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Golf for the Beginner

Updated on September 20, 2014

Are you ready to take up the sport of Golf? Okay, there are a variety of words which you need to learn to let your playing partners know you are not a beginner.

First, let us discuss the scoring names. There is Par which means that you scored the exact number that is required to play the hole as was designated by the designer of the course for that particular hole that you are playing. For example, if hole number one is a par 4, it is both desireable and successful if you play the hole in 4 strokes.

If you play the same hole in 5 strokes you have made a bogey which may also be referred to as "1 over par". If you play the same hole in 6 strokes you have made a double bogey, or, 2 over par. If you play the same hole in 7 strokes you have made a triple bogey, or, 3 over par. If you play the same hole in 8 strokes you have made a quadruple bogey, or, 4 over par. If you play the same hole in 5 over par.........well, you might want to reconsider playing this game.

So, in theory, if you are playing a par 3 hole and score a 4 (took you 4 strokes to get the ball into the hole from the starting point) you again have a bogey just as you did when you scored 5 on the par 4 hole. Therefore, if you score 6 on a par 5 hole you again score a bogey and the same applies to the double bogey and triple bogey and so forth.


Let us go the other way. Assume you score a 4 on a par 5 hole. Now, you have scored a birdie, or, 1 under par. Therefore, if you score a 3 on a par 4 you likewise have scored a birdie.

If you score a 3 on a par 5 you have scored an eagle, or, 2 under par. Likewise, a hole-in-one on a par 3 is an eagle because it is 2 under par. It is funny, however, that I have personally had 6 hole-in-ones and never think of them in terms of eagles. If someone asks me how many eagles I have had I fail to remember that these were eagles. Eagles are most commonly made on par 5's when you get the ball into the hole in 3 strokes. Also, if you fly the ball into the cup from the fairway for your second shot to a par 4 hole that is also an eagle.

On the very rare occassion that a player scores a 2 on a par 5, or, even rarer a 1 on a par 4 that is called an albatross, or, 3 under par and also referred to as double eagle.

Putting is applying the club know as the putter to the back of the ball when normally on the green so as to roll it into the cup. There is actually a cup inside the hole that has been cut into the green. But, wait! What is a green? Well, the bright green area with a flag protruding from it is called the green. Probably because it is usually a darker green than the rest of the course. It is manicured and mowed and trimmed and sanded and watered until it is as perfect as the course superintendent can get it.

Chipping is the act of making the ball jump up and land on the green where it continues to roll towards the cup. This is done with a variety of clubs from the wedge to a six iron. Pitching is a considerably higher chip that is usually further from the green and requires more loft. Mostly wedges are used for this action.

A sandy is the ability to knock the ball out of the sand trap and still make a par. A gimmie is when your playing partners tell you to pick up your ball because it is close enough to the cup that you should automatically make the putt. This just saves time, but, is not part of the USGA rules. When you slice the ball, it curves to the right (for a right handed golfer). When you hook the ball, it curves to the left. A fade is a less curving version of the slice and a draw is a less curving version of the hook.

A high five is bragging about the shot you just made. Hitting a flier is when you hit the top of the ball and it sails straight ahead barely getting airborne. Hitting behind the ball is referred to as a chili dip or duff.

Playing skins is a betting game that involves making a better score than your playing partners on a particular hole to win a previously agreed upon amount of money. Picking up is the act of picking up your ball before it goes into the hole because you have exhausted yourself with way too many strokes. Again, not in the rules.

Going through is when the group in front of you is playing slower than you and allows you to go through and ahead of them. The front is the first 9 holes. The back is the second 9 holes. The range is where you practice hitting balls.

And, with that said, let's go to the range and get ready for some golf!

Hit 'em long and straight....

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    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR

      WILLIAM EVANS 

      6 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      Thanks, Vinner. Are you taking up golf?

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 

      6 years ago from India

      Thanks for sharing this information. I was always confused with the terminology. Good way of writing. Waiting for more hubs from you.

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