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Disc Golf Glossary


Disc Golf Glossary - Say What???Disc Golf Dictionary

So you started playing disc golf and and you're playing with some of your buddies.  Someone started dropping words like hyzer, turbo putt, flick, tomahawk, or thumber.  Did you think anhyzer was a maker of fine (or not) adult beverages?  We've all been there.  Fear not friends, our glossary of disc golf terms will keep you in "the know" and have you talking the talk in no time. 

Wanna walk the walk too?  Check out our Disc Golf Instructional Videos!

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Wanna go more in depth?  Head over to our Disc Golf Articles.
 
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---A---

 
Ace - Disc golf hole in one.  This is the lowest score you can get on a single hole in disc golf.

Anhyzer - Release angle with the wing of the disc up.  The disc will follow this intial angle and depending on the disc and its stability will either continue to follow, or will hyzer out and finish straight or to the right.  For right hand backhand throwers, the anhyzer angle will yield right turns for understable and stable discs and will yield S-curves or helix shots for overstable discs.

Anny - nickname for anhyzer or anhyzer shot.

Anhyzer shot - a disc golf throw using anhyzer release.

Approach - typically refers to the 2nd shot on a hole that is setting up the putt or perhaps the next shot.  Sometimes referred to as an upshot.

Approach disc - an approach shot, or the disc used to make the approach shot.  It is up to the player, but many will choose to throw a slower disc like a mid-range disc or a putter for the approach shot.
 
---B---

 
Backhand - Common Throwing style where the throwing side of the body is pointed towards the target.  Player reaches across chest then throws the disc across the body.  Ex: Right Hand Backhand thrower will reach across his chest and away from the target with the disc.  The disc is then pulled back across the chest and released towards the target.

Basket - The disc golf basket, target, or disc entrapment device is the end goal for every "hole."  Usually made of sturdy chains, the basket consists of a pan and a series of chains around a vertical pole that will catch or "trap" your disc inside.  Your disc must come to rest in (not on top of) the disc entrapment device to finish the hole by PDGA rules. 
Check out our selection of disc golf baskets.

Birdie - Term for holing out (finishing the hole) 1 stroke under the par.

Bogie - Term for holing out (finishing the hole) 1 stroke above the par.
 
---C---

 
Card - Short for scorecard.  In tournaments, players play in groups called "cards."  Your card will all write their scores on a single scorecard to be turned in to the tournament director at the completion of the round.

Casual water - standing water or puddles on a course that is not considered a water hazard and will not penalize the player a stroke should their disc come to rest in the casual water.  Player should play from a lie that is safe but does not advance the disc's position towards the target.

Ching - Ching is a manufacturer of golf discs and equipment.  They are known for innovation and disc design including the Excelerator and D.R.A.F.T systems.
Check out our full selection of Ching Discs.
 
---D---

 
Deuce - Completion of a hole in two shots.

Disc - a circular object made of plastic used in flying disc sports.  Discs come in different shapes and sizes and are made for a variety of purposes and flight paths.  Discs are used for games such as disc golf, ultimate, and freestyle.

Discraft - Discraft is the "world's leader in disc sports."  They manufacture fine flying discs out of Michigan including freestyle, Ultimate, and golf discs and equipment.  They are known for high-performing discs that are molded consistently and stand the test of time.
Check out our robust selection of everything Discraft.

Discwing - Discwing is the first manufacturer outside of North America.  Based out of England, they produce a simple line of innovative and original products.
Pick up a great product from Discwing.

Disk golf - An incorrect spelling of our beloved sport disc golf. Keep your floppy disks at home in the attic and grab some disc golf discs and go play!

Drive - Commonly regarded as the first shot from the tee area.  Sometimes on longer holes, players consider their second shot to be another "drive"

Driver - Disc golf disc designed to obtain maximum distance off the tee (or from a lie on the fairway).  The rim is wider and sharper than that of a mid-range or putter and will fly faster and farther.
 
---E---

 
Eagle - Term for holing out (finishing the hole) 2 strokes under the par.
 
---F---

 
Fade - During the slower portion of the flight, a disc will naturally turn left (Right-hand backhand).

Fairway - The playing surface of a hole between the tee area and the green.  In general a throw that results in a lie on the fairway is good because it will yield a good path for the next shot.  Fairways can be very wide and open or tight and narrow depending on the course design.

Falling putt - Inside of 10 meters a putt where the player does not remain behind the lie until after the disc comes to rest.  By PDGA rules, a player must "exhibit balance" until the disc is in the basket or at rest on the ground when throwing from within 10 meters of the target.  Thus, a follow through step is not allowed when putting inside of 10 meters.

Finish - Also known as the fade, as a disc is "finishing" its flight and losing velocity, it will naturally turn left for right-hand backhand throwers.

Flex Shot - Flight path also known as a helix or S-Curve.  In the beginning of the flight (for right hand backhand) the disc will travel right then fade back left to make an S curve. This is often acheived throwing an overstable disc with anhyzer angle.  The disc will travel right and flex back to the left as it decelerates at the end of its flight.

Flick - Slang for a sidearm or forehand shot.

Forehand - Throwing style that leads with the non-throwing arm.  Ex: For Right Hand forehand players-the left shoulder will be pointed towards the target and the right arm extends behind player and then across chest.  Also known as a sidearm shot or flick.

Frisbee - flying disc made by Wham-O toy company.  Although the Frisbee is a specific product, the term is commonly used to refer to many different flying discs.

Frisbee golf - alternative form of golf using flying discs and targets( usually baskets or objects).  Players finish hole by hitting the object or by landing their disc into the basket.  Also called disc golf.

Frolf - Slang for Frisbee Golf.  "Let's play some frolf!" 
 
---G---

 
Green - Putting area, typically a circle around the target with a 10m radius.

Grenade - Backhand shot very similar to a hyzer spike, except with the disc placed upside down in the hand.  The flight path goes straight up and back down with very little lateral movement.

Grip lock - Expression used when a player releases far too late and makes an errant shot.
 
---H---

 
Headwind - Wind that is blowing directly at you.  This will make your disc more understable.  For right-hand backhand, your disc is more likely to turn right when throwing into a headwind.

Helix - Flight path also known as a flex shot or S-curve.  In the beginning of the flight (for right hand backhand) the disc will travel right then fade back left to make an S curve. This is often acheived throwing an overstable disc with anhyzer angle.  The disc will travel right and flex back to the left as it decelerates at the end of its flight.

High speed turn - High speed turn  is a flight characteristic of a disc to turn to the right during the fastest part of its flight (the early flight.)  The degree to which a disc resists high speed turn determines the disc's stability.  Discs that have a lot of high speed turn are understable.  Discs that have a moderate amount of high speed turn are stable, and discs that resist turning right even at high speeds are overstable.

Hole - The target in disc golf, usually objects or baskets. The term "hole" encompasses the entire play area: tee, fairway, green, and target.  For instance, Hole #1 can refer to the entire fairway and path traveled on the first play area or can refer specifically to basket #1 on the first green.

Holing out - Successfully completing a hole of disc golf.  If baskets, the disc must be supported by the chains or the bottom basket.  If object or targets, the hole is complete when disc strikes the target within the markers.

Hyzer - Release angle with the wing of the disc down.  The disc will follow this intial angle and depending on the disc and its stability will either continue to follow, or will flip up and turn right, finish straight, or if in the air long enough will finish left.  For right hand backhand throwers, the hyzer angle will yield hyzer flips for understable and stable discs that typically go straight and will yield left turns for overstable discs.

Hyzer flip - Disc golf shot using a stable or an understable disc released with hyzer angle that flips up to flat and depending on the disc can hold the straight line or turn right or fade left at the end of the flight.  Useful for narrow fairways and tight shots.

Hyzer spike - also known as spike hyzer or knife hyzer.  An extremely deep hyzer angle release that is thrown high, usually to get around an obstacle, and is designed to drop down and land hard but stick in a certain area.  Can be used to get out of trouble or as a technical strategy shot.
 
---J---

 
Jump Putt - A putt utilizing a forward jumping motion to increase momentum and distance.  Legal only outside of 10 meters from the target.  If used within 10 meters, it would constitute a falling putt.
 
---L---

 
Lay-up - A safe throw that prepares the following shot to be an easy and/or successful shot.  Usually refers to an approach shot that is preparing a putt, but can also refer to other shots.  Ex: A player may choose to lay up on the drive to avoid a water hazard because he knows he can safely clear the water on the second shot.

Lie - The mark of where your previous shot landed that designates the area you must shoot from next to make a legal disc golf throw.  The lie is marked by the disc that was thrown, or if using a mini-marker the lie is marked on the line of play on the edge of your disc closest to the target. 

Line - A flight path intended by the thrower.  A stable disc will most likely follow the line the best.  An overstable disc will fade out towards the end of the flight, and an understable disc will turn right at the beginning of the flight.

Line of play - a direct line from your lie to the target.  This determines legal stances and legal throws.  Your lie should be marked with a mini on the front edge of your disc on the line of play.

Lightning - Lightning Golf Discs and equipment are manufactured out of Dallas, Texas.  Lightning has a full selection of discs including many floaters, glow discs, and lightweights.  Known for their brilliant colors and affordable prices.
We carry a complete line of Lightning Golf Discs and equipment.

LHBH - Left Hand Backhand throwing style.

LHFH - Left Hand Forehand throwing style.

Low speed fade - For Right Hand Backhand, the natural characteristic of the spin to turn left as the disc slows down.  This fade will happen at the end of the flight as the disc is losing speed.  Different discs will fade more or less depending on design, throwing style, power, wind, and other variables.
 
---M---

 
Mandatory - A directional obstacle in disc golf.  Usually a sign will indicate how to obey the mandatory.  Mandatories can be placed on a hole for extra challenge or commonly for safety of nearby players or park users.  Example: Disc flight paths must go to the right of the mandatory tree.

Mando - nickname for a mandatory.

Marker - sometimes called a mini-marker or mini, the object used to mark your lie. 

Mid-Range - A disc designed with a combination of distance and accuracy.  Usually thrown on the second shot, or approach shot, a mid-range is very controllable and follows lines very well.  Since these discs fly slower than distance drivers, they are a good choice as they are not likely to fly by the target too far.  Many players throw mid-range discs off the tee for shorter holes or for tight fairways.  Check out Disc Golf Station's wide selection of Mid-Range Approach Discs!

Mids - nickname for Mid-range discs.

Mini - sometimes called a mini-marker or just marker, the object used to mark your lie. 

Mini-marker - sometimes called a marker or a mini, the object used to mark your lie.
 
---N---

 
Nose - front part of the disc that is pointed toward the target. 

Nose down - disc position where the nose of the disc is below parallel to the ground.

Nose up - disc position where the nose of the disc is above parallel to the ground.  A throw with the nose up will gain altitude and will slow down quicker than a flat throw.  This will typically result in a less than maximum distance throw.
 
---O---

 
Obstacle - objects in a course that provide challenges to playing the holes.  Some of the most common obstacles are trees, bushes, fences, signs, rocks, buildings, and mandatories.

Out-of-bounds (OB) - A disc that lands completely OB is charged one penalty stroke.  The lie is marked either at a designated drop zone, or if not specified the lie is marked at the point where the disc was last in bounds.  Player receives 1 meter of relief into the course from the out of bounds line.

Overhand - Throwing style that propels the disc by an overhand motion much like a baseball or football throw.

Overstable - A flight characteristic of a disc that is an exaggeration of the discs natural spin.  The disc naturally wants to fly straight at high speeds and wants to fade left (for right-hand backhand) during the end of the flight as it slows down.  More specifically the overstable quality is most easily observed by the degree to which a disc resists high speed turn.  Even at high speeds, an overstable disc won't turnover to the right.  Even in a headwind, an overstable disc will hold its line and want to fade left at the end of the flight.  Because overstable discs are designed to be thrown at high speeds, we recommend beginners start with stable or understable.
 
---P---

 
Pancake -  A specialty shot that flips the disc upside down and the disc floats towards the ground.  Can be used to "drop in" a landing area or to create a skip shot.

Par - The established number of strokes determined by the course designer or other person as being what a player should be able to score on a given hole mistake free.  Most holes are par 3, although some more challenging courses offer par 4 and par 5 holes that will force you to play smart and use strategy.  Although generally based on distance, par can be affected for holes requiring exceptional technical skill.

Penalty stroke - a stroke that is added to a player's score for breaking a rule, missing a mandatory, a water hazard, landing OB, etc.  Ex: On the tee shot, player throws out of bounds.  After taking 1 meter of relief into the course, the player throws an approach shot and then a putt to hole out.  Tee shot-1, approach shot-2, putt-3, penalty-4.  Player scores a 4 on this hole.

Putt - Any shot within 10 meters of the target is considered a putt.  As per PDGA rules, the player must exhibit balance and not advance past the lie when putting inside of 10 meters.  However, many players use a putt outside of 10 meters as well.

Putter - a disc used primarily for putting, but can be used for approach shots or short drives.  Putters are designed to fly straighter at slow speeds and are built for pinpoint accuracy rather than raw distance.

Pole hole - First made by disc golf founder and legend, Steady Ed Headrickson, the Pole Hole was the first basket made for disc golf.  Instead of an object such as a sign, trashcan, or tree, disc golf's version of a golf hole in the ground was raised up on a pole with a basket and chains to catch the flying discs.

Power grip - throwing grip that maximizes snap out of the player's hand.  The fingers are pressed against the underside rim of the disc.  For backhand, all four fingers are under the disc and the thumb is on top.  For forearm/sidearm, both the index and middle finger are in contact with the rim to maximize power. 
 
---R---

 
Relief - When a lie is in an unsafe or unplayable position, a player may take relief to the closest safe and playable lie that does not advance the lie towards the target.  For instance, if a player has gone out-of-bounds, the lie is marked where the disc went out, then given 1 meter of relief into the course.

RHBH - Right Hand Backhand throwing style.

RHFH - Right Hand Forehand throwing style.

Roller - Disc that is intentionally thrown to land on the edge and roll.  Rollers can be thrown many different ways and can provide many different paths.  Often used to get under low ceilings or for extreme distance provided the fairway is smooth enough.

Rough - Playing area off of the fairway that proves to be more difficult to make a successful shot.  Can be tall grass, weeds, bushes, trees, brush, etc.

Round - A game of disc golf.  Can be 9 holes, 18 holes, 27 holes, etc as the course dictates.
 
---S---

 
Sandbagger/Sandbagging - A player competing in a tournament division beneath his skill level in order to finish higher and receive prizes.  Ex: "Shawn is sandbagging again today playing the intermediate division even though he's an advanced player."

Scissor step - The footwork progression of a run-up before the release of the throw.  Also called the X-step.

S-curve - Flight path also known as a helix or flex shot.  In the beginning of the flight (for right hand backhand) the disc will travel right then fade back left to make an S curve. This is often acheived throwing an overstable disc with anhyzer angle.  The disc will travel right and flex back to the left as it decelerates at the end of its flight.

Sidearm - Throwing style that leads with the non-throwing arm.  Ex: For Right Hand forehand players-the left shoulder will be pointed towards the target and the right arm extends behind player and then across chest.  Also known as a forearm shot or flick.

Snap - The hit of the release when the motion of the arm creates a burst of spin on the disc propelling it forward.  Snap is created when the disc is ripped out of the hand by the force of the arm swing.  However, maximum snap is a product of correct form and hand grip rather than raw power or energy.

Snap Disc Sports - Disc manufacturer that is known for the Whitler, a throwback putt and approach disc that requires lots of touch.  Snap's website offers a cool community with lots of sweet art. Check out products from Snap Disc Sports.

Spin - The flight characteristic of a disc during flight.  Discs spin faster at the beginning of the flight and will decelerate towards the end of the flight.  Spin is a result of snap, which is a product of proper throwing technique.

Shot - A throw or stroke in disc golf.  Each shot will result in one stroke.

Stable - A disc that resists high speed turn and will fade to the left slightly as it slows down.  These discs can be turned over using an anhyzer release or can carve a hyzer line when released with hyzer for right-hand backhand.

Stroke - A throw or shot in disc golf.  Each stroke counts as one (1) on the scorecard.

Supporting Point - As per PDGA guidelines, a legal stance must include a supporting point of contact, usually the foot, up to12 inches behind the lie on the line of play.
 
---T---

 
Taco - When a disc strikes an  obstacle such as a tree in the high speed part of its flight, the disc can bend (sort of like a taco shell).  Depending on the plastic, some discs are permanently damaged but some will slowly return back to their original shape.

Tailwind - Wind that is coming from behind you.  A tailwind will make a disc fly more overstable.  For right-hand backhand, your disc will want to hook more to the left.

Target - The end goal of a hole of disc golf.  Targets are usually marked objects or baskets.

Tee box - Tee boxes are tee areas that are well defined and can be made of concrete, asphalt, gravel, rubber, and other materials.  This marks where the first shot is thrown from on a given disc golf hole.

Teeing Area - Similar to tee box.  Sometimes they are natural and less defined but are marked clearly enough to serve the same function as a tee box.

Throw - same as a stroke or shot in disc golf.

Thumber - An overhand shot that utilizes the thumb on the inside rim of the disc.  When thrown Right-Hand Backhand, the disc will turn over and move left then fall and finish to the right.

Tomahawk - An overhand shot that is gripped similar to a forearm or sidearm grip but is thrown over the top like a baseball or football throw. When thrown Right-Hand Backhand, the disc will turn over and move right then fall and finish to the left

Tournament - a disc golf competition.  It can be large or small, and depending on PDGA sanctions, the rules can vary tournament to tournament.  Run by the tournament director, the purpose of the tournament can be for various reasons such as fun, profit, fundraiser, charity, club competition, etc.

Tournament Director - Also known as the "TD", the director runs the event and is the final authority when rule discrepancies and/or violations occur during play.

Turbo putt - an overhand putting style typically used as a get-out-of-trouble shot but used by some as their main putting style.  The turbo putt will fade to the right for Right-hand players(which is the opposite of right hand backhand.) Turbo putts come in handy if your disc lands behind a bush and there isn't a good flight path to the basket except over the top.

Turnover - For right-hand backhand throws, a disc that turns to the right is considered to have turned over.  Understable and stable discs turnover easier than overstable discs.  Headwinds make discs turnover quicker as well.

Turnover shot - A shot intentionally thrown to have the disc flip and turn to the right rather than hook left (right-hand backhand)
 
---U---

 
Understable - A flight characteristic of a disc.  The disc(for right-hand backhand) naturally wants to turn right at high speeds and will eventually try to slowly fade left during the end of the flight as it slows down.  More specifically the understable quality is most easily observed by the degree to which a disc displays high speed turn.  Even at high speeds, an overstable disc won't turnover to the right; an understable disc will almost always turn right during the high speed portion of its flight.  We recommend beginners start with stable or understable discs.  For more advanced players understable discs are great choices for hyzer flips, turnover shots, and rollers.

Unsafe lie - A lie that is deemed unsafe for any reason (lack of footing, on a cliff, in a cactus, in a busy street, etc).  Mark the lie at the closest reasonable safe life that does not advance to position towards the target.
 
---W---

 
Warning - When a rule is broken (such as a falling putt), a player can be given a warning by another player on the card.  In the case of a falling putt, after the warning, the player will make another attempt.  If the rule is violated again, a penalty stroke will be assessed.

Wing - When gripping the disc, the side of the disc opposite the player's hand.  The position of the wing-up, down, or level-determines the release of the disc to be hyzer or anhyzer.
 
---X---

 
X-Step - The footwork progression of a run-up before the release of the throw.  Also called the scissor step.

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