Disc Golf Beginners

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What is Disc Golf

"So what exactly is Disc Golf?" This is what my non-disc golf friends ask me when I tell them I am going "Disc Golfing". There is actually a pretty easy explanation of what this sport entails. It's pretty much like "ball" golf, except instead of using a club and a golf ball, you have a disc. So now you are asking, "Well what do mean by a disc?" This is, in "Lamen's Terms", a modified frisbee. Some people refer to it as frisbee golf, but some disc golfers get offended by that term. The reason we don't call it frisbee golf is because "Frisbee" is a brand name, so disc golfers use the term "disc".

In "ball golf", you will have different types of clubs such as drivers and putters. Each driver and putter can affect your final result in your swing. In disc golf, you have a wide range of discs that can do different things depending on what you need for each hole. For instance, if you have a tree in your way, you might need to throw a right curve on your disc, or "roll" your disc on a nice straight drive. The options are limitless, and you would really be suprised what you can do with a disc!

Ok so we know what a "disc" is, but what do we do with it? Well instead of having a "hole" as a target, disc golfers use a basket, although we still call it a hole. This basket extends above the ground four feet high and it is surrounded by chains.

Now for the objective. The objective of Disc Golf is to throw your "disc" into the basket with the least amount of throws as possible. Generally each hole has a par of "3" unless otherwise noted. Sounds easy enough? Well there are some "easy" holes, but usually each hole has obstructions such as hills, trees, or water.

Where can I learn more about Disc golf? Here at Disc Fly, we have many resources for Disc Golfers. You can research our Resources section or look at our Links section, for other web sites that contain more information.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What discs should a beginner throw?
    It's important not to get caught up in the hype of all the discs when you first start out. It is much better to start with only a few discs. Learn to control those discs then experiment with other models. Good beginner Innova discs are: Aero, Aviar, Cobra, Stingray, Shark. Some good Discraft beginner discs are the Magnet, Comet, Stratus, and the XL.
  • What weight discs should I throw?
    Weight is more a matter of preference than ability. In general light discs are easier to throw faster and will fly farther except into a headwind. Heavy discs are harder to throw fast, but are easier to control in the wind. Recommended weights for inexperienced players: Putter-165g to 175g, Mid-range-165g to 170g, Driver-150g to 165g.
  • I've heard I should have at least a driver, midrange, and a putter. How do I choose what's right for me?
    Innova's Cheetah and Leopard are very good drivers that tend to go straight with moderate arm speed. The shark and the cobra are good straight flying midrange discs. The aviar and birdie are good all around putters. As far as Discrafts line, the Xpress is a great driver. It's stability rate is a "0". As stated before a good solid mid range disc is the Comet, and the MRV is growing in popularity. Many people choose a Magnet for their putter, but I personally love the APX, and now the X and Z Putt'r is growing in interest.
  • What is the difference between Innova's disc lines?
    DX - Less durable plastic, yet a great tacky feel for grip
    Pro Line - Greater durability. A happy medium between the DX and Champion Line
    Champion Line - The Champion Line also known as candy plastic has exceptional durability. The only bad thing about this disc, is loosing it!
  • What is the difference between Discrafts disc lines?
    Pro D - Least durable plastic.
    Elite X - Great plastic to that last much longer than the Pro D.
    Elite Z - The most durable plastic, yet has a cool see thru design.
    Fly Dye, Swirl - Nothing special about the plastic, they just look really cool!
    Photon UV - This is Discraft's ultra violet line of discs. These discs change from white to purple in the sun.
    Photon Glow - One of the best glow in the dark plastics on the market.
  • What discs are good for turnover shots (left to right)? Innova has a range of good turnover discs. The Stingray is a great turnover disc. It may, however, turn over too much (and roll) for some players. Other good turn over discs include: Panther, Leopard, Archangel, Spider, and the Wolf. Discraft carries the Xpress which is a great turnover disc. Ching also has a good disc. That is the Stinger. Generally most discs that are good at turnovers are also good as rollers, especially as the disc has been broken in.

Throwing Golf Discs

  • How can I throw farther?
    Distance comes from technique. You don't have to be big to throw far. Instead you need arm speed, the correct angle of release, and get your body into the throw. Most of your power comes from hip rotation.

External Resources

  • How do I find a disc golf course in my area?
    There is an online course directory that allows you to search for courses by state (or country).
  • Where can I find more information about disc golf?
    The governing body for our sport is the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). The PDGA has a very informative site.
Disc Golf Terminology

Anhyzer - An anhyzer throw is when you tilt your disc so that the left side of the disc is higher than the right side. This results in right fade when the disc is released.

Backhand - A backhand throw is a standard throw where the player has the disc accross their chest to their opposite shoulder and then releases the disc back to the other side of their body.

Drive - This is a term used when a player has a long range throw .

Falling Putt - When a player steps in front of their mini marker.

Forehand - A forehand throw is a standard throw where the player has the disc accross their chest to their opposite shoulder and then releases the disc back to the other side of their body. Same as a side arm throw.

Hammer - The disc is released from a verticle angle. This causes the disc to fly very high and return to the ground upside-down. Also known as an overhand throw. Also known as a Tomohawk, or an overhand throw.

Helix - A very nice throw when pulled off. This type of throw results in an s-shaped or backwards s shaped pattern. Often used for getting around complex obstacles.

Hork - The angle of disc flight.

Hyzer - A hyzer throw is the exact opposite of an anhyzer throw. The disc is tilted so that the left side of the disc is lower than the right causing the disc's flight to turn left.

Overhand - The disc is released from a verticle angle. This causes the disc to fly very high and return to the ground upside-down. Also known as a Tomohawk, or a Hammer throw.

Pancake - A common method for skipping a disc. The disc is released in a way that it is turned upside-down.

Putt - This is a short throw where the player is attempting to land the disc in the nearby basket.

Roller - A method used to make the disc roll on it's side. The throw can be accomplished a couple of ways. One way is to throw the disc as if you would throw it like a sidearm throw but raising the disc to your shoulder (like you would throw a baseball). Another approach is to throw the disc with an extreme anhyzer. A great "roller" disc would be Discraft's "Stratus".

Sidearm - A sidearm throw is the exact opposite to a backhand throw. The sidearm throw is where the player starts out with the disc away from their body and then pulls back towards the body. Sidearm is a good throw for right fade flights for right handers (and opposite for left handers)

Stability - This term refers to the results of a discs flight. If a disc is stable it will fly straight. Understable is a disc that turns right. Overstable is a disc that turns left.

Tomohawk - The disc is released from a verticle angle. This causes the disc to fly very high and return to the ground upside-down. Also known as an overhand, or Hammer throw.

Turnover - This is a disc with an unstable flight

Worm Burner - A disc thrown lower to the ground resulting in a shorter throw.

Disc Golf Beginners