Golf Glossary

Bounce

Measurable bounce is the angle formed between the leading edge of the golf club and the lowest part of the sole. More important than measurable bounce is "effective" bounce, which is a combination of many sole design features that contribute to a club's overall playability. Generally, clubs with low bounce tend to dig into the turf (requiring more precise ball contact), while clubs with higher bounce tend to resist digging and are therefore more forgiving in terms of ground impact.

Center of Gravity

Optimizing the center of gravity (CG) location in a clubhead design is critical for achieving the most favorable performance characteristics. The CG location significantly affects the golf ball flight (or roll for putters) by directly influencing all three of the major golf ball performance initial conditions: Ball Velocity, Launch Angle, and Spin Rate. The CG location can also significantly effect the moment of inertia (MOI) of the clubhead, which is the most critical factor in improving a club heads forgiveness and consistency..

Draw

A ball flight with a slight-to-moderate right-to-left curve for right-handed golfers, or a slight-to-moderate left-to-right curve for left-handed golfers. Depending on the golfer's preferences, a draw may be a desirable ball flight. However, golfers who wish to change this type of ball flight may consider a flatter color code (applies to irons only) and/or a thicker grip diameter (applies to both irons and woods).

Face Angle

Usually described as being open or closed, face angle refers to the direction the wood clubface is designed to point when the shaft is in the proper position at address.

Fade

A ball flight with a slight left-to-right curve for right-handed players, and a slight right-to-left curve for left-handed players. Depending on the golfer's preferences, a fade may be a desirable ball flight. However, golfers who wish to change this type of ball flight may consider a more upright color code (applies to irons only) and/or a thinner grip diameter (applies to both irons and woods).

Flat

A term used to describe a lie angle in which the toe of any club (putter, iron or metal wood) is lower than standard, or lower than it would be in the preferred position. In this orientation, the loft of the club causes the face to be pointed farther right (for a right-handed golfer) which, with irons and metal woods, encourages a fade, or can be used to reduce a draw or hook.

Flex

A measurement or rating of how much a shaft will bend under a certain load, flex is usually assigned a familiar letter such as A, R, S or X. shaft designers create shafts for golfers with specific swing speeds to help them optimize the carry distance and trajectory of their shots. Generally, golfers with slower swing speeds require more flexible shafts (A, Soft R, and R flexes), while golfers with higher swing speeds generally require stiffer shafts (S, X).

Hook

A ball flight with a pronounced right-to-left curve for right-handed golfers, and a pronounced left-to-right curve for left-handed golfers. A flatter color code (irons only) and/or a thicker grip diameter (irons and woods) can help reduce this tendency in most cases. A player who tends to hook his or her drives may also benefit from additional loft, which will increase backspin while reducing sidespin, thereby improving accuracy.

Loft

The angle of the clubface relative to the centerline of the shaft. While loft has the most influence on the launch trajectory of a golf ball, there are other factors that contribute significantly to the overall ball trajectory, specifically the effective shaft flex (shaft length, shaft flex and flex profile, i.e. tip-stiff vs. tip-flexible) and the center of gravity.

Roll

A design characteristic of woods, roll is the vertical curvature of the face measured in inches of radius. Roll helps reduce the negative effects of hitting the ball too low or too high on the club face by providing additional loft when the ball is hit high on the face and less loft when the ball is hit low on the face. The amount of roll required depends on the location of the center of gravity of the club.

Slice

A ball flight with a pronounced left-to-right curve for a right-handed player, or a pronounced right-to-left curve for a left-handed player. A more upright color code (irons only) and/or a thinner grip diameter (irons and woods) can help reduce this tendency in most cases. A player who tends to slice his or her drives may also benefit from additional loft, which will increase backspin while reducing sidespin, thereby improving accuracy.

Swing Weight

A measurement of the ratio of the clubhead's weight to the grip end of the golf club, swing weight is commonly equated to how heavy the clubhead feels at the end of the shaft. To measure swing weight, the club is placed in a special scale with a fulcrum, or balance point, that is 14" from the butt end of the club. Swing weight measurements are represented by a letter/number combination. The letters range from A to G, and the numbers range from 0 to 9 - A0 being the lightest, G9 the heaviest. Most PING irons are built within the D0-D2 range with progressively heavier wedges.

Toe-down Effect

The downward flexing of the shaft in the downswing due to centrifugal force acting on the clubhead.

Torque

A measurement (in degrees) of how much a shaft will twist under a certain load. To test a shafts' torque rating, the butt of the shaft is attached to a fixture and a twisting force (4 ft./lbs.) is applied to the tip. The number of degrees the tip rotates is the torque rating.
Shafts with more torque generally feel softer since the shaft absorbs more vibration by flexing more around the axis (centerline) of the shaft, but are not as accurate when mis-hit.

Trajectory

Trajectory refers to the launch angle and "shape" of the flight of the golf ball. Regardless of the type of club, the trajectory of the golf ball can indicate whether or not the golf club's loft and shaft flex are properly matched to the golfer's swing speed.

Upright

A term used to describe a lie angle in which the toe of any club (putter, iron or metal wood) is higher than standard, or higher than it would be in the preferred position.
In this orientation, the loft of the club causes the face to be pointed farther left (for a right-handed golfer) which, with irons and metal woods, encourages a draw, or can be used to reduce a fade or slice.