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 U – Z. 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?
Utility Club (Hybrid)
A Utility Club, also known as a Hybrid, is a golf club that combines the characteristics of a long iron and a fairway wood. It typically has a hollow metal head and a graphite shaft. Utility clubs are designed to hit longer shots from the fairway or rough, with more forgiveness and easier launch than traditional long irons. They are called “hybrids” because they blend the characteristics of different types of clubs to create a versatile and useful club that can be used in a variety of situations on the course.
U Grooves (Square Grooves)
U grooves, also known as square grooves, are the grooves found on the face of a golf club. They are designed to create spin on the ball when it is struck. U grooves are characterized by their square shape, which creates more friction between the ball and the clubface, resulting in more spin. In the past, U grooves were common on wedges, but they have been banned by the USGA for most players since 2010.
Under Club, Under Clubbing
Under Clubbing, or choosing the wrong club for the shot, is a common mistake that golfers make on the course. It refers to hitting the ball short of the target because the golfer used a club that didn’t have enough loft or distance for the shot. This can happen when the golfer misjudges the distance or the lie of the ball, or when they choose the wrong club based on the wind or other conditions on the course.
Up and Down
Up and Down is a term used to describe holing the ball in two strokes from any position around the green. This can include chipping the ball onto the green and sinking the subsequent putt, or hitting a bunker shot onto the green and sinking the following putt. Up and Down is an important skill for golfers to master because it can help them save par or make a birdie when they miss the green in regulation.
Underspin (Back Spin)
Underspin, also known as backspin, is a type of spin on the ball that causes it to stop or even spin back towards the golfer when it lands on the green. Underspin is created by hitting the ball with a descending blow and a square clubface, which causes the ball to spin backwards as it travels through the air. Underspin is especially important for approach shots and shots around the green, as it allows the golfer to control the distance and direction of the ball more precisely.
Upright Lie (Flat Lie)
Upright Lie, also known as a Flat Lie, refers to the angle at which the shaft of the golf club is attached to the clubhead. An upright lie means that the shaft is more vertical and the clubhead is more perpendicular to the ground, while a flat lie means that the shaft is more horizontal and the clubhead is more parallel to the ground. The lie angle can affect the direction and trajectory of the ball, as well as the golfer’s swing and ball flight.
V Grooves (V-Shaped Grooves)
V grooves, also known as V-shaped grooves, are the grooves found on the face of irons and wedges that have a V-shaped cross-section. V grooves offer less spin than U-grooves (square grooves) but can still provide sufficient spin to control the ball on approach shots and around the green. V grooves are legal for most players, although some professional tours have restricted their use.
The Vardon grip, also known as the Vardon Overlapping grip, is a common way of holding the golf club. It is named after Harry Vardon, a legendary golfer who popularized the grip in the early 20th century. The Vardon grip involves placing the little finger of the trailing hand (right hand for right-handed golfers) in the gap between the index and middle fingers of the lead hand (left hand for right-handed golfers), while the remaining fingers wrap around the club. This grip provides a solid and unified grip on the club, allowing for greater control and consistency in the swing.
Variable Face Thickness (VFT)
Variable Face Thickness, or VFT, is a feature of many modern golf clubs, especially drivers and fairway woods. It refers to the use of titanium in the face of the club to allow greater face deflection in the centre of the club. This means that the face is thicker in some areas and thinner in others, allowing for more distance and forgiveness on off-centre hits. VFT technology has become increasingly common in golf clubs and is often used in conjunction with other features such as perimeter weighting and adjustable hosels to optimize performance.
A Waggle is a pre-shot routine used by some golfers to reduce tension in the arms and shoulders and to prepare for the swing. It involves moving the club back and forth from side to side, often with a slight wrist hinge, before starting the backswing. The purpose of the Waggle is to establish a comfortable and natural rhythm for the swing and to create a sense of looseness and fluidity in the body. Some golfers use the Waggle on every shot, while others only use it on certain shots or when they feel particularly tense or nervous.
A Wood is a type of golf club with a large, rounded head made from wood, metal, or other materials. The term “wood” is somewhat of a misnomer, as modern woods are rarely made from wood and are typically made from metal alloys or composite materials. Woods are numbered based on their loft, with the driver (also known as the 1 wood) having the lowest loft and the higher-numbered woods (2 wood through 15 wood and above) having progressively more loft. Woods are designed to hit long, high shots off the tee or fairway and are a key part of most golfers’ bags.
Whippy is a term used to describe a golf club with a very flexible shaft. A Whippy club is designed to provide greater speed and distance for golfers with slower swing speeds or those who need help getting the ball in the air. The term “Whippy” can also refer to a golfer’s swing, particularly one with a lot of lag or a late release of the clubhead.
Winter Greens are temporary putting surfaces used on golf courses during the winter months when the grass on the regular greens is dormant or damaged. Winter Greens are typically made from artificial turf or other materials and are designed to be more durable and resistant to cold weather and foot traffic. Although Winter Greens are not ideal for putting, they allow golfers to continue playing during the off-season and to maintain their skills and fitness.
To Whiff is to miss the ball altogether when making a golf swing. A Whiff is a rare and embarrassing occurrence for most golfers and can happen for a variety of reasons, such as a misjudged swing, a loss of balance, or a distraction on the course. A Whiff is counted as a stroke, and the golfer must take another swing to continue the hole.
A Wedge is a type of golf club with a high lofted face, designed for short distance shots and shots around the green. Wedges are named based on their loft and function, with the most common types being the pitching wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. The pitching wedge is typically used for approach shots from the fairway, while the sand wedge is designed for shots out of bunkers or deep rough. The lob wedge has the highest loft of any club and is used for high, soft shots around the green. Other types of wedges include the gap wedge and the approach wedge, which have lofts between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.
X-Out Balls are golf balls that have minor cosmetic or production defects and are sold at a discount as practice or “lake” balls. When manufacturers perform quality control checks on their golf balls, some inevitably fail the checks. The balls with only minor defects are then marked with a row of x’s over the manufacturer’s logo or name and sold as X-Out Balls. These balls are not intended for tournament play but can be a cost-effective way for golfers to practice and improve their game.
The Yips is a term used to describe a sudden and involuntary movement or twitch in a golfer’s putting stroke. It can result in poorly struck putts, putts where the golfer does not follow through, and poorly directed putts. The Yips are a frustrating and often debilitating condition that can affect golfers of all skill levels, but are more common in older golfers. The cause of the Yips is not well understood, but it is believed to be a combination of psychological and physiological factors.
A Yardage Marker is a coloured post or disc on the fairway that denotes specific distances to the centre of the green. Although the distances may vary from course to course and hole to hole, most courses use the standard of a black and white striped stake to indicate 150 yards to the centre of the green. Yardage markers are an essential tool for golfers to gauge their distance and club selection on approach shots and can help improve accuracy and consistency on the course.
Zip is a term used to describe spin imparted on the ball. Zip is created by hitting the ball with a clean and crisp impact, often with a wedge or a high-lofted iron. When the ball has zip, it will stop quickly or even spin back towards the golfer when it lands on the green. Zip is an important factor in controlling the distance and direction of the ball on approach shots and around the green, and is a key skill for golfers to master.
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.