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7+ Golf Terms for Beginner Golfers

Golf terms (a.k.a. golf jargon) for new golfers, can be really tricky to follow. I know that before I started playing, I used to think of golf terms like another language altogether! A very cutesy language (birdies, bogies...), but another language non-the-less. And have you ever tried Goolge-ing "golf terms for beginner golfers"? There are SO many terms out there; how are you supposed to know what's actually important for your first few rounds?

In case you don't know, golf originated in Scotland, and therefore, the terms actually have quite a history behind them. But rather than researching 100 different sites trying to distill golf terms for beginners or ask your instructor 100 questions on what everything means (which is pretty much what I did; he was so patient!), this post is here to break down the most important golf terms for beginners golfers and get you out playing ASAP!

...Because when it comes to golf (and golf terms) I've always got your back! :)

And don’t forget your free checklist for when you’re headed out on the course:

7+ GOLF TERMS FOR BEGINNER GOLFERS (a.k.a. golf jargon 101)

1. Tee time: the time you’re expected to tee-off and start playing a round! The tee-times are set by the course, and are basically a queue so everyone get’s time to play a round. The course I typically play at has groups teeing off every 11 minutes on the nose. PRO TIP: it's highly recommended that you call a few days before you'd like to play and schedule your tee time.

2. Front 9 / Back 9: Front 9 refers to holes 1-9. Back 9 refers holes 10-18. Courses can be 9 holes, 18 holes, or even 27 holes. In the case of a 27 hole course, the course would be labeled: Front 9, Middle 9 and Back 9.

3. A golf hole's features: (there's actually a lot more to know about a golf hole, surprisingly, so click here to learn more!)

  • Tee box: where you start each hole. Markers denote where to place your tee in the ground. You tee up at every single hole.

  • Fairway: the stretch of ground between the tee box and the putting green - often with significantly shorter grass.

  • Rough / Beach: Long(er) grass, and sand pits respectively.

  • Green: where the flag/hole is.

4. Set of golf clubs: a set of clubs is a combination of woods, hybrids, irons and a putter. The combination varies based on a players preferences and abilities. A typical set of golf clubs consists of 12-14 clubs total. (To learn more about your golf clubs and see which clubs I recommend learning first of all, check out this post)

5. Pace of play: the pace everyone on the course is keeping. In general, you'll want to keep up with the people you’re playing with and those in the group in front of you. (If you're new to this sport, this can mean picking up the ball at times and forfeiting the hole, in order to prevent others from waiting for you. I've done this hundreds of times since golf is really about the people you’re with and less about your score — in my book anyway.)

6. Address the ball: to get in position to swing; typically used for an alignment check before you swing.

7. The 19th Hole: drinks and food. And then typically more drinks. I’m not actually a big drinker but I am a bit of a foodie and I love good company. So even if you’re like me, you can still enjoy the 19th hole!

Are you fairly new to golf? There so much to this sport, and a lot to remember! I felt SO unprepared for my first round that I created a checklist so that I’d fit in with the regulars! If you want a free copy, click below enter your info and it’ll be sent to you ASAP!


There are so many golf terms to know! But the reality is that these are all you need to know to get you out practicing and/or on the course ASAP. And if you quiz yourself on them right now, you'll be surprised at how much your know! You’re already in excellent shape! :)

  • Tee time

  • Front 9/back 9

  • Features to a golf hole

  • Set of golf clubs

  • Pace of play

  • Address the ball and

  • The 19th hole


  • Your tee-time will be given to you by the club when you call to schedule. Always try to be on time for your tee time!

  • Unless you're playing 18 holes, the course will probably tell you which set of 9 you're playing: front 9 or back 9.

  • Most courses have a maximum club requirement of 14 clubs in your set. Which ones you select for your set depends entirely on your preferences/abilities. And if you’re caught sharing clubs on the course, you’ll likely get a talking to from the ranger. But don’t worry, I’ve been there too! :)

  • Always try to spend some time getting to know those you're playing with!

Separately, even if you’re ready to really pin down your golf swing, and learn the basics to everything in your golf bag, I invite you to join this course. It’s designed to make feel more confident and therefore more prepared for the sport! And to get you out on the golf course playing ASAP. Because in truth, I mean, golf carts, sunshine, and friends? There is literally nothing better than this game! :)

Talk soon,


P.S. Before I go, I want to invite you to join my email list community full of positive, supportive, fun loving female golfers! Sign up below!

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I'm Florence, and I encourage women to play golf! Feel welcome to reach out to me directly, here.

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