Old Palm News

Some golf terms have unusual origins

June 25, 2014

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Even beginner golfers know common terms such as “par,” “bogey” and “fore!” But not everyone knows the etymology behind most golf terms. Here are a few terms of interest and their origins that Old Palm’s members can use to entertain the others in their foursome. Albatross. Scoring three under par on one hole (a 2 on a Par 5 for instance) is an albatross, which is a continuation of the birdie-eagle theme. An albatross is more commonly known as a double eagle. Old Palm member and resident Louis Oosthuizen made his most famous albatross on the Par 5 second hole in the 2012 Masters, after holing a 253-yard four iron. Bunker. It’s a bunker not a sand trap. The term comes from the Scottish word “bonkar,” meaning “chest” — the kind that holds something, like poorly struck golf balls. Raymond Floyd designed Old Palm’s golf course with dozens of strategically placed bunkers that are challenging yet fair. Caddy. The word derives from the French words “le cadet,” meaning “the boy.” Military cadets were once used to carry the clubs for French royalty that played golf in the 1600s. Old Palm has one of the finest caddy programs in the Palm Beaches, allowing members to play at their very best. Fairway. This is the short grass between the tee and the green. “Fairway” may derive from the term “fair green,” which first appeared in the 1744 edition of the Rules of Golf, meaning grass that isn’t green or tee. Old Palm’s fairways are seeded with Paspalum grass so the ball sits up beautifully.


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