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  Main golf lingo page
Golf terms - A
Golf terms - C

Golf Glossary - 'B'

backdoor - the edge of the cup farthest away from the player making the stroke. The back of the cup such that when a putt rings the cup and falls in 'the back', it is said to have fallen in the backdoor. Example: We thought that John had missed the putt, but it fell in the backdoor.

back nine - (aka: "backside") the last nine holes on any golf course. The opposite of "front nine or the first nine holes of any golf course. Example: "The best holes at Royal Woodbine are on the back nine."

backspin - (aka: "juice", "english", "junk") the action of the ball spinning in the reverse direction to its flight. Backspin will cause the ball to slow down much faster or even roll back towards the shooter once it lands on the green.

backswing - the part of the swing that begins at the address with the club head right behind the ball and and ends at the top of the swing immediately prior to the downswing. The backswing essentially begins the golf swing.

bag - (aka: "golfbag") the bag (usually made of some kind of fabric or leather) in which a player places his/her clubs during a game of golf until needed.

bailout - (aka: "bail out" or "bail-out") to purposefully play or aim away from trouble. Example: "John was intimidated by all the bunkers on the right side of the green so he bailed out to the mounds on the left."

balata - a type of golf ball cover that is softer and thus easier for the grooves of the club to grab at contact. Balata is a type of rubber derived from the dried juice of a tree. The advantage of balata balls is that they tend to spin better and offer more feel, however, they tend not to last as long because they scuff much more easily.

ball mark - (aka: "ballmark" or "pitch mark") the divot left on the green (whether torn on not) when an approach shot strikes the green. Example: "When Jackie got to the green she repaired her ball mark prior to evaluating the 20 foot putt that she had left for birdie."

ball marker - (aka: "marker") a small, flat object usually about the size of a dime (if fact a dime is sometimes used) that is used to mark the position of the ball while it is lifted.

ball position - a term used to describe the position of the ball relative to the stance of a player (and specifically his/her feet and shoulders) at the address position.

ball washer - any unit used to clean golf balls. Typically the golf course will provide ball washers at most tees so that golfers can clean their balls prior to driving.

beach - (aka: "sand trap" or "bunker") any hazard on the golf course consisting of sand. Often found near a putting green or around the landing area of the fairway. Example: "Doug's approach shot fell short of the green and into the beach."

bent grass - a type of grass that is characteristically fine bladed and smooth. Putting greens in cooler locales are often seeded with Bent grass.

best ball - a type of golf tournament where each player plays his/her own ball for the entire round, while the team records the individual score from the low team member on each hole. The 'best scores' are then totaled for the teams final 18 hole score. There can be two, three or four golfers on each team. Note: a 'best ball' and a 'scramble' are not the same thing.

birdie - a score of one less than par for any hole. Example: "Steve made a birdie (4) on the par 5, 15th hole."

bite - (aka: "check" or "grab" or "hold" or "sit" or "sit down" or "hit a house") the result of backspin when the ball lands on the green. Example: "Wallace applied so much backspin that the ball bit the green and stopped short after one bounce." Golfers often yell or mutter under their breath 'bite' (or 'hold' or 'sit' or 'hit a house') when they want the ball to stop quickly. Most often used on an approach shot. Also see "check".

blade - part of the head of an iron. Specifically where the face of the club meets the bottom/flange forming the leading corner of the club head or the blade. Example: "If you hit the ball with the blade of the club it could hurt your hands if the weather is cold."

blade - a type of iron where the bottom and the top are particularly thin as compared to standard or even oversize clubs. Example: "Karl prefers to hit blades rather than those new oversized irons."

blade - (aka: "skull" or "thin" or "belly") the action of hitting a ball with the blade of a club resulting in a low trajectory shot. Example: "After a good drive Mark bladed/skulled/thinned/bellied his approach shot into the bunker at the back of the green."

blast - (aka: "blast shot" or "explosion" or "explosion shot") a shot (usually out of a sand bunker) that impacts the sand prior to the ball and results in a splash or blast of sand that hopefully removes the ball from the bunker. Derived from the similar appearance of a grenade or other blast in sand. Example: "As Adrian blasted out of the bunker but we couldn't see him for all the sand."

block - (aka: "block shot" or " push") technical term used to describe a shot that travels away from a player's intended line due to an open face &/or an inside-out swing path.

blocks - see "tee blocks".

bogey - (aka: "bogie") a score of one more than par for a hole.

bogey golf - shooting an average of one over par on every hole. Example "I am shooting in the high nineties now but my goal is to play bogey golf by the end of the summer."

bounce - (aka: "bounce angle") technical terms used to describe the angle of the sole of an iron. The higher the bounce angle the harder it is to take a divot. Example: "Many sand wedges have a large bounce angle to enable them to be used in the sand without getting stuck."

break - the turn or curve expected to result from a ball rolling over the undulations of the green. Regardless of how minute the turn or curve may be. Example: "It was amazing! Jim read a twelve foot right-to-left break and sunk the thirty foot putt for par."

bump and run - See 'chip'

bumping it - (aka: "foot wedge" or "improving your lie" or "preferred lies" or "winter rules") changing the position of the ball making either the swing path cleaner or making it easier to hit the ball. Unless agreed upon by players before hand or part of local/seasonal rules this is illegal and penalty strokes may apply.

bunker - a noticeable depression usually filled with sand. See also: 'beach'.

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