Golf Glossary - 'S'
sandbagger - a golfer who understates his/her
handicap with the hope that this will give him/her an
advantage when playing against other golfers in a handicapped
event. Example: "Sean's such a sandbagger! I played
against him last week and he said he was a 14 handicap
and proceeded to shoot a 79 gross."
sand iron - (aka: "sandwedge", "sand
wedge") one of the irons that is specifically designed
to be used to extricate the ball from a sand trap. The
flange is usually larger than other irons to ensure
that the club does not dig too far into the sand. Can
also be used on the fairway when attempting a flop shot.
Example: "I like to use my sand wedge in deep rough
right next to the green."
sand save - (aka: "sandy") holing
out in two from the sand trap (i.e. one shot to get
out of the trap the next shot is in the hole). Example:
"I made the sand save for par on the third hole."
sand trap - (aka: "trap", "bunker",
"sand bunker", "beach") a common
term used to describe the and filled depressions on
a golf course. Example: "The third green is well
protected by three sand traps."
sand wedge - see "sand iron".
sandy - see "sand save"
sclaff - of scottish origination.
To scrape or strike the ground with a golf club behind
the ball before hitting it. Example: "He sclaffed
the ground just enough to make perfect contact with
the ball without taking a divot."
score - (aka: "shoot") the number
of strokes a particular golfer required in order to
complete a specific task. Example: "Hey Julie!
What did you shoot ont he front nine?"
scorecard - (aka: "card") the paper
or cardboard card used to keep the players score for
each hole. Example: "We got to the second tee before
we realized that nobody had brought a scorecard with
scoring - any markings on the face of a golfclub
including those that are meant to be there (grooves,
dimples, etc.) as well as those that are not (scratches,
scramble - a tournament format in which all
players in a group (foursome or otherwise) hit a shot
from the tee, then choose the best shot and each hit
from that spot until the ball is holed. Example: "A
scramble tournament is good for corporate events as
it keeps the poor golfers moving and does not slow play
down too much."
scramble - (aka: "recover")
to be able to get out of trouble on the golf course
with reasonable success. Example: "Tim was hardly
on the fairway at all. He scrambled all the way to the
green and then one putted for par."
scratch - a player with a 0 handicap. Example:
"Joshua has been a scratch golfer since he was
18 years old."
semi-private course - a course that has members
but is also open to public play. Example: "Many
courses in the Toronto area are semi-private but almost
always run through many tournaments."
set - when the wrists
are cocked at the top of the backswing. "A good
way to identify the wrist set at the top of the swing
is to feel the club pull down on the left thumb (for
set up - (aka: "setup", "address",
"address position") the position and the routine
that a player goes through when setting up to take a
shot. Example: "To be a consistent golfer you need
to set up consistently."
shaft - the long straight part of a golf club
on which the grip is placed. At the opposite end the
shaft is inserted into the clubhead. Example: "I
saw a set of clubs the other day with bamboo shafts!"
shag bag - a container usually made of heavy
fabric used to carry balls for practice. May also be
constructed so as to assist with the picking up of practice
balls after they have been hit. Example: "I brought
a shag bag full of balls with me to the practice bunker."
shank - (aka: "lateral") to hit the
ball laterally unintentionally. Usually the result of
hitting the ball with the toe or heel of the club. Example:
"I shanked my first three shots on Sunday!"
shoot - the act of playing a golf shot. Example:
"Though the water loomed ominously, I decided to
gamble and shoot right at the pin." also see "score".
short game - the part of the game of golf played
near or on the green consisting of pitching, chipping,
sand play, and putting. Example: "If you have a
good short game you will score well at Royal Woodbine."
short iron - any of the irons (typically with
shorter shafts) from 8 iron up to the shortest wedge.
Example: "If you hit a good drive to the top of
the hill it will roll down about 30 yards and you'll
only have a short iron into the green."
shotgun - (aka: "shotgun start") a
term used to describe a tournament or start of any game
where everyone starts, on different holes, at the same
time. Golfers travel in groups to different holes before
the start of an event and then when a signal is given
everyone starts play together. Often a shotgun is fired
into the air as the signal to begin play. Hence the
term. Example: "Q: What time is our tee off? A:
The tournament is a 1:00 shotgun start."
side - ("back side", "front side",
"front", "back") a term used to
describe 9 holes of an 18 hole course. Example: "He
was excited to play the back side after shooting 38
on the front."
sidehill lie - a term used to describe the position
of the ball as it lies on the side of a hill causing
the golfer's feet to be at a different height than the
ball and generally harder to hit properly. Example:
"My drive stayed in the fairway but I ended up
with a sidehill lie and my feet were a good 8 inches
below the ball."
sidesaddle - a particular stance when putting
the ball where a golfers feet point at the hole instead
of perpendicular to the target line as is traditional.
The putter is then swung beside the body causing the
ball to roll towards (and hopefully into) the hole.
skins - (aka: "skin game", "skins
game") similar to match play.
A type of golf game played where each hole represents
one skin and in order to 'win' that skin a golfer needs
to beat the other competitors outright on that hole.
A skin that is not won outright is 'carried over' to
the next hole. At the end of 18 holes the total number
of strokes does not matter. the winner is determined
by the player with the most skins. Each skin may be
assigned a value (i.e. $5) should the players want to
make a monetary wager on the round. Example: "We
were tied after 13 holes and then the next three holes
carried over so the 18th hole was worth 5 skins!"
skull - (aka: "blade", hit it thin",
"belly", "scull") the action of
hitting the ball with the leading edge of the flange
of any iron. The result is that the ball flies with
lower trajectory and longer than intended. Example:
"My drive set me up directly in front of the green
about 80 yards out but I lifted my head and skulled
my SW into the sand trap on the far side of the green."
sky - (aka: "skyball", "pop up",
"rainmaker") to hit a ball extremely high.
Usually unintentionally and often on a drive when the
ball was teed up too high so that the top of the clubhead
makes contact with the ball causing it to travel almost
straight up in the air and a much shorter distance than
intended. Example: "All I had to do was par the
14th hole to win my match but I skyed my drive and let
Mats back into the match."
slice - (aka: "banana ball") a shot
that travels from left to right (for the right handed
golfer) at a more dramatic pace than a fade. Usually
unintentionally. Also a shot that curves to the right
(for the right hander) uncontrollably. Example: "Most
beginners struggle trying to get rid of their slice."
slope - (aka: "slope rating") trademark
of the USGA, it is a number indicating the difficulty
of a course for bogey golfers relative to the course
rating. The minimum slope is 55 and the maximum is 155.
A course of average difficulty is slope rated at 113.
The most important role of slope is to level the playing
field for players of different skill levels. Example:
"A course with a slope rating of 145 is far more
difficult than one with a slope of 112."
slow play - (aka: "undue delay") to
play slower than the group in front of you. A commonly
used term used by almost all golfers but also an official
term in the USGA rules. Usually judged by the distance
behind the group in front. Example: "The ranger
accused us of slow play on the fifteenth hole but the
group in front of us had just left the green, so I don;t
really think that we were playing slow."
smother - (aka: "hood") to make the
trajectory of a shot lower by closing the face of the
club somewhat. sometimes unintentional but also used
intentionally to to hit a ball under foliage that is
between the golfer and the intended target. Example:
"I my drive rolled behind a tree and I had to smother
my 6 iron to get it under the leaves - but I came up
snap hook - (aka: "duck hook", "snapper",
"quacker") a shot that travels like a hook
but more pronounced and quicker. A shot that curves
uncontrollably to the left (for a right handed golfer)
right off the face of the club. Example: "Patty
snap hooked her drive into the lake 25 yards left of
the tee box."
spike - (aka: "cleat") points extending
from the sole of a golf shoe intended to prove additional
traction when swinging a golf club. 'Soft Spikes' are
made of plastic and leave less severe marks on the green.
Most courses now require soft spikes and will not permit
any other type. Example: "Greg's feet slipped as
he swung because his spikes were all worn down."
spray - to hit the ball in any direction other
than that intended. Example: "After getting off
the tee very well during my last round - I sprayed the
ball all over the place today."
square - to be exactly perpendicular or at right
angle to (i.e. 90°). Example: "At the address
position both the face of the club and the player him/herself
should be square to the target."
Stableford - a scoring system where players
earn points based on their score in relation to par
(e.g., in The International tournament on the PGA Tour,
par = 0 points, birdie = 2, eagle = 5, double eagle
= 8, bogey = -1, double bogey or worse = -3). The winner
is determined not by the lowest score but instead by
the player with the highest number of points.
starter - (aka: "tee master", "master
of the tee") an employee of the golf course whose
responsibility it is to ensure that each foursome tees
off the correct tee in the correct order at the correct
time. Often this person is also responsible to ensure
that the players all know the local rules and have paid
to play their round. Example: "I had just started
putting on the practice green when the starter said
we were up next on the tee."
starting time - (aka: "tee time")
the time at which a particular round is scheduled to
start. A reservation to begin play at the golf course.
Example: "We have a regular tee time at my local
club for 8:15 Saturday mornings."
stick - 1. an alternative term (slang) for the
flagstick 2. (aka: "stiff", "stoney")
to put a shot close to the hole. 3. to hit an approach
shot that lands and remains on the green. Example: 1.
"I was thirty yards over the green but it was right
at the stick!" 2. "From inside 80 yard Doug
can stick it right next to the pin." 3. "The
greens are really hard today so its really tough to
stick your approach shots."
stiff - (aka: "stick it", "stoney")
to hit a shot that finishes in the immediate vicinity
of the hole/pin. Example: "Doug was thirty five
yard out ont he 8th hole and hit it stiff/stoney to
about a foot and a half!"
stoney - (aka: "stick it", "stiff")
straight-faced - a club with very little loft.
Example: "I have really trouble hitting the straight-faced
stroke - 1. (aka: "shot") the unit
of measure used in golf which counts one each time a
club is swung with the intent of contacting the ball.
2. the qualitative aspect of the swing (most frequently
associated with putting). Example: "After 5 strokes
Mark wasn't even near the green yet." 2. "Vanessa
has an extremely smooth putting stroke."
stroke play - (aka: "medal play")
to play golf and score by counting the total number
swale - any depression on the fairway or on
the green of a golf course. Example: "I hit my
drive 280 yards down the middle but when I set up for
my second shot, I couldn't see the flag because the
swale I was in was so deep."
sweet spot - (aka: "sweetspot", "screws",
"nut") the center of the clubface. The spot
on the clubface where the golfer intends to contact
the golfball and off of which the ball is expected to
fly truest. Example: "It sure felt good to be the
first off the with about 20 colleagues watching and
hit my drive right on the sweet spot/screws"
swing - to cause the golf club to be lifted
and dropped with the intention of contacting the ball
or in practicing to contact the ball. Example: "Julie
has such a smooth swing. She hits the ball 180 with
her driver and it looks effortless."
swing plane - (aka: "plane") most
easily visualized as the plane that the shaft of the
club or of the clubhead's arc during the swing.
swing weight - the measurement of golf clubs
balanced at the 14-inch fulcrum. An industry standard
ranging from A-0 to G-2 with the average standard at
about D-0. Example: "The swing weight of a club
is different than its overall weight or dead weight."