Keeping Score

Just play along and talk the talk

Another Masters Tournament is just about here. If you can’t play a good game, you at least should be able to talk a good game.

So, step into the 21st century, people, and up your game in the Department of Golf Slang. I’m begging you hacks, please retire those old bromides you still drop at the golf course that haven’t been cool since the '70s, such as: Winner-winner chicken dinner; tweet-tweet (that means something entirely different now, got it?); Army golf – left, right, left, right; and Be the ball, to name a few.

Impress your fellow competitors in the Masters pool (What? Gambling here at Bushwood? Never!!) as you watch the TV coverage and cleverly drop this newly minted golf jargon from your trash-talking quiver. Own the 19th hole:

Fake news: A sandbagger, someone whose handicap is artificially high for wagering purposes. Usage: “Charlie says he’s a 15, but he’s fake news. I guarantee he’s no worse than 9.”

Women’s prison: Augusta National Golf Club. But never actually say this one out loud.

Russian collusion: Any bad lie. Usage: “All I can do is try to chip it back to the fairway, Ralph. I’ve got the worst Russian collusion I’ve ever seen in here.”

Limo: Motorized golf cart.

Rickshaw: Pull cart.

Backpack: Carry your own bag. Usage: “You ridin’ a limo today, Chuck?” “Nah, I’m takin’ a rickshaw. But Tubby is backpackin’, so you oughta keep 9-1-1 on speed dial.”

Five guys: A slow foursome. As in, they’re so slow, it’s as if five guys are playing in that group.

Migrant caravan: See “five guys,” above.

Afghanistan: A sand bunker you can’t get out of. Can be a verb. Usage: “I lost a press bet at 18 because I hit it into the front trap and Afghanistaned it, dammit.”

Baltimore Orioles: A synonym for bad – the Orioles lost 115 games last season – so a reference to any course that has really bad or bare greens. Usage: “Stay away from Crestwood, Dave. The Baltimore Orioles play there.” Replaces: Cleveland Browns (maybe).

Runway: Fairway.

Terminal: Clubhouse. Alternate meaning: A club that you use poorly. Usage: “I couldn’t sniff the cup from 4 feet today, Norm. My putter was terminal.”

Kale. The rough. Replaces “cabbage” or “gunch.” Usage: “I didn’t hit a runway today, and the kale was so deep, I looked down once and thought I’d lost my shoes.”

Hash browns: Sand or bunker. Usage: “I was making a big number at 12, but I holed it from the hash browns left to save bogey.”

Crapioca: A poorly struck shot that turns out well. Combines crap with tapioca, so in other words, it’s high-quality crap. Usage: “I made birdie at 7, but the 6-iron I hit in there was total crapioca.”

Megyn Kelly: A good-looking shot that turns out poorly.

MeToo: A beverage cart girl. (Just carefully hand her the money, old-timer, and don’t try to talk her up. Not cool.)

Clarence Darrow: A beverage cart girl’s attorney. (Well, you were warned.)

Big-bang theory: What you said to MeToo that you got subpoenaed by a Clarence Darrow.

Deal or no deal?: Do you want the flagstick left in for this putt (because that’s legal under the new rules)?

No deal, Howie!: Pull the flagstick, please.

Table for one: Hole a long putt.

Brexit!: When your first putt runs 5 feet past the cup. Replaces, “Taxi!”

Kate Upton: A score of 10 on a hole.

Angela Merkel: A score of 3 on a hole.

Bring in the tree!: Say this to break the awkward silence after a playing partner lays the sod over a sand wedge shot and leaves a deep, embarrassing crater.

Yellow submarine: A low, poorly hit tee shot. Replaces: worm-burner.

Bitcoin: A hundred bucks. Usage: “Hey, Ted, you still owe me three Bitcoins from Saturday. Time to pay up!”

Trumple. Hit into the group ahead and refuse to apologize. Usage: “We let those guys behind us play through at 7 after they Trumpled us a second time. Buncha jerks!”

Warden: Rules official. Also, club president.

Waiter: Caddie. Usage: “I stiffed my waiter today because he seemed more interested in keeping his cigarette lit than reading my putt.”

Kooch: Stiffing your waiter. Use as a verb.

Cook: Superintendent/greenskeeper. Usage: “Pinecrest must have a helluva cook, Kenny, because these are the best greens I’ve putted on all year!’’’

Take a knee: Leave a putt short. Replaces the now way-too-sexist, “Hit it, Alice!” and the equally way-too-sexist, “Does your wife play, too?”

New York Times: Out of bounds left. Usage: “I had it going on the back, Jeff, until I delivered the New York Times twice on the 14th tee. Dangit.”

Fox: Out of bounds right.

Transgender: Spray the ball one way, then the other. Replaces: Army golf.

Cool sculpting. Drinking beer.

Recycle: Relieve one’s self. Usage: “You guys tee off while I recycle behind that pine tree.”

Recycling center: Restroom or port-a-john.

Samantha Bee: A very short, wildly errant tee shot … i.e., a reckless bunt. Note: Already a dated reference.

Yoga class: Grill-room poker game. Code so your significant other is none the wiser. Usage: “My wallet’s a little light right now, Ted, so I can’t afford yoga class tonight.”

Pilates. Wagers, bets. Usage: “Hey, Jimbo, are you and Bucky doing pilates today or are we just playing for fun?”

Bernie Sanders: A hole-in-one. Translation/significance: Everybody gets a free drink that YOU pay for.

Skype. Hit a long drive. Replaces, “Let the big dog eat!” Usage: “I couldn’t believe it when Joe skyped one around the corner at 13 and had 53 yards to the green. Somebody call Dustin Johnson.”

Meghan Markle: A shot with a lot of English on it.

Gary Van Sickle has covered golf since 1980 for Sports Illustrated and Golf.com, Golf World and The Milwaukee Journal. Email: gvansick@aol.com; Twitter: @GaryVanSickle


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