Common phrases and words used in the game of golf
TEEING Up: The ball is usually teed up so that maximum height and distance can be achieved from the stroke. A rule of thumb is when using the driver to tee the ball so that when the driver head is on the ground the ball sits half way above the top of the club head. For an iron shot off the tee it varies, but usually as low as possible but allowing just a bit of height again to use the loft of the club to full advantage.
The Lie: Not the porkies that we tend to embellish back at the 19th hole but where the ball actually sits on the fairway, whether it’s sitting high on the grass or in a hole or you will be standing with feet above the ball or below the ball and whether you have an unimpeded swing to hit the ball will determine the choice of club and the stance you will adopt.
Air swing: This is when the player, after lining up the shot, takes his or her swing and misses the ball by swinging over the top of the ball.
I acknowledge that I must hold the record for the largest air swing in club history, missing the ball by a good 150mm and in the process ricking my back, twisting my knee as I nearly swung myself off my feet and doing something to my shoulder that added a whole new perspective to the word pain. Embarrassing to say the least and something that is remarked upon for years to come by your so-called friends and playing partners every time you step up to the tee, thanks guys.
There is a close relative to this that has the player missing the ball, but underneath the ball with the tee going 20m and the ball dropping on the ground where the tee used to be.
It’s not as common as the air swing but is a source of amusement for the other players as they remind the player that the object is to hit the ball, not the tee, down the fairway.
Topping the ball: A close relative of the air swing, but the player somehow manages to hit on top of the ball, driving it down into the ground just a few inches in front of the tee or where the ball lay on the fairway.
This usually results in the ball trickling a few metres and adds to the score and the frustration at the end of the day.
Drop kick: No, it’s not where you drop the ball on the ground and kick it towards the hole, which in some cases is preferable when having a bad day, but where you hit behind the ball taking a divot but also collecting the ball on the follow through.
Quite common for weekend players and the only upside is that a drop kick usually results in the ball going straight down the fairway although not quite as far a one would expect or in some cases the divot that you dislodged.
It is sometimes found that one sand bucket is not enough and regular refills are required during the course of the game if this persists.
The fade: Seeing the professional use this method to swing a ball around an obstacle is a delight. A right hander will fade to the right and vice versa for the left hander.
Many a weekend player thinks he has this almost under control although there is always that margin of error as the ball swings around in the desired direction but keeps going at an alarming rate and ends up not on your fairway, but the next fairway or in the rough, on the road or in the water.
When a fade does this it’s then referred to as a slice and not a stroke that should be in one’s arsenal. One of the common excuses is that the player hit the ball off the toe of the club.
The draw: Similar to the fade but in the opposite direction and as with the fade if taken to the extreme is then called a duck hook and also not recommended to have in your game.
A shank, or hitting the ball off the heel of the club, will also give this effect and add to the remarks about one’s ability from your playing partners.
One of the main problems with the fade or the draw is that many players do it without realising what they are doing, resulting in frustration, the saying of naughty words and asking of one’s deity “Why Me?”