What does Hangman mean in Golf?

Golf score of 9, also known as ‘Hangman’

In golf lingo, if someone refers to a ‘Hangman’, they’re talking about a score of 9 on a single hole. The term is derived from the fact that the number 9 sort of looks like a person hanging from a noose, just like in the popular word guessing game.

A ‘Hangman’ score isn’t something to be proud of. It’s pretty awful, actually. It’s even more dreaded than the ‘Snowman’ score, which is an 8. To help you understand, consider that the average golf hole has a par of about 3 or 4. Scoring a ‘Hangman’ means you’re way over that.

So, how does one end up with a ‘Hangman’? Usually, it’s the result of a series of unfortunate shots. Maybe your drives veered away from the fairway, or you hit the ball into a bunker or a water hazard. Or perhaps you struggled on the green and had to take several putts. Any of these scenarios could lead to the dreaded ‘Hangman’.

Example for using ‘Hangman’ in a conversation

Hey, I heard you went golfing yesterday. How did it go?

It was a disaster! I got a hangman on one of the holes.

Oh no! What happened?

I had a terrible drive that went way off course, then my second shot ended up in the water. It was a complete meltdown.