X What you
put on your scorecard when you do not finish a hole. A common optical illusion
makes it look like a four or a five.
A series of Xs are printed over the brand name of some golf balls to indicate
that, because of minor imperfections, they are "x-outs," or "seconds,"
and are cheaper than a properly manufactured ball. Golf balls are a lot less expensive
than they were in the early days of the game, when the handmade, goosedown-stuffed,
leather-covered "featherie" or the rubber "guttie" represented
a sizable investment, but it can still be painful to lose one. Thus, golfers who
routinely fire balls into water hazards or the woods will, when confronting these
hazards, switch to an x-out ball or, in descending order of value, a "range
ball" (one purchased in bulk from a driving range), "smilie" (a
ball with a deep cut in it), "filchie" (a ball taken from another golfer's
bag) or "spuddie" (a small potato).