If you've ever watched golf on TV or played golf, you've no doubt heard someone use the term "fried egg." And, if you haven't played a lot of golf or been unfortunate enough to experience a fried egg personally, you may not know what a fried egg is in golf.
What is a fried egg in golf?
In golf, the term "fried egg" is a euphemism for a plugged lie or a buried lie in a bunker (colloquially called a sand trap). The golf ball is partially buried underneath the top level of sand, meaning only a portion of the golf ball is showing to the golfer.
With the look of the typical white golf ball and the often yellow hues found in sand, it looks sort of like an inverse-colored fried egg.
What causes a fried egg lie in a bunker?
There are a variety of reasons why a golfer's ball might wind up in a fried egg lie in a bunker. The sand in the bunker may be too soft or too fine, meaning a ball doesn't have much cushion underneath is when it hits the sand. Golfers may also come in with so much force with their shot that the ball may bury itself, piercing the sand. Sometimes golfers also come in too high, with a descending loft on their ball that causes the ball to bury.
What does a fried egg mean for golfers?
For golfers, drawing a fried egg lie means a shot that is typically difficult for an amateur golfer -- the bunker shot -- gets even tougher. It is nearly impossible for a golfer to get the ball out of a bunker and put the same requisite backspin on the ball to get it to stop near the hole. The typical explosion shot, which is used to get a ball out of most greenside bunkers, is not as effective or not effective at all. That means golfers have to use the best way to get out of a fried egg lie in a bunker and hope they're able to execute the shot.