Dept. of Word Lists
Next time you're on the green, try not to airmail your shot into the drink, cabbage or kitty litter, okay? To get a handle on golf's rich vocabulary, we called PGA professional and author Mark Blakemore, who runs well-known golf schools in Northern California. Mark takes us down the linguistic fairway:
Airmail. "It means you either hit a shot that flew too far, or a drive that carried in the air farther than anybody else's ball."
Albatross. "A score of three under par on a hole, which doesn't happen very often. The word comes from the fact that an albatross is a rare bird. Naming hierarchy in scoring is like that. A hole in one on a par five, for example, is called a condor, which is an almost extinct bird, of course.
Drink. "Refers to a water hazard. 'In the drink' means into the water."
Beach. "A sand filled bunker. A lot of players call it a 'sand trap' but that's not a true golf term. Another expression for this is 'kitty litter.'"
Hairpiece. "When you hit the ground behind a ball and the sod lifts over the top of the ball it looks like a toupee."
Skull. "The opposite of a hairpiece, when the bottom of your club hits the ball at the equator or higher, like you're hitting the top of a head or skull."
Knife. "A one iron, a club that's rarely used these days. It has the most vertical club face of all the irons and is called a knife because the straight face of the club makes it look so sharp."
Rabbit. "This word refers to a professional golfer who follows the tour but has to play in a qualifying round before a tournament."
Syringe. "A green-keeping term, where you water a particular area by hand rather than by using a sprinkler."
Wolf. "A name for a particular golf betting game, also called 'lone wolf.' It's a group of three players with one golfer -- the lone wolf -- playing against the other two."