NCG’s golfing glossary: What does Dormie mean?

The Scoop

There's a mouse loose about this clubhouse

Word of the week: Dormie


Pronunciation: /dawr-mee/


What I think it means:

If we’re looking at this logically, assuming there’s some sense to the origins of these golfing terms, there’s only two conclusions you can come to.

Either Dormie is an affection name for the club mascot, a dormouse discovered hiding inside a member’s golf bag following one particularly spectacular victory on the course and who was therefore adopted as club mascot until his unlikely demise, slipping into a teapot.


He had a good run

Or, it’s shorthand for a room, located somewhere on the club’s grounds, which has bunkbeds and provides a place for people to sleep over.

But why would a golf course require somewhere to sleep for a few hours?


It’d be a great way to avoid drink driving after a trip to the 19th hole, after all, no one likes to see the club champion sheepishly getting out of his car after wrapping it around a tree.


When Woods met wood

Dictionary definition:

(Of a player or side in match play) being in the lead by as many holes as are still to be played.

The word Dormy is also used in the context of a ’Dormy House’, which is a place for visiting golfers to sleep overnight.


Dormie may be Scottish slang for dormice, which could be found on Scottish courses. However, being extremely shy creatures, they would hide from golfers and the sight of one was considered a good omen.

If you’re dormie up, then you can’t lose, so you can see how it’d be related.

Like how you’re lucky if a bird poos on you relates to the same sense of fortune if you get a birdie.


Define ‘lucky’

Alternatively, it could relate to the French word ’dormir’, which means to sleep. The idea is you can’t lose the match, so you can relax and enjoy the rest of the game. This theory is lent credence by the phrase Dormie House, literally a place to sleep.


Use it in a sentence:

“That was a birdie, so I’m dormie.”


What this actually means:

If your playing partner putts his shot and says ’that’s dormie’, you’re scuppered. You put up a valiant fight, but there’s no victory for you today, friend. The best you can hope for is winning all the remaining holes to force a tie. Lose one more hole, and you’re walking off the course.

Worst case scenario? You’re on the 9th hole and your playing partner says ’That’s dormie’. If that happens, no amount of fortuitous rodents can save you.

The best thing to do is slump off the course, have a skinful in the clubhouse, and hope the visiting golf team from St Trinian’s are staying in the Dormie House and there’s only one spare bed…


Last week we discovered the meaning of the phrase ‘abnormal strokes’. You can read all about it be clicking here.

Previous article
Next article