Rethinking The Mainstream Golf Vocabulary: Bamberger Is Coming After One-Shotter And Penalty Area

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The former I’ll fight for, the latter is on its own.

Michael Bamberger files a fun consideration of certain golf terms in light of rule book changes along with the desire to shed golf of stuff terms.

Penalty area has been a colossal mistake that needs to be replaced by hazard. Does anyone disagree?

But as a repeated user of one, two and three-shotter, I have to defend those. They’ve been around for a long time, were used by all of the great architects in their writings, and even highlight the silliness of chasing distance (since there are about six legit three-shotters left).

Yes, a par 5. Not a 5 par. Blech. Also grating is three-shotter, two-shotter and one-shotter. And who needs the new penalty area when hazard conveyed it all? As Strunk & White say in Elements of Style, “Be clear.” That doesn’t mean be literal. Golf requires a measure of irony, which is why any body of water, including a gunky Ohio pond on a pitch-shot par 3, may be referred to as a lake. Here are the exceptions that prove the rule: the ocean to the left of 18 at Pebble and the burn crossing the first on the Old Course. Show some respect: Swilcan Burn is not a lake.

I also have to quibble with a few here. A double cross isn’t pretentious, it’s just painful.

These terms are pretentious and should be avoided: hole location, green complex, signature hole, double cross, overseeding, C.O.R., learning center, practice tee, links-style, second-shot course, Championship Course.