Word of the week: Bullarding


Pronunciation: /bul-lArd-ing/


What I think it means:


There’s only one Bullard that I can think of which relates directly to golf, and that’s the charismatic former footballer Jimmy Bullard, who recently landed his dream job presenting a new golf highlights show for Sky Sports.

Bullard, a dead ringer for Paul McGann’s swarthy character in Withnail & I, has had an interesting couple of years – leaving Hull City after a drunken pre-season trip to Slovenia and leaving I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here amid claims of ’bullying’ from the other contestants.


‘At least we’re not still in Hull’
But he loves his golf does James Richard Bullard, and he turned professional in 2013 after persistent knee injuries wrecked his footballing career.


So Jimmy’s tale is one of having a bit of a difficult experience, but then reinventing yourself, with considerable success.

Jimmy, a hyper-active East Londoner, doesn’t fit your usual golfing fanatic stereotype, but he’s done better than you expect.

Maybe that’s what bullarding means – doing better than you expect, beyond your perceived abilities.


I know I’m wrong by the way, I just haven’t a clue what bullarding actually means.


Dictionary definition:


Playing consistently above your regular handicap or regularly failing to achieve it in competition play. The opposite of sandbagging – which is somebody who artificially inflates his handicap to win competitions.




I couldn’t find anything relating to the golf origins of the term, but one of the theories for the origins of the name ’Bullard’ is a nickname for a fraudster, from Old French Middle English. ’Bole’ meant fraud or deceit and ’ard’ was a nickname for a rotund man.


‘Say what you see…’

Use it in a sentence:


“Jon reckons he plays off eight, but I’ve never seen him shoot les than a 100 around here. I reckon he’s a bullard.”


What this actually means:


You aren’t as good as you used to be buddy. Or maybe you submitted three cards from three especially-lucky rounds, but really, you should have been more honest.

Click here to return to NCG’s Golf Glossary