Golf slang for the beginner

June 5, 2014

Ok, so you’ve taken up golf as a recreational hobby. You went out and bought new clubs and even took a lesson. But if you really want to impress your veteran golfing friends during your first round on a regulation course, then you must learn to speak “Golfese.”

If you don’t understand what your three playing partners already know and say after years of golf, then you’re not going to enjoy your initial round. First I’ll start you out with the basics, and then give you some pointers on the really impressive slang sayings.

Let’s say a friend hits his tee shot into the trees and you want to really impress him. Casually say, “That was a ‘Star Trek’” and he will immediately know that his ball has gone “…where no man has gone before.” He will then give you a friendly look or perhaps a hand gesture.

If by chance his ball ricocheted off a tree, house or fence, then loudly say to your group, that was a “woodpecker” and everyone will join in the fun. But if you really want to sound like a seasoned golfer, especially if his ball hit the cart path, just exclaim, “That was a ‘kangaroo’!”

Now to enhance the camaraderie on your first outing and continue the fun on the fairway, be sure to memorize the following terms to describe to the group any of these shots which you see or might even hit yourself:

If a ball goes out of bounds, yell “gorilla!”; into the water, yell “frog!” and into a sand trap, always yell “camel!” If you really want to sound like a seasoned golfer, whenever a ball is lost on the fairway, yell “gopher” and signal the other players to come search for the plugged ball with you.

Once on the green, it’s a whole new language, so be on your toes to impress your buddies. Don’t use the word bogie. Instead, say “that was a Casablanca.”

For double bogie, say, “Casablanca and Maltese Falcon.” And don’t ever say triple bogey. Show off your knowledge and say, “I got a Casablanca, Maltese Falcon and African Queen.”

Earlier, I promised you some really impressive slang sayings, so take notes and don’t be afraid to use any of these popular golf terms.

1. Attitude Adjuster: When the cart girl stops, offer to buy a round for the group. It will help improve everyone’s outlook on you taking up the game of golf.

2. Bag Tag: Each time you play at a different course, purchase a new bag tag to attach to your golf bag. It will show everyone your level of play. (10 or more would be impressive.)

3. Wash Your Balls: To avoid serious injury, ask your veteran golf buddies to show you how to properly place your ball in the washer, clean it with the vertical brush strokes and dry it for play. (Hint: Keep your fingers out of the hole.)

4. Break: Something you should do with your putter after you miss two-foot putts all day long.

5. Hacker: A slow player in the foursome in front of you. If you see him in the bar after the round, introduce yourself and say, “It’s nice to meet a fellow hacker.” He will probably respond with a friendly nod or, again, maybe a hand gesture. If not, offer to buy him an “attitude adjuster.”

6. Chili Dip: Whenever you hit behind the ball and the strip of grass you dislodge from the fairway is over six inches long, place it in your bag, take it home and plant it in your yard.

7. Yips: The sound you should make when your buddies miss a three foot putt for a birdie or par. The louder you sound off the more fun it will be for all.

8. Ball retriever: Always carry at least two in your bag and stop at all water hazards to find lost balls. Re-grip as often as necessary to improve your reach.

9. Duck, Duck, Goose: What you should yell if your tee or fairway shot is heading toward other golfers.

10. Reality: Understand that today’s column is satire. If you don’t, please take up bowling. At least the ball will come back to you.

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