How To Play Disc Golf

Disc golf is a fun and accessible outdoor sport that combines elements of golf and frisbee. How To Play Disc Golf, start by standing at the designated tee pad and throw your disc towards the target basket, aiming to complete the course in the fewest throws possible. Each throw counts as a stroke, and the player with the lowest total strokes at the end of the course wins. Remember to respect the rules and etiquette of the game, which include waiting your turn and maintaining the course’s integrity. Enjoy the challenge and camaraderie of this fantastic outdoor activity!

This article is designed as a comprehensive guide to disc golf terms, geared towards helping you understand the ins and outs of the game. From essential terminology for newcomers to advanced jargon for seasoned players, we aim to cover it all. By understanding these terms, you’ll not only improve your ability to communicate within the disc golf community but also develop strategies that could help you reduce your stroke count and become a better player.

The Basics: What is Disc Golf?

Disc golf is a sport that’s often described as a blend of traditional golf and frisbee. Instead of swinging a club to hit a golf ball towards a hole, you’re throwing a specialized disc toward a metal basket. The game is played on a course designed much like a golf course, complete with varying terrains, obstacles like trees and water hazards, and a series of holes to complete. Each hole starts with a tee-off area and ends with a target, usually a metal basket into which you aim to throw your disc. The objective is the same as in traditional golf: to complete the course in as few throws as possible.

While the core objective shares similarities with traditional golf, disc golf brings its own unique set of challenges and skills. Throwing a disc accurately over a distance requires a different skill set than swinging a golf club, making disc golf a distinct sport in its own right.

Importance of Understanding Disc Golf Terms

Understanding the language of disc golf is crucial, regardless of your skill level. For beginners, familiarizing yourself with basic terms like “hole,” “tee,” and “putt” is the first step towards getting into the game and playing it correctly. For more experienced players or enthusiasts, knowing advanced terms and jargon can help you discuss strategies, follow the sport at a professional level, and even improve your own gameplay. Whether you’re watching YouTube tutorials, reading buying guides, or playing a competitive round with friends, a good grasp of disc golf terminology will enhance your overall experience.

What is Disc Golf ,

Essential Disc Golf Terms for Beginners

Understanding the fundamental terms of disc golf is the first stepping stone towards mastering the game. Let’s break down some of the essential terms that every beginner should know:

  • Hole: In disc golf, a hole refers to the complete path from the starting area (the tee) to the target (the basket). Each hole has its unique layout, length, and set of challenges. Your aim is to complete each hole in as few throws as possible.
  • Tee: The tee, or tee-off area, is where you begin each hole. It’s typically a flat surface made of concrete, rubber, or other materials. This is where you make your initial throw or “drive” to start the hole.
  • Basket: The basket is the target you aim for in disc golf. It’s a metal structure with hanging chains that help catch the disc and guide it into the basket below. Successfully landing your disc in the basket completes the hole.
  • Putt: A putt is a short, controlled throw aimed at getting your disc into the basket. This usually occurs when you’re close to the basket and need to make precise throws.
  • Drive: A drive is the first throw you make from the tee area to cover as much distance as possible. Drives require power and technique to set the stage for the rest of the hole.

How These Are Integral to the Game

Knowing these terms is not just about learning the lingo; it’s about understanding the core elements of the game. The hole, tee, and basket define the layout and objectives of each round. A good drive sets the tone for each hole, dictating your strategy for subsequent throws. Meanwhile, mastering the art of the putt can be the difference between winning and losing a closely contested game. By understanding these basic terms, you lay the foundation for a more enjoyable and competitive disc golf experience.

Intermediate Disc Golf Terminology

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll likely want to dig deeper to fully understand the strategies and techniques that can enhance your game. Here are some intermediate-level terms that are key to becoming a more proficient disc golfer:

  • Anhyzer: An anhyzer throw is one where the outer edge of the disc is tilted upward, causing the disc to curve to the right when thrown by a right-handed player. This technique allows you to navigate around obstacles that a straight throw couldn’t bypass.
  • Hyzer: The opposite of an anhyzer, a hyzer throw involves tilting the outer edge of the disc downward, causing the disc to curve to the left for right-handed players. This is useful for curving around obstacles to the left.
  • Roller: A roller is a type of throw where the disc hits the ground at an angle, causing it to roll along the terrain. This is a specialized throw often used to cover great distances or to navigate through low-ceiling areas where a traditional throw wouldn’t work.
  • Flex: A flex shot combines elements of both hyzer and anhyzer throws. In this throw, you start with an anhyzer angle, but use a disc that naturally wants to fade back into a hyzer, resulting in a flight path that first curves right and then back to the left.
  • Forehand: Also known as a “flick,” this is a throwing style where the disc is flicked out from the side of the body. The grip and stance are different from a traditional backhand throw, and it often results in a different kind of spin and trajectory.
  • Backhand: This is the most common throwing technique, where you hold the disc across your body and release it while swinging your arm outward. Mastering the backhand throw is essential for a well-rounded game.

Advanced Disc Golf Jargon

For players who have moved beyond the intermediate level and are aiming to compete or simply master the sport, there are a few more terms to understand. These terms are often used to describe performance on individual holes and can be crucial when analyzing your game or discussing strategies with other advanced players:

  • Eagle: An eagle is a score that is two throws under the par for a specific hole. Achieving an eagle is a rare and impressive feat that requires both skill and strategy, often involving a combination of a perfect drive and an equally precise approach or putt.
  • Albatross: Even rarer than an eagle, an albatross is a score that is three throws under par on a hole. Given the challenge of disc golf courses, making an albatross is extremely rare and is a high point in any competitive player’s career.
  • Birdie: A birdie is a score that is one throw under the par for a particular hole. While not as exceptional as an eagle or albatross, consistently scoring birdies is a good indicator of advanced skill and effective strategy.
  • Bogey: A bogey is the opposite of a birdie; it’s a score that is one throw over the hole’s par. While bogeys are common even among advanced players, understanding how and why they happen can be key to improving your game.

How to Play Disc Golf in Terms of Rules and Scoring

Playing disc golf involves a set of rules and scoring mechanisms that are simple to understand but crucial for fair play and competition. A standard disc golf course typically consists of 9 or 18 holes, each with a designated “par,” which is the number of throws considered standard for completing the hole. The game starts at the tee area, and players take turns throwing their discs towards the target basket. After each throw, the next shot is taken from where the disc landed.

Scoring in disc golf is similar to traditional golf. Your score for each hole is the total number of throws you took to get your disc into the basket. Your overall score for the course is the sum of your scores for each hole. Negative scores (like birdies, eagles, and albatrosses) are better, as the goal is to complete the course in the fewest throws possible.

Understanding These Terms Impacts Gameplay

Knowing the rules and understanding the terms related to scoring are vital for anyone looking to know how to play disc golf, whether recreationally or competitively. When you understand what an eagle or a birdie is, you can set specific goals for each hole, which can significantly influence your strategy. This could mean taking a riskier but more direct route to the basket to aim for an eagle, or playing it safe to ensure a birdie or par.

Also, understanding the scoring terms helps in analyzing your performance. For example, if you find that you’re consistently scoring bogeys on particular types of holes, it might indicate a specific area where you need to improve. Additionally, understanding scoring terminology makes it easier to follow the nuances of the game when watching professionals play, thereby giving you greater insight into advanced strategies and techniques.

How to Play Disc Golf terms

Disc Golf Gear and Equipment Terms

In disc golf, not all discs are created equal. There are three main types of discs that players use, each with its specific purpose:

  • Putters: These are the discs used for short-range throws, primarily near the basket. Putters have a thicker edge and are designed to fly straight, making them ideal for precise, controlled shots.
  • Mid-range: As the name suggests, mid-range discs are meant for intermediate distances. They offer a balance between distance and accuracy and are commonly used for approach shots to get closer to the basket.
  • Drivers: These discs are designed for long distances and are what you’ll most likely use for your initial throw from the tee. Drivers have a sharper edge, making them less accurate but capable of covering more ground.

Importance of Choosing the Right Gear

Selecting the appropriate gear is crucial for enhancing your game and making the most out of each round. For beginners, starting with a set of basic putters and mid-range discs can help in understanding the fundamentals of throwing techniques. As you advance, specialized drivers and discs with specific flight characteristics can be added to your arsenal.

Your choice of gear also depends on your unique style of play. Some players prefer a game built on accuracy and finesse, often opting for discs that offer greater control. Others focus on power and distance, choosing discs that can travel long distances but may be harder to control. Understanding the types of discs and their intended purposes helps you tailor your equipment to your strengths and weaknesses, thereby giving you a competitive edge.

Importance of Choosing the Right Gear

Common Phrases and Slang in the Disc Golf Community

The disc golf community is vibrant and full of jargon that adds flavor to the game. Here are some common phrases and slang you might encounter:

  • Chains: This refers to the metal chains that hang down above the basket to catch the disc. Hitting the chains usually means you’re close to completing the hole. The phrase “hitting chains” is often used when a putt is successful.
  • Ace: An ace in disc golf is a hole-in-one, meaning you’ve managed to get your disc into the basket with just a single throw from the tee. Acing a hole is a significant achievement and a highlight in any disc golfer’s career.
  • Huck: A huck is a long, powerful throw, typically performed with a driver. When someone yells “Nice huck!”, they’re complimenting a particularly strong or accurate long-distance throw.

Fun Phrases You Might Hear While Playing

  • “Grip it and rip it”: This phrase is often used to encourage a player to give their next throw their all, usually on a long hole where distance is key.
  • “Canned it”: When someone makes a great putt, you’ll often hear people say they “canned it,” akin to successfully canning a shot in basketball.
  • “Treejected”: A humorous term used when a disc hits a tree and falls down, essentially being “rejected” by the tree.
  • “Tin Cup”: Borrowed from traditional golf, this term is used to describe a situation where a player takes a risky shot when a safer option was available, often leading to a poor outcome.
  • “Disc Down”: This phrase is advice often given to suggest using a slower or easier-to-control disc, generally aimed at players who might be overestimating their throwing power.

Understanding these phrases and slang can enrich your experience on the course and make you feel more integrated into the community. Plus, they’re just fun to say and add a light-hearted element to the game.

Practical Tips for New Players

Using disc golf terms is not just about sounding knowledgeable; it’s about applying them to improve your gameplay. Here’s how you can practically use some of the terms in your next outing:

  • Tee Off with a Driver: Remember that a “driver” is designed for long distances. Use it for your initial throw to cover as much ground as possible.
  • Mid-range for Approach: Once you’re closer to the basket but not close enough for a putt, use a “mid-range” disc. This will offer you a balance between distance and control.
  • Putt to Finish: Use a “putter” for short-range throws, particularly when you’re aiming for the basket.
  • Aim for Par or Better: Understand what “par,” “birdie,” and “eagle” mean for each hole and adjust your strategy accordingly. For instance, if a hole is a par-3, you aim to complete it in three throws or less.
  • Avoid Bogey: Knowing what a “bogey” is can help you set mental boundaries. If you know that taking an extra shot is going to result in a bogey, you might be more focused and careful with your throws.

Basic Tips for Beginners

For those who are new to disc golf, here are some fundamental tips that go hand-in-hand with the terminology you’ve learned:

  • Start Simple: Begin with just a few discs—a driver, a mid-range, and a putter. Learn how these function before expanding your gear.
  • Practice Your Grip and Stance: Before you “grip it and rip it,” make sure you’ve practiced the basics of holding the disc and positioning your body for optimum power and accuracy.
  • Focus on Technique Over Power: It may be tempting to “huck” the disc as hard as possible, but finesse and technique often yield better results, especially for beginners.
  • Play Safe: If you’re unsure of making an “eagle” or even a “birdie,” it’s okay to play it safe and aim for par. It’s better than risking a bogey or worse.
  • Learn from Others: Whether it’s advice on avoiding “treejection” or how to “can it” successfully, listen to more experienced players, watch games, or even consider taking a beginner’s course.

Understanding the terms and incorporating these basic tips into your gameplay will not only make you a better player but will also enhance your overall disc golf experience.


Understanding disc golf terms and lingo is about much more than just fitting in or sounding cool on the course. It’s an essential step toward enhancing your gameplay, improving communication with other players, and even honing your strategic skills. From the basics like “hole,” “tee,” and “basket,” to intermediate and advanced terminology like “anhyzer,” “hyzer,” “eagle,” and “albatross,” each term has its place and purpose. They can influence your choice of gear, your approach to each hole, and your overall strategy.

By getting familiar with the lexicon, you’re not only becoming part of the disc golf community; you’re also setting yourself up for success whether you’re a casual player or aspiring professional. So, the next time you’re on the course, grip that driver, aim for an eagle, and may your disc always find the chains!

If you’re looking to improve your disc golf skills and truly understand how to play disc golf, make these terms a part of your regular vocabulary. Don’t just skim through—immerse yourself in the game’s language to enjoy it to the fullest and elevate your game to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to Play Disc Golf

Beginners should familiarize themselves with terms like “hole,” “tee,” “basket,” “putt,” and “drive.” These terms cover the fundamental aspects of the game and will help new players understand what’s going on.

A “putt” is a short-range throw aimed at getting the disc into the basket. A “drive,” on the other hand, is a long-range throw typically used at the start of each hole to cover as much distance as possible.

“Anhyzer” and “hyzer” refer to the angle of the disc during a throw. An anhyzer angle tilts the outer edge of the disc upward, causing it to curve to the opposite direction of the spin. A hyzer angle tilts the outer edge downward, causing the disc to curve in the same direction as the spin.

These terms refer to completing a hole under par. A “birdie” is one under par, an “eagle” is two under par, and an “albatross” is three under par.

Declan Hodgson
Written by
Declan Hodgson

Meet Declan Hodgson, your disc golf sherpa at Navigating the twists and turns of the sport, I’m here to guide you through the world of discs, gear, and the pursuit of that perfect throw.

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