Golf Glossary - 'P'
par - the number of strokes in which a golfer
is expected to complete a hole on a golf course. Also
the expected number of strokes in which all golfers
are expected to complete a number of holes. Each hole
on every golf course has a par (between 3-5). Same is
deduced by figuring how many strokes will it take the
golfer to get their ball on the green and then adding
two more (two putts per green is the world wide standard).
Scores are often referred to as "3" over par.
Example: "The third hole is a par 3 over water"
or "Osprey Valley is a par 70".
par in - to shoot the equivalent of par on the
balance of the holes. Example: "I knew that after
the 16th hole all I had to do was par in and I would
path - (aka: "swing-plane") the direction
that the clubhead travels during the duration of a golfer's
swing. Usually described in relation to the target line.
Example: "Sean, you're swing path is a little 'outside-in'
and I think that it is causing you to slice the ball
more than you did last year."
peg - (aka: "tee") a synonym for a
tee (not the tee box). A small, usually, but not always,
wooden utensil on which a golf ball is set prior to
taking the first shot of any hole. Example: "Patrick
preferred not to use a tee on par three holes on which
he used an iron."
PGA - acronym for the Professional
An organization that is responsible for promoting the
game and ensuring the integrity of its members regarding
their ability and knowledge. Example: "All legitimate
club pros and teaching pros are members of the PGA.
Don't get lessons from one that is not!"
pill - (aka: "golf ball") a synonym
for a golf ball. Example: "As the little pill fell
into the hole Randy breathed a sign of relief."
pin - (aka: "flagstick", "stick")
the circular pole that is inserted into the hole on
each green and to which a flag is typically attached
designating which hole it is marking. The purpose is
so that the location of the hole can be seen from a
great distance. Example: "Geez! Standing her on
the tee that pin looks a really long way away!"
pin-high - (aka: "hole high") a distance
roughly parallel to the distance to the hole. Whereas
a shot may not be struck in the correct direction it
may be 'pin high', meaning that it has traveled the
correct distance and had it been on line might have
been in the hole. Example: "Christina's 8 iron
was pin high but on the right fringe."
pin position - (aka: "pin placement")
used to describe the location of the pin/hole. Usually
indicated in relation to the green. Example: "The
pin placements are different today. they all seem to
be near the back of the green."
pin sheet - piece(s) of paper or a chart that
indicates all the location of the hole on any given
day. The sheet usually also includes other information
about each green as well (i.e. tiers or slopes). Example:
"It sure is nice when you play at a course you
aren't familiar with when they give you a pin sheet."
pitch - (aka: "pitch shot") a shot
that is intended to travel a relatively short distance
and land softly ont he green so as to not roll very
far. Example: "Jim pitched the ball on to the green
but left it well short of the pin."
pitch and run - a shot that looks like a pitch
shot insofar as the trajectory is relatively high (especially
when compared to a chip) but the intention is that the
ball will roll further once it impacts the ground. Example:
"The pitch and run is a cross between a chip and
pitching wedge - (aka: "wedge", "PW",
"W" and more) an iron with more loft than
a typical 9-iron but less than any other wedge in your
bag. 47° to 52° is fairly standard loft. Its
name is derived from its usefulness in executing a pitch.
Example: "I like to use my pitching wedge between
50 and 100 yards out from the green."
play through - (aka: "go through")
the term used to describe one group of golfers (or golfer)
who passes another group on the golf course. Usually
occurs because the group in front is slower and is holding
up the group/individual behind. Example: "It's
golf etiquette to ask the group behind you if they want
to play through if you are regularly holding them up."
plumb bob - a technique used to assist a golfer
in reading the break of a green where the putter is
held loosely between the thumb and forefinger (like
a surveyor's plumb line) to create a vertical reference
for the golfer. Example: "Although many golfers
attempt to plumb bob, very few actually know what they
poa annua - (aka: "poa") a type weed
that looks similar to grass. Golf courses in moist climates
are most susceptible to its growth which will cause
greens to be rather bumpy if mixed together with other
postage stamp - (aka: "postage stamp green")
a green that is particularly small (i.e. as small as
a postage stamp). Example: "All the greens on that
course are postage stamps - Its impossible to score
pot bunker - (aka: "pot") a bunker
usually, but not necessarily filled with sand that is
particularly deep and has very steep sides making it,
generally, more difficult than, a standard fairway bunker.
Example: "There are some pot bunkers in Scotland
that you need a ladder to get in and out of."
practice green - (aka: "putting green")
a green provided by the owners of the property on which
you are permitted to practice your putting (and sometimes
your chipping as well). Usually, but not always located
near the clubhouse. Example: "I like to get to
the course about half an hour early so that I can spend
some time on the putting green."
practice range - (aka: "practice facility",
"practice tee", "driving range",
"range") a large area provided by the owners
of the property designated as a practice area for anything
other than putting. Typically, golfers are able to practice
anything from their drives to their lob shots on a practice
range. Some ranges have targets or indicators for distance
accuracy in order to make practicing more enjoyable/useful.
Example: "I just don't get out to the range enough
to get any better playing only once a week."
practice swing - (aka: "rehearsal swing")
the action of taking a swing, usually near the ball,
with no intent of making contact. Usually used as a
warm up swing or practice to develop a feel for how
the actual shot should feel regarding speed of swing
transition etc. Example: "As part of my routine,
I need to make two good practice swings before I set
up to the ball."
preferred lies - (aka: "improved lies",
"winter rules", "bumping it", "foot
wedge") a rule imposed at the beginning of play
indicating that golfers are permitted to improve their
lies without incurring a penalty. Usually the result
of a significant amount of rainfall, or very poor playing
conditions brought on by early frost, or late thaw.
Example: "I figured that we might as well all play
preferred lies as Tony was going to do it anyway."
Pro-Am - (aka: "Pro Am") a tournament
or media event in which professional golfers play with
amateurs either together or on teams.
provisional ball - (aka: "provisional")
an additional shot played from the location of the original
ball because the golfer fears that he/she may have lost
the first ball or hit it out of bounds. Any time a golfer
thinks he/she might incur a stroke plus distance penalty
or when the rules are in dispute he/she is permitted
to play a provisional ball rather than walking up to
where the first shot is thought to be only to find that
they have to walk back to the location of the original
shot to play their next shot. Example: "I don't
know Troy. That looked like it might go out of bounds.
Perhaps you should play a provisional ball."
psycho grip - a very unusual grip applied such
that the fingers of the bottom hand wrap around the
top of the grip rather than the bottom as is typical/traditional.
pull - 1. (aka: "yank", "jerk")
a shot that travels significantly tot he left (for a
right handed golfer) than he/she intended. Also to take
a club out of ones bag. Example: "Tiger pulled
his second putt left to fall three strokes off the pace."
and "Nobody knew what club he would use and then
gasped as he pulled out the driver."
pull cart - (aka: "hand cart") a device
usually with two or three wheels manufactured so as
to permit the golf bag to stand up on it allowing easy
access to the golfers clubs while at the same time permitting
the golfer to wheel it around (by either pushing or
pulling). Example: "A lot of golfers prefer to
use a pull cart rather than driving or carrying their
punch shot - (aka: "punch", "knockdown",
"knockdown shot", "half 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.
pure - (aka: "flush", "solid",
"on the sweet spot", "on the screws",
"on the nut") a term used to describe the
clubface contacting the ball extremely well. The way
that the club was designed to hit a golf ball. Example:
"It feels so good to hit a few pure shots early
on in the round."
push - (aka: "shove", "block")
A descriptive term used to describe a shot that travels
right (for a right handed golfer) of its intended line.
Usually the result of not turning the body adequately
for contact or contacting the ball with an open face.
See also "pull". Example: "Marcelle pushed
his tee shot into the water."
putt - a shot that is taken with the putter.
Example: "I have no trouble getting to the green
but I find putting very difficult."
putter - (aka: "flatstick", "wand")
a golf club used on the green. It generally has a very
flat face with little loft. Example: "Before I
went to the first tee I had to decide which putter I
was going to use today."
putt out - (aka: "finish") to finish
putting. Usually, but not always, used to describe the
action of a golfer who is putting out of turn in order
to finish the hole more quickly. Example: "Since
my lag putt stopped just a foot from the hole I went
ahead and putted out before everyone else made their
putting green - see "practice green"