Back Door -
The side of the cup opposite the position of a player's ball on the green. Sometimes
a putt will curve around the cup and enter by the "back door." Of course,
on other occasions, it may choose to wait politely on the "back steps,"
sit down for a smoke on the "back porch" or go for a nice long walk
in the "back yard.". Perhaps the most famous backdoor putt is
the one sunk by Spain's Seve Ballesteros on the seventy-second hole of the 1984
British Open championship at St. Andrews to beat Tom Watson.
- The final 27 holes of an 18-hole golf course.
putt struck with the back of the putter blade. Sometimes golfers will do this
in a casual fashion when the ball is very close to the hole. When they miss a
backhander—and it happens often—amateurs often smile and record their score
as though they had made the putt. This is known as cheating.
- The part of the swing that takes place after the ball has been improperly addressed
but before it has been sent to the wrong destination. See FOLLOW-THROUGH.
Bag rat Caddie.
Bail out What
many golfers do to avoid trouble on the course. That is, they hit a shot in the
direction opposite the trouble. If the trouble is on the right side, they bail
out left. If the trouble is on the left side, they bail out right.
This term can also be used to describe how a golfer (after calling in sick to
work) exits his cart after seeing his boss approaching.
Ball - A
dimpled, rubber-covered, solid- or composite-cored, high-compression sphere with
a weight of 1.62 ounces and a diameter of 1.68 inches that will enter a cup 4.25
inches in diameter and 4.0 inches deep after an average of 3.87 putts.
- Golfers who have "brushed up" on their tee tactics know that in addition
to removing dirt from balls, the ubiquitous ballwasher also has a squeaky plunger
that can be operated during an opponent's set up to make certain that he or she
is "in a lather" when the ball is hit, and they've learned that the
pipe the machine is mounted on will produce a nerve racking, swing-wrecking gong-like
tone if struck with a clubhead, guaranteeing that their competitor's drive is
a "washout" and that if any money is riding on the hole, they will "clean
1. An especially curvaceous slice. A ball that starts to the right and continues
to curve right until it nearly lands behind the golfer who hit it. This shot is
one reason why the word fore is heard on the golf course nearly as often
as more notorious four-letter words. 2. Formal dance at an exclusive WASP country
one of your shots strikes a tree and you still make par for the hole, you have
made a barky. Golfers often include a barky as one of their junk
bets during a match.
Be right An
urgent request a golfer makes of his ball during its flight to the green, usually
occurring when the ball appears to be on line with the flagstick and the only
doubt is whether the right club was used. The phrase is also used frequently
by caddies who want to keep their jobs.
Be the ball
Profound golfing advice uttered by Chevy Chase in the movie Caddyshack.
Golfing geeks have picked up the expression and often use it during a round,
to the great annoyance of their companions.
Beach, the The
bunkers and other sand-covered areas at a golf course are known collectively as
Bent - The
species of grass most often found on greens.
Blue - The species of grass most often found on fairways.
Grass, Bullrushes, Eel Grass, Quack Grass, Reeds, Scutch, Sedge, Spurge, Stinkweed
& Viper's Grass - The species of grass among which the ball is most often
A Mulligan, the best of one or more practice swings, and a 20-foot "gimme"
putt. See EAGLE.
An informal handicapping system in which one player allows another to take a "free"
stroke, called a "bisque," at whichever hole he or she chooses. Such
a stroke taken without explicit permission from another player is a "tisquetisque."
Bite A ball
is said to bite when it is hit with sufficient backspin to make it stop
quickly—or even roll backward—on the green. Biting carries its own satisfaction,
but remember, it only helps if it brings the ball closer to the hole.
hit a ball off the edge of an iron, thereby creating a shot that takes off like
a line drive in baseball. Most often the shot will end up beyond its intended
target. This shot is also said to be hit thin, or to be skulled. Blade
is also a thin putter (no more than a half-inch wide) with a straight face.
Little Ben, the famous putter owned by Ben Crenshaw, is an example of a blade
- A hole whose green is not visible when an approach shot is made, thereby requiring
a player to rely on senses other than sight, such as the unmistakable sound of
an unseen golfer shouting after being struck by a ball, the distinct smell of
trouble, the metallic taste of fear and the sudden touch of flu that dictates
an immediate return to the clubhouse by way of the deep woods.
Blood, no Phrase
used most often in match-play situations to indicate that the hole was halved,
or played even, and no money has been won or lost.
Blow Up To
have your golf game come apart at the seams. Easily recognized: When your score
is blowing up, so are you.
Bo Derek A
perfect shot. The expression comes from Ms. Derek's role in the movie 10, in
which some considered her as attractive as a 350-yard drive down the middle of
Bob Barker A
shot that's hit too high to be effective, so called because we ask it to "come
- Informal term for nervous leaning or twisting movements that players sometimes
make, particularly while putting, to "persuade" the ball to go in a
desired direction. If the ball fails to do so, these movements are often followed
by a series of vulgar gestures and physical expressions of disgust referred to
as body Spanish, body French or body Italian.
The number of strokes needed to finish a hole by a golfer of average skill and
above-average honesty. See DOUBLE BOGEY.
A series of consecutive bogies. For professional golfers, the bogey train
is a one-way ride to a job at a driving range.
Bomb A very
long shot, usually a drive. John Daly hits bombs. Tiger Woods hits bombs.
Most amateurs are content to hit firecrackers.
a breaking putt, the amount of distance aimed to the right or left of the cup.
The greens at August National (where the Masters Tournament is held each year)
are so severely sloped that golfers may have to borrow fifteen or twenty
feet when lining up their putts. Borrow too much or too little, and you'll
wind up borrowing to pay your gambling debts.
Boss of the
moss A golfer who is especially proficient on the green. On the PGA Tbur,
Loren Roberts is commonly called "the boss of the moss" because
of his putting prowess.
- Traditional name for the 2-wood, whose sole was at one time made of brass. The
3-wood is sometimes referred to as a "spoon," the 4-wood as a "baffie,"
the 5-iron as a "mashie," the 7-iron as a "mashie-niblick,"
and the 9-iron as a "niblick." Any club wrapped around a tree is a "smashie."
If a club is flung into a water hazard, it is a "splashie." If it has
a slippery grip, it is a "bashie." If it is hurled at a dog, it is a
"lassie." A club that was allegedly used in a hole-in-one is a "fibstick."
If it was a wood, it is a "fablespoon."
1. The shifting or changing of the direction of a putt caused by the slope or
slant of a green. 2. The splitting or shattering of the shaft of a putter caused
by the rage or wrath of a player.
Another way of saying mulligan Derived from the fact that many players
eat breakfast just before teeing off and may require two tries to hit a good tee
shot on the first hole.
term used to describe the putting stroke, since the motion involved in using a
broom is similar. Many amateurs, though, are far more proficient at sweeping
the garage than getting down in two.
act Alternating excellent play by partners in a two-ball match. Getting brother-in-lowed
means your opponents took turns beating your brains in.
A hazard consisting of an area of ground along a fairway or adjacent to a green
from which a large amount of soil has been removed and replaced with something
designed to trap golfers. If such a hazard occupies more than 2,000 square feet
of ground and traps golfers permanently, it is referred to as a "condominium."
Bunt A controlled
shot struck more for accuracy than distance; usually follows a low trajectory
and runs a long way after hitting the ground. Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino are two
accomplished golfers who bunt the ball to avoid the wind or to make sure
the ball finds the fairway. For fun, you can also use the term to describe a less-than-prolific
drive hit by an opponent, for instance, "Nice bunt, ace."
tee shot that's hit low and hard.
sore feet, like a An expression used by the more poetic golfers to describe
a shot that lands very softly on the green.
A putt that hits the cup on one side and rolls all the way around the edge
of the cup before coming out the front edge of the cup. Also called a horseshoe.
Either way, very nasty.