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Disc Golf Terminology

Confused about all these different terms being thrown on the disc golf course? Here is your complete guide to all the popular disc golf lingo!

Ace - Hole in one!

Ace run - When the disc flies on a line directly to the basket for a possible ace.

Advanced - From the PDGA rules: the top amateur division, available to all amateur players. Required division for male amateur players under 40 years of age with ratings >= 935. Tournament experienced players who have played disc golf for several years, and developed consistency. Throw 300-450 feet, make 5-7/10 putts from 25-30 feet, have different shots in their arsenal.

Albatross- 3 under par for the hole

Amateur - A player who plays for merchandise or trophy prizes and not money. Once a player accepts tournament won money, that player becomes a professional status player.

Anhyzer- Opposite of Hyzer. For a backhand right-handed player (BHRH), an anhyzer angle is when the left side of the disc tilts towards the sky and the right side towards the ground. Like Hyzer, these angles are useful in knowing how to manipulate your discs to gain extra distance, flex around trees or obstacles, or set up a roller throw. Superior disc golf IQ will let a player know which of these angles can be more dangerous to their throws in windier conditions.

Anny- Short for anhyzer

Bag Tag - This is what is provided to a player, typically at a financial cost determined by a league, and depict what numerical ranking you are for that league's roster. A player carrying a bag tag with a number "12" on it means that 11 other players ranked higher than him in their last "league" round and can switch hands every league round. Some leagues utilize a virtual bag tag where the rankings are posted online, usually using, and can receive an end-of-season physical tag that he/she can carry on their bag for the following season.

Beaded - Some putters come with a Beaded rim meaning that if you have your forefinger on the rim during your putt grip, you'll feel an extended notch around the bottom-outer part of the rim. Some people enjoy this as they feel it gives their finger something to grip and control more.

Beadless - Some putters come with a rim that is the same shape from the top of the plate to the bottom of the rim and this is a Beadless putter. Some people like this style better because the disc is one constant shape in their fingers and doesn't provide a "weird" feeling within their grip.

Birdie - 1 under par for the hole

BHRH- Backhand Right Handed thrower.

Bogey - 1 over par for the hole.

Card - The "card" reflects the group of players playing together and keeping score of all the members.

Circle 1 - Circle 1 is the "green" surrounding the basket and is measured at a radius of 33 feet/10 meters from the pole. A player must demonstrate balance within this area during putting, meaning he/she cannot advance or fall during the throw and flight phase of the putt.

Crosswind, Right to Left - Discraft notes from Anhyzers drop hard and can catch an edge and roll. Hyzers lift and carry more than expected. Use the flight pattern of your disc to counteract the unwanted effects while watching out for the changes that occur as your throw nears completion. For example, throw an overstable disc with an anhyzer that turns right and stays low, then ends up with a hard left turn, which will rise. An understable disc thrown with a hyzer turns left and rises until it turns over (if it turns over), then drops and tails right. The disc will want to go left with the wind and spin unless forced to go otherwise. For distance, try a slightly less stable disc with a slight hyzer.

Crosswind, Left to Right - Discraft notes from Hyzers drop while anhyzers lift. Because of the spin a righty generates, it becomes easier to skip as the front edge will be rising into the wind after being driven into the ground by the wind moving across the top of the disc. An unstable disc with an anhyzer release will be lifted up and carried right.

Dome top - Discs can come in either of these styles and refer more to mids, fairway, and distant drivers. Dome top discs are generally going to provide more glide due to the physics of how the disc creates air flow over and under the disc.

Double Bogey - 2 over par for the hole.

Eagle - 2 under par for the hole

Fade - When a BHRH thrown disc ends it's flight pattern to the left.

Fairway- The fairway is the desired area of the course a player wants to be on as it is typically without the most risk of obstacles or OB situations. The "rough" is the areas not designated as the fairway and often include more brush, trees, high grass, water or sand hazards.

FHRH- Forehand Right Handed thrower.

Flat top- Discs can come in either of these styles and refer more to mids, fairway, and distant drivers. Flat top discs are largely used for forehand throws and especially to cut through windier conditions.

Flex shot - This is when you use your hyzer/anhyzer angles as well as disc flight characteristics to make your disc fly in an "S-shape" to achieve curving in and out of obstacles in the disc's flight path. These can be done with both forehand and backhand shots.

Flick - Forehand throw, typically at a lower speed or with some "touch."

Follow through - An important was to gain more consistent shots AND prevent injury in this sport is to develop a proper follow through. When an object accelerates (your arm or wrist), that object also needs to decelerate after the throw at a controlled speed and with enough mobility. When follow throughs are ended too early, or jerky movements happen right after an accelerated motion, risk for injury vastly increases. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments need time to decelerate just like a sprinter needs space to slow down. Sudden stops aren't good in either situation.

Glide - Glide is determined by how much the disc can force air over or under it to allow it to keep pushing forward in it's flight path. A disc with a higher glide rating will look as if it just keeps floating forward even when it begins to slow down in flight.

Headwind - This will hinder a disc from carrying forward and make a disc act as if it were more understable.

Hyzer- For a backhand right-handed player (BHRH), a hyzer means the left side of the disc is tilted down towards the ground to some degree while the right side of the disc is tilted up towards the sky to some degree. These angles are useful in knowing how to manipulate your discs to gain extra distance, flex around trees or obstacles, or set up a roller throw. Superior disc golf IQ will let a player know which of these angles can be more dangerous to their throws in windier conditions.

Hyzer Flip - This disc throwing maneuver is often used in the woods to allow you to hit the close gap and then get the disc to gain more distance than it could have otherwise. A player uses an understable disc thrown on a hyzer angle. The disc flies through the gap on the hyzer angle and then because it is an understable rated disc and likely beat-in a bit from usage, the disc will flip up to a flat or neutral angle, push forward for a bit, and then gently hyzer out at the end of it's flight. The opposite can be done for an anhyzer flip with an overstable disc, but this throw seems to be even more situational.

Intermediate - From the PDGA rules: available to amateur players of all ages with player ratings < 935. Developing players who have played 2-3 years with improved consistency and accuracy. Throw 250-350 feet, make 5-7/10 putts from 20 feet.

Line - Intended path of travel of the disc.

OB - Out of bounds.

Overstable - A disc with a high fade rating and finishes harder to the left than a "stable" straighter flying disc.

Par - Even score for the hole as designated by the sign/score card. The "expected" amount of shots needed to reach the basket from the tee box.

Parked- When an excellent shot lands near the basket. Example, "that disc is parked!"

PDGA - Professional Disc Golf Association. This is the association responsible for creating, modifying, and upholding the rules and dues of all enlisted members. It is where a player can get their player rating from if playing in sanctioned tournaments or leagues and is for both amateur and professional players.

Player's Pack - Often times when a player registers for a tournament, either for fun or a sanctioned tourney, a "player's pack" might be listed as something a player can pick up during check in. These packs can range from just one disc to an actual pack of goodies put together by the tournament director or manufacturing company sponsoring the event. These packs are bought with part of the registration fee of the player. So not only do you get to play the event with your sign up fee, but you also essentially just bought yourself some new swag.

Player rating - This is an earned rating a player receives and derived from the division played, players played against and their ratings, the course difficulty rating, and only modified if a player plays in a qualifying sanctioned event. The player rating also can be used to depict which division a player has the availability to play in without playing in a division below their ability to help keep those divisions true to players that deserve to be in them. Generally, a player may play up in any division if he/she chooses, but players shouldn't bump down below their rating level. These breakdowns can be found on the website.

Power Pocket - This is the area the is created by good technique that allows the body to work as an entire unit to provide maximum power/torque to the disc at the time of it's snap and ejection from the hand. Located between the belly button and the chest, this is where a player wants the disc to be pulled through while using rotating hips and a firm power grip during a backhand throw. A player can feel the weight of the disc get heavier as they pull through the power pocket if executed properly. This heaviness is the power distribution being placed into the object. That's the best way I can describe it without the help of a physics expert!

Professional - A player who plays for monetary prizes and may not play as an Amateur status. Gained by registering as a professional or accepting a monetary prize at a professional event.

Recreational - From the PDGA rules: available to amateur players of all ages with player ratings < 900. For players who have played 1-2 years and are gaining consistency and experience. Throw 200-300 feet, make 4-6/10 putts from 20 feet, learning different shots.

Roller - When a disc is purposely thrown so that the disc hits the ground on it's rim and rolls in a forward progressing manner before coming to rest.

Rough- The "rough" is the areas not designated as the fairway and often include more brush, trees, high grass, water or sand hazards.

Rounding - This action happens when someone doesn't perform a true reach back during their throwing phases. Improper technique where the throwing arm is wrapped around the player's body during the reach back will usually result in the disc being thrown in a large arc, often nose-up, higher and much shorter than intended.

Sandbagger - This is a player that plays in a division below their rating/capability. For example, a 1,000 rated player playing in the Intermediate division to try and guarantee the easier win for himself. This player, but definition, should be playing in the Advanced division or bump into the Open division (Pro division within the Amateur status).

Speed rating - The speed rating of a disc not only means the disc can fly very fast when thrown very hard, but this rating is to help cue the player to know that in order for that disc to perform the way it is intended, an arm speed is required matching the rating. A speed 13 disc needs a very fast arm speed where a speed 9 disc can have an effective flight pattern with less arm speed required. Faster speed discs are less likely to "turn over" in their flight pattern where that 9 speed, if thrown by a monster arm, can turn easier in the air and finish farther right than intended. Newer players should use caution with buying super fast speed discs as they can teach early bad habits with trying to force the disc to do what's intended.

Spin putt/Push putt - A spin putt requires more spin placed on the disc during release to allow the disc to be thrown on a more direct and quicker line. A push putt uses moderate to little spin and is often thrown with some elevation to allow the disc to sink into the chains as it enters the basket. A spin putt can be more effective in windy conditions or when obstacles are in the peripheral area to the basket. Push putts, especially with hyzer or anhyzer flights, are useful to get around obstacles directly in the flight path to the basket.

Tailwind - This will make a disc carry forward and make a disc act as if it were more overstable than what it is rated.

TD - Tournament Director hosting/responsible for the event being played.

Tee - A "tee", "tee pad", or "tee box" is the designated area where a player takes their first throw of a hole. A "tee off" is the throwing phase or player's turn to use the tee pad.

Thumber/Tomahawk - Both of these throws are overhand and overhead style throws used in situations where you want the disc to fly out through a tight gap, flip over itself in the air, and spike into the ground either to the left or right for a more precise placement. For a BHRH tomahawk, the disc will be positioned into the hand in a vertical alignment with the underside of the disc facing away from you. The disc is thrown overhead on a degree of angle needed by your judgement. It will flip over, pan the right just slightly, and then spike towards the ground to the left in an area size dependent on the angle released. A thumber is just the opposite. The disc is positioned vertical with the underside facing towards you. The disc will flip and ultimately crash to the ground towards the right. These utility shots are very much useful in wooded conditions to avoid groupings of trees and avoid possible huge skips that a forehand or backhand throw can have when it hits the ground near the basket with some speed.

Tombstone - When a disc slices into the ground from a throw and ends with the disc standing vertically.

Turn - When a BHRH thrown disc ends it's flight pattern to the right, or goes a distance to the right before beginning to fade out at the end.

Turn Over - This is when the disc is thrown, flips up to flat/neutral, and then continues to become more understable and finish to the right rather than fading. This can also happen when the disc is thrown on too much anhyzer and never gets to it's stable phase of it's flight pattern.

Udisc - The number 1 app used by professional and amateur disc golfer for keeping scores, finding courses, viewing course layouts and ratings, utilizing practice games, structuring leagues, and making course Wish Lists. This app offers other features as well and is progressively evolving at a rapid rate to bring more to your app.

Understable - A disc with a high turn rating and has a tendency to finish to the right compared to a "stable straighter flying disc.

Upshot - A term used for a short approach to land near the basket and set up an easy putt distance to finish the hole.

X-step - A way to increase more power into your throw is to add an approach. For a backhand throw, the x-step is the most widely used technique. This pattern allows the hips to be incorporated as well as a rotation of the shoulders during the reach back to give a multi-step equation for more power. Please check out our X-step article if you're interested in learning the steps in more detail.

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