Mental Golf Solutions


Common Golf Phrases for the New Golfer

Carmen Vasey • New Golfers
There are common phrases that new golfers can learn that will help them when playing golf with others.

Golf is a sport with a rich history and a complex set of rules and etiquette. For new golfers, it can be overwhelming to learn all the nuances of the game, especially when playing with others who may have more experience.

However, there are some common phrases that new golfers can learn that will help them when playing golf with others. In this article, we will discuss some of these phrases and why they are important to know.


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Basic Golf Phrases for New Golfers


Before delving into golf shots, it's important to know the basic terms used on the golf course. These terms are crucial for communicating with other golfers and understanding the layout of the course. Here are some of the most common golf terms that new golfers should know:

Tee Time: This refers to the time at which a group is scheduled to begin their round of golf. It's important to arrive early for your tee time to ensure that you have time to warm up and get to your starting position on the tee box.

Fairway: The fairway is the closely mown area between the tee box and the green. It's where most golfers try to land their tee shots to give them the best chance of hitting the green in regulation.

Rough: The rough is the area on either side of the fairway that is left unmown. It's usually more difficult to hit a good shot from the rough, so golfers try to avoid it if possible.

Green: The green is the final destination for each hole. It's where the flagstick is located and where golfers try to sink their putts.

Bunker: A bunker is a hazard on the golf course filled with sand. Golfers try to avoid landing their ball in a bunker, as it can be difficult to get out of.

Water Hazard: A water hazard is any body of water on the golf course, such as a pond or a stream. Golfers must take a penalty stroke if their ball lands in a water hazard.

Out of Bounds: An area of the golf course that is considered out of bounds is marked by white stakes or a fence. If a golfer's ball goes out of bounds, they must take a penalty stroke and re-hit their shot from where they originally played it.


Golf Terminology for Shots


Now that we've covered the basic terms, let's move on to the terms used for different types of golf shots. Understanding these terms will help new golfers communicate with their playing partners and better understand the strategies involved in playing a round of golf.

Drive: A drive is the first shot a golfer takes on each hole, usually from the tee box. It is meant to be a long, powerful shot that gets the ball as close to the green as possible.

Approach Shot: An approach shot is any shot that is taken from the fairway or rough with the intention of getting the ball closer to the green. These shots are typically shorter and more precise than a drive.

Chip Shot: A chip shot is a short shot that is taken from near the green. Golfers use a chip shot when they need to get the ball in the air quickly and land it softly on the green.

Putt: A putt is any shot that is taken on the green. The goal of a putt is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible.

Hook: A hook is a shot that curves to the left (for right-handed golfers). This can happen intentionally or unintentionally, depending on the golfer's swing.

Slice: A slice is a shot that curves to the right (for right-handed golfers). Like a hook, this can happen intentionally or unintentionally.


Etiquette Phrases for Golf


Golf is a game that places a high emphasis on etiquette and sportsmanship. Knowing the proper etiquette phrases can help new golfers fit in with their playing partners and avoid any awkward situations. Here are some of the most important etiquette phrases that new golfers should know:

Fore!: This is a warning cry that is used when a golfer hits a shot that might be headed towards another golfer. Shouting "Fore!" alerts the other golfers to be on the lookout for the incoming ball.

Ready Golf: This is a term used to encourage golfers to play efficiently and keep the pace of play moving. If a golfer is ready to hit their shot, they should go ahead and do so, rather than waiting for other golfers to hit first.

Gimme: A gimme is a putt that is so short that it's almost certain to be made. When playing with friends, golfers will often give each other gimmes to speed up play.

Mulligan: A mulligan is a do-over shot that is taken after a bad shot. It's not an official rule of golf, but many golfers allow a certain number of mulligans per round to help improve their scores.


Phrases for Golf Course Navigation


Par 4 sign


Finally, new golfers should know the phrases used to navigate the golf course. These phrases will help them better understand the layout of the course and make strategic decisions about their shots. Here are some of the most important navigation phrases:

Distance Markers: These are markers placed on the golf course that indicate how far a golfer is from the green. Golfers can use these markers to choose the right club for their shot.

Yardage Book: A yardage book is a small booklet that contains detailed information about each hole on the golf course. It includes measurements, hazards, and other important information that can help golfers make strategic decisions about their shots.

Flagstick: The flagstick is a tall pole with a flag at the top that marks the location of the hole on the green. Golfers use the flagstick as a target for their putts.

Cart Path Only: If a golf course is wet or muddy, the groundskeepers may require golfers to stay on the cart path while driving their carts. This is to protect the grass and prevent damage to the course.




Learning the common phrases used in golf is an important part of becoming a skilled player. It can help new golfers communicate effectively with their playing partners, understand the layout of the course, and avoid any etiquette mistakes.

By learning these phrases and practicing them on the course, new golfers can feel more confident and have more fun playing this great game.

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