A great shot by Dan Ginnelly...

What Is Disc Golf?

Disc golf is a fun sport that combines one of the world's most popular sports- golf- with one of the world's most popular recreational activities- playing frisbee.

The object of the game is to complete a course of eighteen holes in the fewest strokes possible. However, instead of hitting a ball with a club, you are throwing a "frisbee-like" disc, and the "holes" are steel poles standing about four feet tall with chains suspended from . the tops by circular latticework above wireframe baskets.

In ball golf, a player typically carries a golf bag in which he keeps several clubs. These clubs are specifically designed for different types of shots, and the golfer decides which to use based on the layout of each hole and the outcome of the previous shot. The typicaldisc golfer also carries a golf bag, but instead of clubs he keepsseveral discs- drivers, approach discs, and putters. These are designed for specific flight characteristics, and the disc golfer also decides which to use based on course layout and previous shot lie.

To complete a hole in ball golf, the player must hit the ball so that it drops into the cup of the hole. In disc golf, the idea is similar, but the player is trying to throw the disc into the chains suspended above the basket of the hole so that the chains stop the forward momentum of the disc and it drops into the basket.

Wait, there's more!

Even though disc golf is played very similarly to ball golf, there is a key difference between the two sports that should be mentioned. For all intents and purposes, disc golf is FREE! Disc golf courses are installed almost exclusively in public parks, so as long as you have a frisbee or flying disc of some sort, you can play at almost every disc golf course throughout the world for NOTHING!

Of course, if you really want to be able to get full satisfaction out of the sport, you should purchase discs specifically designed for disc golf, but there are no rules that state you have to play with certain equipment. For less than the price of most greens fees for a single round of ball golf, you can purchase a driver, an approach disc, and a putter for disc golf and be able to enjoy the same level of challenge (and possible frustration) as ball golf often as you like.

Some Disc Golf Terminology

Basket, Pin, Pole Hole, Bucket, Chains
Terms used to describe a "hole" in disc golf.
Named after the inventor of disc golf, Ed Headrick, a headrick is a small metal loop that sticks up slightly above the rim of the basket of a pole hole. The headricks surrounding the basket cause more missed putts than any other factor about the design of a pole hole. Hitting a headrick is very similar to rolling a golf ball around the rim of the hole when putting in ball golf.
A marker, or "mini", is a miniature version of a disc golf disc. It is used to mark the leading edge of the disc that was just thrown in direct line with the target pole hole. The thrown disc can then be picked up and the marker is used as a fault line for the next throw.
Putting Green
Even though there are no marked greens in disc golf. There is an invisible 10 meter circle around a disc golf hole that is considered to be the putting green. When in the putting green, a disc golfer cannot step past his marker after throwing his disc until the disc comes to rest on the ground, in the chains, or in the basket.
Hyzer is a term used to describe the most common type of throw made in disc golf. The hyzer is so popular because it allows the player to use more power and the natural flight characteristics of the golf disc to get the most distance from a shot. A typical hyzer shot is a long, graceful, arcing curve that turns left for right handed players and turns right for left handed players. A hyzer shot needs lots of open space to be truly effective.
The anhyzer throw can be described as the opposite of a hyzer shot.The player forces the thrown disc to "turn over" against the natural filght pattern to get around obstacles that a hyzer would not be able to. The difficult part of throwing an anhyzer shot is that too much power can cause the disc to turn too hard and fly erratically in the wrong direction.
The helix shot is a finesse shot that uses a little of both the anhyzer and hyzer flight characteristics to create an "S" shaped pattern as the disc flies through the air. This is often used to "snake" through narrow fairways and in-between obstacles on the course.
A roller is a modified anhyzer that is thrown so that the disc turns over hard in the air and hits the ground at an angle with a lot of speed and rotation. This causes the disc to roll on its edge. Rollers are often used when obstacles make it very difficult to throw a normal shot in the air.
Also refered to as a "tomahawk", a hammer throw is a high arcing, overhand throw in which the disc is released at an almost vertical angle with a lot of speed and rotation. This causes the disc to "barrel roll" as it arcs, keeping the disc in an almost straight line path. This is often used to power a disc over tall obstacles that do not allow for normal hyzer or anhyzer throws.
Putting is what makes, or breaks, the disc golf game. A putt is normally thrown flat, with a very smooth release, so that there is very little hyzer or anhyzer aspects to the flight of the disc. Because of the need for accuracy in putting, the style for throwing the disc is very different from throwing a distance shot. Distance shots use a full range of motion using the legs, back, stomach, shoulders, and arms to create a "whiplike" explosion of power. Putting, on the other hand, is very stationary (shoulders are typically squared up with the pole hole) and relies almost entirely on the arms and wrists to get the disc to the basket.

Any comments and/or suggestions that would make this FAQ better would be greatly appreciated. Please send your suggestions to: faq_info@disqman.com

For more detailed information on the sport of disc golf, check out the Professional Disc. Golf Association

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