Sandbagger: A golfer who lies about his or her ability/handicap to gain an advantage.
Sand Trap: A bunker.
Sandy: Making par after being in a bunker.
Scorecard: Where the length, par, and rating of each hole is recorded. Also, your score.
Scoring: The grooves on the clubface.
Scramble: To play erratic golf but still score well. Or a game where a team of, say, four all tee off and then pick the best shot. All then play their balls from that spot; continues with each set of shots.
Scratch Play: No handicaps used in this type of game.
Scratch Player: One with a 0 handicap.
Second Cut: Second level of rough, higher than first cut. Some courses have three cuts of rough.
Semiprivate: A course with members that is also open to the public.
Semirough: Grass in the rough that is not too long, not too short.
Setup: See Address.
Shaft: The part of the club that joins the grip to the head.
Shag: To retrieve practice balls.
Shag Bag: To carry practice balls.
Shallow: Narrow clubface. Or a flattish angle of attack into the ball.
Shank: Shot struck from the club’s hosel; flies far to the right of the intended target.
Shooting the Lights Out: To play very well.
Short Cut: Cut of grass on the fairway or green.
Short Game: Shots played on and around the green.
Shut: Clubface aligned left at address or impact; looking skyward at the top of the backswing. Results in a shot that goes to the left of the target.
Sidehill Lie: Ball either above or below your feet.
Sidesaddle: Putting style where a player faces the hole while making the stroke.
Sink: To make a putt.
Sit Down (full flaps, pull a hamstring, develop a limp): A polite request for the ball to stop.
Skins: Betting game where the lowest score on a hole wins the pot. If the hole is tied, the money carries over to the next hole.
Skull (Hit it in the Forehead): See Blade or Thin.
Sky: Ball flies off the top of the clubface — very high and short.
Sleeve of Balls: Box of three golf balls.
Slice: Shot that curves sharply from left to right.
Smile: Cut in a ball caused by a mishit.
Smother: To hit the ball with a closed clubface, resulting in a horrible, low, hooky shot.
Snake: Long putt.
Snap Hook: Severe hook.
Sole: Bottom of the clubhead.
Sole Plate: Piece of metal attached to the bottom of a wooden club.
Spade-Mashie: Old term for a 6-iron.
Spike Mark: Mark on the green made by a golf shoe.
Spin-Out: Legs moving too fast in relation to the upper body on the downswing.
Spoon: Old term for a 3-wood.
Spot Putting: Aiming for a point on the green over which the ball must run if it is to go in the hole.
Square: Score of a match is even. Or the clubface and stance are aligned perfectly with the target.
Square Face: Clubface looking directly at the hole at address/impact.
Square Grooves: USGA banned them from clubfaces.
St. Andrews: Located in Fife, Scotland, the home of golf.
Stableford: Method of scoring by using points rather than strokes.
Stance: Position of the feet before the swing.
Starter: Person running the order of play (who plays when) from the first tee.
Starting Time: When you tee off at the first tee.
Stick: The pin in the hole.
Stiff: A shaft with reduced flex. Or very close to the hole.
Stimpmeter: Device used to measure the speed of greens.
Stroke: Movement of club with the intent to hit the ball.
Stroke Hole: Hole at which one either gives or receives a shot, according to the handicap of your playing.
Stymie: Ball obstructing your route to the hole — now obsolete.
Sudden-Death: Form of playoff whereby the first player to win a hole wins the match.
Superintendent: Person responsible for the upkeep of the course.
Surlyn: Material from which most balls are made.
Swale: Depression or dip in terrain.
Sway: To move excessively to the right on the backswing without turning the body.
Sweet Spot: Perfect point on the clubface with which to strike the ball.
Swing plane: Angle at which the club shaft travels around the body during a swing.
Swing weight: Measure of a club’s weight to its length.