning of a round or a hole of golf by playing the ball from a tee. 
ThinUsually a mishit on the ball where the clubface strikes too high on the ball. Sometimes also known as blading the ball.
TopTo hit the ball above the center, causing the ball to dive down and roll rather than rise.


Hopefully, after reading this list you’ll have a basic understanding of what these golf terms mean! Just remember that you should always shout FORE! when you hit a ball that is heading towards players and yells it loud! Also if you do hear fore while you are playing golf, drop whatever you are doing and run for your life!

Here is also a guide for simple exercises to maximize your golf performance from the comfort of your own home. Work that body out and you will be able to swing like Bryson DeChambeau in no time!

There are plenty of golfers around looking for other players to play with. If you are interested or if your friends are busy and cannot get a round of golf in with you, download and register in the Deemples app to join and host games!