Golf Terms I thru M



impact: Moment when the club strikes the ball.
impediment: Loose debris that you can remove from around your ball as long as the ball doesn’t move.
improve your lie: An illegal move of the ball to make a shot easier, unless local rules dictate otherwise.
in play: Within the confines of the course (not out-of-bounds), or a ball not declared dead.
in your pocket: After you’ve picked up the ball, generally when you have reached your Equitable Strokes allowed for your handicap.
insert: Plate in the face of wooden clubs.
interlocking: Type of grip where the little finger of the right hand is entwined with the index finger of the left.


jail: Slang for when you and your ball are in very deep trouble.
Jessie James hole: Ball gets to the green and is either 1 roll short or just breaks right or left without going in, a hanger on’r-you got robbed.
jigger: Old term for a 4-iron. Also a great little pub to the right of the 17th fairway at St. Andrews.
jungle: Slang for heavy rough, or an unprepared area of long grass.


kick: Another term for bounce.
kill: To hit a long shot.


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lag: A long putt hit with the intent of leaving the ball close to the cup.
lateral hazard: Water hazard marked by red stakes and usually parallel to the fairway.
lay-up: Conservatively played shot to avoid possible trouble.
leader board: Place where lowest scores in tournament are posted.
leak: Ball drifting to the right during flight.
lie: Where your ball is on the ground.
lift: What you do before you drop.
line: The path of a shot to the hole.
line up: To stand behind a shot to take aim.
links: A seaside course. Don’t expect trees.
lip: Edge of a cup or bunker.
lip-out (cellophane bridge): Ball touches the edge of the cup but doesn’t drop in.
local knowledge: What the members know and you don’t.
local rules: Set of rules determined by the members, rules committee, or course professional.
loft: The degree at which a clubface looks upward.
long game: Shots hit with long irons and woods.
low-handicapper: Good player.
low side: Area below the hole on a sloping green.
LPGA: Ladies Professional Golf Association


make: Hole a shot.
makeable: Shot with a good chance of being holed.
mallet: Putter with a wide head.
mark: To indicate the position of the ball with a small, round, flat object, such as a coin, on the green.
marker: Small, round object, such as a coin, placed behind the ball to indicate its position when you lift it. Or the person keeping score.
marshal: Person controlling the crowd at a tournament.
mashie: Old term for a 5-iron.
mashie-niblick: Old term for a 7-iron.
Masters: First major tournament of each calendar year. Always played over the Augusta National course in Georgia.
match play: Game played between two sides. The side that wins the most holes wins the match.
medal play: Game played between any number of players. The player with the lowest score wins (can also be called stroke play).
metal wood: Wooden club made of metal.
mid-iron: Old term for a 2-iron.
mis-club: To use the wrong club for the distance.
misread: To take the wrong line on a putt.
miss the cut: To take too many strokes for the first 36 holes of 72-hole event and be eliminated.
mixed foursome: Two men, two women.
mulligan: Second attempt at a shot, usually played on the first tee. This is illegal.
municipal course: A course owned by the local government and thus open to the public. Generally has lower greens fees than a privately owned public course.


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