What Is the Golf Score Called 'Hangman'?

Do you know what a "hangman" is in golf? A hangman is always something you want to avoid, and it's no different in golf: Hangman is a slang term some golfers use for a score of 9 on a single golf hole.

Let's say your buddy Jim, who uses a motorcycle grip, knocks his drive into the woods. His second shot hits another tree and bounces around. His third stroke is into the rough beside the fairway. He decides to chip out into the fairway. Then his approach to the green lands in a bunker. He takes two strokes to get out of the bunker. Now he's at 7, and two putts later he holes for a 9.

"The hangman came for me," Jim might say, when asked for his score. The marker in the group then knows, after Jim uses the term hangman, to write down a 9.

How did "hangman" became a golf slang term for a 9? Well, if you squint, you might be able to see the number "9" resembling a person hanging from the gallows. (Yes, it is macabre.) And scoring 9 on a single hole is sort of like sending your round to the gallows. (The term might have been inspired by the children's word game called Hangman.)

The dreaded "hangman" is also called an "abominable snowman," because "snowman" is one slang term for a score of 8, and a score of 9 is even more abominable than an 8.

By the way: What would a single-hole score of 9 be called by a golfer who wants to use a term that is less slangy than hangman? If it happens on a a par-3 hole, a 9 is a sextuple bogey; on a par-4, it is a quintuple bogey; on a par-5, it is a quadruple bogey; on a par-6 it is a triple bogey.

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