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A Golf Glossary

Albatross. A score of three strokes under Par.  Three under Par is a very rare score and an Albatross is a very rare bird, maybe giving rise to the use of the term!

Birdie.  A score of one stroke under Par on a given hole. From the 19th century American slang term "bird", meaning anything excellent.

Bogey.  The first stroke system, developed in England at the end of the 19th Century.  The full history is given in Robert Browning's book History of Golf (1955).

Caddy.  From the French: “le cadet”, meaning boy or youngest in the family. The word caddie appeared in English in 1634.  A Caddy became used for a general-purpose porter or errand boy in Scottish towns in the18th Century, particularly used for delivering water in the days before modern utilities.

Eagle. A score of two under Par.

The origin of the term Fore is disputed.  The most probable explanation seems to be     that “forecaddies” were employed to stand where the ball was likely to land, so that expensive golf balls were not lost.  The call would be to warn them that a player was making a shot.

Links  A Links is any rough grassy area between the water and the land and the word itself is derived form the Anglo-Saxon word 'hlinc', of about 931 AD, meaning a ridge. Later the word was used to denote any common grassy area in a town and now the term 'The Links' is used to refer to any golf course.  Since early golf was played on iced over rivers and estuaries, the ‘links’ land margin makes perfect sense. 

Par.  A stock exchange term describing when a stock may be above or below its normal or 'par' figure.  First use attributed to AH Doleman, a golf writer, in 1870.             

 Tee     The area in which the player makes his first stroke or the support for the ball when it is first hit.  “Tee” is derived from the Gaelic word 'tigh' meaning house and is related to the 'house' in curling (the coloured circles). 

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