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Golf Instruction Book

The ABC's of Golf

Part A - All About How to Get Started in Golf
Part B - Basic Fundamentals and Concepts in Golf Swing Technique
Part C - Common Golf Words and Phrases - Glossary

Glossary of Golf Terms and Phrases
 Golf Terminology - Definitions and Usages

Golf words or phrases beginning with the letter

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Choose a tab above to find words that begin with that letter.

Or enter the word in the form below. If the word you're looking for cannot be found it will automatically be suggested to the Glossarymaster (MB) for review and inclusion.

some kind of motion or movement (can be very individualized, but many times a back and forth movement at the hands/wrists) of the club for the purpose of staying loose, feeling the club, keeping the body in motion instead of holding still
Example: She had a very distinctive waggle.
typically thought of as a single player with no reservation, but could be more than one player
Example: She didn't have a tee time, but decided to take her chances as a walk-on.
Wanamaker Trophy
the champion's trophy in the U.S. PGA Championship
Example: He hugged the Wanamaker Trophy for the photographers.
waste area
(also "waste bunker") a relatively unmaintained area (usually, but not always, with a surface of pebbles, sand or similar) that is not considered a hazard in the Rules of Golf (waste bunkers might generally be more clearly demarcated than waste areas)
Example: I was able to ground my club in the waste area because it was not a hazard.
water hazard
any sea, lake, pond, ditch, etc. (whether it contains water or not), usually marked with either yellow stakes or lines (see also "lateral water hazard")
Example: The water hazard was small but intimidating nonetheless.
wave up
(also "call up") common practice at some courses (usually on par 3 holes) where the group ahead (group A) signals for the group behind (group B) to play their shots when group A reaches the green rather than waiting for them to finish the hole (it is done in an attempt to improve pace of play) -- also could be when group A wishes for group B to play-through at any point on the course
Example: Wave up/call up the group on the tee; John has to look for his ball and it may take a while.
scoreboard abbreviation for withdrawn
Example: There was a WD on the board for Mr. Biff, which made everyone suspect his allergies were acting up.
weak (grip or hand position)
where the hands are rotated into a position of less physical advantage on the grip and, all else being equal, the club face has a tendency to open during the swing (e.g., for a right-handed player the left hand would be in a weak position if the "V" formed by the thumb and forefinger pointed toward the chin or farther to the player's left; the right hand would be in a weak position if the V pointed more toward the left shoulder than vertical; the grip might generally be referred to as weak if either the left hand or both hands were in a weak position -- what constitutes weak or strong may vary between players and opinions on weak or strong may vary slightly between experts)
Example: A weak grip may contribute to a slice or push.
(e.g., "pitching wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge, third wedge, utility wedge," and so on) a short iron with significant loft mainly for playing shorter, more lofted shots (the amount of loft can vary widely, from a pitching wedge that ranges somewhere between 47° and 52° to a lob wedge that can range from 58° up to 65°); wedges come in a huge variety of styles, shapes and names, depending on their purpose and manufacturer
Example: After a nice tee shot, she only had a wedge left to the green.
weight transfer
the shifting of the body weight from the rear (farthest from target) leg in the backswing to the forward leg in the downswing
Example: In a standard-issue full golf swing a weight transfer is pretty important for multiple reasons.
ball in water hazard
Example: That one is wet, Jerome.
a swing with intent to strike the ball and a miss
Example: If you whiff the ball it counts as a stroke.
a very thin cord-like material that is used to wrap the area where the shaft inserts into the clubhead on a wooden club
Example: Because the majority of woods are metal today you don't see a whole lot of whipping any more.
(also "wind cheater") a very penetrating, low trajectory shot that is less affected by wind
Example: A windcheater/wind cheater is even effective sometimes when it's not windy.
winter rules
(also "preferred lies, improved lies, bumping it") a local rule under which a player can improve his lie without penalty
Example: The course was so wet and sloppy that we played winter rules/preferred lies/improved lies/bumps for the first time since last year.
(also "lone wolf") a match play game for four players in which players decide whether or not to compete alone or team up on every hole (more on tournament formats, betting games, etc.)
Example: The foursome decided to play wolf/lone wolf last Saturday instead of the usual Four-ball match.
(e.g., "driver or 1 wood, fairway woods, utility woods," and so on) originally a club with a wooden head, relatively little loft and a long handle used for driving the ball and/or hitting long shots (now most "woods" are metal Grin)
Example: The 3 most common woods are driver (1 wood), 3 wood and 5 wood.
work the ball
to deliberately shape or curve a shot
Example: Someone who can work the ball is typically thought of as being able to control the ball's curve in either direction.
(also "worm burner") a shot with such a low trajectory that it appears to, or actually does, skim the ground - not necessarily ineffective but almost certainly unintentional
Example: He wanted to hit a 300 yard drive to impress his friends, but he hit a wormburner/worm burner and entertained them just the same.
wound ball
a ball composed of a rubber core, surrounded by rubber windings, with an outside cover
Example: In decades past a wound ball was state of the art.
a layer of something (usually tape) under a grip (applied to the shaft, before the grip is put on) for the purpose of increasing the size (circumference) of the grip
Example: Laura's personal preference was to have all her grips put on with three wraps of masking tape underneath.
wrist cock
(also "wrist break, setting the hands") the procedure of allowing or causing the wrists or hands to cock, set, hinge or fold at the top of the backswing
Example: Having a sound wrist cock is an important aspect of achieving significant distance with your full shots.
wrong ball
(covered by rule 15 of the USGA Rule book) any ball other than the player's ball in play, provisional ball or second ball played under Rule 3-3 or Rule 20-7b in stroke play
Example: The penalty for playing a wrong ball is two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play.
wrong green
(also "wrong putting green") any green besides the one for the hole being played
Example: It is important to take complete relief from a wrong green, as greens are easily damaged.


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