Golf FAQs

Golf FAQs

What’s considered a good score? People will say “I shot a 90” and I have no clue what they really mean.

A “good score” is really all relative to who you are and what sort of course you’re playing. If you’re a professional golfer, you’ll probably be shooting 72 (the average par for the entire course) and under. If you’re not a pro, but you LOVE golf, you might be a scratch golfer, which means you’re normally shooting 72. If you’re like us and are just starting to get into golf (and admittedly are still a little hack), you’re happy with shooting 100. This also depends on the course difficulty. Our tip: golf can be frustrating AF and it’s really important to NOT compare yourself to others when first learning.

What does ‘short game’ mean?

Short game means anything that happens around the green, which is where the hole is and where players generally putt. Short game includes mostly pitching, chipping and putting.

What do they mean by ‘lipping out’? Are golf players kissing or something?

Wouldn’t that be nice? No snogging here unfortunately. Lipping out is what happens when a person putts and the golf ball catches the rim, aka “lip”, of the hole and the ball doesn’t fall in. Have a look at this video to see what we mean.

What is an “approach”?

Any shot that is played with the intention of hitting the green. It usually refers to those second and third shots on a hole when you’re trying to set yourself up for putting success.

Do you have to be fit to play golf?

Yes and no. There are arguments to both sides. Some people say the fitter you are, the better, and some say it’s all about finesse and technique. We are firm believers that being fit helps, but it’s not everything. And that’s also part of the reason why we love it. It’s a sport that you can play from age 10 to 90 because it’s not very physically draining!

I’ve heard there’s been drastic rule changes in golf. What are they?

You’ve been paying attention! Recently, there have been major changes to the rules of golf imposed by the USGA (United States Golf Association) and R&A (The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews) which has sparked a major conversation in the golf world. These rules have been implemented to modernize the game, be more attractive to newcomers and to increase the speed of play.

The full list of changes can be found here, but here’s a couple of examples:

- Pulling the Pin: You now have the option to leave the flag in while putting! No matter the distance. 

- Looking for a ball: The amount of time you have to search for your ball has dropped from five minutes to three, so try to keep it in play! Easier said than done, we know. 

This rule FAQ was written by GISTer Crystina Kertsos

I heard something about a green jacket. What's the deal with that?

The coveted green jacket is awarded at the Masters, the most prestigious of the four men's professional golf majors. But, with all of its prestige, the Masters also comes with a disturbing sexist and racist past (and present, TBH). Check out our Guide to Golf and the Masters episode of our podcast The GIST of IT for more info.