Glossary of Golf Terms

Public - a privately owned course where anybody can walk in, pay a fee and play. Everybody has the same rights to pay and play as everyone else.

Municipal - a course operated by a town or city, which operates like a public course with the exception that there are often advantages for people living in that locality.

Semi-Private - a privately owned course where anybody can walk in, but they also sell memberships. People who buy memberships have more rights to play than the general public, and often get the right to play for reduced rates or for free (depending on how much you pay for your membership). It's not uncommon for the number of memberships to be limited.

Private - You have to be a member to play, or the guest of a member. Nobody can just walk up to the door and play. Different levels of membership provide different abilities - some members might have to still pay a fee per round, while other members can have unlimited play time for free. They might also offer tiers of unlimited play M-F, unlimited play all days, etc.

Waste Area - A sand trap is a type of hazard. In a sand trap, you're not allowed to sole your club (touch the ground with your club) without taking a penalty. That's not true in a waste area.

Par 3 Course - A Par 3 course is one in which all the holes are par 3, and the longest hole could be up to maybe 200 yards. Every tee shot can be aimed directly at a green. There are par 3 courses which are much smaller than that.

Pitch n' Putt - A Par 3 course with holes around 100 yards.

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