Golf Dictionary - What golf terms really mean


Identifying the Ball - Except in a hazard, players may, without incurring a penalty, lift a ball they think is theirs and clean it for purposes of identification. After doing so, they must put it back in exactly the same spot from which they took it. However, most golfers are aware that in the few seconds needed to complete this manoeuvre, the earth itself has moved in a number of directions, both because of its own rotation and due to the movements it shares with the solar system and the galaxy, and they compensate for these motions by shifting the position of the ball from, say, the muddy divot hole from which it was removed to a point a few trillionths of an Astronomical Unit away (about a foot) occupied by a nice tuft of grass.

Iffy lie A questionable lie, where it is uncertain how the ball will react when struck.

Impossible Lie - A ball that is in a position that is both completely obstructed by an immovable object and continuously observed by an incorruptible player.

In The last nine holes of the course, also known as the inward half. You're moving in toward the clubhouse.

In his bag Expression used by&golfer who is confident in his ability to pull off a certain shot. The shot is in his bag.

In my pocket What a golfer tells the other members of his group when he's picked up his ball and conceded a hole. "I'm in my pocket." As a result, the other players are likely to be in his pocket, too—to take his cash.

In the hunt Term describing any player who has a chance of winning a tournament heading into its final stages. Alternatively, describes any hacker looking for his errant tee shot.

In the Leather - A phrase which indicates that a putt is close enough to the hole to be conceded. A putter is placed on the green with its head in the cup to determine whether or not the putt in question is even with or below the beginning of the grip, and if it is, it's a gimme. Many players find this procedure unnecessarily restrictive and generally agree on a policy of making concessions if a putt is "in the local dialing area." See GIMME.

In the linen Equivalent of in my pocket. Used by snappy dressers.

Instruction - Golf is virtually impossible to learn from a book, and some personalised instruction is absolutely essential, but there are a handful of simple admonitions that every player would do well to commit to memory:

  • Don't lock your knees.

  • Don't bend your left arm.

  • Don't loosen your grip.

  • Don't pick up your head.

  • Don't count out loud.

  • Don't write in ink on your scorecard.,

Irons - 1. Penology. Variously shaped pieces of metal by the use of which individuals are subjected to torment. 2. Golf. Variously shaped pieces of metal by the use of which individuals are subjected to torment.

Is that any good? Rhetorical question posed to stunned opponents by a golfer who has just hit a career-best shot.

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