Golf Dictionary - What golf terms really mean


Cabbage Deep, thick, inescapable rough. Also called spinach. Green, leafy vegetables are not good for your golf game.

Caddy - Individual who carries bags for golfers and assists them in the playing of the course. Ideally, a caddy should possess the eyes of a big-game hunter, the strength of a linebacker, the patience of a diplomat and the memory of a Mafia witness.

Calamity Jane - Legendary golfer Bobby Jones' nickname for his "straight shooting" putter. Few contemporary golfers give their putters nicknames, but those who do usually choose more appropriate sobriquets like "Runaround Sue" and "Unsink able Molly Brown."

Can The hole. The cup. The place to put your putts. When you sink a putt, you canned it.

Carpet The green. Soft, well-manicured fairways are also referred to as being "like carpet."

Cart girl The lovely young lady who operates the beer cart (a motorised vehicle that carries refreshments to golfers out on the course). These refreshments typically cost a fortune, which probably explains why golf courses hire beautiful young women to sell them.

Cart golf Term for when two golfers riding in the same golf cart repeatedly hit the ball in the same direction (usually into the rough). An efficient but not necessarily pleasant way to play.

Casual Water - A temporary accumulation of water. The rules of golf provide that a ball may be moved without penalty from any non-permanent wet area, such as a rain puddle. Tears, however, no matter how copious, do not constitute casual water.

Cellophane bridge An invisible cover over the top of the hole

Centre City A tee shot that lands directly in the centreof the fairway has gone to Centre City.

Centre cut A putt that goes directly into the centreof the cup.

Central America putt When a putt needs just one more revolution to fall into the hole. Get it? One more revolution?

Chew Exclamation used by golfers who want their ball to stop—now! (See also bite, grow teeth, growl, juice.')

Chilli dip An improperly executed chip shot in which the club hits the ground before hitting the ball, usually resulting in a shot that rolls just a few inches. This is one shot you have in common with Jack Nicklaus because everyone who has ever played golf has done it. You've just done it a little more frequently than Jack.

Chip Shot - A short, low approach shot that gets a player into position for one or more missed putts. See PITCH.

Cleek - 1. Old-fashioned chipping iron. 2. Lateral water hazard on the legendary 8th hole ("The Poisoned Lotus") of the Royal Hong Kong golf course in Fanling.

Club Weight - There are three ways to measure the weight of a club: its overall weight, which ranges from about 13 ounces for a driver to just over 16 for a sand wedge; its swingweight, which is arrived at using a complex calculation of the relationship between the distribution of mass among a club's components and the length of its shaft; and its "bringweight," which is an estimate of its apparent heaviness on the 18th fairway on an afternoon in July and ranges between 21 and 46 pounds.

Clubface - The metal or wooden striking surface that is located on the front of a clubhead above the sole and between the toe and the heel. There is a specific point on every clubface called the "sweet spot," which, when it connects with a ball, produces maximum accuracy and power as well as a solid, gratifying feeling of perfect contact. It is difficult to say exactly where the sweet spot is since it varies from club to club, but generally speaking it is in the dead centre of the "bland belt," which is very near the "rotten region," in the middle of the "lousy area" and surrounded by the "loathsome zone.

Clubhead Covers - Wool or leather "mittens" slipped over the heads of woods to keep them dry. Zip-on coverings that encase the entire club in wetsuit material are also available and permit the eventual reuse of a favourite club flung into a water hazard, assuming that blind rage was tempered with foresight.

Clubhouse - Place where the rules are prominently posted.

Colonel Bogey Just another name for the dreaded score of one over par.

Comebacker A shot that backs up after hitting the green. Or, for a high-handicapper, a tee shot that hits one of the tee markers and ends up behind you.

Committee - The duly authorised drafters of the rules.

Competition - Form of play clearly established in the rules.

Cop The ranger on the public golf course—the guy whose job it is to make sure the flow of play is smooth and all golfers are observing the game's etiquette. He's never around when the fivesome in front of you is too slow, but always around to watch you hit a tee shot out of bounds or into a lake.

Course - Area of play strictly regulated under the rules.

Courtesy - Type of conduct specifically mandated by the rules.

Cow pasture pool One of the less endearing names for the game of golf. Senior PGA Tour pro Robert Landers has given some legitimacy to the term by practising his game alongside the "meadow muffins" on his dairy farm. Cow pasture is also used to describe poorly maintained golf courses.

Crapola - The rules.

Cup - The metal or plastic cylinder fitted into the hole in the green. Strictly speaking, it is only the liner of the hole, but in regular golf usage players will often say "cup" when they mean "hole," just as they frequently will say "just in bounds" when they mean "out of bounds," "Oh, here it is" when they mean "I can't find it" and "five" when they mean "seven."

Cuppy A lie that's buried in a hole or depression.

Cut A controlled shot that moves from left to right. Most golfers shout "Cut!" to their ball after they see it heading well to the left of their target, not realising that this is not an "on-demand" feature of a golf ball.

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