What Does Stick Mean in Golf?

While on the course, you’ll hear all sorts of unique words and expressions that are exclusive to the game of golf.

Some of these expressions are easy to figure out, while others can be pretty tricky if you don’t have someone to explain them to you.

If you’ve been playing golf for a while now, you’ll probably hear the word stick quite often?  But what does stick mean in golf? Perhaps, the word was referring to something or someone called you a stick. So is that a good or a bad thing?

In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a brief guide that answers the popular question “what does stick mean in golf?”.

The two most mainstream meanings are your club, as in “what stick are you hitting here?” and a scratch player, as in “That guy is a stick, he goes low all the time!”

What Does Stick Mean in Golf?

The word “stick” is used in a wide range of situations in golf. Not only that, but you’ll also hear it in a variety of situations and refer to different things.

golf phrases

The reason behind that is that “stick” doesn’t mean one thing in golf but can be used in a wide range of situations to describe different things.

In fact, as you’re going to see in the following sections, changing the wording of how you say “stick” can have a totally different meaning.

For example, if you say “stick” referring to someone, it’ll have a totally different meaning from when you refer to a golf club as a stick.

Not only that, but it’s also different from when you precede it by an article. In other words, “the stick” is different from “stick” or “sticks”, even if you’re not referring to a person in both of these cases.

Additionally, the word “stick” can be used within a larger expression. For instance, you can say, ”off the stick”, which has a specific meaning different from the previously mentioned situations. The same goes with the term “chicken stick”.

All these expressions as well as the difference between them and how to distinguish between each one of them will be discussed below, so stick around for more golf lingo!

Different Meanings of the Word Stick in Golf

Now that you know that not all “sticks” are created equal, it’s time to dive in deeper to understand what the word means in each of these different situations. Here’s a brief overview of the cases where you might hear the word:

1. Sticks (Referring to an Object)

Let’s start with one of the most obvious meanings of the term stick. If the word stick is said to refer to an object, it’s most likely referring to the golf clubs.

golf terms

This is because, in layman’s terms, the stick is the easiest way to define the shape of a golf club. For example, if someone asked you to fetch a stick off the bag near you, they’re asking you to give them a golf club.

In fact, the term is quite common not only in golf but in many other sports and activities that use a pole, such as fishing, where fishing rods and poles are also referred to as “sticks” by some anglers.

In this situation, the word can be used in singular and plural form without necessarily adding an article, unless you’re referring to one specific golf club.

2. The Stick

Another situation where the word “stick” may be used is when describing the flagstick, which is the thin pole with a flag that stands inside the cup to let you know the location of the cup on the putting green.

In addition to “the stick”, the flagstick is also referred to as “the pin”, which is actually more commonly used than the stick in some regions.

When referring to the flagstick, you’ll often notice that it’s always accompanied by “the”, simply because there’s usually one flagstick that you’re aiming to reach.

For example, a situation where the word is meant to describe the flagstick should be like: “He shot the ball so accurately that it landed right next to the stick”.

3. Stick (Referring to Someone)

In some cases, you might find someone referring to the golfer as a “stick”. If they’re referring to you as a stick, that means you’re a pretty good player!

In fact, a stick is a slang term that is used to describe a scratch golfer, which is a player who typically has around a zero golf handicap.

In other words, he’s a very good player that, on almost any given course, will be able to shoot the ball right around par. A scratch golfer is usually an extremely talented player who is fit enough to play golf professionally.

Some people also use the term stick to describe the best amateur player they’ve ever played against, whether they’re a scratch player or not.

4. Off the Stick

Now that you know more about using sticks on their own, here’s a common expression where the word stick is used.

golf slang terms

When someone says “off the stick”, they’re referring to a type of a golf round. For example, if a group of people or a tournament are playing off the stick, no handicap calculations are taken into consideration or involved in the round, so the player with the lowest score wins.

5. Chicken Stick

Last but not least, if someone used the term “chicken stick”, it means that the player who was in a difficult situation, used a different club or changed their style of play in order to “play it safe” or within their capabilities, to avoid a bogey instead of taking a more aggressive shot.

The term is usually used among a group of friends to tease each other while playing on a course but can be also used in a highly competitive environment to put pressure on other players.

Wrap Up

There you have it! A complete guide that walks you through all the different slang and terms that include the word stick in golf.

As you can see, the word is used in a wide variety of situations, and the best way to identify the meaning of each one of them is to use the context in which it has been used.

If you heard a different situation where the word stick has been used, let us know in the comments, and make sure to share this article among your playgroup to spread the knowledge!

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