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Golf Terms - Letter "L"

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Golf Terminology - 'L'

lag - (aka: "lag putt", "approach putt") a long putt that the player do not really expect to be holed. Rather, it is intended to finish close to the hole so as to enable a second putt that is much easier that the first. Example: "I was just lagging it up there. I never expected for it to go in!"

lateral water hazard - a water hazard positioned such that it is very difficult of impractical for a player to drop a ball behind it. The lateral hazard should be marked by red stakes or red lines. Other hazards such as environmentally friendly areas can be declared by the Committee to be lateral water hazards in spite of the fact there may or may not be any water in the area so marked. The USGA official rules of golf deals with lateral water hazards in rule #26.

golf lingo for all golfers

lay up - (aka: "lay back", "play for position") A shot that is purposefully hit short of a particular hazard requiring another shot to circumvent the hazard. Often a player will lay up rather than 'go for it' when a steam or other water hazard crosses in front of the green. Example: "I can't got on that green in two I have to lay up in front of the bunkers."

let the big dog eat - to use the driver (#1 wood) which is also known as 'the big dog' as it is the largest club in the bag. This phase was made popular by the movie Tin Cup. Example: "The next hole is a long par five but it is wide open so you can let the big dog eat."

lie - a term used in golf to mean the ball is stationary in a particular spot. Usually used to describe the quality of the spot in which the ball sits (i.e. how difficult it will be to hit the ball out of the location in which it 'lies'. Example: "I can't believe that I have such a good lie after that drive!"

lie angle - the angle that the shaft of a golf club makes at the point where it intersects the ground. This is measured correctly when the golf club is set down in, in the address position, with the leading edge forming a parallel line with the ground. Example: I had the lie angle of all my clubs adjusted because my divots were noticeably deeper in the toe.

line - (aka: "target line", "intended line", "putting line") the intended direction in which the golfer plans on hitting his/her ball. Most often used on the green. Example: "Should I mark my ball? Is it in your line?" also "No. I think that I have a pretty good line through these trees right to the green."

line up - (aka: "align") to look at a potential shot and choose the direction in which to play the next shot. Also to align oneself with an intended target. Example: "Alan waited quietly as Norm lined up his putt.

links - First used to describe a golf course adjacent to the ocean. In common current day use it is used as a synonym for golf course. Also largely used to describe courses with particular characteristics such as lacking trees, large mounds, rolling narrow fairways, pot bunkers, small greens the ninth hole does not necessary come back to the clubhouse, rocky terrain and significant rough/fescue. Example: "You wanna hit the links this weekend?" also, "Angus Glen is a links style course."

lip - (aka: "rim") the top rip or edge of the hole in which the flagstick is placed. Example: "I left my second put on the lip of the cup." or simply, "I left my put on the lip."

lip out - (aka: "rimmer') a putt (or occasionally an approach shot) that hits the lip of the cup but does not go in. Typically the the ball will change direction fairly dramatically. Example: "My par putt lipped out -so mark me down for a bogey."

lob - (aka: "lob shot") a short high flying shot that is intended to land softly and roll very little. Almost always played into the green with a highly lofted club. Example: "I lobbed one from about 30 yards to within six feet of the cup".

lob wedge - a wedge typically lofted between 58°-61°. Usually used to execute a 'lob shot'.

loft - the angle of the face of the club as compared to flat ground. Example: "Most drivers have between 9.5 and 11 degrees loft."

long game - the part of the game that does not take place around the green. The shots in a golf game that travel the farthest. Encompasses all shots taken with any wood and most shots taken with the 1to 4 or 5 irons. Example: "Naki's long game is awesome but he can't putt to save his life!"

long iron - the irons that are used to hit longer distances. Or the irons with the longest shafts. Typically thought of as the 1 through 4 irons.

loose impediment - any naturally occurring object whether alive or dead that is not embedded, fixed in place or growing any natural object that is not fixed or growing (e.g., rocks, twigs, leaves, apple core, etc.). Example: "The Rules of Golf stipulate that loose impediments can be removed/moved by the player unless he/she is in a hazard."

lost ball - any ball that cannot be found within 5 minutes of beginning a search. Example: "The rules of Golf stipulate that any player who declares his/her ball lost is assessed a 2 stroke penalty and the next shot must be played from as close to the location of the last shot as possible (i.e. the shot itself, an additional penalty stroke, and the ball must be replayed from its original position).


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