Golf Terminology

Golf Terminology

Going golfing with friends? Never stood on a golf course before? We have compiled a list of common terminology you will hear on the golf course that will make you sound like a pro.


beginners guide to golf -Rotorua Golf Club - Call now to book a tee-off - Golf TerminologyHow is Golf Scored?

Golf is a very unusual sport when it comes to scoring in that it is the person with the lowest score that wins. The objective is to put the golf ball into the hole with as few swings as possible. Every time you swing the golf club with the intent of hitting the ball, is called a stroke or shot – even if you miss the ball. After you have putted the ball on the green, tally all the strokes it took and that is your score for that hole.

Par refers to the number of strokes an expert golfer would expect to need to complete the play of one hole on a golf course. Most golf courses have three different kinds of holes; par-three, par-four or par-five.

Birdie: Refers to a score of 1-under par on any individual golf hole.

Bogey: A player scores a bogey when he or she completes a hole one stroke over par.

Eagle: A score of two under par for any given hole.

Double Bogey:  A score of 2-over par on an individual hole of the golf course.

Double Eagle (Albatross): The term golfers use for a score of 3-under par on any individual golf hole.

Triple Bogey: A term golfers use for a score of 3-over par on any individual golf hole.

Don’t be deceived by the apparent shortness of the Rotorua Golf Club course, it will not surrender to par unless you hit every fairway and every green in regulation.


Golf TerminologyTerminology on the field:

Tee: The tee refers to part of the course where you begin playing each hole. It also refers to the peg which you place in the ground and hit the ball from. At the Rotorua Golf Club there are four tees on each hole; red, yellow, white and blue to test the abilities of every player.

The Rough: The rough lies either side of the fairway and is the unkempt grass designed to penalise the golfer if they miss the fairway. It is best to try and avoid the rough as the farther you are from the fairway, the longer and coarser the grass becomes.

The Fairway: The fairway is where golfers should aim to keep the ball. It is the closely cut area between the tee and the green. The fairway is not always a straight line but can have curves left or right. These are often referred to as doglegs.

The Green: The green is a small patch of grass that is specially prepared surrounding the hole and is even more manicured than the fairway. At Rotorua Golf Club, there are a number of bubbling mud pools and steam vents that are to be avoided, especially to the left of the 9th green and a strange sulphur mound to the right of that green.

The Flag: The flag sits in the hole and is used as an aiming tool for the golfer from the tee. Once you make it to the green, the flag is removed so that you can try and putt the ball into the hole.

Bunkers: A bunker is a hole or depression in the ground filled in with sand and are usually found close to the greens. They often incorporate a raised lip or barrier to make playing the ball more difficult. You are not penalised an extra stole for hitting the ball into the bunker but you must worry about getting the ball out.

Hazards: Hazards in golf courses are categorised by either bunkers or water. If you hit a ball into a hazard, such as a pond, lake or geothermal craters, you are automatically penalised one shot. Rotorua Golf club is unique in that many holes are played over and around both dormant and active thermal areas. A ball in any hazard may be played as it lies without penalty. If it cannot be played, the ball may be hit from another location. The rules of golf will dictate from where the ball may be moved to.

Once you have the lingo grasped, you are almost ready for the first tee. Head to our ProShop at Rotorua Golf Club and our staff will help with all your needs for quality clubs and accessories. We can also assist with lessons, tips and guidance from one of our onsite qualified coaches.Golf Terminology