What Is A Cut In Golf

What Is A Cut In Golf Terms? (Shot vs. Tournament)

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Golf dictionaries contain thousands of terms, but you don’t need to know all to enjoy a round or two. Even the essential terms are easy to pick up while playing. You only need a comprehensive resource around a term when it has ambiguity. And there are few terms as ambiguous as a cut in golf.

What is a cut in golf terms? A cut in golf refers to a shot that spins from the left to the right side of a right-handed player or from the right to the left of a left-handed player. It is not to be confused with the cut rule, which sees 70 golfers proceed to the final two days of a PGA tournament event with the rest being cut.

In this article, you will find the exact steps to make a cut shot and other things related to the term. One of the things you will learn is when to use the cut.

By the end of this post, you’ll know different words used to describe a cut and the opposite of a cut shot, including golf terms for beginners.

But before we go over the specifics of the shot, let’s overcome the ambiguity around its name.

Cut Shot Vs. Tournament Cut: A Common Confusion

Cut Shot Vs. Tournament Cut A Common Confusion

A cut in golf is a term for a type of controlled shot. However, it is confused with “the cut,” which is a term for the selection of golfers who proceed to the next stage in a tournament.

A cut shot refers to the fading of a ball from left to right (for right-handers), while the tournament cut refers to the players who make it to the next stage after the rest are “cut.” The two terms are differentiated by sentence context.

When someone is said to have “made the cut” or “cut from” an event, the word refers to the tournament cut. And when one’s said to have “made a cut shot” or “cut the ball,” then the word refers to the ball’s flight path.

Cut Shot Vs. Cutaway Shot

You might hear the word “cutaway” in golf commentary and confuse it with a cut.

In golf broadcasts, a cutaway shot refers to the camera operator cutting from one camera to another for reaction and details. This isn’t to be confused with a cut shot which refers to the golfer making a shot that cuts from left to right.

Cut shot vs. Slice

A cut shot in golf is an intentional fade, usually from left to right, while a slice is a steep turn which is usually unintentional.

Golfers aim to master cut shots but actively avoid slicing as much as possible. A slice has no utility as it is unpredictable and cannot be used for going around obstacles.

What Is The Opposite Of A Cut In Golf?

What Is The Opposite Of A Cut In Golf

Because most resources define a cut as an intentional curve in a ball’s flight path from left to right, you may think that the opposite of a cut is a ball that moves from right to left. That’s only true in some cases.

A cut is the move of a golf ball from the non-dominant side of a golfer (usually left) to the dominant side (usually right).

As covered earlier, a ball moving from the right to the left mid-flight would be considered a cut shot if the golfer is left-handed. So a cut isn’t contingent on left or right but is tied to a player’s dominant and non-dominant side.

As such, no controlled shot curves from the dominant to the non-dominant hand of a player, so there is no true opposite of a cut in golf.

Still, a hook might be considered the opposite of a cut (even though it is unintentional) because it curves from the dominant side to the non-dominant side. Technically, the hook is the opposite of a slice.

What Is A High Cut In Golf?

What Is A High Cut In Golf

A high cut in golf is a cut shot that is higher than usual.

Not only does it curve from a player’s non-dominant side to the dominant side, but it also goes upwards. It is a three-dimensional curving shot that demonstrates skill and shot control.

A high cut is used to get the ball over an obstacle, while a regular cut is used to get the ball around one. The high-cut ball usually lands without rolling, while a cut is more “forward” in its impact and continues to roll after landing.

You should use a cut shot instead of a high cut whenever possible because you’re more likely to make it successfully. Avoid using a high cut unless you’re really close to an obstacle and can’t execute a regular cut.

How To Make The Cut Shot?

How To Make The Cut Shot

Executing a cut shot requires skill and practice. And to master the intentional fade, you have to repeatedly attempt it. But until you get the hang of it, you should simply focus on your backswing and clubface contact.

To make a cut shot, you must aim for the left of the ball if you’re right-handed and the right if you’re left-handed.

More importantly, you should swing from the outside to the inside and hit the ball with an open clubface. As long as you execute these steps properly, the ball will fade.

It will take a lot of practice and feedback reconciliation before you can control the extent of the cut and use it to your advantage in golf. To ensure you get to that point quicker, here are the steps you must take for a controlled fade.

  1. Grip the club with your non-dominant hand at the bottom – If you’re right-handed, you’ll start by holding the club grip from the bottom with your left hand and then putting your right hand on the top. 
  2. Adjust your aim slightly toward the left of the ball – Your goal is to hit the ball on the left from the center if you’re right-handed. And it is the opposite if you’re left-handed. 
  3. Align yourself to the right of the ball to ensure an out-in swing – When you’re on the right of the ball, you have an easier path creating an outside-to-inside swing if you’re right-handed. 
  4. Have a smooth and controlled backswing – Do not “rev up” your backswing. It should be low and slow for maximum control. 
  5. Swing from the outside to the inside – It is important to swing from the outside to the inside regardless of your dominant side. 
  6. Open the clubface slightly when making contact – By opening the clubface a little, you encourage the ball to spin, which creates curvature in its flight path. 
  7. Follow through your shot with a continued swing to encourage spinning – You have to continue the swing past the point of contact to maximize the spin. Your stance and swing ensure that the ball moves towards your non-dominant side but fades towards your dominant side, depending entirely on how much the ball rotates in its flight.

What Is The Cut Rule In Golf?

What Is The Cut Rule In Golf

In golf tournaments, there is often a cut rule that helps determine who qualifies for the weekend rounds. In PGA Tour events, the cut is set at 70 players, and the 70th player’s score is the highest acceptable score.

A cut is determined in golf not by a pre-game score but by the players’ actual performance. It is set by the number of players, instead. In PGA tournament events that have the cut, 70 players usually qualify for the final two days.

LIV Golf doesn’t have the cut, and its field accommodates 48 players who all play all the rounds.

Recap: Golf Cut Definition

Final Thoughts

A cut in golf refers to a shot that fades from the non-dominant side of a player to the dominant side. Aside from being an impressive display of skill, it is also a shot that helps one get around an obstacle with minimal score.

It is not to be confused with a slice, which is an unintentional turn, or the cut rule, which refers to the cutting of non-qualifying players before the weekend.