If you are a beginner to the golf course, there can be many words in the golf terminology which is not intelligible for you. Looking up a few golf tips before your big golfing trip is never a bad thing! "Carry" is one of those terms which are used to give a slightly different meaning than its normal use within the golf course. To put it simply, "Carry" is the complete distance that the golf ball travels through the air once you hit it. The technical definition defines "Carry" as the straight-line distance from where you run the ball to the place where the trajectory crosses which is the same height as the place it started.
When you learn about how to golf, it is good if you try to understand the terms in detail, rather than merely looking through the meanings. One of the most important things, to know when learning about "carry" is that the value that is given for the landing area is always the same height where the ball started, despite any height differences between the two places. With the understanding of this, the golfer tends to adjust his or her shots for either uphill or downhill depending on the value. It is considered as an imaginary flat line between the two places, which is why this is sometimes referred to as "carry flat."
There are many different factors which affect the "carry" distance such as the speed of the ball, the golf ball's launch angle, the rate of the spin which all contributes to the final value. If you are still merely reading through golf tips, you need to understand that the ability to optimize these factors and getting the best value usually comes with the experience and practice. An experienced player can maximize these numbers almost unconsciously by looking at the distance and the way the ball should be hit. This is usually practiced to avoid any obstacles such as ponds or other inconsistencies in the landscape which are typically present in golf courses.