-- The back portion of the hole. Ex., "That one rolled in the back door!"
back lip-- The edge of the sand trap that is furthest from the green.
back nine-- The last 9 golf holes on an 18 hole course.
backspin-- A reverse spin imparted on the golf ball to make it land with very little roll or actually reverse direction once it lands on the green.
backswing-- The backward portion of a golf swing swing that begins behind the ball and arcs away from the intended target and back towards the golfer's head.
baff-- An old Scottish term that means to hit or graze the ground behind the ball.
baffle-- Old name given to a 5 wood.
bail out shot-- To avoid trouble, such as a water hazard, in one area by hitting the ball well into another area.
balata-- A hard, resilient sap-like substance from the South American Balata tree that is used to make a cover for rubber-cored golf balls.
ball-- The spherical object golfers hit with their clubs. Modern golf balls have dimples on them to make them fly further and straighter. According to USGA rules the diameter of a ball shall not be less than 1.680 inches and it shall not weigh more than 45.93 gm.
ball at rest-- A ball that has come to a complete stop and is not longer moving.
ball embedded-- A golf ball that lands and sticks in the ground making it very difficult or impossible to hit. Also may be called a plugged ball.
ball holed-- A ball that has been successfully stroked into the cup.
ball in play-- A ball is "in play" from the moment it is struck off the tee until it is successfully holed out off the green. The only exception is if the ball is lost, hit out of bounds, is dropped or lifted (according to the rules), or another ball is substituted. Typically, the ball that is hit off the tee must be played for the entire hole unless it is lost or deemed to be unfit for play.
ball marker-- A coin or small marker or token used to mark the position of a golfer's ball on the green while the golfer is cleaning or aligning his/her ball or another player is putting.
ball retriever-- a long extendable pole with a catcher device on one end used to recover golf balls hit into water hazards, bushes, trees, etc.
ball washer-- typically positioned near the tee box, ball washers are used to clean dirt, mud and other debris from the golf ball.
banana ball-- A severe slice that curves to the right travelling in the shape of a banana.
baseball grip-- A golf grip in which the hands are placed one beneath the other without interlocking fingers from the two hands.
beach-- Slang for a sand trap or bunker.
bend-- Curve on a golf shot created by sidespin.
bent grass-- Kind of grass seen mainly on golf courses in the Northern United States. This strong, resilient grass can be cut very short.
bermuda grass-- Kind of grass seen primarily on courses in the Southern United States. It is often used in warmer climates where bent grass has difficulty growing.
best ball-- A golf game format in which all members of each team play their own balls on every hole. At the end of each hole, the lowest score from each team is used as the team score for that hole.
better ball-- See Best Ball.
birdie-- the score a golfer earns when he/she finishes a golf hole in one stroke less than the score assigned to par for that hole.
bird's nest-- A poor lie in which the golf ball is surrounded by deep grass or brush.
bite-- Backspin on a golf ball that causes it to slow down, stop or reverse course on a green.
blade-- 1) The primary hitting surface of an iron used to strike the golf ball. 2) To mishit a golf shot by striking the ball with the leading edge of the blade of an iron--as in, "He bladed it!"
blade putter-- A standard putter design in which both sides of the putter head are basically straight.
blast-- An explosion shot hit with much force typically from a sand trap or high rough. Also, an extremely powerful shot.
blind hole-- A hole in which the green or flagstick can't be seen as the player hits his/her approach shot.
block-- To play a shot in which the wrists do not rotate fully through the point of impact during a swing. This causes the clubface not to be square at the point of impact resulting in a sliced shot.
bogey-- A score of one over par on a particular golf hole.
bold shot-- A firmly played approach to a well -protected pin. Also, too strong or long a shot.
boundary-- The officially designated playable area of a golf course.
The edge of the golf course that defines the area of play.
bowker-- A terrible golf shot that gets a lucky bounce or roll and ends up as a good or at least acceptable shot.
bramble-- A small molded dimple or indentation on older golf balls (gutta purcha and rubber core) designed to cause the ball to fly further.
brassie-- Old nickname given to a 2 wood. An old, wooden club with a brass sole plate.
break-- To earn a score of less than a designated amount. For example, "I finally broke 80 the other day!"
A golf ball's path will be affected by the slope, grass grain, and other factors near and on the green. Such factors collectively influence a rolling and bouncing golf ball's path and are called "break".
The way in which the ball will roll or bounce. Also the sideways slope on the green.
break the wrists-- Bending one's wrists backward during a golf swing.
British Ball-- The type of golf ball specified by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. Diameter is not less than 1.620 inches and the weight is not more than 1.620 ounces. Now used mainly in amateur play.
British Open-- "The Open" - the first one ever held. The National Championship put on by the Royal And Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland.
bulge-- The curved face of a wooden golf club.
bump and run-- A chip shot hit with a low trajectory that is designed to travel in the air a short distance and then to roll towards the flag.
bunker-- This hazard area is a dug out area filled with sand. Typically a ball hit into a bunker will be slowed by the sand and remain in the bunker thereby penalizing the golfer by preventing the ball's further travel. Also known as a "sand trap".
burn-- Scottish term for a stream.
buried ball-- A ball partially or entirely covered by sand in a sand trap.
buzzard-- A golf score of two strokes over par for a particular hole.
bye-- A term used in tournaments. The player who draws a "bye" is allowed to advance to the next round without playing an opponent. In match play, it is the hole or holes still left to play if the match is won before the 18th hole.