How 'Bo Derek' Became a Golf Expression and What It Means

In golf, a "Bo Derek" is usually something you don't want ... but sometimes you do. That's because "Bo Derek" is a slang term with two different meanings, but one of those meanings is far more common than the other.

The Bo Derek Score On a Hole

The most common usage among golfers of "Bo Derek" is to denote a score of 10 on an individual golf hole. This slang term originates from the movie 10, in which Bo Derek was the object of Dudley Moore's desire. A 10 in golf, however, is the object of nobody's desire ... unless you're a golfer who averages 11 strokes per hole.

A golfer who just scored 10 — if he's willing to admit to it — might say to his scorekeeper, "Put me down for a Bo Derek." Because saying, "Put me down for a 10," is more embarrassing.

The Bo Derek Shot

In the movie 10, comic actor Moore falls hard for cornrowed beach beauty Bo Derek because she is, in his view, a perfect beauty. She's a 10.

So another usage of "Bo Derek" in golf — although one far less common than the score-of-10 one — is an exclamation after a golfer hits a great shot. "Wow, that was a Bo Derek of a shot!"

The fact is, neither of these expressions, even the one meaning a score of 10, is all that common anymore. The movie 10 came out in 1979, and for a while after Derek was arguably the world's most-famous sex symbol. But that was a long time ago, and many golfers today have never seen the movie nor even heard of Derek.

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