The Highlander Golf Shop
Letter S - Golf Definitions, Terms, Vocabulary and Slang
S
Sand Save
When a player gets up and down from a greenside sand bunker onto the green, regardless of score on the hole.
Sand Save Percentage
The statistic of the number of times a player had a sand save divided by the number of times the player's ball was in a green side bunker.
Sand Trap
Term given to a bunker filled with sand.
Sandie (Sandy)
Another term for Sand Save.
Sand Wedge
Also called a sand iron, the shortest, most lofted iron used for playing out of bunkers and for very short pitch shots.
Sandbagger
A golfer who consistently plays to a score better than his handicap indicates that he should.
Scramble
When a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better on a hole.
Scramble (Round, Game or tournament)
Term given to a type of game, played as a team, in which all players play from one position. For example, a team of 4 players all hit drives. The next shot is played, again by all 4 players, from the position of the best drive. Play continues in this manner until the ball is holed. Scramble is also a term applied to a player who often hits his ball in trouble, but typically recovers very well, with a "good" score.
Scramble Percentage
The statistic of the number of times a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better divided by the number of times that a player misses the green in regulation.
Scrambler
A golfer who plays somewhat erratically but manages to salvage good scores from inconsistent play.
Scraper
The name of a club used in the early 1800's that was used the same as the heavy iron with a loft of about 35 degrees.
Scratch
A handicap of 0, indicative of a highly skilled player.
Scoop (Dig) Sole
An iron with a leading edge lower than its trailing edge.
Score Type
Indicates specific aspects of a score within a player's scoring record. The designated letter(s) must immediately follow the adjusted gross score if the score type is either a tournament score or an internet-posted score. Score types are designated as:
A - Away
AI - Away Internet
C - Combined Nines
I - Internet
P - Penalty
T - Tournament
TI - Tournament Internet
Scoring
Marking on a club face for decorative or alignment purposes.
Scoring Record
A file of up to twenty of the most recent scores posted by a player, plus any eligible tournament scores, along with appropriate USGA Course Rating, Slope Rating, course name/location, and date of each score.
Scotch Foursome
A type of competition wherein partners alternate hitting the same ball.
Scratch Golfer
A player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses.
Scratch Golfer Rating
A male scratch golfer who can hit tee shots an average of 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two shots at sea level. A female scratch golfer who can hit tee shots an average of 210 yards and can reach a 400-yard hole in two shots at sea level.
Second Cut
Term applied to a section of rough (or higher grass) that borders the first cut of rough. The second cut is farther from the fairway and is generally more severe than the first cut.
Semi-Private
Type of golf club in which memberships are sold, but that allows public play during specific time periods.
Semi-Private
Type of golf club in which memberships are sold, but that allows public play during specific time periods.
Set Up
To position yourself for the address. It includes aim, foot and shoulder alignment, grip, ball placement and position.
Senior Golfer
Any golfer 50 years of age or older is considered to be a senior golfer.
Shaft
The length of the club down to the clubhead.
Shaft characteristics terms and descriptions:
Butt O.D.
The outer diameter measurement of the butt section at 4 inches. Most manufacturers of golf shafts strive to stay around .600" so that most grips will fit onto the shaft. Club Builders can use the Butt OD to make the grip the proper size for the golfer.
Butt Stiffness
Frequency measurement of the butt section of the shaft. A higher reading means the butt section of the shaft is stiffer or stronger.
Launch Angle
Launch characteristics of a particular model. Several factors contribute to the launch characteristics of the shaft weight, torque, tip technology and butt stiffness.
Length
The stock/factory (before made into a golf club) length of the shaft. Shafts can be tip trimmed and/or butt trimmed to make the desired club length.
Mid Stiffness
Measurement of strength for the mid section of the shaft. A higher reading means the mid section of the shaft is stiffer or stronger.
Torque
Measurement of how much the shaft twists when a force is applied. A higher reading means the shaft will twist more during the swing.
Tip O.D.
The outer diameter measurement of the tip section before paint at the very tip. Wood shafts can be parallel dimensions of .335" or .350" and Iron shafts can be parallel .370" or tapered .355". Different Tip ODs are used to fit different head (or hosel) configurations.
Tip Parallel (PTS or Parallel Tip Section)
Amount of the tip section of the shaft that is designed to a specific diameter. At the end of the Parallel Tip Section, the shaft will begin to taper.
Tip Stiffness
Measurement of tip strength. Tip flex factors into the launch characteristics of the shaft. A stronger tip generally launches the ball lower while a more flexible tip will help launch the ball higher.
Shallow Face
Any wood or iron having a face height shorter than normal.
Shank
Area of an iron's clubhead at the hosel
Shanked
A shot that is struck in the hosel area of the golf club. The resulting ball flight is generally straight to the right. A shank may also be called a "hoseled shot", a "pitch out" or a "lateral."
Short Game
Chipping, pitching, bunker play and putting on the green and around it up to a distance of 100 yards (90m) away.
Short Grass
Where you are when you hit the fairway with your drive.
Short Spoon
The name of a club used in the early 1800's that was the same as a middle spoon made of wood with at loft of about 21 degrees.
Short Stick
Slang for the putter, because it's the shortest club in the bag.
Shotgun Start
When competitors all begin play simultaneously from different tees around the course. The starter used a shotgun blast to announce the start. An air horn is now generally used.
Sit
Telling the ball to drop softly, and not roll after landing.
Skins
Type of match play game in which each hole is worth a given amount of points or money. Points or money is often "carried over" in the event of ties, making all subsequent holes potentially worth considerably more.
Sky
Term give to a shot, usually with a wood, that goes much higher and shorter than desired. A "skied" shot is often hit on or near the top of the club.
Skull (Skulled) (Skulling)
To strike the top of the ball with an upwards, glancing blow. Similar to "hitting it thin". Sometimes spelled "scull" as in the glancing motion of an oar that makes improper contact with the water.
SL Handicap Type
Short Course Handicap
Slice
A shot that tends to start to the left of the target and curve to the right of the target, most often more that the player desires (assuming a right-handed player.) A slice is the most common shot among amateur golfers.
Slope (Index or Rating)
Mathematical formula used to compare the difficulty of one course to the next. It takes into account length, hazards, terrain, etc. A course with a slope rating of 150 will be far more difficult than one sloped at 100. Slope ratings allow fair matches between members from clubs of varying difficulty. The lowest USGA Slope Rating is 55 and the highest is 155. A golf course of standard playing difficulty has a Slope Rating of 113.
Smother
To bring the clubface down and over the ball when hitting a shot causing the ball to be poorly struck.
Snake
A long putt; one that is usually holed from a long distance.
Snap hook
A shot that starts quickly to the left and angles sharply downwards and further to the left generally producing a very short and undesirable result.
Snipe Hook
Similar to "Snap Hook" The ball dips and dies quickly to the left.
Snowman
A score of eight shots on a hole.
Sod
A chunk of turf from the course. Commonly referred to as a "divot".
Soft Spikes
Generic term given to the plastic type of spikes required on many courses. These softer spikes are believed to do less damage to the course, especially to the greens.
Sole
The bottom or undersideof any type of golf club. It is where the club rests on the ground in playing position.
Sole Camber
The curvature from the leading edge to the trailing edge.
Sole Weighted Iron
An iron head with the majority of its weight concentrated near the sole of the club, producing a lower center of gravity.
Sole Width
The measure of a sole from the leading edge to the trailing edge. A narrow sole is better from firmer ground; wide soles are helpful in getting the ball airborne from softer ground.
Spade (Spade Mashie)
The name of a golf club that was used in the mid-late 1800's through the early part of the 20th century that was a deep-faced iron club some what more lofted than a mashie with a loft of 34 degrees. The modern equivalent would be the number six iron.
Spikes
Metal implements on the bottom of golf shoes designed to aid in traction. Spikes are approximately 1/2" in length.
"Spikes" may also be a slang term used for golf shoes themselves.
Spikes
Metal implements on the bottom of golf shoes designed to aid in traction. Spikes are approximately 1/2" in length.
"Spikes" may also be a slang term used for golf shoes themselves.
Spin
The amount of spin on a golf ball. A high-spin ball will carry longer and roll less than a low spin ball, and are easier to draw or fade as a result. Low spin balls fly lower and roll farther so their overall distance may be greater.
Spoon
Any of a group of early wooden clubs (early 1800's through the early part of the 20th century) having graduated lofts greater than that of the grassed driver, and correspondingly shorter shafts. The name originated because the loft on early club faces, both wooden and iron lofted up to 20 degrees, was most often concave and sometimes, therefore, resembled the bowl of a spoon. In the early 20th century it was a somewhat more lofted club than the brassie. The modern equivalent would be the number three to five wood.
Spring-Like Effect
How much the face of metal-face woods compress and decompress (flex or spring back) upon ball impact.
Square
When the clubface is placed at right angles to the imaginary ball-to-target line.
Square Grooves
Face lines or grooves pressed, cut, or cast into a rectangular shape onto the club face. Similar to a U-Groove, with the exception that the bottom of the groove is flat intstead of curved.
St. Andrews
Considered to be the "home" of golf, St. Andrews is the location of Europe's rules-making body, the R & A, as well as being the location of one of the most famous courses (St. Andrews) in all of golf.
Stableford (Stableford Scoring System)
Type of competition in which points are awarded in relation to a fixed score on each hole. The winner is the one with the most points. For example, a par may receive 0 points, a birdie, 2 points, and eagle 5 points, a bogey 1, and so on. Points are established for each individual competition.
Stake It
Slang term used to indicate a player hits the ball close to the hole.
Stance
Position of the feet prior to making a shot. A player placing his feet in position to make a stroke is said to have taken his stance.
Standard scratch score (SSS)
The score expected of a scratch player on any given course.
Stoney It
Slang term used to indicate a player hits the ball close to the hole.
Stimp
Term given to the speed of a green after measurement with a specialized piece of equipment (Stimpmeter.) The higher the Stimp reading, the faster the green. Most courses rate at between 6 and 9 on the Stimp Scale; pro tournament venues may rate at over 12.
Stimpmeter
Apparatus used to measure the speed of a green. It is basically an angled metal piece from which a ball is rolled onto a flat area of the green. Depending upon how far the ball rolls, a "Stimp" reading is determined. The farther the ball rolls, the higher the Stimp reading and the faster the green.
Stipulated Round
The stipulated round consists of playing the holes of the course in their correct sequence unless otherwise authorized by the Committee. The number of holes in a stipulated round is 18 unless a smaller number is authorized by the Committee. The Committee may, for the purpose of settling a tie, extend the stipulated round to as many holes as are required for a match to be won.
Stroke
A shot in golf.
The forward movement of the club made with the intent of hitting the ball.
Stroke Hole
A hole on which a player is entitled to apply a handicap stroke or strokes to his gross score.
Stroke and Distance
Penalty assessed for a ball hit out of bounds or for a lost ball. It involves going back to the spot of the original ball, hitting another ball from there and adding a penalty shot to the score.
Stroke index
The numbers on a scorecard indicating the order of the holes at which a handicap player receives strokes.
Stroke Play (Strokeplay)
Type of competition, also known as medal play, in which the lowest total score (number of strokes) wins.
Stymie
A situation, commonly on a putting green, in which one player's ball is directly in the line of another's. The Rules allow for the ball in the line to be marked and moved, allowing the player farther from the hole to play without obstruction. Stymie is also the generic term given to a situation when any object is between the player and the hole, blocking the normal play toward the hole.
Sudden Death
A type of playoff among tied individuals or teams at the completion of a competition. As soon as a team or individual makes the highest score on a hole, they are eliminated from play.
Summer Rules
Term given to standard USGA Rules' play. When playing "summer rules", courses are generally in their best shape (in the summer); the ball must be played as it lies except on tees and greens.
Super Senior
A senior PGA Tour player who has reached the age of 60.
Supination
A term made popular by Ben Hogan referring to the rotation and angling of the right wrist during the golf swing.
Sweet Spot
The location on the clubface where the optimal ball-striking results are achieved.
Sweet Swing
Term given to a player who swings at the ball in a skilled manner. A golfer who makes a smooth swing is considered to be a "sweet swinger".
Swing
The movement a golf player makes with his/her club to hit the ball.
Swing Speed (swingspeed)
The speed of the clubface at point of impact with the ball (at the bottom of the swing arc)
Swing Weight (swingweight)
A club's weight distribution around a fixed fulcrum point. The fulcrum point is typically 14" from the butt of the club. It is measured in alpha-numeric units such as D-1, D-2, and so on with higher letter-number units indicating more weight in the head relative to the grip.