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What Does “Away” Mean In Golf? – Explained!

what does away mean in golf
what does away mean in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term “Away”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does “Away” mean in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the expression “Away” means in golf.

What Does “Away” Mean In Golf?

In golf, the golfer in a group whose ball is furthest away from the golf hole after everyone teed off is said to be the “away” golfer. In some playing formats, the “away” golfer always hits their ball next, as many times as necessary, until they are no longer the “away” golfer.

In the great game of golf, the expression “Away” is often mentioned on golf courses and on TV broadcasts.

In golf, the term “Away” is the term that refers to the golfer in a group whose ball is furthest away from the golf hole, after everyone teed off the tee box.

In most playing formats in golf, the golfer who is “away” keeps hitting the golf ball until they are no longer the “away” golfer. After the “away” golfer changes, the new “away” golfer keeps striking the golf ball until they themselves are no longer the “away” golfer, and so on.

The concept of being “away” in golf allows golfers to play closer to each other, especially if there is a large skill gap between the various golfers in a group. It makes golf a bit more social.

For example, take the example of 2 friends playing together: one is a great player, the other is a beginner. The great player manages to get to the green in only 2 strokes, but the beginner is not even halfway down the fairway after two strokes.

In this example, it would be awkward for the great player to finish the hole on his third stroke and wait 4-5 strokes at the other end of the hole for his partner to finish it.

Instead, the “away” playing order allows the two friends to remain physically close to each other, and reduce the sensation of having to wait on the weaker golfer.

However, not all groups and golf tournaments use the “away” playing order to play a round of golf. Therefore, when playing with a new group of people or in a new golf tournament, make sure you all agree on the playing order rules, or inform yourself with tournament organizers.

Especially in casual golf, you need to agree in a specific set of rules with the other members of your group. Every person typically likes a slightly different set of rules, so agreeing on a common set of rules will ensure a harmonious playing session for all.

Some casual groups or tournament rules prefer to play with “ready golf” playing orders, meaning that whoever is ready to play their stroke can play their stroke, ignoring “away” playing order.

A synonym of “away” in golf is “out”. Golfers often say too each other phrases such as “You are away, you go next”.

The notion of being “away” in golf only exists when you are playing in a group of 2 or more golfers. You are always the “away” golfer and always hit the ball next if you are playing a round of golf alone.

If you would like to reduce how often you are the “away” golfer, and improve your golf score, read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Away”

The origin of the expression “Away” in golf is quite simple.

Quite literally, in the English language, the word “away” means “at a distance from a particular place, person, or thing”.

In golf, when a golfer is “away”, it means they are at a distance from the particular thing which is the golf hole.

If you hole the golf ball, then you are no longer “away” from the golf hole. The golfer who is the furthest away from the golf hole is “away” relative to the other golfers in their group.

For these reasons, it makes perfect sense where the term “Away” got its name from in golf.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the expression “Away” means in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? Do you use the “Away” playing order rules when you play golf in your group? Let us know in the comments down below!

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