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Golf Terms - Letter "P"

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Golf Terminology - 'P'

par - the number of strokes in which a golfer is expected to complete a hole on a golf course. Also the expected number of strokes in which all golfers are expected to complete a number of holes. Each hole on every golf course has a par (between 3-5). Same is deduced by figuring how many strokes will it take the golfer to get their ball on the green and then adding two more (two putts per green is the world wide standard). Scores are often referred to as "3" over par. Example: "The third hole is a par 3 over water" or "Osprey Valley is a par 70".

golf lingo for new and professional golfers

par in - to shoot the equivalent of par on the balance of the holes. Example: "I knew that after the 16th hole all I had to do was par in and I would break 80."

path - (aka: "swing-plane") the direction that the clubhead travels during the duration of a golfer's swing. Usually described in relation to the target line. Example: "Sean, you're swing path is a little 'outside-in' and I think that it is causing you to slice the ball more than you did last year."

peg - (aka: "tee") a synonym for a tee (not the tee box). A small, usually, but not always, wooden utensil on which a golf ball is set prior to taking the first shot of any hole. Example: "Patrick preferred not to use a tee on par three holes on which he used an iron."

PGA - acronym for the Professional Golfers' Association. An organization that is responsible for promoting the game and ensuring the integrity of its members regarding their ability and knowledge. Example: "All legitimate club pros and teaching pros are members of the PGA. Don't get lessons from one that is not!"

pill - (aka: "golf ball") a synonym for a golf ball. Example: "As the little pill fell into the hole Randy breathed a sign of relief."

pin - (aka: "flagstick", "stick") the circular pole that is inserted into the hole on each green and to which a flag is typically attached designating which hole it is marking. The purpose is so that the location of the hole can be seen from a great distance. Example: "Geez! Standing her on the tee that pin looks a really long way away!"

pin-high - (aka: "hole high") a distance roughly parallel to the distance to the hole. Whereas a shot may not be struck in the correct direction it may be 'pin high', meaning that it has traveled the correct distance and had it been on line might have been in the hole. Example: "Christina's 8 iron was pin high but on the right fringe."

pin position - (aka: "pin placement") used to describe the location of the pin/hole. Usually indicated in relation to the green. Example: "The pin placements are different today. they all seem to be near the back of the green."

pin sheet - piece(s) of paper or a chart that indicates all the location of the hole on any given day. The sheet usually also includes other information about each green as well (i.e. tiers or slopes). Example: "It sure is nice when you play at a course you aren't familiar with when they give you a pin sheet."

pitch - (aka: "pitch shot") a shot that is intended to travel a relatively short distance and land softly on the green so as to not roll very far. Example: "Jim pitched the ball on to the green but left it well short of the pin."

pitch and run - a shot that looks like a pitch shot insofar as the trajectory is relatively high (especially when compared to a chip) but the intention is that the ball will roll further once it impacts the ground. Example: "The pitch and run is a cross between a chip and a pitch."

pitching wedge - (aka: "wedge", "PW", "W" and more) an iron with more loft than a typical 9-iron but less than any other wedge in your bag. 47° to 52° is fairly standard loft. Its name is derived from its usefulness in executing a pitch. Example: "I like to use my pitching wedge between 50 and 100 yards out from the green."

play through - (aka: "go through") the term used to describe one group of golfers (or golfer) who passes another group on the golf course. Usually occurs because the group in front is slower and is holding up the group/individual behind. Example: "It's golf etiquette to ask the group behind you if they want to play through if you are regularly holding them up."

plumb bob - a technique used to assist a golfer in reading the break of a green where the putter is held loosely between the thumb and forefinger (like a surveyor's plumb line) to create a vertical reference for the golfer. Example: "Although many golfers attempt to plumb bob, very few actually know what they are doing."

poa annua - (aka: "poa") a type weed that looks similar to grass. Golf courses in moist climates are most susceptible to its growth which will cause greens to be rather bumpy if mixed together with other grasses."

postage stamp - (aka: "postage stamp green") a green that is particularly small (i.e. as small as a postage stamp). Example: "All the greens on that course are postage stamps - Its impossible to score well there!"

pot bunker - (aka: "pot") a bunker usually, but not necessarily filled with sand that is particularly deep and has very steep sides making it, generally, more difficult than, a standard fairway bunker. Example: "There are some pot bunkers in Scotland that you need a ladder to get in and out of."

practice green - (aka: "putting green") a green provided by the owners of the property on which you are permitted to practice your putting (and sometimes your chipping as well). Usually, but not always located near the clubhouse. Example: "I like to get to the course about half an hour early so that I can spend some time on the putting green."

practice range - (aka: "practice facility", "practice tee", "driving range", "range") a large area provided by the owners of the property designated as a practice area for anything other than putting. Typically, golfers are able to practice anything from their drives to their lob shots on a practice range. Some ranges have targets or indicators for distance accuracy in order to make practicing more enjoyable/useful. Example: "I just don't get out to the range enough to get any better playing only once a week."

practice swing - (aka: "rehearsal swing") the action of taking a swing, usually near the ball, with no intent of making contact. Usually used as a warm up swing or practice to develop a feel for how the actual shot should feel regarding speed of swing transition etc. Example: "As part of my routine, I need to make two good practice swings before I set up to the ball."

preferred lies - (aka: "improved lies", "winter rules", "bumping it", "foot wedge") a rule imposed at the beginning of play indicating that golfers are permitted to improve their lies without incurring a penalty. Usually the result of a significant amount of rainfall, or very poor playing conditions brought on by early frost, or late thaw. Example: "I figured that we might as well all play preferred lies as Tony was going to do it anyway."

Pro-Am - (aka: "Pro Am") a tournament or media event in which professional golfers play with amateurs either together or on teams.

provisional ball - (aka: "provisional") an additional shot played from the location of the original ball because the golfer fears that he/she may have lost the first ball or hit it out of bounds. Any time a golfer thinks he/she might incur a stroke plus distance penalty or when the rules are in dispute he/she is permitted to play a provisional ball rather than walking up to where the first shot is thought to be only to find that they have to walk back to the location of the original shot to play their next shot. Example: "I don't know Troy. That looked like it might go out of bounds. Perhaps you should play a provisional ball."

psycho grip - a very unusual grip applied such that the fingers of the bottom hand wrap around the top of the grip rather than the bottom as is typical/traditional.

pull - 1. (aka: "yank", "jerk") a shot that travels significantly tot he left (for a right handed golfer) than he/she intended. Also to take a club out of ones bag. Example: "Tiger pulled his second putt left to fall three strokes off the pace." and "Nobody knew what club he would use and then gasped as he pulled out the driver."

pull cart - (aka: "hand cart") a device usually with two or three wheels manufactured so as to permit the golf bag to stand up on it allowing easy access to the golfers clubs while at the same time permitting the golfer to wheel it around (by either pushing or pulling). Example: "A lot of golfers prefer to use a pull cart rather than driving or carrying their clubs."

punch shot - (aka: "punch", "knockdown", "knockdown shot", "half shot") any shot in golf where the player does not take a full swing at the ball. Regardless of whether the back swing or follow through (or both) is shortened. This may be the result of a difficult lie where a full swing is not possible or it may be used to control a specific shot.

pure - (aka: "flush", "solid", "on the sweet spot", "on the screws", "on the nut") a term used to describe the clubface contacting the ball extremely well. The way that the club was designed to hit a golf ball. Example: "It feels so good to hit a few pure shots early on in the round."

push - (aka: "shove", "block") A descriptive term used to describe a shot that travels right (for a right handed golfer) of its intended line. Usually the result of not turning the body adequately for contact or contacting the ball with an open face. See also "pull". Example: "Marcelle pushed his tee shot into the water."

putt - a shot that is taken with the putter. Example: "I have no trouble getting to the green but I find putting very difficult."

putter - (aka: "flatstick", "wand") a golf club used on the green. It generally has a very flat face with little loft. Example: "Before I went to the first tee I had to decide which putter I was going to use today."

putt out - (aka: "finish") to finish putting. Usually, but not always, used to describe the action of a golfer who is putting out of turn in order to finish the hole more quickly. Example: "Since my lag putt stopped just a foot from the hole I went ahead and putted out before everyone else made their putts."

putting green - see "practice green"


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