Playing Golf In Acapulco Part Ii Spanish For Golfers

If you come to Acapulco to play golf and are ever paired up with a local golfer or Mexican tourist, you may need to have a little background on Mexican golfers and the Spanish of golf. Here is some quick assistance.

First, Lorena Ochoa is Mexicos most noted golfer. In 2009 she was the number one-ranked female golfer in the world and a leader of the LPGA Tour. Lorena was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in 1981. Many think that Lee Trevino (sometimes called Supermex by his fans) is Mexican, but that is only true by heritage. He was born in Dallas, and lives permanently in California. He has never lived in Mexico. Do not imagine that Chi Chi Rodriguez, Seve Ballesteros and Sergio Garcia are Mexican because they have Hispanic surnames. Chi Chi is Puerto Rican and the latter two are from Spain.

Second, there is some good news for English speakers about playing golf in Mexico: As golf was invented in Scotland, almost all of the terminology of golf is either in English or (archaically) in Scots Gaelic. (For example, niblick is derived from Scots nib for nose). Words like birdie and bogey came in from slang usage in the US and England. Thus, your Mexican golf partners will probably use the same terminology as you do most of the time. There are a few exceptions, of course, and you should be prepared for variations in the way the words are pronounced. For example, green will probably be pronounced more like gring and will rhyme with swing.

The club (the location) is a Club de Golf. The club (stick) itself is a palo or palo de golf. Woods are called maderas and irons are called hierros. (Don’t pronounce the “h” and do trill the two r’s, if you can.)Your wedge (sand, loft or pitching) is a cucharilla, which literally means a small spoon. The putter is a puter. (In Spanish this word has a comical and sometimes ironic similarity to a coarse word for prostitute.) All these clubs go into your golf bag, or bolsa de golf.

You may have a caddie to help you out on the course. He is called a caddie. Sometimes we use the more generic term, ayudante or helper. You may be riding around the course in a carrito, “carrillo” or carro de golf.

A golf ball is a bola, though every so often it is referred to ironically as a pelotita or little ball, particularly when it bounces in the wrong direction. (Pelota is usually reserved for inflatable balls and bola for hard spheres, but theres no strict rule.)

The course itself which you will call a course or links is a recorrido, which means something close to a round. You probably will hear the course called a campo or cancha, which are more informal usages.

The terms for handicap (for either a hole or a player) and scratch (i.e., a zero handicap player) are the same as in English, but you may hear golpes adjudicados or sin golpes adjudicados respectively. These are more like definitions than fixed terms.

The hole is a hoyo (which means hole in Mexican Spanish). Once you leave the salida or tee, you are, we hope, in the fairway, or calle. This is the same word as street in Spanish. If you missed the fairway, you are probably in the mato or matorral the rough. Your objective, of course, is the green (the same in Spanish as in English). Try to avoid the bunkers, which are called bunkers in Spanish, too, but are often referred to simply as arena sand. Any other hazard water or man-made obstacle is either a hzar or an obstculo.

A stroke is a golpe. A drive is a golpe largo. It is usually made from the salida the tee. (The actual ball support — not the starting point of a hole — is called a tee on Mexican courses.) Hooks (efecto a la izquierda) and Slices (efecto a la derecha) are usually called by their English terms or perhaps by appropriate, unprintable names, just as in the States.

The second shot from the fairway, is a golpe de aproximacin but often called un aproach. A pitch (short and high) is the same as in English (often pronounced peach). (In some Spanish-speaking countries (not Mexico) this word sounds coarse, and therefore may generate some chuckles.) A chip (usually pronounced cheap) is the same term as in English, but the verb for hitting a chip is chipear. “Patear” is used for putting, which is often written “put,” but pronounced more like “paht.” “Tirar al hoyo” is a more formal expression, and can cover puts as well as long, low chips.

Top spin is either some version of top spin or avance or efecto de avance. Back spin follows the same convention. In Spanish it might be called retroceso or efecto de retroceso.

To top a ball hit it on top so as to crease or cut it is topar. The swing itself is balanceo.

The types of golf competitions are much the same as in English, too, though some golfers will use Spanish versions like the following: A major tournament is sometimes called a gran premio. A master tournament is for pros only. Medal Play is a competition in which the lowest adjusted score wins. Match Play is a tourney in which the player winning the most holes takes first place. An open may be called a torneo abierto or torneo libre.

Good luck Buena suerte on you golf vacation in Acapulco.