For many beginners in golf, understanding the different terms and phrases in the sport can be confusing to remember. From terms that are used to keep the score, to ones that describe a specific area of the golf course, it can be overwhelming to try to learn and understand them when first starting the sport. To get a better grasp of the commonly used terms in golf, we have put together a guide for those who are just beginning golf.

Like every other sport, a person is required to keep track of their score when playing golf. To properly keep track of one’s score, it is very important to know what the terms are. Each hole is labeled with the number that it should take for a golfer to get the ball in the hole. For example, a hole that is par four will typically take four shots to get the ball in the hole. In addition to par, here are the terms that are used to keep score that every beginner should know:

  • Ace: a hole in one
  • Eagle: two strokes under par
  • Birdie: one stroke under par
  • Par: the number of strokes that it should take for the ball to get to the hole
  • Bogie: one stroke over par

When stepping onto a golf course, there are several different terms that describe various parts of the course itself. Before beginning, a player will need to use a golf tee, which is the wooden peg that the golf ball is placed on, to hit the first shot. The golf tee keeps the golf ball in place so a golfer has the best chance of hitting a great opening shot on the hole. Upon hitting their first shot, the golf ball will typically travel across the fairway, or the part of the golf course that leads to the hole. Once the golf ball lands within close proximity to the hole, it will be on the green, which is the soft, plush ground surrounding the hole. At this point, golfers typically putt, as their ball is within a few feet of the hole.

Although the ultimate goal in golf is to get the ball to the hole in the least amount of shots, it is not uncommon for balls to land in other areas of the course. At times, the ball will land in the rough after the first shot. The rough describes the wild area on either side of the fairway and is typically filled with trees and long grass. In other instances, the golf ball may land in the bunker, which is the sand-filled ditch that surrounds the green. Other times, golfers will have to be wary of hazards. Hazards can refer to streams, ponds, bunkers, or trees that come in between you and the hole.

While this is not an exhaustive list of terms that golfers can use when playing, it covers some of the most important terms that every beginner should know and understand.