Complete Disc Golf Glossary of Terms: Understanding Disc Golf Terminology
When starting out in disc golf or even after playing a few rounds, you may find yourself hearing some terms you don’t understand. Here is a complete list of Disc Golf terms you should get to know to better understand the game.
2-meter rule – A rule used to incur a stroke penalty if the disc lands above the ground more than 2 meters off the ground. (ie in a tree or bush)
10-meter circle or – Essentially the ‘Green’ on a disc golf course. Inside the circle, a player must show balance after releasing the disc and cannot fall forward. The circle is 10 meters, or 32 feet from the basket. If no circle is painted on the course, it is up to group consensus as to whether a disc is closer than 10 meters.
150 class – A class of discs that weigh less than 160g. 150 class discs are the only golf discs allowed in some countries. They are the only class of disc allowed for play in Japan.
Ace – A ‘hole-in-one’. Throwing the disc into the basket from the tee box in one throw.
Air bounce (air bump) – Sudden movement of the disc during flight when caught by a gust of wind.
Albatross (double eagle) – When a player completes a hole three under par.
Anhyzer (Anny) – When a player throws a disc at an angle (for a RHBH player) that has the left side of the disc higher than the right upon release. This type of shot is usually to get the disc to turn to the right.
Approach shot – (Upshot) A shot that is intended to put you close to the basket in order to putt, usually with a midrange or putter.
Away (away player) – A player whose disc lands farthest from the basket. They will be the next to throw. Also referred to as “out”.
Backhand – A type of grip and throw where the back of the player’s grip hand is generally facing the basket until the disc leaves the thrower’s hand.
Bag tag – a tag, usually made of plastic or metal, with a design, number or initials. It can be used to place wagers to win other players tags to show skill level.
Bagger (short for Sandbagger) – Someone who plays in a division below his capabilities in order to have a better chance of winning.
Basket – A device designed to catch a disc by using a number of chains to stop its flight.
Bead – A ridge or edge on the bottom of the rim of a disc.
Birdie – completing a hole one under par.
Black ace – When a player throws from a tee pad into an unintended basket in one throw.
Blow through – When a disc hits the center part of the chains of a basket, but travels through without stopping in the basket. Could also be called a ‘Spit out’
Bounce out (bounce back) – When a disc hits the pole in the center of the chains with enough force that the disc bounces out of the basket.
Brick – A disc that does not glide well and quickly falls to the ground.
Cali (short for California) – A term used in doubles rounds. If there is one player without a partner, he plays as a Cali player and gets an extra throw on each hole. The extra throw may be used on the drive, approach, or putt.
Card – Refers to the score card, and may also refer to all the players that start on the same hole (card) during a tournament.
Casual (casual relief) –Hazard on a course that won’t result in a penalty. If a disc lands on or in a casual hazard, the player marks their lie behind the hazard (the side away from the basket).
Casual water – Usually non-permanent water on a course that won’t result in a penalty. Usually after a rain storm.
Circle, the – Refers to the 10-meter circle around a basket. Whether a disc lies in or out of the circle determines how a player may putt.
Come-back putt – A type of putt where the disc has gone past the basket on the previous shot.
CTP – “Closest to The Pin” A contest where the winner is the person whose disc lands the closest to the basket, usually on the drive.
Cut roll – When a player attempts to throw a roller, but once on the ground the disc doesn’t get vertical enough and rolls to the left (with a RHBH throw). Could also refer to a thrown disc that hits at an angle and rolls.
Death putt – A putt in which there is a hazard ie water, out of bounds, or some obstacle behind the basket.
Distance Driver – Discs designed to fly the furthest off the tee.
DNF – “Did Not Finish” When a player starts a tournament but does not finish. For PDGA standards players who do not finish a tournament are marked with a ‘999’ or an ‘888’ code showing that their score entered represents an incomplete tournament.
Drive – The first throw from a tee pad to start a hole.
Driver – A higher speed rated disc usually used for the initial throw from a tee pad.
Drop In – A shot where the disc lands directly under the basket
Drop zone – An area designated as a spot to throw from if the prior throw missed a mando or goes Out of Bounds (OB).
Eagle – When a player completes a hole two under par.
Escape Shot – A throw in which a player uses to escape a bad lie or tough situation.
Fade – How much tendency a disc has to ‘fade’ back to the left after a RHBH throw. Also a flight number indicator on most discs on a scale from 1 to 5.
Fairway driver – A disc that has a speed rating of 6-9. Commonly used for shorter holes or on second throws on a long hole. This is a driver, but does not have a rim as thick as a distance driver.
Fairway ace (Field ace) – Throwing the disc into the basket from a long ways away, but not from the tee pad.
Falling putt – When a player putts with a lie inside the circle and doesn’t maintain balance following the putt, but instead falls forward, resulting in a warning for the first offense and a penalty for subsequent falling putts.
Fan grip – A type of backhand grip where the fingers are spread out on the bottom of the flight plate. It is used to gain more control of the flight of the disc.
Flex Shot – A type of throw where a player gets the disc to turn to the right (on a RHBH throw) prior to fading left at the end. The shape of the shot is achieved by throwing a stable or overstable disc on an anhyzer angle.
Flick – Another name for a sidearm or forehand throw.
Flight plate – The part of a disc inside the circumference of the rim. Can be flat or have a dome. The part where the stamp is located.
Flight rating – A rating system for telling a player how a disc is designed to fly given the power required.
Flippy (flip) – A term for a very understable disc. One that has a tendency to turn to the right when thrown with a flat RHBH throw.
Foot fault – A violation of PDGA rules that stipulate where a foot may be placed when throwing or putting. Resulting in a re-throw or putt.
Forehand – A type of grip and throw that has the palm of the player’s grip hand generally facing the basket (or up) until the disc leaves the thrower’s hand. Also known as a flick shot.
Frisbee – The name for the traditional circular flying disc. The Frisbee is a trademarked product by Wham-O toys. Serious disc golfers don’t usually refer to golf discs as Frisbees.
Frisbee Golf – Another term for ‘disc golf’ that is typically used by recreational players.
Going for it – A shot where you try to make it into the basket rather then under or close in the circle.
Gimme – A putt from a distance almost guarantee that the disc will land in the basket.
Glide – The second number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc. Refers to a disc’s ability to maintain loft during flight. From 1 to 7.
Grip – The technique a player uses to hold the disc. (Backhand, forehand, thumber, tomahawk, etc)
Grip and rip – A term used to indicate that players should start throwing.
Grip lock – A term that refers to a thrower that releases a disc slightly late in the throw.
Guardian – An obstacle used to block the vision or disc flight on a hole.
Head banger – When a disc lands so close to the basket that the thrower might hit their head on the basket while picking up the disc.
High-speed stability (see Turn) – The third number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc.
Holing out – Finishing a hole by getting the disc in the basket.
Honors – Earning the right to throw first by getting the best score on the previous hole.
Hyzer – When a player throws a disc at an angle (for a RHBH player) that has the right side of the disc higher than the left upon release. Can be used to hyzer flip a disc or increase the amount of fade to the left.
Hyzer flip – When a disc is thrown on a hyzer angle and it rotates (flips) and flies flat.
Island – An area considered inbounds but surrounded by areas that are out of bounds.
Jomez – A production company used to film disc golf rounds
Jump putt – A technique used for putting outside of the 10-meter circle. A player jumps toward the basket while putting to give the disc more speed and a longer flight.
Kick – The change of direction a disc has when it hits a tree or other object. “Kicks” may be favorable or unfavorable.
Lay-up – When a player attempts to get their disc near the basket for an easy putt.
Lid – This term is used to describe Frisbees or discs with thin rims that float and fly more like traditional freestyle discs. Discs like the Discraft Rattler, Innova Birdie, Polecat, and Sonic are prime examples of “lids”.
Lie – The spot where a disc comes to rest. A player can leave the disc where it is to mark the lie, or use a mini marker.
Line – A route that a player could throw their disc. A well planned hole may have several different lines to accommodate different throwing styles
Low-speed stability (see Fade) – The fourth number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc.
Mando – Short for ‘mandatory’. The route a disc must take around an object, such as a tree or pole. Usually, an arrow will mark the direction the disc must take. With double mandos, the disc must pass between the two objects.
Marker (or marker disc) – The mini disc used to mark a lie.
Meathook – A disc that is VERY overstable is commonly referred to as a meathook. These types of discs are used for specific shots.
Midrange – A disc used for shorter shots or approaches. Midrange discs have slower speeds than drivers and thinner rims (wings).
Mini– A small disc used to mark the lie of a disc. It is placed in front of the disc (toward the basket) and the disc is picked up. The thrower’s foot must be within 30cm of the mini on the next throw.
Mulligan – A second chance or redo on a shot. Mulligans are often sold for fundraisers at charity disc golf tournaments.
Newbie – Inexperienced disc golfers new to the game.
Niced – When a player complements a shot while in the air and then something bad happens such as hitting a tree, missing a putt, or going out of bounds.
Noodle Arm – Description for a disc golfer that cannot throw very far.
Nose – The front edge of the disc.
OB (out of bounds) – An area outside the playing area of a course. Discs landing OB result in a penalty stroke.
Overhead shot – Also known as overhand. A type of throw where the disc is released in an upward motion. Usually with a tomahawk or thumber grip.
Overstable – A disc that will curve and fade hard. This fade is a curve to the left on a RHBH throw.
Par – The expected number of throws it will take to get in the basket from the tee pad.
Parked – When the disc lands next to or under the basket on a drive or approach.
PDGA – The Professional Disc Golf Association. This is the governing body for disc golf that establishes rules and technical standards for tournament play.
Penalty stroke – An extra stroke a player received by going OB, missing a mando, or violating a rule.
Power grip – A backhand grip used for maximum distance. The fingers are close together and are held against the inside of the rim or the bottom of the flight plate.
Push putt – A style of putting where little spin is put on the disc. Instead, the disc is pushed, or shoveled, toward the basket.
Putt – A short throw of the disc in an attempt to make it into the basket.
Rating – A PDGA rating number used to classify how skilled a player or round is.
RHBH – Short for ‘right-handed backhand’. A type of throw where a person throws with their right hand with a backhand throw. Other throws are RHFH for ‘right-handed forehand’, and the equivalent throws for left-handed players, LHBH and LHFH. When discussing disc flight it is important to make this distinction.
Rim – The outer portion of the disc. The width of the rim primarily determines the speed of the disc. Generally speaking, the wider the rim, the higher the speed number.
Rim Depth – The height of a rim, or how deep a rim is. The distance between the flight plate and the bottom of the disc measured from the inside of the distance.
Rim Width – This disc golf term describes how wide the rim of a disc is, also known as “wing.”
Roller – A type of throw where the player gets the disc to land on its side and roll in a favorable direction.
Safari hole – A hole that doesn’t use the normal tee pad and line. Players will invent new hole designs to get a different look at an old layout.
Scooby shot (also Grenade) – A shot where the disc is held upside down. Can be used to get over a tall obstacle, or to slide the disc along the ground.
S-curve – A disc flight that resembles the letter ‘s’. The disc turns to the right before fading back to the left. It is achieved by throwing an understable disc with a flat release.
Sidearm –A throwing technique with the palm down and thumb on top similar to a baseball sidearm throw.
Speed – The first number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc. The relative speed a disc must be thrown to achieve its intended flight.
Spike hyzer – A type of throw where a disc leaves the players hand at a steep hyzer angle so the disc will fly high, then come back down at a steep angle.
Spin putt – A putting technique that relies on wrist snap to add a lot of spin to the disc.
Spit out – A missed putt that hits a lot of chains, but doesn’t stay in the basket.
Stable (stability) – The ability of a disc to fly in a straight line without flipping over. (See Overstable, Understable). In some parts of the country disc golfers use the term “stable” to mean overstable.
Stamp – The image that is put on a disc at the factory.
Star frame – When everyone on the card gets the same score.
Step putt – A putting technique similar to a jump putt, but stepping toward the basket while throwing. It gives that player a little more power on the putt, but with more control than a jump putt. Cannot be used inside the 10 meter circle.
Straddle putt – A putting technique where a player faces the basket with their legs spread apart. Commonly used when a disc lands behind an obstacle.
Strong side (of basket) – Refers to the side of the chains where the spin of the disc will aid in making the disc fall into the basket. For RHBH throws/putts, the right side is the strong side.
Sweet spot (of basket) – The point of the basket where the disc has the highest likelihood of staying in the basket when hit.
TD – Tournament director. The person in charge of a tournament and who makes the final ruling on disputes. Saints!
Tee pad – The designated area for making the first throw on a hole.
Thumber – A type of grip and overhead throw where the thumb is placed on the inside of the rim. The disc will rotate clockwise during flight and fade to the right.
Tomahawk – A type of overhead throw resembling a tomahawk chop. The disc is released at or near a vertical angle. Also referred to as a hammer throw.
Tree love – A term used when a disc hits part of a tree, then travels in a favorable direction.
Trilogy – A term used for discs manufactured in Sweden by Latitude 64, Dynamic Discs, and Westside Discs.
Turbo putt – Also called a pizza putt. The player holds the disc flat, about head height, with their thumb underneath the disc and fingers around the edge of the rim. The disc is thrown toward the basket with a spinning motion.
Turn– The third number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc. Refers to how far the disc drifts to the right (RHBH throw) during the first part of its flight.
Turnover shot – Intentionally throwing the disc so it turns in a direction opposite the natural spin tendency. This is most easily achieved with an understable disc and will result in a turning to the right (RHBH).
Two on one – The practice of taking two throws on the first hole during casual rounds and playing from the better. Also referred to as two for one.
Two-meter rule – A rule stating that if a disc lands in a tree or other object and is two or more meters above the playing surface, a penalty stroke is received. It is an optional rule, rarely used, that is at the discretion of the tournament director.
Understable – A disc that will turn to the right when thrown hard (RHBH).
Upshot (approach) – The shot that will get close enough to the basket to putt.
Ultimate – Usually referring to the sport of Ultimate Frisbee.
Weak side (of basket) – Opposite of ‘strong side’. The side of the chains that cause the spin of the disc to reduce the chances of staying in the basket. The left side of the chains for RHBH players.
Wing – The rim of a disc where players traditionally grip.