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Golf has its own unique language and terminology, and many golf terms are funny. Whether it’s a shot that goes awry or a tricky putt, golfers often describe the game in ways that will bring a smile to your face.
In this post, we will look at some funny golf terms you might not have heard before. From “albatross” to “yips,” these terms will give you a new perspective on the game and it’s humorous lingo. So, grab your clubs and get ready to laugh as we explore the funnier side of golf.
Golf Terms That Will Make You Laugh
Whether you’re a scratch golfer or just a beginner, these terms will have you laughing and maybe even using them on the course. So, without further ado, lets tee off with some of the funniest golf terms on the links.
Albatross is when a golfer scores three shots below par on a single hole, otherwise known as a double eagle. This includes making a hole-in-one (ace) on a par-four or a hole-in-two on a par-five. This accomplishment is even more rare than a standard hole-in-one on a par-three. A rare bird like the albatross is a fitting name.
As you may know, Ms. Earhart went up in the air and was never seen again. In golf, the Amelia Earhart is a shot that looked great while taking off, but the ball is sadly lost and never seen again.
An ape is a golf shot that goes too high and not far enough. It’s often used to describe a shot that goes straight into the air and doesn’t travel very far. Picture a primate swinging from a tree and looping high but only covering a short distance between branches. Ape is similar to the Elephant’s Ass covered below.
Left-right, left-right is the chant of army solders as they march. Army Golf describes a golfer that misses shots in both direction and is often hitting the ball down the left side of the hole, then across the hole to the right, and often back again to the left side. It’s best to avoid Army Golf if you can.
The banana is a shot with a dramatic curve. This is usually a big slice that moves to the right for a right-handed golfer or to the left for a left-handed golfer. The banana slice can be an effective shot in some special situations but should be avoided as much as possible.
Barkie is a term used to describe a shot that hits a tree and bounces back into play. The shot is considered lucky since it was not intended to hit the tree trunk but saves the golfer from a problematic situation. The term is most often used when a player hits the ball into the woods but still manages to make a par.
A Breakfast Ball is a term reserved for the first shot of the day. It represents a free mulligan that the player can take advantage of on the first shot of the first hole, usually early in the morning. Many players allow breakfast balls no matter when the round starts, especially if the group did not warm up before the round. It’s often used in a humorous or playful manner and is not an official term used in the sport of golf.
The term cabbage describes a shot that lands in a patch of thick, tall grass. The term applies to a ball that is lost among the rough and wild grass, like a vegetable growing in a vegetable garden. It’s a difficult shot to recover from, as the ball is often buried in the grass and hard to find. The word is also commonly used to the describe the thick rough itself rather than the shot that lands in the tall grass.
Chili-dip is a term used to describe a mis-hit chip shot that comes up short of the target because the golfer hit the ground before the ball. It’s a shot that looks almost as bad as it feels, sometimes the ball barely moves at all. Heavy, fat, and chuck are all alternative names for this shot. However, chili-dip is reserved for chip shots only and the other terms can apply to anytime the club hits the ground before the ball.
A chicken stick is a term used in golf to describe a club, typically a mid or long iron, that a golfer uses to play a tee shot with less power or distance. It is generally used when the golfer is afraid of a hazard and wants to play a more precise shot rather than use the driver for maximum power. It is normally used to chide the golfer for being too scared or ‘chicken’ to use the driver.
Have you ever hit a golf shot that did not feel good at impact but that turned out fine and landed in a safe position? Well, that shot could be described as a condom. Never beat yourself up for practicing safe golf!
God bless the earlier rises! The Dew Sweepers are the first few groups to play the course in the morning. Being the first off the tee, these players will “sweep” the morning dew up as they play the course and are sometimes referred to as the Dawn Patrol.
DNF stands for Did Not Finish and is an official acronym used in many golf competitions. It’s like the golf term WD (withdrawn) or DQ meaning disqualified. But what does DFL stand for? You guessed it, Dead F***ing Last!
Not all golf courses are as beautiful and well maintained as Augusta National or Pebble Beach. Dog Track is often used to describe a poorly designed and badly maintained golf course. See also Goat Ranch below.
The term Duck Hook is used to describe a shot that curves sharply to the left for a right-handed golfer or to the right for a left-handed golfer. It’s a low shot that does not travel far and almost always gets the player into trouble. This is an ugly looking shot frequently caused by an outside-in swing with a closed face at impact. Also known as a “Quacker!”
A badly hit shot that flies “high and stinky” is referred to as an Elephant’s Ass. The imagery seems self-explanatory on this one. These shots often travel higher than they do far. A popped up driver is most common example.
Fescue is tall, wiry grass often found on golf courses. It’s a term that can describe a shot that lands in this type of grass, which is often difficult to play from. Fescue grasses can be cut short for fairways and tee boxes, but when people use the term fescue, they are referring to the tall, thick rough.
One of the worst feelings on a golf course is hitting such a terrible shot that it’s still your turn to play, (see “Determine Playing Order In Golf”). The player that hit the bad shot says “Fiso” which stands for F*** I’m Still Out. It’s a good way to break the anxiety and get a laugh from your otherwise embarrassed partners. Another variation is Fima, F*** It’s Me Again! Also, check out U.S.G.A below if you want to rib your playing partner when they hit a bad shot.
Fig-Jam stands for F*** I’m Good Just Ask Me! It is reportedly the nickname given to Phil Mickelson by several of his fellow tour professionals. The nickname is in jest, but it’s also an insult that pokes fun at Phil’s arrogant nature.
Flier is a term used to describe a shot that comes off the clubface with less spin, causing the ball to travel farther than expected. It’s often caused by a fluffy lie in the rough, and it can be challenging to control the distance of the ball flight.
A Fried Egg is a term used to describe a shot that embeds in a bunker. The result is a ball that sits down in the sand, resembling a fried egg. The shot can be very difficult to play. Since the ball is partly below the level of the sand, it is hard to get out of the bunker and close to the hole.
Gimmie is a term used to describe a putt that is considered so short and easy that it is assumed to be holed without actually being played. Gimmies are often given as a courtesy between players and are not typically allowed in official stroke play competitions. However, gimmies are extremely common is match play competition and friendly golf rounds. See the term Inside the Leather below for a measuring device for determining a gimmie.
Some golf courses lack the tender love and care needed to keep them in proper playing condition. The funny golf term Goat Ranch is used in these cases to describe a golf course that has poorly maintained turf or is otherwise improperly managed. See also Dog Track above.
A woman that marries an obsessive golfer will often take a back seat to the game of golf. Sometimes, these women hardly see their husband during the golf season and are called Golf Widows.
The term Gong is used to describe a shot that is hit so hard that it makes a loud noise when it hits the club. It is often used to describe a shot that is hit with a lot of power and distance.
Greenies is a common golf betting game played on the course, sometimes called nearies. The player that hits their ball closest to the pin on a par 3 hole is awarded the greenie and wins a small amount of money. Greenies or nearies are often added as a side game rather than the primary competition.
Most golfers play games for money, although usually not very much money. When you win, it’s often assumed you’ll spend the winnings on a round of drinks or food at the 19th hole. That’s Grocery Money!
Hack is a term that describes a golfer who isn’t very skilled at the game. It is often used to describe a golfer who could be more consistent with their shots or who makes a lot of mistakes. A hack is almost always a high handicap player. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they can still keep the pace of play.
The term Hosel Rocket describes one of the worst shots in golf. It results from the ball striking the hosel of the club instead of the club face. This causes the ball to travel laterally, often perpendicular to the players intended target line. The standard name for the shot is “shank” but many golfers are too superstitious to use that word. Terms like lateral, hosel rocket, scud, or pitchout are used instead. We’ve even heard it referred to as a Tom Hanks, as in Shaw-SHANK-Redemption.
Watch this great scene from the movie Tin Cup to get a better idea:
Inside the Leather
When your ball finishes close to the hole, your partners will often allow you pick up the ball and count the putt without actually making the shot. The phrase Inside the Leather means the ball is closer to the hole than the length of your putter grip and should be considered a gimmie.
James Joyce is a term used to describe a shot that goes into the rough and is challenging to find. It references the famous Irish novelist James Joyce, known for his complex and difficult-to-understand writing.
Jumper describes a shot that bounces off a hard surface, such as a cart path or a rock, before coming to rest. It’s difficult to know how the ball with react off such surfaces and the result is often humorous and unlucky for the player.
A Knickerbocker describes a golfer who wears knickers or knee-length pants while playing. It’s a term often used to describe older or more traditional golfers, who may prefer the style of knickers over modern pants.
A Looper is a person who carries a golfer’s clubs and offers advice on club selection and shot strategy. They are an integral part of the game, and many golfers rely on their looper’s expertise to help them play their best. If you haven’t figured it out yet, looper is another name for a caddie.
Lorena Bobbitt is a term used to describe an exceptionally bad slice or cut shot. This is a shot that is hit wildly to the left for a right-handed golfer or to the right for a left-handed golfer. The name is a reference to Lorena Bobbitt, a woman who, in 1993, cut off her husband’s private part.
A Mulligan is a do-over shot, where a golfer can re-hit a shot without penalty. The term comes from a golfer named David Mulligan who would play a round with his friends and frequently ask for a do-over. Some golfers will allow Mulligans on the first shot of the day . This is called a Breakfast Ball and is described above.
The 19th hole is the bar! Once you’ve finished all 18 holes, it’s common to stop in the clubhouse and grab a drink. Players will settle bets and have a few laughs with your partners. Just be careful if you were already playing a golf drinking game on the course.
Niblick is a type of golf club common in the old days of golf, also known as a “niblick” or a “niblick wedge.” It was a club with a high loft typically used for short shots around the green. A niblick is now roughly equivalent to the loft of a modern nine iron.
A platypus is when a player hits the ball out of bounds but still finds a way to save par. This is a rare event, so a rare creature like a platypus is a fitting funny golf term to use as a description.
What does an old-time movie star have to do with golf? Simple, the Rock Hudson is a putt that does not look like it will break but does. Or to say it another way, a putt that looked straight but wasn’t.
Rush Limbaugh is a funny golf term used to describe a shot that goes straight to the right. It references the conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh, known for his conservative views and tendency to lean hard to the right.
Have you ever hit the ball from one bunker directly into another bunker? That’s a Saddam Hussein, obviously referring to Saddam’s run from bunker to bunker after the fall of Baghdad. Some people refer to this as an Osama Bin Laden instead. However, if you hit the ball from one green-side-bunker across the entire green and into another green-side-bunker, that’s often called the coast-to-coast.
A Sandbagger is a golfer who intentionally plays at a lesser skill level so they can win more easily in handicapped games or tournaments. Sandbagging often involves intentionally missing shots, failing to report good golf rounds, or outright lying about your scores. It is considered unsportsmanlike behavior and frowned upon by most golfers.
The Sandie is when a player successfully gets the ball up-and-down from a greenside bunker to save par. This is not an easy task for most players and deserves celebration.
Similar to the sandie or the platapus, the sharkie is when a player hits the ball into the water but is still able to save par. This feat is rare and difficult. It obviously derives its name from the shark in the water, but also pays homage to the card shark or the pool shark.
A Ted Kennedy is a funny golf term used to describe a shot that goes into the water but miraculously jumps out and finishes safely on dry land. It is a reference to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who, in 1969, drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.
That Dog Will Hunt
That Dog Will Hunt is a term used to describe a shot that is hit with a lot of confidence and is expected to be successful. It’s often used to describe a shot that is hit with a lot of power and accuracy.
A Three Jack describes taking three putts on a green. The three putt is extremely frustrating and bad for your score. Avoid the Three Jack whenever you can.
The term Wall Street is used to describe the bailout area of a hole. If you remember the financial crises of 2008, you’ll remember the massive bailout given to the Wall Street Banks.
A Wormburner is a funny golf term used to describe a shot hit low and running along the ground. It’s a shot that could be used effectively to avoid obstacles such as trees limbs, but it is almost always a mistake. Snakeraker is another term for the same shot.
This interpretation of U.S.G.A. translates to “ugly shot, go again” and is used among golfers to make fun of a player when they make such a bad shot that it is still their turn to play. It’s very similar to Fiso/Fima described above, but it is said to the player that hit the bad shot. It’s obviously not a term used by the U.S.G.A. organization, just a fun way to rib your playing partner.
Yanked is a term used to describe a shot that is pulled wildly off the target line. This would be a shot hit to the left for a right-handed golfer or to the right for a left-handed golfer. It’s a term often used to describe a shot hit with plenty of power but no control.
Yips is a term used to describe a sudden and involuntary muscle spasm or movement in their hands, arms, or wrists while putting. It is often seen as a psychological disorder and can affect a golfer’s putting or chipping performance. In fact, some golfers give up the game because of a bad case of the yips. Much like shank, yips is not a word most golfer used due to superstition.
Final Thoughts On Funny Golf Terms
Golf is not just a game of precision and skill. It’s also a game of personality and humor. Most people are aware for the standard golf scoring terms like par and birdie. The funny golf terms mentioned in this article are just a small sample of the colorful language golfers use to describe their shots, opponents, and course experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a weekend hacker, these terms can add fun and personality to your game.
So, the next time you’re out on the course, don’t be afraid to unleash your inner golfer and use some of these hilarious terms to describe your shots. You might even impress your opponents with your golfing lingo.
Now, grab your clubs and hit the links, and remember, a birdie is always better than a banana, and a fried egg is nothing to be ashamed of, take your mulligan and hack away!
Let us know your favorite funny golf terms and slang phrases in the comments. And if you enjoyed this article, check out our pervious post on 18 Ways To Say Good Luck In A Game Of Golf!