Thursday, June 18, 2015

Learning the Lingo of the Links

The Language of Golf.png
Have you ever been out golfing with someone and found yourself struggling to decipher the things they are saying? You may be encountering a fluent speaker of the “Language of Golf”. The terminology can get funky, but to clear a few things up, here are 7 golf-slang words that you may have heard around the course:

A golfer’s BEST FRIEND! It is technically a “do-over” and is not in the official rules, but it just becomes a natural part of the game when golfing casually with friends. Hit in the water? Mulligan. Hit it in that bush next to the tee box? Mulligan. Hit a house out of bounds? Mulligan…

“Nice Putt Alice!”
If you’ve ever contemplated launching your putter into the pond, you have probably heard this one before. The saying actually comes from the 1963 Ryder Cup, when Peter Alliss terribly missed a 3 foot putt and someone from the gallery yelled the now legendary line, “NICE PUTT ALLISS”.

Hitting a shank, or having the shanks is a term associated with hitting a
very bad shot or hitting several bad shots. A shank is a shot that is struck by the hosel of the club, and not the clubface, producing a shot that goes to the right for a right handed player. Be warned, however; some of the more superstitious golfers consider it very bad luck to even hear the word around the course.

Sometimes called a banana ball, hitting a slice is when you strike your ball, it starts out on a trajectory left of your goal, but spins far right of the target area (opposite directions if you are left-handed). If you ever hear someone say they hit a “fade”, that is a shot that slightly curves to the right, making it less drastic than a slice. A slice is a more harsh error.

A hook is the opposite of a slice- starting its trajectory right of your goal and curving far left (again, opposite directions if you are left handed). Rarely used intentionally, hooking your ball usually indicates an error in your swing, but is sometimes used to get out of a tight space or to curve your shot around obstacles. A hook with a smaller curve is called a draw, and is much more commonly used.

“Time to Put On the Sunblock”
You’d never go to the beach without your sunblock, right? Well, if you’re having one of those days where you find yourself in the sand and hitting it in every bunker on the course, then you better have your “sunscreen lotion” handy!

A Danny Devito
You hit an incredible approach shot and you confidently head up to the green for a short-medium length birdie putt! You grab the putter, read the green, line up the putt, and pray it goes in. Right when you make contact you know you made a huge mistake… You completely misread the putt and your second putt is now farther away. You just encountered a mean 5 footer, “A Danny Devito”.

When a sport has an avid following, there are bound to be a few terms thrown around that are only understood by the die-hard fans of the game, and golf is a prime example. Brush up on a few of these golf terms to be prepared for the lingo of the links on your next golf outing at Blueberry Pines.