Disc Golf Glossary

It seems that every sport or club around the world, no matter what the activity might be, tends to bring its own lingo to the table. If you’re an established part of the group then you know what others are saying, but imagine the confusion of hearing “disc golf-rich” if you’re not well-versed in the disc golf community.

While a lot of the following terms are pretty basic, we wanted to compile a list of phrases that will come in handy for any new disc golfer to know, as well as some more unusual idioms that are specific to certain regions. Keep this list handy – you never know when you’ll need it!

  • Hyzerbomb: Throwing your disc on a hyzer line is often necessary for certain shots, but being able to throw it hundreds of feet up in the air on that same trajectory is a feat of its own. Called a hyzer bomb, it often gets a lot of respect from others when you pull it off just right.
  • Iron leaf: You’ve just thrown the perfect shot, and instead of landing exactly where you wanted, your disc gets knocked off course by a single solitary leaf. Called an iron leaf by Ken Climo, you can hear the original story here.
  • Overstable: Disc golf discs naturally want to fade off to the left when you throw them, and the stability of a flight path can make all the difference when it comes to disc selection. An overstable disc will have a tendency to turn left more than others.
  • Understable: Just the opposite of an overstable disc, one that’s understable will want to fade to the right a bit more at the end of its flight. These types of discs are recommended for beginning players as they’re easier to throw farther when you’re just starting out.
  • Death putt: If you’ve ever seen a basket on the edge of a cliff or one that has a ton of water behind it, you can bet there have been quite a few death putts there before. When your disc lands in a position that either requires you to make the putt or your disc are gone forever, you’re in a death putt situation.
  • Wobble: Throwing a disc golf disc isn’t always as easy as the pros make it look, and if you don’t have your form down just yet, you might release your disc with some wobble. This refers to it literally wobbling as it flies instead of cutting through the air on a flat and smooth line.
  • Speed: Each disc has its own speed rating which indicates how quickly it can fly through the air. Faster isn’t always better though, as higher speed discs require more power to get them to fly properly. High-speed discs also tend to have wider rims which can be uncomfortable for some.
  • Mando: Short for mandatory, a mando on a course indicates a certain route that you must follow to play a hole correctly. Mandos usually denote that your disc has to travel to one side of a specific object, while others are set up in a way that creates a tunnel shot that people are forced to play through.
  • Lie: We’re not talking about fibbing here, as a lie in disc golf is where your disc comes to rest after a throw. It’s crucial to mark your lie with a mini marker if you’re throwing the same disc again.
  • The circle: Disc golfers use this term often to describe an invisible 10-meter circle that’s in play around each and every basket on a course. If your disc falls within the circle, you must stay behind your lie during every aspect of a putt. Putts that are outside of the circle can include a step in front of your lie as you land and are generally more awesome when they connect with the chains!
  • Local route: When you play your local course over and over again, it’s natural to create your own routes on certain holes that may be a bit out of the ordinary. Often times when playing with a group, people who pull off an unusual or risky shot will have others calling out “local route.”
  • Simon route: If you haven’t seen Simon Lizotte play disc golf, stop reading and go watch some YouTube. Simon’s skills allow him to throw discs in ways that no other human can replicate, and when he does something crazy on the course, it’s often termed the “Simon route.”
  • Disc golf-rich: A favorite hashtag of many, disc golf-rich refers to the fact that there’s not nearly as much money in disc golf as there is in other sports, and being #discgolfrich means you can actually pay your bills by playing disc golf. This term is often used jokingly – for example, let’s say you win a $5 ace pot at your local league. You might wave your money around and say “I’m disc golf-rich!”
  • Making minis: From time to time, you might find that playing with your friends results in one of your discs landing on top of the other one, or at least overlapping a little bit. When discs touch like this, it’s said that they’re making minis, because they’re…. You know. It’s crude but funny.
  • Parked: We’re not talking about cars here, as a drive that’s parked means you threw it so well that you’re directly under the basket. Being parked is a dream that disc golfers have on a regular basis, and when you pull it off you feel awesome.
  • Black ace/anti-ace: Throwing a hole in one is exciting – except when it’s in the wrong basket. When this happens, it’s called a black ace or an anti-race. While it’s still cool that you connected with chains on your first throw, it also gives your friends reason to poke fun at you.
  • Shule: While the slang version of this word is far more offensive, talking about should in disc golf refers to the bushes, trees, or tall grass that’s off to the side of the fairway. Often times, the shuttle is quite difficult to throw from and courses with a lot of shales tend to be quite challenging.

We’ve only scratched the surface of disc golf terms that are used in regular rotation. What are some of the phrases you and your friends use? Let us know your phrase, its meaning, and where you’re from in the comments below!

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