Some handy things to know when getting started in golf…

We have compiled a few bits and bobs to help you get up to speed with some of the terms, phrases and general things you should know when starting to play golf


Here is a list of common equipment you will come across and will need once you have finished the program should you wish to further pursue and play golf. Don’t worry… we have you covered for equipment whilst you are with us in the sessions.


Driver – the big club that you hit from the tee (this club should go the furthest)


Fairway woods – these are used from the fairway or tee on shorter holes and should fly relatively low and far


Hybrids – these are usually number 3, 4 or 5 and are used as an alternative option to a 3, 4, or 5 iron as people often find them easier to hit


Irons – in a full set, there would be a 3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 iron.  The higher the number, the higher the amount of angle or loft the club has to launch the ball in to the air. When a ball is launched higher, we would expect it to travel less distance and we can therefore start to gauge the distance to suit the shot we are confronted with on the course

For new starters, 2 or 3 different irons is enough to avoid too much complication


Pitching wedge – nothing special about this club, just more loft/angle than a 9 iron and designed to go higher and not as far. For this reason, it is commonly used for shorter shots around the green which are often referred to as ‘pitch shots’


Sand Wedge – again, more loft/angle than a pitching wedge to help launch the ball higher. This club is used commonly from a bunker hence the name ‘sand wedge’


Lob Wedge – yet again, more loft/angle than the sand wedge and used for very high and short shots and occasionally from the bunker


Putter – a club with virtually no loft/angle designed to get the ball rolling along the ground on the green and into the hole

*Before investing in a set of golf clubs, make sure to talk to your coach for more advice




Glove – When playing or hitting balls it is common to wear a glove on your top hand (left hand for right handed golfers). This is to help improve your grip on the club and reduce any wear and tear on your skin


Pitch-mark repairer – A handy little tool to repair the indentation your ball may make when it lands on the green. If nobody repaired their pitch-mark, then it would be very difficult to putt your ball to the hole with it jumping off in random directions…


Tees – It is a good idea to have plenty of tees to use for the first shot on each hole as they are liable to break/snap when hit at full speed


Golf Bag – Of course you are going to need something to carry around all this equipment. Investing in a good quality bag can reduce the strain of carrying your clubs. You can also invest in a trolley should you prefer to pull your clubs around instead


The golf course…









Here are some terms used to describe the different areas and cuts of grass you will find out on a golf course:


Tee box – the area where each player starts on each hole. There are different coloured markers to indicate where to play from depending on which length of course you wish to play


Fairway – it’s good to be on this!! (the short grass in the middle of a hole). This is where we try to aim our tee shot/first shot to give us the best possible lie of the ball for the next shot


Semi rough – medium sized grass, to either side of the fairway


Rough – long grass, either side of the semi rough (try and stay out of this). It is more difficult to strike a ball which is lying in the rough as the grass interferes with the contact between club and ball


Green – this is the final destination where a flag will be standing to indicate the location of the hole. The grass is cut extremely short to allow you to roll the ball as smoothly as possible towards the hole


Fringe – a narrow area surrounding the green where the grass is slightly longer that that of the green


Bunker – these are large pits filled with sand that typically surround a green to catch any wayward approach shots making your next shot that little bit more difficult 


Water Hazard – Any river, ditch, lake or pond which you find on a golf course is known as a water hazard and is signified by yellow or red stakes. If you do hit your ball in one, then you should proceed to take a penalty shot and play a new ball according to the rules (you can find a basic list of rules in a later section)


Out of Bounds – This is signified by white posts which indicate the boundaries of the course or hole. Should you hit your ball out of bounds then you must take a penalty shot and play a new ball from the last location of play




The aim of the game is to get your ball into the hole in the fewest strokes as possible. You will come across a few terms relating to your score in relation to the ‘PAR’ of a hole. An easy way to think about ‘PAR’ is to say that it is a Professional Average Result (P.A.R) and that you don’t need to (and nobody would expect you to…) achieve that score right away! Depending on the length of the hole the PAR will be either a 3, 4 or 5 with the shortest holes being PAR 3’s and the longest being PAR 5’s.


ALBATROSS – 3 under the stated PAR of a hole (e.g. a score of 2 on a PAR 5) *very rare


EAGLE – 2 under the stated PAR of a hole (e.g. a score of 1 on a PAR 3) *also rare


BIRDIE – 1 under the stated PAR of a hole (e.g. a score of 3 on a PAR 4) 


PAR – scoring the same as the stated PAR of a hole (e.g. a score of 5 on a PAR 5)


BOGEY – 1 over the stated PAR of a hole (e.g. a score of 4 on a PAR 3)


DOUBLE BOGEY – 2 over the stated PAR of a hole (e.g. a score of 6 on a PAR 4)


TRIPLE BOGEY – 3 over the stated PAR of a hole (e.g. a score of 8 on a PAR 5)


The combined total of all the PARS of 18 holes usually comes to around 72. Let’s say you played a round and shot a total score of 112. You could then say that you shot a score of 40 over PAR


Extra golf sayings/slang…

You will most likely start to come across some of these terms as you start to play more regularly:


“FORE” – This would be a good time to duck or take cover. This is the universal signal that a ball may be headed in your direction!


Gimme – When playing with friends, if your ball is close to the hole (within 2-3 feet), they may gift you the shot as a “gimme” meaning you just pick the ball up and add the stroke to your score


“It’s on the dancefloor” – You have hit your ball on to the green


Mulligan – Again, when playing with friends, if you mishit your first shot of the day, they may allow you to retake the shot as a gesture of good-will


Lipped out - your putt hit the side of the hole and spun out sideways rather than dropping in


Divot - a piece of turf that is displaced when the player hits the ground while taking their shot


Rules & Etiquette…

Golf can be a little infamous for the number of rules and etiquette associated with the game. We don’t want you to worry about this as nobody would expect a new player to know many if any of these points. We do plan to introduce you to some of these at our on-course playing opportunities. However, if you were so inclined to try and get a head start, then we recommend checking out this website:


We hope you find this helpful and we look forward to meeting you and getting you on your way to StartGolf!



Kind Regards,

The Academy Team

Oulton Hall Golf Academy

0113 486 4747

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