Golf Dictionary - What golf terms really mean


Nassau - A golf scoring system that allocates one point to the winner of each 9 holes and one to the winner of the 18. This system is a favourite among high-stakes bettors. Of course, no one on a golf course with even the remotest idea of what constitutes proper behaviour in the game of golf would dream of placing a wager on the outcome of a round. However, since there is no one on any golf course who has even the remotest idea of what constitutes proper behaviour in the game of golf, betting is universal.

Nasty A nasty is a junk bet you can cash in on if you hole a shot from off the putting surface and your score for that hole equals par or better.

Natural, a A birdie made without the aid of any handicap strokes. Naturally, a natural always seems to happen on the tough holes, where handicap strokes are given. Easier holes, where no handicap strokes are available, often produce natural triple bogies.

Neck, the Another way of saying hosel, or the socket in the head of a club where the shaft is inserted.

Needle When you are verbally teasing and taunting your opponents, you are needling them or sticking in the needle. A good needier can really get under the skin of his competition.

Never up, never in Admonition used after a putt is left short. In other words, another way to state the obvious.

19th Hole - The only hole on which golfers do not complain about the number of shots they took, or the place where most golfers find their best lies.

Nip it When you hit an iron shot without taking a divot, you have nipped it. Good golfers do this in an attempt to minimise backspin; bad golfers do it by accident.

Nuked When you hit a shot that achieves the absolute maximum distance for that club, you have nuked it. During the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick, eventual champion and big hitter John Daly was nuking his sand wedge to the tune of 148 yards. That's big

Numbers - A player's score after the subtraction of his or her handicap from the Gross Score is the Net Score. Adding strokes for each Mulligan yields the True Score. If whiffs and fluffs are also counted, the resulting tabulation is the Real Score. If strokes for lost balls, improved lies, and shots hit out of bounds are included as well, the grand total is the Actual Score. This number, when adjusted upward to reflect all gimme putts, becomes the Correct Score. When all the strokes made in sand traps and around obstructions are tacked on, this larger sum is the Absolute, Final, Honest-to-Goodness Score, which is usually only a halfdozen or so strokes lower than the total number of shots the player in fact made.

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