You would think that the two most popular disc sports would share the same terminology. That is until you watch a few disc golf Youtube videos and realize you have no idea what hyzer means and why they keep saying it. In this ultimate to disc golf translation guide we cover some of the basic disc golf terms you should know as you are getting started.
So What Does Hyzer Mean?
Hyzer refers to an IO (inside-out) release angle when the disc is thrown. Anhyzer or anny, refers to an OI (outside-in) release angle. Easy enough right!
Well yeah, you just got to remember which one is which! The way I was able to do that was by actually learning another term: spike hyzer. A spike hyzer is when you throw a disc on a very hyzer angle (read: IO blade) and it spike’s the ground when it lands!
So you remember that spike hyzer is a throw that spikes the ground at a blade-like angle. In order to throw it you have to release it IO, or hyzer as the name implies. That naturally leaves you to remember that anhyzer is OI.
Luckily, the releasing the disc flat is still referred to as flat in both sports!
Well What About Overstable? I Keep Hearing People talk About Stability!
Unlike ultimate where you release a disc OI and it stays on an OI trajectory. In disc golf some discs will come back (or flex) when released at an OI or anhyzer angle. These discs are often times considered to be overstable because they have a tendency to finish their flight at an IO angle.
An understable disc is one that tends to finish its flight at an OI angle. Sound familiar? That’s right, Ultrastars are an extremely understable disc that tend to finish their flight at an OI angle. Think about what you do when you try to throw a flick huck. You release the disc at an IO angle, because you know it will flatten out. In disc golf, if you throw an understable disc it will tend to flatten out and even “turnover” and finish its flight at an OI angle. Understable discs also often make great roller discs.
That leaves us with a stable disc. Which naturally lies between an overstable and an understable disc. If you release a stable disc flat, it will generally remain flat.
So how do you tell a disc’s stability? Well that depends on the flight number you find on the disc which we won’t get into in this post.
I’ve Never Played Golf, Why Does Everyone Keep Saying “Birdie?”
To answer the question directly, a birdie is when you complete a hole at one throw under par. Okay great, but what is par?
Par is basically how many throws an average player is expected to complete the hole in. The way scoring works in disc golf, and golf, is that if you complete the hole at par you get a score of zero on the hole. For all the extra shots you throw above par, you add to your score. If you shoot below par (usually a birdie), you subtract from your overall score.
Beginner’s will usually find themselves shooting above par, and as they improve they will get closer and closer to par until they become really good and eventually shoot under par. (Duh!) Also, the more familiar you become with a course, the better your scores will become.
Other scoring terms you’ll hear are:
- Bogey – Shooting one shot above par on a hole
- Double Bogey – Shooting two shots above par on a hole
- Eagle – Shooting two shots under par on a hole
- Albatross – Shooting three under par (this is super rare)
- Ace – A hole-in-one or getting the disc into the basket in one throw
I Get Driving and Putting, but what are the other shot types?
I will argue that the most important shot to get consistent at in disc golf is the approach shot, sometimes referred to as an up-shot. An approach shot, usually your second shot on a par-three hole, is when you try to put the disc as close to the basket as possible.
The reason I think it is the most important shot in a round is because if you can consistently place your approach shots within 15 or so feet of the basket, you’re going to have a very easy time putting. If however, every time you throw your approach shot you end up over shooting and throwing it in the woods, all of a sudden you have an impossible putt, and not only are you not getting par, but you’re skipping the bogey altogether and taking that annoying double bogey.
Luckily, ultimate players can develop pretty good approach shots because it’s usually a stand still throw much like in an ultimate game. You’ll often have a tree in front of you which you can treat like a mark and step around to throw. In my experience, focusing on throwing consistent and solid approach shots has improved my game tremendously, and it is much easier to develop for an ultimate player than distance driving or putting.
That’s enough for this post! We’ll be covering more on release, stability, shot types, and more in future posts, but for now we think you have all you need to be capable and knowledgeable on a disc golf course! You’ll soon find yourself talking about Ultrastar flight patterns in disc golf terminology. Congrats on becoming proficient in two disc sport languages! If you still don’t quite understand what hyzer means, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to do a better job explaining it!
Ultimate to Disc Golf Translation Guide
- Hyzer- an inside-out release angle
- Flat- a flat release angle
- AnHyzer- an outside-in release angle
- Spike Hyzer- a shot type in which you throw it super inside out so the disc spikes the ground when it lands.
- Overstable- a disc’s tendency to finish its flight inside out
- Understable- a disc’s tendency to finish its flight outside in (like and Ultrastar)
- Stable- a disc’s tendency to maintain a straight flight path
- Flex – a shot type where an overstable disc is released at an anhyzer angle causing the disc to “flex” in the air and change direction
- Ace- a hole-in-one!
- Albatross- Shooting three under par
- Eagle- Shooting two under par
- Birdie- Shooting one under par
- Par- The expected number of shots it take to play the hole
- Bogey- Shooting one over par
- Double Bogey- Shooting two over par
- Drive- Your first throw off the tee when beginning a hole. Most similar to pulling in ultimate
- Approach Shot (Up-shot)- Getting the disc as close to the basket as possible to set yourself up for an easy putt. Can range from shorter distances like an under throw in ultimate or longer distances like a huck
- Putt- Your attempt to put the disc in the basket, most similar to a reset in ultimate distance-wise, but the form is very different.