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 English Vocabulary for ESL learners 


Page 1:  ace → hosel.

The origin of the modern game of golf is usually traced to Scotland in the 15th century. One of the oldest organizations is the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland, founded in 1754. The rules of golf also originated here.

The underlying principle of the rules of golf is fairness. As stated on the back cover of the official rule book:
“Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair.”

Below is a list of words relating to golf, with their meaning, for learners of English.

Word Meaning
Ace A hole in one (shot). Usually on a par 3 hole where the ball enters the hole on the player’s first shot.
Address The position taken by a player directly before swinging the club.
Air shot A shot where the player addresses the ball, swings and completely misses the ball. An air shot is counted as a stroke.
Albatross A hole played three strokes under par (par = standard score for the hole). Also called a double eagle.
Apron The area of well-trimmed grass around the green. 
Away The player whose ball is furthest from the hole (on the green) and the first to play. "Who's away?"
Back nine The last nine holes of an eighteen-hole golf course.
Birdie One stroke under par (par = standard score for the hole).
Bogey One stroke over par (par = standard score for the hole).
Bunker A sand trap or hazard.
Caddie Person who accompanies a player, carries their golf bag and gives advice.
Carry Distance a ball travels between the impact and hitting the ground. 
Cart (also: buggy) Small vehicle for transporting two players and their golf bags
Chip A short low shot to the green.
Course (golf course) A large area of land designed for playing golf. The course is divided into 9 or 18 holes.
Divot A piece of turf (earth and grass) removed when hitting a shot. 
Dog leg A fairway that turns left or right.
Double bogey Two strokes over par.
Drive The first shot on every hole.
Driving range Practice area with mats, or on grass. Some driving ranges are sheltered or have overhead protection.
Eagle Two strokes under par (par = standard score for the hole).
Fairway Part of the golf course between the tee and the green which is kept free of rough grass.
Flag stick Pin supporting a flag on the green
Fore! A warning call when a ball is heading towards another player.
Free drop The possibility for a player to make a drop without a penalty stroke.
Front nine The first nine holes of an eighteen-hole course.
G.A.S.P. Grip, address, stance and posture :
what you need to check before starting your swing.
Gimmie When an opponent decides that you don't need to play the next shot, usually because you are close to the hole. The shot is counted in the score. Only used in match play, or in friendly golf.
Green Part of the golf course with grass cut very short, surrounding a hole. The hole contains a cup into which players try to "putt" their ball. A flag or pin shows the position of the hole.
Green fee Fee paid to play a round (game) of golf.
Gross score The total number of strokes played, before handicap is taken into account.
Handicap A numerical representation of a golfer's playing ability.
Hazard A difficulty or obstruction on a golf course such as a lake, pond, fence or bunker.
Honour The player with the best or lowest score on the previous hole has "the honour" or the right to tee off first on the next hole.
Hook A shot that curves towards the left.
Hosel The part of the clubhead where the shaft is attached. 

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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