Letter H - Golf Definitions, Terms, Vocabulary and Slang
A terrible golfer. A person who hacks it around the golf course. A player of lesser ability.
Either the odd or even irons, two woods and a putter. A half set of clubs is all a beginning golfer needs to start playing.
In match play, a hole is halved (drawn) when both players or teams have played the same number of strokes. In some team events, such as the Ryder Cup (though not in the Presidents Cup), a match that is level after 18 holes is not continued, and is called "halved", with each team receiving half a point.
Handicap (Handicap Index)
The number assigned to a player's ability level. A system devised to make play between golfers of different standards an even match. Your handicap is the number of strokes over par you average over four rounds at a golf course. For instance, if your average score is 88 on a par 72 course, you are given a handicap of 16. In strokeplay, if you play with a person that has a 2 handicap, you are allowed 14 strokes - the difference between your handicaps - extra strokes, one on each of the most difficult 14 holes. In matchplay, the longer handicap player would receive 11 shots - three quarters of the difference.
A handicap allowance is the percentage of the Course Handicap recommended for a handicap competition. Allowances vary for different forms of competition and are designed to produce equitable competition.
A Handicap Committee is the committee of a golf club that ensures compliance with the USGA Handicap System, including peer review. A majority of the Handicap Committee must be members of the club. Club employees may serve on the Handicap Committee, but an employee may not serve as chairman. Any club using the USGA Handicap System is required to have a Handicap Committee.
A Handicap Differential is the difference between a player's adjusted gross score and the USGA Course Rating of the course on which the score was made, multiplied by 113, then divided by the USGA Slope Rating from the tees played and rounded to the nearest tenth. Handicap differentials are expressed as a number rounded to one decimal place, e.g. 12.8.
The different types of handicaps. They are identified by letter designations. Each "handicap type" is identified as follows:
L - Local handicap
M - Handicap modified by the Handicap Committee
N - Nine-hole Handicap Index
NL - Local nine-hole handicap
R - Handicap automatically reduced for exceptional tournament performance
SL - Short Course Handicap
WD - Handicap withdrawn by the Handicap Committee
A handicap-stroke hole is a hole on which a player is entitled to apply a handicap stroke or strokes to his gross score.
A term used to describe a player with too much wrist movement in their putting stroke causing inconsistent putts.
A ball resting on a uphill slope. A lie where the ball is above the golfer's feet.
Term given to an area of the golf course (not bunkers or hazards) on which no grass is growing. Shots from hardpan are among the most difficult as it requires a high level of skill to get the club under the ball from such lies.
A bunker, stream, ditch, lake, or pond are all hazards. Hazards are defined by a course committee.
The name of a club used in the early 1800's that had a lof of about 40 degrees and was used to get out of difficult spots.
The part of the clubhead beneath the end of the shaft and closest to the hosel. If a shot is struck there, it is said to be "heeled."
A type of club head design with weight positioned toward the heel and toe of the clubhead, resulting in stabilizing the clubhead (and produce straighter shots) on off-center impacts.
Now-defunct professional golf circuit for male players one level below the PGA Tour. The Hogan Tour, sponsored by the Ben Hogan Company, evolved into the Nike Tour and then into the Buy.Com Tour.
This can mean the actual hole that you putt into or the entire area between tee and green.
Each score card indicates a handicap number for each hole. The lower the number, the harder the hole is to play. Some courses split odd and even handicap numbers between the front nine and back nine while others handicap all eighteen holes together. For example, the front nine can have handicap numbers 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15 & 17 while the back nine have 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16, & 18. In this case, the number 2 handicap hole isn't necessarily the second hardest hole on the course. It's the first hardest hole for that nine. A lot of golfers prefer to have all eighteen handicapped together but it is up to the course to decide.
Hole In One
Getting the ball directly into the cup with one shot from the tee.
A type of competition in which contestants play one round at one home course and the second at the other. Generally used in country club versus country club competition.
The 18th green, or any other designated as the last to be played.
The player who hits first on a hole is said to have the "Honor". The honor is gained by having the lowest score on the most recently played hole.
Type of shot, for a right-handed golfer, that often starts to the right of the target and curves dramatically to the left, usually ending much more left of target than desired. A hook is normally considered to be a non-desirable shot.
A wood with a closed face angle. Hook face woods may help players who slice to hit the ball straight.
Hooding the club
A stroke in which the golfer moves his hands ahead and tilts the club head forward (to reduce the club's loft). Done to make the ball fly lower or to get more distance than normal from a club.
Professional golf circuit, sponsored by the Hooters restaurant chain, for male players a few levels below the PGA Tour. The Hooters Tour schedules events throughout the U.S. each year.
Horizontal Flow Weighting
Distributing weight from club to club in a set of irons, with the highest concentration of weight moving from the toe of the longer irons to the heel of the shorter irons.
The entry point of the shaft into the head on any golf club. Hitting the ball off the hosel is known as a shank.
A shanked shot (see "Shank" and "Pitch Out") that results in a ball flight directly to the right as a result of the ball being struck on the hosel.
A ball that is traveling at a high rate of speed without much backspin (and many times at a lower trajectory than desired) is said to be hot. A ball may come into the green hot or out of the rought hot. In most cases, this shot will run along the ground or green much farther than desired, making the golfer hot, too.
Hung it out
A golfer who attempts to play a draw but hits a straight shot instead is said to have hung it out.
A golf club with characteristics of both a wood and an iron. Often used in place of long irons in a player's set.