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Golf Instruction Book

The ABC's of Golf

Part A - All About How to Get Started in Golf
Part B - Basic Fundamentals and Concepts in Golf Swing Technique
Part C - Common Golf Words and Phrases - Glossary

Glossary of Golf Terms and Phrases
 Golf Terminology - Definitions and Usages

Golf words or phrases beginning with the letter

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Or enter the word in the form below. If the word you're looking for cannot be found it will automatically be suggested to the Glossarymaster (MB) for review and inclusion.

daily fee golf course
a golf course that is open to the public but privately owned, as opposed to a city-owned or municipal golf course
Example: Usually, but not always, a daily fee golf course is nicer (and the green fees are higher) than municipal courses.
dance floor
(also "green, putting green, putting surface, dancing, aboard") 1. the putting surface  2. on the putting surface, though perhaps not as close as you'd like
Example: Wow, that will be a tough putt, but at least you're on the dance floor/dancing.
Dawn Patrol
the golfers who like to play as early as possible in the morning (I've even seen some tee off in the dark)
Example: Dawn Patrol was not for Ken; he could barely handle starting before Noon.
dead hands
(also "dead hand shot, dead-handed shot") a technique in which the hands hold the club with very little tension and do not move much, if at all, in relation to the arms, typically used to create soft shots with less spin than usual
Example: He hit a dead hand/dead hands/dead-handed shot to try to get the ball to stay near where it landed.
dead weight
(also "overall weight, static weight, total weight") the total weight of a golf club (see also "swingweight")
Example: The dead weight/overall weight of clubs is different than the swingweight.
the process of measuring a shaft's flex by hanging a 7 pound weight from the clubhead end and comparing it to a graph of known flexes
Example: Deflection is one way of measuring the flex of a shaft.
deflection board
a wall-mounted apparatus (board) for securing shafts at the grip end and flexing the shaft with a weight at its tip end so that its bend, or deflection, can be compared to a graph on the board
Example: Many people prefer frequency analyzers to deflection boards.
not really a word, though occasionally heard - see "hood"
Example: The club's face is relatively delofted/hooded in a hands-forward position.
Demo Day
an event at golf course or driving range where one or more manufacturer's representatives will have their latest equipment available to try for free
Example: The last time our course had a Demo Day I tried every driver that was there.
depth charge
a putt that is lagged softly down a slippery (fast) slope and intended to just get close rather than hit the mark
Example: The downhill slope was like putting on ice so I just threw a depth charge down there and prayed.
a score of 2 on a hole
Example: He pitched in for a duece on the 7th hole.
(also "scoop sole") a club whose loft angle is such that the sole's leading edge is lower than its trailing edge, thereby causing the club to gouge into the turf or ground too abruptly
Example: Barney had the loft angle on his 5 iron made stronger only to find out that he had himself a digger/scoop sole that was almost impossible to hit.
the indentations on the surface of a golf ball which increase friction and lift
Example: Dimples help a golf ball fly farther and truer.
downward movement of the spine and head during the swing - not desirable
Example: He had a pronounced dip in his downswing and shanked the ball frequently.
when the arms move separately from, or independently in relation to, the torso, particularly through impact
Example: Though it is possible to strike the ball with almost any technique, the chances of generating power or being consistent are dramatically reduced if one is disconnected through impact.
a portion of turf that is ripped out of the ground
Example: It is considered bad form and discourteous to take a divot with a practice swing, and one should always replace one's divots when possible.
divot mix
(also "sand and seed") a combination of sand, soil and grass seed (and perhaps even fertilizer in some cases) used to fill in divots, optionally dyed green to blend more closely with the color of the grass
Example: Hand me that bottle of divot mix so I can fill in this "crater" I just created.
divot fixer
divot tool
(also "divot repair tool, ballmark repair tool, pitchfork") a small (usually) two-pronged fork-like tool used mainly for repairing the putting surface
Example: Some people simply use a tee to repair their ball marks, while others prefer to use a divot repair tool/ballmark repair tool/pitchfork.
scoreboard abbreviation for Did Not Start (a player who was officially in the field but for whatever reason could not begin play)
Example: You see DNS on the scoreboard when the player did not begin play.
a hole on which the fairway has an angle, turn or bend in it like a dog's rear leg
Example: The par 5 2nd hole is a 543 yard dogleg left.
dog track
(also "goat track" - derogatory) a run-down, poorly maintained or poorly designed golf course
Example: Man, for an exclusive private country club that course is a dog track/goat track.
don't give the hole away
(also "keep it inside the hole") an instruction to aim the putter and/or stroke the ball inside the edge of the cup
Example: This putt has a slight break from left to right, but don't give the hole away/keep it inside the hole.
(also "dormy") a match play situation where one player or team is ahead (or "up") by the same number of holes as are remaining in the match (meaning that the other player or team can tie the match, at best, but cannot win)
Example: Our match was dormie/dormy by the time we reached the 14th hole.
double bogey
a score of two over (more than) par for a hole
Example: Biff made a double bogey 5 on the par 3 6th hole after birdieing 3 out of the first five holes.
double break
("double breaker") a putt with two distinctive breaks, or curves, on the ball's path/line to the hole
Example: Bernice was looking at a wicked double breaker to save her par.
double cross
(or "double-cross") when a player attempts to make a shot curve, or bend, in one direction and it curves in the opposite direction
Example: Tomás lined up to the left, anticipating his usual slice, but was sorely dismayed when he hit the dreaded double cross, sending the ball out of bounds and through the large window of a neighboring house.
double cut
when greens or fairways are mowed twice instead of once, usually for the purpose of increasing smoothness and/or speed
Example: The greens were double cut and rolled for the championship; so they were like glass and very fast.
double eagle
(also "albatross") a score of 3 under (less than) par for a hole
Example: A double eagle is very rare, as is the albatross.
double green
(also "shared green") one putting green surface shared by two separate holes, usually with two separate flags and cups, etc.
Example: St. Andrews is well-known for having double greens.
double hit
contacting the ball twice with one swing, which results in a penalty stroke in addition to the stroke itself (see rules)
Example: A double hit happens to just about everybody if they play long enough.
double sandy
when one plays an approach shot from a fairway bunker into a greenside bunker, then holes the ball in two from there (3 total strokes from the fairway bunker)
Example: She made a birdie on number 2 with a double sandy.
1. (also "as it lies") playing the ball as you find it, with no alteration of its position or condition  2. behind in a match (usually counted by holes in match play, but could also apply to the number of strokes a player is behind their opponent)
Example: Playing the ball down/as it lies is the usual state of affairs, but in particularly bad weather/course conditions exceptions are sometimes made.  2. Dr. Jenkins was 2 down to his wife after just the first three holes.
down-the-line view
(or "down the line view") the point of view of an observer on the target line looking toward the target from behind the golfer
Example: The two most common angles you see of golfers in photos and broadcasts are face-on and down-the-line.
(also "float load") when the wrist cock increases after the start of the downswing
Example: Players with a relatively one-piece takeaway and relaxed hands tend also to down cock/float load.
downhill lie
when the ball rests on a downhill slope in the intended direction of play
Example: When a right-handed player has the ball on a downhill lie their right foot (uphill foot) is higher than their left foot (downhill foot).
(also "downward swing, forward swing") the portion of the swing that starts from the top, or end, of the backswing (or transition) and reverses movement and momentum back in the direction of the ball and target
Example: It's called a downswing; not a downhit or a downchop.
scoreboard abberviation for "disqualified" (for rules violation, etc.)
Example: She was DQ'd for turning in a wrong score.
(also "drano, draino, drain-o") 1. to sink a putt  2. a player who seems to make a lot of putts
Example: 1. Ted drains every putt he looks at.  2. That guy is [a] draino.
(also "slinger, turn over, turn it over") a shot that curves gently from right to left (right-handed player)
Example: Some holes favor a draw/slinger/shot that is turned over by design.
another term for a water hazard
Example: Everything was going wonderfully until I hit my tee shot in the drink on the 13th hole.
the first shot on a (usually) par 4 or par 5 hole (most commonly used in reference to the driver or #1 wood)
Example: I hit the best drive of my life on the last hole the other day.
drive for show and putt for dough
cliché referring to the fact that hitting long beautiful tee shots may look nice and be impressive, but good putting, more often than not, will be responsible for scoring and, therefore, winning matches, tournaments, bets, money, etc.
Example: Drive for show and putt for dough is all too often true (except in Long Driving Competitions). It really gets tough when the showy driver is also a great putter.
the number 1 wood  2. one that uses a number 1 wood
Example: 1. The next hole was long and wide open, so I pulled out my driver.  2. Greg Norman is an excellent driver of the ball.
driving iron
(also "1 iron, one iron, knife") an alternate name for a number 1 iron (neither the term nor the club is very commonly used any longer)
Example: 1. The next hole was fairly narrow, so I decided to use my driving iron/1 iron/one iron/knife, as I was usually more accurate with it than with my driver.
driving range
(also "practice range, practice tee, range") an area, separate from the golf course, designated for hitting practice balls
Example: Driving ranges/practice ranges/practice tees/ranges vary widely in their size and caliber.
when the ball is released by hand (with an extended arm at shoulder height) and put back in play after being lifted under various situations within the rules of golf
Example: She took a free drop away from the obstruction.
drop area
(perhaps also "drop zone") an area of ground (usually marked with a white circle and labeled "Drop Area" or "DA", etc.) where players can drop their ball, usually in situations where there is not another practical area to take a drop or for maintenance reasons
Example: There was a drop area on the par 3 17th hole mainly to save time, because all the other places where a player could drop were impractical.
(also "duff, top") a badly misplayed shot, usually associated with the ball never leaving the ground as a result of hitting the top or side of the ball or hitting the ground well behind the ball
Example: Jill dubbed/duffed/topped her tee ball and still managed to make a par.
duck hook
(also "snap hook, snapper, quacker") a shot that curves abruptly and severely right to left (right-handed player)
Example: Leonard tried to kill his drive on the first hole and was rewarded with an ugly duck hook/snap hook/snapper/quacker.
(also "hacker") an unskilled golfer
Example: I could have been a contender, if only I wasn't a duffer/hacker.
dynamic loft
refers to the actual loft angle of the club face at impact in a swing, as differentiated from the static measurement of loft angle relative to the club's shaft
Example: I have seen 12 degree drivers swung in such a way that they had negative dynamic loft.


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