AskDefine | Define stymie

Dictionary Definition



1 a situation in golf where an opponent's ball blocks the line between your ball and the hole
2 a thwarting and distressing situation v : hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of; "His brother blocked him at every turn" [syn: obstruct, blockade, block, hinder, stymy, embarrass] [also: stymying]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  • /ˈstaɪmi/
  • Rhymes with: -aɪmi


  1. An obstacle or obstruction.
  2. A situation where an opponent's ball is directly in the way of one's own ball and the hole, on the putting green.


  1. To thwart or stump; to cause to fail or to leave hopelessly puzzled, confused, or stuck.
    They had lost the key, and the lock stymied the first three locksmiths they called.

Extensive Definition

This article is about a golf rule. See Matthew "Stymie" Beard for the Our Gang actor and character and for the racehorse, see Stymie (horse).
A stymie refers to an archaic rule in the game of golf. Prior to 1952, when a player's ball blocked the path of another player's ball, but was more than six inches from it, the offending player's ball was not lifted. Instead the other player had to attempt to slice or draw the putt around the obstacle. Often, a player would attempt to chip the ball over the opponent's ball. If the player failed, and his ball impacted that of his opponent's, then the ball would be played as it lay. The opponent would then have to choose whether to putt from the original, or new position.

The Stymies

The Stymies are the second men's golf team of Cambridge University. The team colours are dark green, light blue and red. Team members themselves are renowned for their obscure interpretation of a stymie, a position in the game of golf eliminated from the rules in 1952. The current Stymies ethos is best summarised under their motto Golf, cervisa et historia purus. During a hearty lunch between rounds, any Stymie (or consenting opponent) who finds himself with more than one drink in front of him is required to polish off the glass containing the largest volume of alcohol. If you happen to have more than one drink in front of you at any point, you are considered to have been 'stymied'. Stymie-ing can occur in multiples. Golf-based hilarity ensues.
During the golf Varsity Match, The Stymies play their corresponding team at Oxford University, The Divots.
stymie in German: Stymies

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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