Not unlike that ravenous tortoise used to illustrate this piece, the world of golf is fraught with danger, chock-full of phrases and terms that the everyday man can’t be expected to understand.

Here at National Club Golfer, we’re the publication for the everyday player and so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to give you a step-by-step introduction to the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Word of the week: Play through


Pronunciation: /pleɪ θruË/


What I think it means:


Ha! Now here’s one I know, but I wonder how many club members can say the same?


Playing through is the process of seeing a group of golfers behind you who are playing quicker than you are, and allowing them to go ahead of you, so as not to disrupt their enjoyment of the day, while at the same time allowing you to relax and play without feeling you have to rush.


There’s an odd stubbornness of club members, who refuse to allow a group behind to play through. Is it a sense of pride? The fact the guys behind are finishing their hole quicker that you, and are therefore seemingly better golfers?


I’m not sure, but whatever the cause, it’s certainly a situation that gains a rather strong emotional reaction (NSFW).

‘Wow, they’re actually letting us through’ Dictionary definition:

Permission granted by a slow-moving group of players to a faster-moving group of players to allow them to proceed in front of them on the course, providing the hole ahead is clear. A rare example of ’good golf etiquette’

I don’t know, I’m all flustered. I’d research more, but the group behind me is pushing me on and I don’t have time to stop and check.


‘Excuse me’

Use it in a sentence:
“Wow, those guys must be visitors because they’re actually letting us play through”

What this actually means:
I’m not sure when the next Halley’s Comet is, but getting waved through by a fourball of members is almost as rare.

So after you’ve complained for the last couple of holes that the group in front are holding everyone up, if they do finally let you through, now isn’t the time to shank it in the bushes. Although that will inevitably happen.


Rory’s drives are just getting silly

But here’s an interesting point – the rulebook USED to state that ’a single player has no standing and should give way to a match of any kind’. Basically, a single golfer was assumed to just be practicing and so had no rights, so you didn’t have to let them play through.

However, as of 2004 – and then further revised in 2008 – the Official Rules of Golf changed and now single golfers have the same rights as any larger group.

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