Fore! How Well do you Know Golf Lingo?


By: Weston Whitener

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you a golf aficionado? Are you glued to the television each time there's a tournament? If this sounds like you, then you've found your way to the right quiz. If you think you know everything there is to know about golf lingo, then prove your worth by acing this quiz.

Golf is the sport of champions... wait, that's... basketball? Ok, golf is the sport of kings... wait, that's horse racing. Well then, golf is the sport of the gods... oh no, that's a book. Sigh. 

Regardless of what golf is the sport of, it's a popular sport that was first played in Scotland. As you know, the sport has made its way across the pond here to the states, where millions of viewers watch the highly televised tournaments every year. But whether or not you know that golf is a great walk spoiled, or if you are a player or a viewer, you probably know that there is an entire vocabulary that goes along with the sport.

Do you know what a "grip," "groove," and an "albatross" are? If you answered yes to this question, and you know what each of these golf terms means, then you are ready to take this quiz.

Let's get started.

What do you call the standard score a golfer should make on a hole?

Every golfer wants to score par, or even better, under par! The term comes from the Latin word for "equal."


This is the part of the golf club that you hold.

Make sure you grip the grip correctly! Famous American golfer Ben Hogan said that "good golf begins with a good grip."


What are the things used to hit the ball called?

Golfers have been choosing the right club and swinging away for centuries. It wasn't until the late 1800s that iron club heads could be mass-produced; until then, golf clubs were made of wood.


What is the last half of an 18-hole golf course called?

Once you've played the first nine holes, it's time to finish the Back 9. Hopefully you're winning when you hit the Back 9!


What do you call scoring one under par on a hole?

The term "birdie" came from 19th-century slang "bird," meaning "a good thing." Allegedly, American golfer Ab Smith first used "birdie" as a golf term in 1899.


What is a consistent golf swing called?

If you can get in your groove, your game will improve! Consistent swinging allows for more precision in placing your shots.


What is another term for a hole-in-one?

If you score an "ace," your golfing skills are exceptional. Patrick Wills holds the Guinness World Record for most aces in a round of golf, scoring three!


What do you call scoring two under par on a hole?

If you shoot an eagle, your game is going well! The term simply means "a better birdie."


What do you call scoring three under par on a hole?

"Albatross" extends the "birdie" analogy for scoring under par. It's also called a "double eagle."


Ducks often swim on them and balls are often lost in them. What are they called on a golf course?

Golfers are always losing balls into water hazards! If you do hit a ball into the drink, don't worry; you can play a new ball close to where the first went in.


What is redoing a poor shot called?

It may not be allowed in the rules of golf, but everybody needs to take a mulligan every once in a while. The term emerged between the late 1920s and mid-1930s, but its namesake remains a mystery.


What club do you use to hit a ball long distances?

If you want to send a ball toward a distant hole, use your driver! Did you know that the longest usable driver on record is 28 feet and 1 inch long?


What do you call scoring one over par?

Scoring a "bogey" can easily tip a round of golf into your opponent's favor. Did you know that the term comes from the bogey man?


Be careful of these sand-filled hollows set up throughout a golf course! What are they called?

Bunker is of Scottish origin and was first used to describe "sand traps" in the early 1820s. The term was not used to describe a military fortification until much later, during the First World War!


Who manages care of a golf course?

The term "greenkeeper" was used to refer to the person who oversaw the important task of keeping a golf course looking pristine. The term has since been replaced by "course superintendent."


What do you call hitting a shot out from a sand bunker?

Hitting a ball out of a sand bunker will often send an explosion of sand into the air; thus the term "explosion!" Many golfers can still salvage their game with a well-played explosion.


What do you call a high, short shot hit to land softly?

Lob shots are a delicate solution to many problems on the golf course. Usually lob shots are hit with a wedge.


Make sure to take this out before you putt!

The rules of golf require you to take the flagstick out of the cup when putting. If you don't, it can be a two-stroke penalty!


This is the part of the golf club that hits the ball.

When picking a golf club, the head makes the difference. Each head is shaped and weighted differently for different kinds of shots.


This is the part of the golf club that connects the grip to the head.

Steel shafts revolutionized the game of golf in the early 20th century, but did you know that they were banned by the United States Golf Association? Eventually they became so popular that the golfing rules administration had to allow them!


What is the curve a ball might take when putting called?

Make sure you account for the break when putting! Even professional golfers lose strokes to a bad break.


What do you call your reservation to begin a round of golf?

Most golf courses require you to book a tee time. This makes sure that many golfers can get onto the course and avoid running into each other!


What is the place where you first hit your ball off the tee called?

Every good golf game starts "teeing off" in the tee box. Be sure to be in the first hole's tee box at tee time!


What is the unkempt area of the golf course called?

If you hit into the rough, you might be in for a rough game! The rough isn't kept as trim as the fairway and can feature wooded areas.


What is the trim area at the end of a hole where the flagstick and cup rest?

Ultimately you want to hit the ball onto the putting green. Making flawless greens requires an ideal grass seed and an extensive drainage system.


What is the mowed grass section between the tee box and the putting green?

On many courses, it's best to drive the ball along the path of the fairway. It's much easier to hit from the well-kept grass!


What is a traditional seaside golf course built near the mouth of a river called?

Many golfers will say they're "hitting the links" when they go golfing, but links are a specific type of golf course found primarily in Scotland. Links are built on linksand, which was not useful for farming and therefore used for sports since medieval times!


What is playing each hole for a prize called?

Some call this golf gambling game skats, cats or syndicates. "The Skin Game" was popularized in the 1980s.


What do you call the place and position where a ball rests?

The lie of a ball on the course seems like a small detail. But a bad lie can cost strokes!


Who gets paid to carry a golfer's clubs?

Good caddies can save you a few strokes per round. Did you know that "caddie" is the Scottish form of the French word "cadet?"


What do you call the movement of the club away from the ball before you hit it?

Good golfers will coil back and gracefully drive the ball with their backswing. Backswings determine the power of a swing.


When you score a golf game, you count these.

The fewer the strokes, the better your game! In an ideal world, you would only have as many strokes as there are holes in course -- this never really happens, of course.


What is hitting the turf in front of your tee called?

Hitting a "chunk" can be embarrassing; and hope there's no pond nearby to swallow your ball!


What do you call a player who is winning by as many holes as are left in the match?

The term "dormie" comes from the Latin "dormir," meaning sleep. If a player is dormie, they could fall asleep and still win!


What is a slow, short shot hit from the grass called?

The gentle, slow flight of a ball hit from the grass' cushion earns the term "floater." If you hit one, don't worry; you can redeem yourself at the next hole!


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