The ultimate guide to the most common golf terms

Golf is one of the world’s oldest sports, originating in Scotland in the 15th century as a game played with a club and ball on a course. The modern game was established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with standardised rules and the formation of organisations like the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R and A) and England Golf. Golf has since become a popular sport around the world, with major championships like The Masters and the US Open attracting top players and global media attention.

Surprisingly, much of the original language surrounding the game back then stood the test of time and is still used on golf courses today. But if you’re new to the game, you may not be too familiar with the golf phrasing. We’ve got you covered to get to grips with the top golf terms pro that you may hear out and about on the golf course.

Take a read of our ultimate guide to golf below and understand the meaning so you can speak golf just like a pro!

Here’s a list of our most common golf terms:

1. Birdie: One stroke under par on a hole

2. Bogey: One stroke over par on a hole. If you are a new golfer expect to hit a lot of bogeys!

3. Albatross: Three strokes under par on a hole. Also known as a double eagle – it is quite rare to see!

4. Eagle: Two strokes under par on a hole

5. Mulligan: A do-over shot, typically taken after a poor first attempt

6. Hole-in-One: A shot that goes directly into the hole from the tee. Otherwise known around Europe as an ‘Ace’

7. Par: The number of shots in which a player can reasonably finish a hole. If you are new to golf, you may struggle to achieve the par on each hole as the Par rating is often quite challenging! The Par is based upon a number of factors including hazards, distance and the number of strokes a hole would take a professional golfer.

8. Rough: Long grass near the edge of the fairway

9. Sandbagger: A golfer who consistently scores better than they indicate they will

10. Tee Box: The starting area for each hole

11. Fairway: The area of the course between the tee box and green, usually consisting of short grass

12. Green: The area of the course around the hole, usually consisting of short grass.

13. Bunker: A bunker is a hazard filled with sand which you must avoid when playing a round of golf. The reason sand bunkers appear on a course, all stems back to the game originating in Scotland where the golf courses were often located by water! Just imagine playing golf on the beach!

14. Ham and Egg: Our favourite golf term! If a team of players is ham and egging, one player performed quite admirably on the hole while the other participant finished way above par.

Now that you know these common golf terms, you can impress your golf friends out on the golf course next time you play. Experience one of the best golf courses in Leeds and book a tee time online at Leeds Golf Centre – the home of modern golf.