Golf Glossary O – R

Golf Glossary: Everything You Need To Know About Golf

It can take years on the course to become an expert in the terminology of golf. The only thing golfers may enjoy more than a few drinks after their round is finding better ways to describe their golf shots. Here is my Golf Glossary O – R. These golf sayings are always tweaking and changing. So here is my easy guide in one place.

I’ve pulled together a total glossary of golfing terms and slang. I’m pretty sure it covers 99% of everything you need to know!

Comment below – did I miss any favorites?



Off Centre Hit

An off-centre hit refers to a shot where the golf ball is struck by the clubface away from the center of gravity or sweetspot. This type of shot results in a loss of distance, accuracy, and control. The clubface’s angle at impact, along with the speed of the swing, will determine the severity of the off-centre hit.

Open Face

The term open face in golf refers to the position of the clubface where it is pointing to the right of the target for a right-handed golfer. This type of position leads to a shot that tends to go left, also known as a slice. An open face can be caused by a number of factors, including improper grip or stance, or an incorrect swing path.


Oversize is a term used to describe any golf club that is larger than the standard size. These clubs are designed to help golfers hit the ball more easily and consistently. They are often referred to as game improvement clubs because they provide a larger sweet spot, which makes it easier for golfers to hit the ball straighter and farther.

Overlapping Grip

The overlapping grip, also known as the Vardon grip, is a popular golf grip developed by Harry Vardon. It is formed by placing the little finger of the right hand on top of the gap between the index and middle fingers of the left hand. This grip is similar to the interlocking grip, but instead of interlocking the fingers, the hands overlap. The overlapping grip is used by many professional golfers because it provides a comfortable and secure grip on the club.

Open Stance

The open stance in golf refers to a player’s position where the feet are aimed to the left of the target for a right-handed golfer. This type of stance can help promote a draw shot, but can also make it more difficult to hit the ball straight. It can also help players hit the ball higher and farther, as it promotes a more sweeping swing.

Out of Bounds, OB

Out of bounds, or OB, is an area of the golf course designated as outside the playing area for a particular hole. Any ball that comes to rest outside the boundary of the course is considered out of bounds, and the player must take a penalty stroke and replay the shot from the previous position.


In golf, onset refers to the distance that the club’s leading edge is ahead of the center of the shaft or hosel when in the address position. The onset can have an impact on the trajectory and spin of the ball, as well as the player’s ability to hit the ball solidly.


Offset is the distance that a club’s leading edge is behind the center of the shaft or hosel when in the address position. Offset is used in club design to help golfers square the clubface at impact, reducing the tendency for shots to go right for right-handed golfers. Clubs with more offset are typically easier to hit for higher handicap players.



A push in golf refers to a shot that starts right of the target line and continues in that direction, without any curvature to the left or right. For right-handed golfers, this would mean the ball is pushed to the right of the target. A push can be caused by an open clubface, an out-to-in swing path, or a combination of both.

Pot Bunker

A pot bunker is a small, deep bunker commonly found on British golf courses. These bunkers are often difficult to escape, as they are designed to be deep and penalize players who hit errant shots. Pot bunkers can add an element of challenge and strategy to a round of golf, as they require a precise shot to get out of.

Preferred Lie

A preferred lie is a rule in golf that allows a player to move their ball to the nearest point of relief, not closer to the hole. This rule is often implemented during adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, to prevent damage to the course. In some cases, players may also be allowed to replace their ball on the fairway within six inches of where it came to rest, not closer to the hole.


A pull in golf refers to a shot that starts left of the target line and continues in that direction, without any curvature to the right or left. For right-handed golfers, this would mean the ball is pulled to the left of the target. A pull can be caused by a closed clubface, an in-to-out swing path, or a combination of both.

Plumb Bob

Plumb bob is a method used by golfers to determine the slope of a green in order to read the break better. To perform the plumb bob, a golfer holds the putter vertically in front of them and lets gravity move the club. The golfer then uses the shaft of the putter to determine the angle at which the green lies.


The pin, also known as the flagstick, is a marker used to indicate the location of the hole on the green. The pin is typically removed by the player when putting, but may be left in place in certain situations.


Par is a score used to represent the expected number of strokes a golfer should take to complete a hole or a round of golf. Pars range from three to five strokes per hole, although some courses may have par six holes. The sum of the pars for all the holes on a golf course is known as the course par, which is typically around 70. A golfer’s handicap is determined based on their score in relation to par.

Punch Shot

A punch shot is a low-trajectory golf shot that is played back in the stance. This shot is typically used to keep the ball below the wind or any obstacle that may be in the way. To execute a punch shot, a golfer typically uses a shorter backswing and more forward shaft lean at impact.

Pin High

Pin high is a term used to describe a shot that lands on the green level with the location of the hole or pin. This is an ideal position for a golfer to be in, as it provides the best opportunity to make a putt for birdie or par.

Progressive Offset

Progressive offset refers to clubs that have an increasing amount of offset with the increase in club length. This is typically done to make longer irons easier to hit and more forgiving for higher handicap golfers.

Provisional Ball

A provisional ball is a second ball played from the same position as the first ball, in case the first ball is lost or out of bounds. If the first ball is found or determined to be in bounds, the provisional ball is abandoned and the first ball is played.

Pre-Shot Routine

A pre-shot routine is a series of movements and actions that a golfer performs prior to hitting the golf ball. The purpose of a pre-shot routine is to help a golfer prepare mentally and physically for the upcoming shot. The routine can include things like visualization, practice swings, and deep breaths.


A putter is a club used for putting the golf ball into the hole on the green. Putters are typically the shortest and heaviest clubs in a golfer’s bag, with the lowest loft (approximately 2-4 degrees). There are many different types of putters available, including blade putters and mallet putters, each with their own design and features.

Perimeter Weighting

Perimeter weighting is a design feature in golf clubs where the weight is strategically placed around the perimeter of the clubface, away from the center of gravity. This design helps to increase the moment of inertia, which makes the club more forgiving and reduces the effect of off-center hits.

Putt, Putting

Putting is the act of using a putter to roll the golf ball on or near the green into the hole. Putting typically takes up a large percentage of shots during a round of golf, and is an important skill for golfers of all levels to master.


Quitting on the Ball

Quitting on the ball, also known as deceleration, is a common fault among beginners in golf. This occurs when a golfer slows down their swing just before impact, which can result in a poor shot. To avoid deceleration, golfers should focus on maintaining a smooth and consistent swing throughout the entire motion.


Reading the Green

Reading the green is the act of analyzing the slope, grain, and other features of the green in order to determine the best way to make a putt. This is an important skill for golfers to develop, as it can greatly improve their chances of making a successful putt.


In golf, the term run refers to the distance that the ball travels after it has landed on the ground. This distance can be affected by a number of factors, including the slope of the ground, the firmness of the turf, and the speed of the shot.


Roll is a term used to describe the quality of the ball’s movement after it has been struck by the putter. A good roll is one that has top spin and stays on the desired line, while a poor roll may result in the ball skidding or bouncing along the surface of the green.

Reverse Overlap

The reverse overlap is a putting grip where the right hand overlaps the left hand, with the left index finger resting on top of the right hand. This grip is commonly used by golfers of all levels and can help provide a more secure and comfortable grip on the putter.


A rescue club, also known as a hybrid, is a type of golf club that combines the design features of both a wood and an iron. These clubs are designed to be versatile and can be used in a variety of situations, making them popular among golfers of all skill levels.

Range Ball

A range ball is a type of golf ball that is typically used on driving ranges. These balls are often cheaper and less durable than standard golf balls, and may be designed to travel shorter distances to prevent them from being hit out of the range.


A rake is a tool used to remove footprints and other debris from bunkers on the golf course. Golf etiquette suggests that the rake should be left outside the bunker and away from the line of play for the hole.


The R&A, or Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, is a historic golf club and governing body of golf based in Scotland. The R&A is responsible for organizing major golf championships, including The Open Championship, and promoting the game of golf worldwide.


A recovery shot is a golf shot played from a difficult situation, such as from a bunker or deep rough. These shots require a high degree of skill and strategy, as the golfer must carefully consider their approach and execute the shot with precision.


The release is a term used to describe the movement of the golf ball after it has been struck by a chip or pitch shot. After the ball bounces and checks on the green, it will typically release and continue to roll towards the hole. The amount of release can be affected by a number of factors, including the speed and spin of the shot.


Rhythm, also known as tempo, is an important aspect of a golfer’s swing. It refers to the timing and pace of the swing, and can greatly affect the accuracy and power of the shot. Golfers should aim to maintain a consistent rhythm throughout their swing in order to achieve the best results.

Keep reading Golf Glossary S – T

If you’re looking to improve your golf why not check out our other article on the best cheap golf rangefinders, or have a look at our best golf balls for beginner golfers. We also review the best golf simulators to help improve your golf whilst at home.

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