Golf Dictionary - What golf terms really mean


Gallery - The spectators at a golf tournament. Golf fans enjoy a much higher degree of participation in their favourite sport than their counterparts seated in stadiums could ever dream of: they get almost as much exercise as the players themselves, they can wear the identical playing outfits without the slightest embarrassment, they stand at least as good a chance of being injured during the course of play as even the top golfer in the country does, and they can enter upon and do serious damage to the playing field before and during the contest as well as after it is over.

Game - A competitive round of golf, but also a particular golfer's style of play. Over time, golfers tend to progress through several basic kinds of "game": great drives, poor approach shots and lousy putting; awful drives, foul approach shots and superb putting; perfect drives, rotten approach shots and dreadful putting; and ping-pong, bowling and croquet.

Gas What putts left on the amateur side of the hole run out of.

Get down A message from golfer to ball asking it to cease flying—now! Usually heard after a ball is hit too far or offline; almost always uttered with great agitation.

Get Up The opposite of get down, an exhortation used to urge a putt or shot to travel farther toward the hole. Also used by Golfer A to urge Golfer B to regain consciousness after Golfer A has hit Golfer B in the head with an errant iron shot.

Gimme - A conceded putt, shortened from the phrase "Give it to me." Gimmes are the centre of many golfing controversies, especially among the ranks of amateurs who are always looking for an opponent to concede a putt, even if their ball is off the green. See IN THE LEATHER.

Give, give An agreement between a golfer and his opponent to give each other their next putt. Usually the result of two amateurs with a shared fear of the short game. (See also good, good.)

Go to school To learn about the speed and direction of a putt or chip by observing another putt or chip on the same or similar line is golfs version of going to school. Smart golfers also go to school on their own putts and chips and watch as they roll past the hole to get a look at any break that will effect the putt coming back.

Goat farm A poorly maintained golf course. (See also dog track.)

God squad Nickname for the group of PGA Tour players who hold regular prayer meetings at professional golf tournaments.

Goer A shot that goes much farther than normal for the club being used. A member of the flier family.

Gogolak This synonym for drop kick gets its name from Charlie and Pete Gogolak, two former NFL placekickers.

Golf - The derivation of the word "golf 'from its Celtic and Middle English roots is obscure. Some possibilities are: gil f f (an incurable madness), gylf (a notorious liar), gullf (to beat a shrub with a short stick), golve (under; beneath; lost; blocked; submerged; stuck; obstructed), gellvo (horribly; terribly; hopelessly; awfully), galfa (my God!; oh, no!), goal fyl (to cry; to weep) and gael f (I quit). See KOLVEN.

Golf Accessories - Gadgets whose purchase improves players' games primarily by eliminating bulk from their wallets, thereby reducing excessive trouser friction and allowing a smooth hip movement in the swing.

Golf Bag - Portable container with compartments designed to hold clubs, balls and other golfing accessories. There are two basic types of golf bag, and serious players usually own one of each: an inexpensive canvas or nylon "carry" bag that would have been easy to tote around the home course if the shoulder strap hadn't broken on the 3rd tee, and a more durable vinyl or leather "travel" bag that would have been used on a golf trip if the airline had not sent it to a continent other than the one on which the course its owner planned to play is located.

Golf Cart - Two-wheeled bag carrier that decreases the exercise value of playing 18 holes of golf from about the level of two sets of doubles tennis to the equivalent of an hour and a half of shopping. With a four-wheeled electric cart, the physical demands of the game can be reduced even further to about the same as 10 minutes of rearranging sofa cushions, watering a dozen plants or one complete loading and unloading of a dishwasher.

Golf Club - 1. The basic implement in golf, which consists of along shaft on one end of which is the head, which is attached to the shaft at the heel and has on one side a distinct face. 2. A social organisation built around a golf course and composed of a number of heels, a membership committee head with two faces, and a long waiting list of people who are going to get the shaft.

Golf Glove - An unpleasant odour worn on the hand.

Golf Grippe - Mysterious ailment whose sudden but short-lived symptoms of violent coughing and sneezing usually occur on the tee or green. It can often be cured by pounding the sufferer vigorously on the back with a 5-iron.

Golf lawyer A player known for constantly citing the rules, usually to the detriment of your score. This character may sound versed on the rules of the game, but he's probably trying to take advantage of you. If you're playing with a golf lawyer, carry a copy of the Rules of Golf with you at all times.

Golf Shoes - There are two basic kinds of special footgear that golfers can choose from: traditional golf shoes with metal spikes and the newer rubber-studded models. There are a number of differences between the two designs, but the question of which type to select really boils down to whether you want a shoe that you can blame for spoiling your shot because its spikes caught in the turf during your backswing or one you can blame because its studs slipped in the grass during your downswing.

Golf Widow - Non-playing wife of an obsessive golfer. Just for the record, judges have consistently decided that although golf clearly is "extreme mental cruelty," it is not grounds for divorce since "the unspeakable sufferings are experienced exclusively by the player and not by the one abandoned as the result of such play" (Humphrey v. Humphrey). On the other hand, courts have been equally firm in throwing out wills altered in favour of favourite golf holes (Alexander v. Trust for the Mowing of the Rough on the Back Nine at Smokey Valley C.C.), bequests to dubious sporting foundations (Bennett v. The Society for the Perfection of the Backswing) and posthumous gifts for the care and preservation of treasured clubs (Howard v. Irons, Woods, et al.).

Golfing - A pastime that gives people cooped up in the office all week a chance to lie and cheat outdoors.

Golfing Vacation - Period of time spent playing golf in a place where the rain is warm or where notices indicating that a course is closed due to inclement weather are posted in a foreign language.

Good, good See give, give. When two golfers have putts that lie similar distances from the cup, one player will say, "Your putt is good if mine is good." Used mostly by amateur players who fear short putts.

Green - A roughly circular area of smooth, lush grass whose verdant hue is the result of regular sprinkling and constant sobbing, bawling, blubbering and whimpering.

Greenie & Sandy - Two popular side bets in which the players in a foursome agree to ante up a small amount of money to be awarded to the first player on the green on each hole ("greenie") and to any of their number who get out of a sand trap and into the hole in two strokes ("sandy"). Other common golfing wagers include paying a set sum of money to the player who uttered the fewest four-letter words during the round ("cleanie") and the player who threw the smallest number of clubs ("gandhi").

Greens Fees - The charge for playing a round of golf. When paying this fee, mediocre players should keep in mind the fact that whereas golfers who regularly shoot par are shelling out nearly a quarter for every shot they take, a hopeless duffer is paying a mere eight or nine cents a stroke.

Grip - The end of the club that slips, twists, rips or flakes, as distinct from the end of the club that rusts, splits, chips or cracks. See HEAD.

Grinder Term used for a golfer who is all business. A player whose only mission is to achieve the best score possible. A hard worker. A serious player. Boring. Tom Kite.

Grip it and rip it To forget about all those "swing thoughts" and take a healthy rip at the ball. This phrase became popular after the prodigious swinger John Daly and his Herculean drives, won the 1991 PGA title at Crooked Stick. When asked about his style, Daly said, "I just grip it and rip it."

Grocery money Winnings from a golf bet that the winner pledges to spend on food and drink, or groceries, usually at the nineteenth hole.

Grounder A golf shot that never leaves the ground. (See also worm burner.}

Grow teeth A 1. golfer's plea for the ball to stop quickly. (See also bite, chew) 2. something Tiger Woods did after he broke fifty for nine holes.

Growl Action, backspin, juice. When you want your ball to stop quickly, you have to put some growl on it.

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