noun, often attributive
\ ˈgälf How to pronounce golf (audio) , ˈgȯlf, ˈgäf, ˈgȯf, sometimes ˈgəlf \

Definition of golf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a game in which a player using special clubs attempts to sink a ball with as few strokes as possible into each of the 9 or 18 successive holes on a course


communications code word

Definition of Golf (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a code word for the letter g

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Other Words from golf


golf intransitive verb
golfer noun

Did You Know?

This is a game in which a player using special clubs attempts to sink a small ball into each of the nine or 18 successive holes on an outdoor course, using as few strokes as possible. Golf developed in Scotland as early as the 15th century; the courses were originally fields that herds of sheep had clipped short in their characteristic grazing style. Golf balls, originally made of wood, are now made of hard rubber. Clubs are known by the traditional names of “irons” and “woods”; today irons are more likely made of stainless steel than iron, and the heads of woods are usually made of metal such as steel or titanium instead of wood.

Examples of golf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The traditional July-August date means the I.O.C. will probably be able to call on the presence of top players from soccer, tennis and golf, some of the biggest names in global sports and a big attraction for television audiences. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Summer Olympics in Tokyo to Start on July 23, 2021," 30 Mar. 2020 His athletic pursuits included baseball, basketball, golf, tennis and bowling. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Middleburg Heights mourns death of past ‘Mayor for the Day’ Gregory Blaha," 27 Mar. 2020 There are six sports in the AHSAA that are played in the spring: Baseball, soccer, golf, tennis, track and field and softball. Ben Thomas |, al, "'It’s awful:’ No school means no high school spring sports champions in 2020," 26 Mar. 2020 An abundance of athletes with local ties were hoping to compete in a variety of sports at the 2020 Olympics, among them basketball, fencing, field hockey, golf, shooting, softball and swimming. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Postponing Olympics 'necessary' but still painful for local athletes preparing for Tokyo," 23 Mar. 2020 Rugby, cricket, golf, tennis and Formula One competitions have also been severely disrupted by crisis. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Comcast's Sky U.K. Letting Subs Pause Sports Subscriptions Amid Coronavirus," 20 Mar. 2020 Several other events have been canceled or postponed as the novel coronavirus continues its spread in the U.S. Professional basketball, baseball, golf, and hockey leagues have either canceled or delayed their events. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Kentucky Derby to be postponed for first time in 75 years over coronavirus," 16 Mar. 2020 The school offers softball, football, basketball, cross-country, track and field, golf, swimming and cheer. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, "New Catholic high school in Temecula, St. Jeanne, has eye on athletics," 8 Mar. 2020 Most members, including my clients, are outside most of the day, playing golf, hiking, swimming. Bebe Howorth, ELLE Decor, "Here’s Proof That a High-End Home Doesn’t Have to Be Stuffy," 6 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'golf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of golf


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for golf


Middle English (Scots)

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Learn More about golf

Time Traveler for golf

Time Traveler

The first known use of golf was in the 15th century

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Statistics for golf

Last Updated

4 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Golf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for golf


How to pronounce Golf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of golf

: an outdoor game in which players use special clubs (called golf clubs) to try to hit a small ball with as few strokes as possible into each of 9 or 18 holes


\ ˈgälf How to pronounce golf (audio) , ˈgȯlf \

Kids Definition of golf

: a game played by hitting a small ball with special clubs into each of nine or 18 holes in as few strokes as possible

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More from Merriam-Webster on golf

Spanish Central: Translation of golf

Nglish: Translation of golf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of golf for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about golf

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