Winston Churchill said golf is a game whose aim is to hit a small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.

Since Dad and I play golf a couple of times a year—whether we need to or not—it has become necessary for us to improve the game so we can finish before our wives report us as missing persons.

Golf: Seductive game wherin one good hole in an outing convinces a man he really could play and should come back. (It is also the absolute best Father – Son – Grandson activity on any given April 16.)

As a public service I am reporting the official meaning of some golf terms compared with our singular improvements:


  • Official: one stroke below par.
  • Improved: what flies out of the target my ball just whacked. (See Tree.)



  • Official: one stroke over par
  • Improved: goal! i.e. “If I could just play bogey golf I’d be happy.”



  • Official: first shot from the tee.
  • Improved: practice shot. (See Mulligan.)



  • Official: two strokes under par.
  • Improved: endangered national bird—never experienced one in the wild (or on the course).



  • Official: the closely mown area leading from the tee-box to the green; the target for a drive shot.
  • Improved: the path real men walk across to find their ball. (See Rough.)



  • Official: a short putt to be conceded as if it were automatic (not in the official rules).
  • Improved: any shot after two putts. (See Why I still play basketball.)


"I'd use a four iron from here."

“I’d use a four iron from here.”


  • Official: in friendly, unofficial play a “do over” for a bad shot. (Typically one Mulligan is allowed per nine holes.)
  • Improved: Polite, tee-box chatter, “Why don’t you hit another one?” (Typically limited to nine per hole.)



  • Official: marked areas where play is not allowed.
  • Improved: huh? (See Scratch.)



  • Official: the area outside of the fairway with higher, thicker grass; meant to punish golfers who miss the fairway.
  • Improved: challenging area where real men play.



  • Official: player who consistently shoots par or Improved.
  • Improved: what a player does after finding his ball. (See Out-of-bounds.)



  • Official: dramatic, banana-shaped curve moving right of the target.
  • Improved: “I think you can find that.” (See Mulligan, Out-of-bounds, Scratch, Rough, Gimmie, and Triple-bogey.)



  • Official: hazard or challenge
  • Improved: target (See Birdie.)


McNeely & McNeely CPA Newsletter

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