Miniature Golf and putting terminology

ace

Hole in one.

address

Position of body and feet prior to putt.

adventure golf

Non-standardised minigolf course, characterised by wide open fairways and undulating greens.

air shot

To swing and miss the ball completely, counted as a stroke in putting but not in minigolf aka whiff.

all square

Term used in match play, meaning that both competitors have won the same number of holes. Neither has the lead.

back door

When the ball drops into the hole after rolling around the rim of the cup to the far side, it has gone in the back door.

back nine

Holes 10 to 18.

bahnengolf

German for miniature golf

ball of fame

Ball manufactured in honour of a great performance or because the player is so well known. eg M&G Minigolf Legend Tim 'Ace Man' Davies or 3D Tim 'Ace Man' Davies.

ball of shame

Ball manufactured in honour of a really awful performance.

banegolf

Danish and Norwegian for miniature golf.

bangolf

Swedish for miniature golf.

baseball grip

For right-handed golfers: The right little finger butts against the left index finger but does not overlap.

beton

See betong.

betong

Standardised minigolf system, devised in Switzerland by von Bongni. Features smooth concrete putting surface and continuous perimeter boundary of galvanised steel. Approved by the WMF for international tournament play.

birdie

A score of one under par on a hole.

black score

A poor score for a single round of minigolf (e.g., a score of 30 or over on eternit or a score of 40 or over at Planet Hastings Crazy Golf, Hastings). NB: This grading system is designed for semi-pros and compares a player’s performance with what might be expected of the best players in the world.

blade

The business end of the putter.

blue score

A perfect or near-perfect score for a single round of minigolf (e.g., a score of 18 or 19 on eternit or a score of under 30 at Planet Hastings Crazy Golf, Hastings).

BMGA

British Minigolf Association, the UK’s governing body for minigolf sport.

bogey

A score of one over par on a hole.

bongni

Strictly ordered Betong course.

borrow

A slope that causes the ball to deviate from a straight line.

bounce

The height to which a minigolf ball will jump when dropped on concrete from 1m at a temperature of 25° C.

break

A slope that causes the ball to deviate from a straight line.

cannon

(Verb.) (of a minigolf ball) to enter the cup at speed following a rebound.

clicker

Special type of ball, extremely hard.

clutch putt An important pressure putt.

course rating

The comparison of difficulty for playing one course as opposed to another, once used in the BMGA rankings.

crazy golf

1. a minigolf course, primarily designed to appeal to children, where luck is the main factor in achieving a low score. 2. a standardised British minigolf course, sometimes referred to as Arnold Palmer minigolf, characterised by sunken felt greens, a concrete border, and obstacles such as the windmill with revolving sails. 3. (informal; incorrect usage) British for minigolf.

cup

The hole.

cup play

A knock-out format used in some minigolf tournaments. The best player(s) in each group advance(s) to the next round.

cut

Impart clockwise spin on the ball.

dead ball

A minigolf ball with very little or no rebound.

die in the hole

The ball just falls into the hole.

dimple

Refers to small depression in a standard golf ball. Also refers to protruberance due to manufacture on a minigolf ball aka nipple.

dogleg

A left or right turn on the green/track.

dormie or dormy

In matchplay, a player leads by as many holes as are left to play.

drain

To hole a putt

duff

To hit the ground before the ball. aka fat, fluff, scuff.

dwell time

The time the ball spends on the face of the putter

eagle

A score of two under par on a hole ie an ace on a par three.

eternit

Standardised minigolf system with a cement-fibre putting surface and fibreglass obstacles. Approved by the WMF for international tournament play. There are 25 approved eternit holes, any 18 of which may feature on an eternit course.

eternite

see eternit.

eterniitti

Finnish, see eternit.

face

The part of the putter used to hit the ball.

false read

What you see is not what you get, the ball travels not as expected (see Honest read).

fantasie golf

see fantasy golf.

fantasy golf

Any minigolf course which is not approved by the WMF for international tournament play (Betong, full length Eternit, and full length Swedish felt run are the approved types).  AKA fantasie golf.

fast ball

A minigolf ball with plenty of bounce, used for playing shots where one or more rebounds is required.

fat

To hit the ground before the ball.

fault

Any stroke taken above par at a particular minigolf hole.

favourite killer

The sloped run with window, a hole on the eternit minigolf course (where, traditionally, favourites in minigolf tournaments are thought to run into difficulties).

filzgolf

see Swedish Felt Run.

finesse putt

A finesse shot, guaranteeing at least an easy next putt aka percentage putt.

flag

Not used in mainland European miniature golf.

fluff

To hit the ground before the ball or generally to play a foozle.

foozle

Bungled stroke.

front nine

First nine holes.

garden golf

Early name for miniature golf.

get down

To complete the hole

gimme

A short putt conceded by your playing partners (not allowed in minigolf stroke play tournaments).

gobble

1. An invocation to the hole to eat the ball. 2. A slam putt which would have gone a long way past if it hadn't been holed.

gofstacle

An early form of obstacle golf.

golfstacle

An early form of obstacle golf patented in 1907 by Colonel William Senhouse Clarke.

going to school

Watching the line of a players shot for your own benefit.

golf miniature

French for miniature golf.

golfs sur pistes

French for miniature golf.

golf su pista

Italian for miniature golf.

good leave

A well played lag putt, ensuring the second putt is easy.

grain

Direction in which the blades of grass point on the green, which may affect the speed and direction of your putt. Also known as nap when playing on felt.

green

The putting surface.

green score

A good or very good score for a single round of minigolf (e.g., a score of 20-24 on eternit or a score of 30 to 35 at Planet Hastings Crazy Golf, Hastings).

grip

The top part of the club held by the golfer, usually made from leather or rubber. Also, the manner in which the club is held i.e. Baseball, overlapping (Vardon), reverse and interlocking.

grizzly bear

A player who, during the course of a minigolf round, loses his/her cool and proceeds to whack their shots in frustration. In full "grizzly bear with a sore tooth".

head

The business end of the putter.

heel

The part of the blade nearest to the player.

hit and hope

1. To play a minigolf shot without proper knowledge of the correct aiming line. 2. A luck-based minigolf hole.

hole in one

A score of one on a hole. aka Ace

hole out

To finish the hole.

honest read

What you see is what you get, the ball travels as expected (see False read).

honour

The right to play first.

hook

Impart anti-clockwise spin on the ball

horse shoe

The ball goes around the rim and comes back in the direction from whence it came.

hosel

The bit that joins the shaft and head aka shank.

interlocking grip

The right hand little finger goes over the left hand index finger aka Vardon grip.

in the jaws

On the edge of the hole but not swallowed.

invitational

A tournament at which participation is by invitation only.

IPL

International Playing Licence. A licence confirming a player’s entitlement to compete in minigolf competitions abroad.

lag putt

A long putt where the player concentrates on weight and lays up for an easy second putt.

lane

A track, hole or run.

leak

Where the ball moves at the last moment away from the hole.

line

The intended path of the ball. It is good etiquette to stand outside of the line.

line of sight

The line is obstructed, this may even occur as a result of repositioning the ball, no relief is available. However under BMGA rules the ball may be repositioned, if too close to an obstacle, you may thus gain a line to the hole.

lip

The rim of the hole.

lip out

The ball travels around the rim but fails to drop in the hole.

loose impediment

Any natural thing which is not by design an obstruction such as an acorn or rabbits droppings.

marker

An item used to mark the position of your ball, should you wish to clean it.

micro golf

Miniature miniature golf.

midget golf

1. Early name for miniature golf.  2. Netherlands term for minigolf.

mid-length putter

The standard putter is extended to enable the club to rest on the stomach as a pivotal point.

mini golf

1. Generic term covering putting courses with a raised perimeter border and, usually, an artificial surface. Betong, Eternit, and Swedish Felt Run, and adventure golf are all types of minigolf. 2. The sport played on these courses. 3. The betong course.

miniature golf

1. Generic term covering putting courses with a raised perimeter border and, usually, an artificial surface. Betong, Eternit, and Swedish Felt Run, and adventure golf are all types of minigolf. 2. The sport played on these courses. 3. The eternit course. 4. A pitch and putt golf course or putting green.

miniaturgolf

German term for an eternit minigolf course.

minigolf

See mini golf.

mini-golf

See mini golf.

minigolfanlagen

Minigolf construction (German).

minigolfbahnen

Minigolf lane (German).

minigolfschläger

Specialist putter (German).

minigolfzubehör

Minigolf equipment (German).

MOS

Minigolf Open Standard as decided by the World Minigolf Sport Federation ie those courses that are not Beton, Swedish Felt Run or Eternit.

mulligan

A chance to replay your last shot.

nap

Direction in which the fibre of the artificial felt lays on the surface, which may affect the speed and direction of your putt. Also known as grain when playing on grass.

never short

Never up never in, the bywords of the slam putter.

nineteenth hole

Normally in golfing parlance, the bar. In British Crazy golf it's the lucky nineteenth, a chance to win a free game!

nipple

Refers to protruberance due to manufacture on a minigolf ball aka dimple.

novelty golf

(Informal) Another name for miniature golf.

obstacle golf

1. Early form of miniature golf, referenced in Brave New World. 2. (Informal) Another name for miniature golf.

open

A tournament in which any player meeting the stated criteria is eligible to enter (subject to sufficient places being available).

par

The number of shots in which a player is expected to complete a hole or round.

pee wee golf

Early name for miniature golf.

pendulum putter

A very long putter which is a bit like a broom handle.

percentage shot

A defensive putting strategy, where for example an ace may be possible but it's safer to lay up for an easy two. As opposed to slam putting or gunning it. Aka Finesse putting.

pin

The flag pole.

pin-high

A ball on the putting surface that is even with the flag pole but off to one side.

piste

A track, hole or run.

plateau

(UK) 1. A raised area surrounding the cup of a minigolf hole. 2. A minigolf hole incorporating this feature.

play through

Allow a faster group behind to overtake your group.

plumb bob

A method of trying to read the line of a putt by using the putter as a visual aid.

pull

For a right-hander, the initial movement of the ball is to the left of the chosen line due to an imperfect swing.

push

For a right-hander, the initial movement of the ball is to the right of the chosen line due to an imperfect swing.

putting

The act of hitting a ball on a track or green.

putt-putt

1. US Franchised version of minigolf 2.Generic term in the US for minigolf.

QOI

Quality of Opposition Index. Once used in calculation of the BMGA player rankings to give credit to those players who have faced more difficult opponents.

ratagolf

Finnish for minigolf.

read

An attempt to ascertain the probable line.

rebound

The act of striking a minigolf ball against an obstacle or the perimeter boundary of the run.

recovery

A subsequent shot that is holed given a bad previous shot.

red score

A fair to middling score for a single round of minigolf (e.g., a score of 25-29 on eternit or a score of 36 to 39 at Planet Hastings Crazy Golf, Hastings).

repositioning line

A line marked on WMF-approved minigolf courses to indicate where a ball that has come to rest up against an obstacle or the perimeter boundary of a minigolf run should be repositioned.

reverse grip

The reverse of the baseball grip.

relief

Permission to lift and place the ball without penalty.

rinky-dink golf

(Informal) Miniature golf (US).

rough ball

A minigolf ball without lacquer.

run

Any of the individual tracks on a minigolf course. (A tournament-approved minigolf course will have 18 runs).

sclaff

Make contact with the putting surface before hitting the ball.

scuff

Make contact with the putting surface before hitting the ball.

seed

A players who, by virtue of his/her standing or ranking, is kept apart from other seeded players when the draw for the opening round of a minigolf tournament is made. In the first round of BMGA competitions the seed will usually play last in each group.

shaft

From shank upwards.

shank

The bit that joins the shaft and head aka hosel.

side spin

To hit the ball in the centre with an in-out (closed putter face) or out-in (open putter face) swing deliberately and in a controlled fashion so as to impart spin on the ball.

sink

To hole the ball.

slice

Impart clockwise spin on the ball

slow ball

A minigolf ball without much bounce, but faster than a dead ball.

steal

To hole a long putt using finesse, the opposite of gobble.

sterngolf

Star golf, a standardised minigolf playing system formerly (but no longer) approved by the WMF.

stimp meter

A device for measuring the absolute speed of greens.

stroke index

Each hole is given a number between 1 and 18, where 1 is the hardest and 18 the easiest. Equitable Stroke Control Method.

stymie

Where the line to the hole is blocked.

sucker

Device on the end of the putter to lift the ball out of the hole.

Swedish felt run

Standardised minigolf course featuring felt putting surface and solid wooden surround. Approved by the WMF for international tournament play.

sweet spot

The ideal contact point on the putter.

system

A standardised design of minigolf course found in more than one country or at numerous locations within the same country.

system 1

see betong.

system 2

see eternit.

teeing-off area

The area (or spot) from which the first stroke on any minigolf hole must be played.

Texas wedge

Putter.

toe

The part of the blade furthest from the player.

top

To hit the ball above its centre causing the ball to jump.

top spin

To hit the ball above its centre deliberately and in a controlled fashion aka Overspin.

turn

Halfway point.

Vardon grip

The right hand little finger goes over the left hand index finger aka Interlocking grip.

victory lap

The ball does a victory lap when it circles the entire rim first and then drops.

walk of shame

When a player retrieves a minigolf ball that they have hit out of bounds and replaces it on the run to take their next shot.

weight

The strength of putt.

whiff

To swing and miss the ball completely, counted as a stroke aka air shot.

WMF

World Minigolf Sport Federation, the international governing body of minigolf sport.

wristy

Of a swing, involving too much use of the wrists.

yips

A chronic nervous condition that leads to missing putts.

 

Miniature golf synonyms

The differences between golf, miniature golf, putting and pitch & putt.

Competition formats

Variations on a theme