Disc Golf Basics

Just like any other sport, disc golf has a ton of terms that are unique to the sport. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so post a comment if you think I missed one. My post on The Game might be a good read before this one if you’re new to the sport.

  • Backhand | Describes throwing a disc by curling it inward and around the body and releasing it by unwinding the arm and opening the shoulders
  • Forehand | Describes throwing a disc by cocking the wrist outward and behind the body and releasing by bringing the hand and arm forward with a snap of the wrist. AKA – “flick”, “sidearm”
  • Overhand | Describes throwing a disc over the head with the fingers locked under the rim of the disc and releasing the disc vertically. AKA – “tomahawk”, “tommie”, “overhead”
  • Thumber | A variation of the overhand throw where the thumb is locked under the rim rather than the fingers
  • Hyzer | Describes the flight of a thrown disc that turns the opposite direction of rotation of the disc
    Ex: For a right-handed backhand (RHBH) throw (disc spinning clockwise), this would be a throw that turns to the left (counterclockwise)
  • Sky-hyzer | Describes a hyzer shot that is throw very high as a way to avoid trees and other obstacles
  • Anhyzer | Describes the flight of a thrown disc that turns in the same direction of rotation of the disc. AKA – “annie”
    Ex: For a RHBH throw (disc spinning clockwise), this would be a throw that turns to the right (clockwise)
  • Turnover | Describes the flight of a disc that turns from hyzer to anhyzer as it leaves the hand. AKA – “flop”
  • Speed | A rating for how fast the disc will fly based on its shape and profile. More speed; more distance.
  • Glide | A rating for the aerodynamic lift of a disc as it flies. More glide; more time in the air.
  • Turn | A rating for how likely the disc is to turnover
  • Fade | A rating for how sharply the disc will fall to the ground at the end of a throw
  • Stable | Describes a disc that will fly in a straight line with little turn or fade
  • Overstable | Describes a disc that will hyzer easily with very little turnover
  • Understable | Describes a disc that will easily turnover with an anhyzer flight path
  • Roller | Describes throwing a disc so that it hits the ground on edge and rolls toward the target
  • Up-shot | Describes a second or third throw that lands near the basket; typically 60 – 150 ft away. AKA – “up” as in “nice up”
  • Skip | Describes the action of a disc “skipping” on the ground at the end of a throw
  • Taco’d | Describes what happens to a disc when it comes into contact with an object (tree, pole, etc.) at high speed. The disc will fold up like a “taco” and this type of impact can change the flight characteristics of a disc.
  • Breaking in | Describes the process of a disc aging and becoming less stable over time
  • Ace | Describes a throw from the tee that lands in the basket. AKA – “hole in one”
  • Marker disc | Describes a small (< 3.5″) disc used to mark the lie of a disc on second and subsequent throws. AKA – “mini”
  • Teepad | Describes the area used to start a hole. This is typically a concrete pad 3-4 ft. wide by 8-10 ft. long. Other materials are synthetic mats and bare dirt.
  • Basket | Describes the target of a disc golf hole. AKA – “polehole”
  • Flightpath | Describes the path a disc takes during its flight to the basket
  • Snap | Refers to the sound made when a disc is released from a hard-thrown backhand. The fingers holding the disc actually “snap” together as the disc is released. The more snap a throw has, the more spin is imparted on the disc.
  • Flight plate | Describes the middle of a disc inside the rim
  • Wing | Describes the edge of the disc farthest away from the position held in a golfers hand
  • Wing-down | Describes the wing pointed toward the ground at the point of release
  • Wing-up | Describes the wing pointed up toward the sky at the point of release
  • Nose-down | Describes a putting method where the leading edge of a disc is pointed down to encourage a flight down into the basket and minimize distance traveled of a missed put
  • Pull | Describes the act of throwing the disc via a backhand throw as you would be “pulling” the disc across your chest
  • Floppy | Describes a disc that is made of very soft material
  • Bead | Describes the bottom edge of a disc’s rim and is used by manufactures to manipulate flight characteristics
  • Mold | Describes the shape of a disc and is derived from the manufacturing process of using a “mold” to accept the liquid plastic/rubber material
  • The circle | Describes a 10 meter radius around the basket and is used to dictate the type of throw used for putting
  • PDGA | Stands for Professional Disc Golf Association and is the governing body for the sport
  • Straddle putt | Describes the stance used to putt where the body facing to the basket and feet are spread shoulder-width apart
  • Hop putt | Describes adding a hop to the putting motion outside the 10m circle

What did I forget? Post a comment and I’ll get it added.