Hacker is somewhat synonymous with "duffer" in that they both apply to poor players. But "duffer" is sometimes used to denote weaker players in general, while "hacker" is often applied to a single golfer as an insult. Hacker is a little bit stronger than duffer in its derogatory meaning, in other words.
The term probably derives from the image of a poor golfer "hacking" his way up a golf hole, swinging wildly and digging up turf. Whatever its origin, it's a term you don't want to hear applied to you.
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