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  Main golf lingo page
Golf terms - G
Golf terms - I

Golf Glossary - 'H'

hack - (aka: "chop") an extreme downward swing of the golf club that often results in divots and poor ball flight. Also a poor golfer - see "hacker".

hacker - (aka: "hack", "duffer", "chop", "chopper") a golfer of very low skill who scores poorly and likely takes many divots. A golfer who has little control over his/her shots.

half shot - (aka: "half swing", "knockdown", "knockdown shot", "punch", "punch shot") any shot in golf where the player does not take a full swing at the ball. Regardless of whether the back swing or follow through (or both) is shortened. This may be the result of a difficult lie where a full swing is not possible or it may be used to control a specific shot.

hammer hands - a player lacking in feel for the ball. Especially with respect to putting. Example: "Jill can get regularly get home in regulation, but she's got hammer hands on the green."

handicap - (related: "handicap differential", "handicap index", "index") the typical difference between the rating of a course and a particular players average score. The calculation to determine handicaps includes only the better scores of the most recent games played (i.e. the best ten of the last 20 games). the difference between two players handicaps is used to determine if one should 'give strokes' to the other if they play against each other. Example: "Vince, has a handicap of 12, whereas Darin's handicap is 18. So Vince needs to give Darin 6 strokes (i.e. beat him by more than six)"

handicap - (aka: "difficulty") the rating of the holes on a golf course with 1 being the hardest and 18 being the easiest. It is required that the most difficult rated hole be on the back nine with the second rated hole on the front and rotating back and forth until the easiest (18th rated) hole is on the front nine.

hardpan - extremely hard ground. Often associated with dried dirt very close to the surface or an area that lacks grass. Almost impossible to take a divot in. Example: "I didn't hit my drive well at all but once it got on the hardpan it seemed to roll forever."

hazard - is any bunker or water hazard. Most hazards are marked with red stakes or a line painted on the ground (sometime sin yellow).

head - see "club head"

heel - the part of the club head that is nearest the hosel. Specifically the part of the clubface that is nearest the golfer. A ball hit off the hell of the club generally does not travel as far as intended.

hold - (aka: "check", "grab", "stick") a ball that does not roll as far as expected due to the condition of the green or backspin applied to the ball. To stay on the green after landing. Example: "I hit a three iron into the par five 6th green but it wouldn't hold."

hole - (aka: "cup") the hole cut in each green measuring 4 1/4 inches in diameter in which the flagstick is placed. Also a term used to describe a particular set of tees, fairway, hazards and green (i.e. there are 18 holes in a round of golf).

hole out - (aka: "make", "drain", "sink") the action of making the ball go into the cup to end a particular hole. Example: "Rob conceded the hole so I did not need to hole out."

hole high - see "pin-high"

hole in one - (aka: "ace") a score of 1 on any hole. Golf tradition dictates that the player who scores a hole in one buys drinks for everyone in the bar after the round.

home - to reach the green or sometimes to put the ball in the hole with any shot. Example: "After I hit my drive into the water and then took three shots to get out of the fairway bunker I finally got home in 8."

honor - (aka: "honour") the person who has the right to play first on any particular tee. The Rules of Golf indicate that the person with the lowest score on the preceding hole has the honor for the next hole.

hood - to press forward slightly in order to tilt the club face such that the loft of the club is reduced.

hook - a shot that travels from right to left (for the right handed golfer) at a more dramatic pace than a draw. Also a shot that curves to the left uncontrollably. Example: "Tatum can hit the ball a long way off the tee but has a nasty hook that she is trying to correct."

hosel - (aka: "neck") the part of the clubhead that attaches to the shaft of the club.

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