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The Myrtle Beach Golf Dictionary

Understanding all the golf jargon that goes along with a vacation can be a little confusing; and knowing the difference between green aeration and verticutting can make a big difference in your next vacation. Here you will find all the terms that may come up during your next golf vacation to Myrtle Beach.

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90-Degree Rule

When a golf course implements this rule, carts are not to be driven on fairways until 90 degrees to the ball. Only then should the cart leave the path, driving directly to the ball. Following the golf shot, the golfer then drives directly back to the cart path at 90 degrees. This reduces damage to the grass during wet conditions.

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Aerification

Aerification is a process that produces more air space in the soil from a compacted green, which ½” cores are removed (the plugs usually seen on green during process) to encourage deeper rooting.  This allows for a mixture of air and water to the green's root system. The holes are now filled with sand (top-dressing) which helps the soil to retain air space so that the roots can easily grow downward.
This process is essential for the life of the green as it accomplishes three purposes. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture for the upper roots and it reduces or prevents the buildup of excess thatch.

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Air Shot

The golfer addresses the ball, swings, and makes no contact with the ball what-so-ever. An air shot is counted as a stroke.

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Albatross

Former name for the term "Double Eagle" which is defined as the score for a hole made in 3 strokes under par. A British term.

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Alternate Ball Format

This term indicates a form of play where players alternate hitting each other's ball on each stroke until the hole is finished.

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Amateur Golfer

A golfer who plays without any monetary compensation.

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Angle of Approach

The angle or degree at which the club moves downward, or upward, toward the golf ball as the player comes down.

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Apron

The grass surface that surrounds the green, which separates the green from the surrounding fairway or rough. Also known as frog-hair, or fringe.

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Attend (the flag stick)

When the hole is not visible for a player’s shot/putt, another player holds the pin and removes it as the ball is approaching the hole.

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Away

Defining the golfer whose ball is farthest from the hole. Whoever is “away” should always play first.

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Bermuda

Bermuda is a warm season grass used in tropical climates that has a rather long grain. Bermuda grasses – Tifeagle, Tifdwarf, and Ultradwarf are common varieties, which typically have thicker blades than bentgrass, resulting in a grainier appearance to putting surfaces. The grain of bermuda grass greens can influence putts, so golfers must be mindful if they are putting with, against, or across the grain.

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Birdie

Shooting one stroke under par for any given hole.

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Bite

Players who put a lot of spin on their approach shot, allowing the ball to stop immediately when it lands on the surface. This phenomenon is referred to as biting or checking. If there is enough backspin on the ball, it could suck back toward the golfer.

Tip: Play the ball in the back of your stance, weight on the front foot, and hit down at the ball to cause the pinching effect. (Practice first)

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Block

Similar to the “push”, the golfer does not allow time for the clubface to square up at impact, causing an errant shot.

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Bounce

Bounce is the angle created between the sole line and the ground line. A greater angle (higher bounce) is best for steep swingers and soft turf.

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Calcutta

A wager, which typically supports one team to win a tournament. In a Calcutta golfers bid, like an auction, on the team (or golfer) who they think will win the tournament (you can bid on your own team or yourself). All the money raised through the auction goes into an auction pool. At the end of the tournament, those who bet on the winning team (or golfer) that won the tournament receives a predetermined payout from the auction pool.

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Casual water

Any golfer that takes his stance to the ball and temporary water is still visible. Other forms of standing water include: snow, ice, and overflowing water from a current hazard.

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Compression

The measurement for stating the hardness of a golf ball, typically 90 compression. Players with faster swings or when it’s windy should use 100 compression.

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Course rating

Course rating is a numerical value given to each set of tees at a particular golf course to ballpark the number of strokes it should take a scratch golfer to complete the course (golfer with a zero handicap).

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Difference Between Links and Stadium Courses

Links golf courses are seaside style courses that look like the east of Scotland where the game of golf originated (Hamilton). They are grassy open expanses, with rolling hills, deep roughs and no trees.

A stadium golf course can be any style but consists of areas where large numbers of viewers can see the action. Sawgrass at the TPC in Jacksonville is a good example of a "stadium" course.

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Dormie or Dormy

A circumstance in match play when your opponent is beating you by as many holes as there are holes remaining. For example, if they are four up with four holes to play it is called "dormie-four".

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Duff

Characteristically, this shot is known as a “dub” or “flub” where little to no contact is made with the ball. This is one of the most frustrating things you can do during a round.

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Eagle

Shooting two strokes under par for any given hole.

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Even

The act of making a par, or being at par during your round.

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Flop shot

A strategic shot that is played with an open-stance that travels high in the air and lands softly on the green. This shot is usually only attempted when the golfer has to get the ball in the air quickly and “not much green to work with”. The lie has to be near-perfect.

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Fore caddy

A person hired by a golfer(s) to walk ahead of the players in order to spot there balls so they won’t be lost. More commonly used in the days of hand-made feathery balls when the cost of replacing a ball would be greater than the fore caddy's fee. Today, ball spotters are placed at each hole in professional tournaments for the same purpose.

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Fringe

The closely mowed area surrounding the green. The grass in between the green and the fairway. See Apron.

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Gimme

Assuming the putt will be made and everyone in the group agrees, the golfer does not have to finish (putt-out). This is not allowed in stroke play as every hole needs to be holed out, in match play a “gimme” is a fairly common occurrence.

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Good-good

When both players in a match agree to concede each other’s putts.

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Grain

Grass grows in different directions depending on various conditions; the direction in which the grass is pointing is referred to as the “grain”. Depending on the variety of grass used on the green and mowing patterns, grain can significantly influence the speed and movement of a putt.

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Green in regulation

A green is considered reached in regulation when the golfer puts the ball on the green two strokes fewer than par. For example, your second shot lands on the green on a par four. A birdie or par should be in reach.

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Handicap

A number assigned to each player based on the golfers’ ability, used to adjust each player's score to provide equality among the players.

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Heel

Where the head of the club is attached to the bottom of the shaft.

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Hybrid

A type of club, becoming extremely popular in the 21st century, combines the mechanics of a long iron with the more forgiving nature of a fairway wood.

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Interlocking grip

Grip style where the pinkie finger is hooked around the index finger of the opposite hand. Tiger Woods uses the “interlock”.

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Jab

A short, fast, and erratic stroke used while putting.

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Knock-down

A low-trajectory shot used to keep out of the wind or to keep the ball low due to trees or other obstructions.

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Lag

A long, generally arching, putt that has one goal: getting close to the hole.

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Lay-up

A shot played, generally on a par five with a shorter iron that allows the player to position themselves better for the approach shot into the green. This shot can also be used to avoid hazards on the following shot to be played.

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Loose impediment

This item is small or natural, such as a small stone or leaf, solidly fixed to the ball. Unless found within a hazard players are ordinarily permitted to move them away, but if the ball is moved while doing so, there is a one-stroke penalty.

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Member’s bounce

An errant shot that turns out nice due to a favorable bounce or “member’s bounce”.

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Mulligan

A shot that is replayed without any penalty, agreed upon by the group, but is illegal in any tournament play.

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Nassau

A type of wager between golfers that is basically three separate bets. Money is wagered on the best score on the front 9, back 9, and total 18 holes.

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Open face

When the club-face is angled away from the player's body. For example, angled right for right-handed players.

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Overlapping grip

Also known as “Vardon”, a grip style where the pinkie is placed over the index finger of the opposite hand. Ben Hogan used the overlap.

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Par

Standard score for a hole, defined by its length, for the course.

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Pin-high

Your ball is pin-high when the ball reaches an imaginary line running horizontal across the green from a shot off the green.

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Preferred lies

A Local rule that permits the golfer to lift, clean, and place his/her ball in the fairway due to adverse course conditions.

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Q School

"Qualifying School", the qualifying tournament on numerous major professional tours, such as the PGA Tour, European Tour, or LPGA Tour. Q-School is a multistage tournament (four for the PGA Tour, three for the European Tour, two for the LPGA) that closes in a week-long tournament in which a specified number of top finishers (25 plus ties in the PGA Tour, 30 plus ties in the European Tour, and exactly 20 in the LPGA) earn their "Tour Cards", qualifying them for the following year's tour. The final tournament is six rounds (108 holes) for men and five rounds (90 holes) for women. The 2012 Q-school for the 2013 PGA Tour season wasn’t the last one, as the rules of qualification for a "tour card" have been changed to eliminate Q-school.

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Range finder

A device used by many golfers to measure the relative distance to the target (usually pin).

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Round of Golf

The activity of playing 18 holes of golf; "a round of golf takes about 4 to 4 1/2 hours"

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Run

Once the ball hits the surface, any distance after that is called the run. The total distance the ball travels is comprised of the “carry” and once it’s on the grass, the “run”.

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Sandbagger

Sometimes referred to as a bandit, a golfer that carries a higher handicap than what their skills show. The golfer inflates their handicap to win bets or tournaments and called cheaters.

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Sandy or Sandie

When a golfer receives a par or better on a hole where one of the shots on that hole was from a bunker/sand trap. If there are two or three bunker shots played, then it is called double sandy or triple sandy, respectively.

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Shanking

Shanking also called a "hosel rocket", is the term used when the ball comes in contact with the hosel on the extreme heel part of an iron.The contact feels harsh and unsatisfying and will send the ball at right angles to the intended target.

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Skin

A skins game where each hole has its own value, whether its money or other value, typically set up as match play. Whoever had the lowest score in the group wins the skin and whatever that skin was worth. Skins games may be more intense than standard match play if it is established by the players that holes are not halved. Then, when any two players tie on a given hole, the value of that hole is carried over and added to the value of the following hole. The more ties in the group, the more dramatic the playoff hole will be.

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Slope Ratings

Slope rating (a term trademarked by the USGA) is a measurement of the difficulty of a course for bogey golfers relative to the course rating.

Course rating tells scratch golfers how difficult the course will be; slope rating tells bogey golfers how difficult it will be.

The minimum slope is 55 and the maximum is 155 (slope does not relate specifically to strokes played as course rating does). The slope rating for a course of average difficulty is 113.

Like course rating, slope rating is done for each set of tees on a course, and a course may have a separate slope rating for certain tees for women.

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Sole

The sole of a club is the underside or bottom of the club that touches the ground.

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Thin shot

Another term for “blading”, this occurs when the club head makes contact with the upper half of the ball and usually comes off fast and low.

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Tips

Only the best should play from the “tips”. Some play the championship tees and others will consider this as teeing it up as far back as the tee box allows.

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Topped

This generally happens when a golfer “picks up” too fast, the club head strikes the top of the ball and rather than fly, the ball will roll or bounce.

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Unplayable

A player can announce their ball unplayable anywhere on the course and drop the ball either within two club-lengths, or away from the hole in line with the hole and its current position, or where they played the last shot. A one-stroke penalty is assessed. A ball announced unplayable within a hazard must be dropped within that hazard.

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Up and down

The combination of getting the ball ‘up’ onto the green from a “pitch” or “bunker shot”, then preceding that with a putt that goes ‘down’ into the hole. “Up and down”.

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Vardon grip

Also known as the “interlock”, the Vardon Grip is the most common way to hold a golf club. Players will take their pinkie finger and hook it around the opposite index finger.

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Verticutting

Normally, when a greenskeeper mows, the blades cut the turf horizontally, taking off the top of the crown to reduce its height. Verticutting blades, which can be fitted on most mowers, rotate in the opposite direction and cut down into the green. The goal is to reduce the number of stolons on leaf blades that grow laterally.  This helps the grass on the green focus it's energy in growing up and not out.

The best part of verticutting is that you've probably played on a green that has just been verticut and didn't even realize it. Because the process just makes small cuts into the green, it does not interfere with playability or quality.

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Wood

The most classic type of club you can buy, originally named ‘wood’ because, before metal, clubs were made out of wood in a bulbous shape. Of all the clubs in the bag, the ‘wood’ has the lowest degree of loft and will travel the farthest. The ‘1 wood’ today, is now called the ‘driver’ or ‘big stick’.

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Worm burner

Generally a ‘thin’ shot, the worm burner is what it sounds like: low, hard, and even scares the worms.

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Yips

Players who get really nervous around people or crowds will tend to have a case of the ‘yips’, which is typically classified as an unwanted twitch during the swing (mostly putting). Prominent golfers who battled with the yips for much of their careers include Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and, more recently, Bernhard Langer.

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Zinger

A shot hit considerably high with a great amount of force.