Few sports, with the possible exception of cricket ("That was a wicked googly."), have as colorful or specialized language as golf.
We have words that describe certain kinds of holes, like "redan," which has become a general term to indicate a hole, usually a par three, with a right-to-left diagonal green that slopes away from the line of play and from right to left. The name comes from the original Redan at North Berwick Golf Links in Scotland, which in turn was dubbed with the French term for a V-shaped fortification that faces the expected angle of attack.
We have "pars," "birdies," "eagles," and "albatrosses," which are all good things. We have "chili-dips," "chunks," and "claggy" lies, which are all bad things. A claggy, by the way, is a wet, muddy lie that borders on casual water.
We have words that we hardly ever use any more. When you commit a "baff" you hit behind the ball and merely graze the ball, which hardly ever happens on today's softer, more manicured courses. "Niblick" is an obsolete term for a nine-iron. "Pawky" is an old Scottish term used to describe cunning or tricky play.
And then there are all those four-letter terms that turn up so much during a round of golf. Frankly, they are a bit too common to be considered as the best words in golf, though they certainly have a place from time to time when the game gets extra frustrating.
My criteria for the best golf word is the aptness of its sound to its meaning, its originality to golf, and my own totally subjective bonus point system.
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