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verb (used with object)
  1. to scrape (the ground) with the head of the club just before impact with the ball.
verb (used without object)
  1. to sclaff the ground with the club.
  1. a sclaffing stroke.

Origin of sclaff

1890–95; special use of Scots sclaf to shuffle
Related formssclaff·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sclaff

Historical Examples

  • When, as often happens, this is done too suddenly, a sclaff is the result.

    The Complete Golfer [1905]

    Harry Vardon

  • Sclaff: Hitting the ground behind the ball first, thus not getting a clean stroke.

British Dictionary definitions for sclaff


  1. Also: duff to cause (the club) to hit (the ground behind the ball) when making a stroke
  1. a sclaffing stroke or shot
Derived Formssclaffer, noun

Word Origin

C19: from Scottish sclaf to shuffle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012