The Golf Meanings of the Word 'Out'

"Out" is a very common word in our everyday language. But in a golf context, "out" has two specific meanings that apply to, respectively, golf ball position and golf course layout.

Defintion of 'Out' Pertaining to Golf Ball Position

Say you're playing within a group of four. All of you hit your tee shots. Which golfer's ball is farthest from the hole? That golfer is "out."

Say all four golf balls are on the putting green. Whose ball is farthest from the hole? That golfer is out.

In this golf usage, "out" refers to the golfer whose ball is farthest from the hole. Why is that important? Because that golfer plays first. (Unless the group has agreed to play ready golf, in which case any golfer who is ready to play can go first.)

In this usage, out is a synonym for "away." "Who's out? You putt first then." "Who's away? You play first."

Definition of 'Out' Pertaining to Golf Course Layout

Traditionally, first nine holes of a golf course are called the "outward nine." On many golf scorecards, this is represented by the word "out," which, in this context, means the front nine. (The back nine is called the "inward nine" and represented by "in" on the scorecard.)

And those are the two, golf-specific ways that golfers use the word "out."

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