A Disc Golf Terminology Guide for Beginners
Even if you've only recently begun discovering the nearly endless joys of disc golf, you've probably already picked up on the fact that aside from being an absolute blast, disc golf is also a relatively simple game. There's just not that much to it. There's the basic disc golf equipment, of course: You throw a Frisbee-like disc into a metal basket, and then you do it again. And again. And again, until eventually the game ends.
And yet there is one aspect of disc golf that is surprisingly complicated, sometimes even for experienced and longtime players: the jargon.
Indeed, it's possible to find disc golf dictionaries online with literally hundreds of entries. But unless you're a seriously hardcore player, the truth is that you don't really need to know more than a couple dozen terms at most. That's why we've created this guide. If you have a basic understanding of the terms listed here, you'll be able to fool nearly anyone into assuming you're halfway to becoming a disc golf pro.
Ace – The disc golf version of a hole-in-one, an "ace" occurs when a player's disc lands inside the basket on his or her first attempt.
Anhyzer – An angle of release during which the outside edge of a disc is tilted upward.
Approach Shot – The second shot (or subsequent shots) on a hole following the initial drive. The "approach" is the area of play between the tee box and the basket. The goal of an approach shot is to land the disc near to the basket.
Away Player – The player whose disc is farthest from the basket. The away player always throws next.
Birdie – A disc golf term for completing a hole one throw under par (also known as “one down” or “one below par”).
Bullet Putt – A putt during which speed is used to make the disc go straight.
Card – (Short for scorecard) In tournaments and some casual rounds, players play in groups called “cards.” Your “card” will contain all players 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 are not considered a water hazard and will not penalize the player should their disc come to rest in the casual water.
D-Town Disc Golf – Established in 2012, this Philadelphia-area online and brick-and-mortar retailer is quickly growing into one of the nation's biggest and best sources of disc golf equipment and related accessories.
Deuce – A term that indicates the completion of a hole in two shots.
Drive – The first shot from the tee pad.
Eagle – A term indicating that a hole was finished 2 strokes under the par.
Fade – The natural turn a disc takes at the tail-end of its flight. A disc will fade left, for instance, for a right-handed person using a backhanded throw.
Fairway – The playing surface of a designated hole between the tee area and the green.
Forehand – A grip (and throwing style) in which the palm is facing up, while index and middle fingers are underneath the disc with one or both fingers pressed against the inside rim. It is also referred to as "sidearm."
Green – The putting area, typically a circular area around the target with a 10-meter (33 feet) radius.
Helix – A specialty shot during which a disc travels from left to right and then left again, forming an "S" curve.
Hyzer – An angle of release where the outer edge of the disc is tilted downward for a RHBH thrower.
Lie – The designated area from which a disc golf player must make his or her next shot. The location of the lie is based on where a player's previous shot landed.
Mandatory – A directional obstacle, such as a tree or bush, around which a disc may be required to pass. A posted sign will often indicate how the mandatory is meant to be obeyed.
Nose – The front part of the disc, which is pointed toward the target.
Overhead – A shot thrown vertically or with an overhead motion. This shot resembles the throwing of a baseball.
Par – This term has the same meaning in disc golf as in ball golf; it is the pre-determined number of strokes in which a player is expected to score on each hole.
Pole – The central post that supports the basket into which the disc is meant to be thrown.
RHBH –An abbreviation used for the throwing form that a right-handed player throwing with a backhand style would use.
RHFH – An abbreviation used for the throwing form that a right-handed player throwing with a forehand style would use.
Relief – A change made to a player’s lie or surrounding area, such that an obstacle is removed from the vicinity if possible.
Sidearm – A grip where the palm is up and the thumb is on the flight plate while the index and middle fingers are underneath the disc with one or both fingers pressed against the inside rim. Also referred to as "forehand," as in "a forehand" (or "sidearm") throw.
Shot – A throw in disc golf. Each shot will result in one stroke.
Tee Box – Well-defined tee areas that are often constructed of concrete, asphalt, gravel, or another similar substance. This tee box marks the area from which the first shot on a particular hole should be thrown.
Wing – When gripping the disc, the wing is the side of the disc that is opposite the player's hand.