Golf Dictionary - What golf terms really mean


Make the turn When you move from the front side of the course to the back nine (tenth hole), you have made the turn. You probably also tallied your score for the first nine, which may turn your stomach.

Mark - Any small object, such as a coin or tee, placed directly behind a ball to indicate a point on the green that is 5 inches farther from the hole than the spot where the ball will be replaced.

Match Play - Golfing competition whose outcome is determined by calculating which team or individual had the lowest score on the most holes.

Meat and potatoes par four A long, straightforward par four devoid of water, bunkers, and other hazards that might make the hole more difficult.

Medal Play - Golfing competition whose outcome is determined by calculating which player had the lowest overall score for 18 holes.

Melee Play - Golfing competition whose outcome is determined by a fist fight on the 18th green.

Member's bounce A lucky bounce that creates the illusion that a golfer is familiar with the course and knows how to play his shots accordingly.

Mickey Mouse course A golf course with many flaws, possibly including poor maintenance, too many short holes, and tacky architectural features.

Military golf "Left, right. Left, right." (See also army golf!)

Milk the grip lighten and tighten the grip on a club alternately before beginning a swing. This enables a golfer to get exactly the correct grip pressure (light) for a solid stroke.

Million-dollar swing A flawless swing a la Tom Purtzer or Steve Elkington

Mixed Foursome - A quartet of golfers composed of two separate grounds for divorce.

Monday's children Marginal pros who competed on Monday mornings in an attempt to earn entry into that week's tournament in the dark days before the "all-exempt" PGA Tour.

Money player The golfer who seems to make every big putt and come up with a good shot in every pressure situation.

Move The golf swing. If you like what you see, you say, "He puts a good move on it."

Moving day Saturday—the day in four-day professional tournaments when contenders attempt to move into position to win.

Muff To mishit a shot.

Mulligan - A second, provisional ball played following a tee shot that may be lost or unplayable. If the first ball is indeed lost or unplayable, the "Mulligan" is then played with a one-stroke penalty. If the provisional ball is played, but the player forgets or declines to add the penalty stroke to his or her score, it's a "Haldeman." If the player finds the original ball in a playable but inconvenient position, surreptitiously pockets it and plays the provisional ball, again without penalty, it's an "Ehrlichman." If a player steals a ball from an opponent's bag to play as a provisional ball, then counts neither the stroke used to hit it nor a penalty stroke, it's a "Nixon."

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