What It Means to Overcook a Golf Shot

Did you just "overcook" a shot? Overcooking is something golfers sometimes do on the course, and, just like in the kitchen, it's not a good thing.

To "overcook a shot" or "overcook a swing" is to get too much out of it — to produce a shot that goes farther than you expected or wanted. Maybe you swung too hard or with too much wrist rotation or whatever, but you overdid it and now you've overshot your target or overdone a draw or fade.

The golf journalist T.J. Tomasi, in a long-ago Golf Insider newspaper feature, once defined "overcook" this way: "To hit a shot too hard. Also, when you intentionally draw, fade, slice or hook a shot and you get too much curvature, you've overcooked it."

An overcooked drive goes too far and runs off or through the fairway; an overcooked chip shot rolls past the hole when you were trying to leave it short, or goes over the green; an overcooked draw draws too much.

Describing the tee shot on the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass, with water on the left, a Golf Magazine article included this: "Overcook a draw from the tee and there’s a better-than-decent chance that your ball will find a watery grave."

An Associated Press article about the 2016 Masters, describing trouble for Bernhard Langer, said "On No. 3, he left his approach short, overcooked the chip and needed three more shots to get down."

More definitions:

(Book titles are affiliate links; commissions earned)
Bastable, Alan. "Pro repeats same costly mistake (three times!) in nightmare Players finish," golf.com, March 9, 2023, https://golf.com/news/aaron-wise-nightmare-players-meltdown/
McCord, Gary. Golf for Dummies*, "Double the chip, double the trouble," Wiley Publishing Inc., 2011
Pedroli, Hubert, and Tiegreen, Mary. Let the Big Dog Eat!, William Morrow Publisher, 2000
Pells, Eddie. "Langer, Kaufman go down in Augusta meltdowns for all ages," Johnston Tribune Democrat, April 11, 2015
Tomasi, T.J. "Golf spoken here: overcook it," Dover New Philadelphia Times Reporter, April 30, 2009

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