Golf Shots Explained: Everything You Should Know

When you’re a true gold lover, not only do you have to become familiar with the proper golfing etiquette and learn how to practice your swings correctly, you should also learn the importance and names of golf shots.

Once you start making the transition to  more skilled golf player, and you start thinking about getting yourself a set of premium golf irons, it’s time to learn about the essential shots in golf too.

What are the golf shots called?

Golf comes with a lot of rules. However, once you wrap your head around all the names, it gets a lot easier to find your golfing feet. First of all, you have to learn how the shots you make will get scored. This is essential if you want to know how you’re doing.

Keeping score in golf has to do with the number of shots it takes you to finish each hole. The score is measured based on the hole’s par number, or the number of shots a 0 handicap golfer would need to complete a hole. That is how you get a +2 or a -1 on the course, and a different name for every score.

For beginners, the names for golf scores can sound a bit odd, but you’ll get used to them. The better your game becomes, the more of the scores from further down our list will you start receiving. And it will feel great.

  1. Bogey – When you score a bogey, you’ve made one shot more than the par, or the “even” score. If you score two or three shots more than the par, you score a double-bogey or a triple bogey, and so on. However, the higher the number of shots, the less common it is to use the term “bogey”. It’s far more usual to hear “six-over-par” than sextuple bogey. 

This expression was first used in the 1890 at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club for two reasons – because of the song “Here Comes the Bogey Man” and the phrase “bogey man”. 

  1. Par – Par is the “default” number of shots a zero-handicap player would take on a certain hole. Typically, you can achieve a par in only two puts, while you’d use the rest of the shots to reach the green. Par get its name from the Latin word that means “equal”. 
  2. Birdie – When you score a birdie, you’ve made one shot fewer than the par for that hole. This term has an interesting origin story behind it. In 1899, three golfers were playing at the Pine Valley Golf Club. 

One of them, George Crump, accidentally hit a bird with one of his shots, upon hitting a bird, landed him inches from the cup. This allowed him to score a one-under-par for that hole, and this kind of achievement has been called a birdie ever since.

  1. Eagle – When you complete the hole in two shots fewer than the par, you’ve scored an eagle. Players usually achieve eagles when their opening shot lands closer to the green than expected. Eagles rarely occur outside par-five holes. The name “eagle” comes from the need to think of a name for a score better than a birdie, hence a bigger bird. As you will see, this is a trend that caught on.
  2. Albatross – Three shots under par, or -3, equal an albatross. The name has nothing to do with Samuel Taylor Coleridge nor Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac. It’s simply a bird larger than an eagle. 

In the US, albatross is called a double eagle. Albatross is an extremely rare achievement in golf. The first one was made in 1935 by Gene Sarazen, and they continue to inspire awe in golfing pros and amateurs alike.

  1. Condor – Finally, this is an unofficial name for a score of -4. This is the lowest score ever made, not counting holes-in-one, which are almost mythical in their nature. There have only ever been foru condors so far.

What are the 9 shots in golf?

Even when you’re an intermediate golfer you do not have to have all of the following nine shots in your repertoire. However, the more shots you’re proficient in, the better your game will be and the faster you will improve. Knowing more different shots improves your possibilities to adapt your game to the current situation.

  1. Drive – The first shot you make from a tee is a drive. This is the opening shot of every hole, and usually the first shot you practice. The aim is to strike the ball straight enough and far enough. Most common club for this shot is the driver, while some high-handicap players tend to use a 3 wood since it makes the shot a bit easier.
  2. Approach shot – This is the shot you would make when in a position to reach the green. Traditionally, you would use one of the golf irons in your bag for this shot, but more seniors and juniors are transitioning to hybrids because they make approach shots easier.
  3. Chip – This is the shot you would use around the green, and it usually spends less time in the air and more time rolling across the green. You can use a wide range of clubs for this shot, and you would usually choose between a 7 iron and a lob wedge. The key to this shot is control and accuracy, not distance and flight.
  4. Pitch – This type of shot spends less time on the ground and more time in flight, but it doesn’t require you to perform a full swing. You would normally use one of the wedges in your set to make this shot. The choice can range from the  pitching wedge to the lob wedge. The pitch is probably the most important shot for lowering your score.
  5. Putt – Finally, once you’re on the green and you’re close enough to the cup, you can take out your putter and send the ball rolling gently across the grass. This is another great area for you to practice if you’re aiming to further lower your score.
  6. Punch shot – This shot is mainly used when you’re out in the rough and maybe even in the trees. You can send the ball flying far while keeping it closer to the ground. Mastering this shot will help you get out of tricky situations and lower the score that would otherwise be much higher. 
  7. Stinger – This is also a low shot, but players tend to use it to prevent the ball from getting caught up in the wind. The stinger allows you to hit a low shot that is penetrating and which the wind won’t affect as much. Only good golfers hit stingers well, and this shot is what separators amateurs from enthusiasts. 
  8. Draw and Fade – These two shots allow you to curve the ball to the left (draw) or to the right (fade), depending on the current situation you’re finding yourself in. You can shorten many doglegs by playing correct draws or fades. 
  9. Hook and Slice – Players usually hit hooks and slices unintentionally, or because of their poor shot mechanic. The rule of thumb is this – high-handicap golfers struggle with slices, while low-handicap golfers struggle with hooks. 

What is the best shot in golf?

There is not a single best shot in golf. Golf is a beautiful game that is all about choosing to take the right shot at the right time. Making the best shot in golf means making the shot that is best suited to the situation you’re finding yourself in.

Think of it like this: when you’re approaching the tee, and thinking about sending the ball flying as far and as straight as possible, you’re going to hit a drive, not a put. Similarly, when you're near the green, you’re not going to opt for a punch shot, but rather for a chip. The best shot in golf is the shot for the moment.

Who provides premium golf irons that will help me master more shots?

Looking for a set of irons that will drastically improve your game is never easy. There’s plenty of choice out there, but not all that much quality at a reasonable price. But, have you heard of BombTech then? We make only premium golf clubs suitable for players of all skill levels.

We can help more experienced players shave a couple of shots off their scores. Everybody deserves quality clubs, and we have made it our mission to make top-notch golf sets available to everybody. We sell online, keeping our additional costs low, and allowing you to purchase premium clubs for less money. 

If there’s anything you’re not completely satisfied with, you can return the clubs you’ve purchased within 60 days. That’s how much we believe in what we do. Contact us today and let’s see how we can help your game. Improve your skill a lot faster with our clubs!

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