Top Golf Terms Every Golfer Needs to Know

Do you know the difference between skins and match play? How about a breakfast ball and a mulligan? Check out this list of the top golf terms and definitions to become a pro at the game!

Albatross: An albatross is when you get a 2 on a Par 5 hole…more rare than a hole-in-one.

Best Ball: Best score on a hole by partners in a best-ball match.

Breakfast Ball: A breakfast ball is another term for a mulligan that is used on the first tee shot of the day.

Draw: A draw shapes the shot to move from right to left (for a righty golfer). The player typically aims to the right of the target and strikes the ball so it moves back to the center.

Fade: A fade shapes the shot to move from left to right (for a righty golfer). The player typically aims to the left of the target and strikes the ball so it moves back to the center.

Gimme: A gimme is a shot that the other players agree can count automatically without being played - think of a 5 inch putt that would be about impossible to miss. 

Green in Regulation (GIR): A green in regulation is when you the ball on the green to give yourself a chance for a birdie putt (in two shots on a par 4, for example)

Match Play: Competition scored by the number of holes won or lost. Total score does not matter in this format

Mini Golf: Mini golf is a short form of golf that people of any age can play. It is putting only and has fun obstacles that you need to avoid to get the ball in the hole. 

Mulligan: Taking a second shot after a poor first shot. Usually is used on the tee box but can be used on other shots as well if you’re just playing for fun. 

Provisional: If you think your first tee shot is lost but you are unsure, you can hit a provisional shot that can be used if your first shot is indeed lost (penalty stroke applied for losing first shot)

Range Finder: A popular device on the golf course that gives you the exact distance you are from the hole - nicer models can even adjust the perceived distance based on if you are hitting uphill or downhill.

Scramble: A scramble is a popular format for golf tournaments and golf outings. The game is usually played by a team of four players where each member hits their ball from the same spot. The team chooses the best shot from their group and then all play the next shot from that player’s ball. A team score is calculated in this format and a good team can get as low as 16 below par. 

Skins: Skins is a popular American golf way to gamble on the golf course. Starting on the first hole, a player wins the hole outright then he wins the skin. If no-one wins the hole outright, the value of the skin gets added to the skin for the next hole. All players are able to compete for these held-over skins, irrespective of their score on the previous hole.

Top Golf: Whether you golf all the time or have never swung a club, Top Golf is a place to come play around. Topgolf is a popular driving range chain that has different virtual golf games and targets to aim at, so golfers of all levels can have a fun time. 

Up and Down: When a golfer fails to hit the green in regulation but hits their chip or approach shot onto the green and then one putts.

Leave a comment