How To Throw a Disc Golf Disc for Beginners

How to throw a disc golf disc? Disc golf is a seemingly simple sport that has been gaining popularity throughout the world. It is very similar to golf, however, instead of hitting balls into holes on a golf course, you throw discs on disc golf courses. Many disc golf courses are in fields, and some are in the wods with trees and bushes to throw around.

Disc golf is much more than a game with frisbees, you need to learn some tricks of throwing and manipulating the disc, apply strategies and familiarize yourself with basic rules of the game. In this game you need to balance long throws and trajectories with precision curves as you move about the course. There’s a rhythm to it, and it’s an amazing feeling when you make a great toss.

This post is directed at how to throw a disc golf disc for beginners. It will show you the basics of the game, how to toss your disc, what is hyzer and anhyzer, and what are the basic rules of the game.

What is Disc Golf

Disc golf is a popular game and is a combination of two different sports; frisbee and golf. Like golf the player targets to throw the disc at elevated baskets (the disc golf holes), and instead of hitting the holes with a golf ball and a club, a disc is thrown into the elevated baskets. Just like they do it in traditional golf, a disc golfer attempts to throw the frisbees (known as disc golf disc or simply the disc) into a basket within the fewest number of throws possible. The game begins from a starting area known as tee pad and is finished at the basket known as the disc golf hole. A full round of disc golf typically consists of 9 to 18 holes, and the player completing these holes in the least amount of throws wins the game.

How is Disc Golf Different Than a Normal Frisbee

While frisbee is typically designed for playing catch with a friend, a disc golf disc is designed for traveling long distances and absorbing hard impacts into the ground, trees, and metal baskets. Therefore, a professional disc golf disc is more aerodynamic than a normal frisbee with sharp edges and is made up of much tougher plastic with a capability of flying hundreds of feet through the air.

man throwing disc golf in snow

How to Get Started

As a new disc golf player there are certain things that you need to do before heading out onto the course. Buy yourself a beginner disc golf set from a local sports store or online. Remember there are different discs for beginners, intermediate level players and for expert players. In disc golf, the first thing that you gotta do is to learn and find your way around the disc. Remember that no two discs will behave in the same way, that’s why they say that this sport is like playing a unique game every single time.

Once you learn how different types of discs behave, the second step is to learn main shapes of the hand swing (the hyzer, backhand flip and the anhyzer), and the third and final is focusing on the aim and forming the trajectory towards the basket.

How to Throw a Disc Golf Disc for Beginners: The Types of the Disc

For a beginner disc golf player, the ideal discs are those that are easy to throw and are stable. Disc stability and disc numbers are two of the important aspects that you must familiarize yourself with before starting out on the course. In the initial learning days go for discs with stability closer to zero. Once you have familiarized yourself with the disc and the throwing techniques, you will be able to find a disc that can curve to your natural side; i.e., to the right-hand side for a righthander and to the left hand side for a lefthander.

Basic Disc Golf Terminologies for Beginners

When you will be out in the field throwing shots and chasing targets, there will be a lot of disc golf terminologies being used. Let’s have a look at some of the basic terms related to the game.

Ace A ‘hole-in-one’: Throwing the disc into the basket from the tee box in one throw.

Anhyzer (Anny) – When a player throws a disc at an angle (for a RHBH player) that has the left side of the disc higher than the right upon release. The goal in using this type of throw is to get the disc to fly to the right initially.

Away (away player) – A player whose disc lands farthest from the basket. They will be the next to throw. Also referred to as “out”.

Backhand – A grip and throw where the back of the player’s grip hand is generally facing the basket until the disc leaves the thrower’s hand.

Basket – The target device designed to catch a disc by using a number of chains to stop its flight.

Black ace – When a player throws from a tee pad into an unintended basket in one throw.

Bounce out (bounce back) – When a disc hits the pole in the center of the chains with enough force that the disc bounces out of the basket.

Card – Refers to a score card, and may refer to all the players that start on the same hole (card) during a tournament. Also used as a verb referring to the score a player got on a hole; i.e., (“Susan carded a four on hole two”)

Circle – Refers to the 10-meter circle around a basket. Whether a disc lies in or out of the circle determines how a player may putt.

Death putt – When a player is putting toward a basket that has a hazard, OB, or obstacle behind it.

Fade – The last number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc. Refers to how far the disc drifts to the left (RHBH throw) as it slows down near the end of its flight (low speed stability).

Flex (flex shot) – A type of throw where a player gets the disc to turn to the right (on a RHBH throw) prior to fading left at the end. The shape of the shot is achieved by throwing a stable or overstable disc on an anhyzer angle.

Flight rating – How the disc is designed to fly. The most common measurement is the four-number flight system representing the disc’s speed, glide, high-speed stability (turn), and low-speed stability (fade).

Glide – The second number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc. Refers to a disc’s ability to maintain loft during flight.

Hyzer – When a player throws a disc at an angle (for a RHBH player) that has the right side of the disc higher than the left upon release. Can be used to hyzer flip a disc or increase the amount of fade to the left.

Hyzer flip – When a disc is thrown on a hyzer angle and it rotates (flips) and flies flat.

Kick – The change of direction a disc has when it hits a tree or other object. “Kicks” may be favorable or unfavorable.

Low-speed stability – The fourth number of the common four-number flight rating of a disc.

Midrange – A disc used for shorter shots or approaches. Midrange discs have slower speeds than drivers and thinner rims (wings).

Nose – The front edge of the disc.

Putt – A short throw of the disc in an attempt to make it into the basket.

RHBH – Short for ‘right-handed backhand’. A type of throw where a person throws with their right hand with a backhand throw. Other throws are RHFH for ‘right-handed forehand’, and the equivalent throws for left-handed players, LHBH and LHFH. When discussing disc flight, it is important to make this distinction.

Rim – It is the outer portion of the disc. The width of the rim primarily determines the speed of the disc. Generally speaking, the wider the rim, the higher the speed number.

S-curve – A disc flight that resembles the letter ‘s’. The disc turns to the right before fading back to the left. It is achieved by throwing an understable disc with a flat release.

Sidearm –A throwing technique with the palm down and thumb on top similar to a baseball sidearm throw.

Stable (stability) – The ability of a disc to fly in a straight line without flipping over. In some parts of the country disc golfers use the term “stable” to mean overstable.

Tee pad – The designated area for making the first throw on a hole.

Tomahawk – A type of overhead throw resembling a tomahawk chop.  The disc is released at or near a vertical angle. Also referred to as a hammer throw.

Understable and Overstable – Overstable is a disc that will curve and fade hard. This fade is a curve to the left on a RHBH throw, whereas, understandable is a disc that will turn to the right when thrown hard (RHBH).

How to Throw a Disc Golf Disc: Rules of the Game

No matter where you play, there are some basic disc golf rules that you will have to follow whether it is a friendly round with your friends, or a professional tournament.


A stroke is when you throw the disc towards its basket. Each attempt that you make to get close to the target is called a stroke. The penalties will add to your stroke/point count, whereas, the goal is to get into the basket in as few strokes as possible.

Throwing Order and the Tee Off

At the beginning of the game there is no set rule as to who will throw the first stroke. Traditional ways such as flipping the coin is used to decide who will go first. However, after that and as the game progresses, the player who had the fewest strokes on the previous hole is the first to throw, a process known as “tee off”. After everyone has teed off, the player who is farthest from the hole throws first.

Tee Throw

Tee throws are completed inside the designated areas. Tees are set up at the beginning of each hole, your first throw for any hole needs to begin inside of, or behind, a designated tee area.

Lie and Unplayable Lie

The lie is the spot on which a player takes position in order to throw. It is also the area where a previous player’s throw lands and from where you will be aiming yours. According to Rule 802.06 of Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) “Marxking the Lie”, the position of a throw disc on the inbound playing surface marks the lie. It can also be marked with a mini disc on the playing surface touching the surface of the thrown disc.  

An unplayable lie is when your disc gets stuck in a tree or a larger bush. In such cases when a disc that’s stuck, or you can’t get behind the lie to throw, you’ll need to throw from as close to the lie as possible. This may simply mean you’re throwing it from underneath a disc-grabbing tree branch or right behind a thick bush.

Completion of a Hole

Just like there are holes dug into a golf course, and for each round you need to complete a set of holes by putting golf balls into it, in disc golf you will need to complete baskets (disc golf holes) at the end of each throw. A disc golf basket is an assembly of chains constructed in such a way that it can catch a disc from all directions. You’ll need to throw the disc into this basket in order to end the round. When you get your disc into the basket, you’ve completed the hole. This is sometimes called the completion of the hole, but is usually just called by the short-hand term “completion.” Once you complete the hole you will remove the disc from the basket. A card is maintained to record all the holes that you have completed.

disc golf baskets for practice putting


Out of Bound (OB) are certain areas that you’re not allowed to throw into or out of. If your disc goes OB, then you need to move your lie to a point three feet in bounds from where the disc went OB. You’ll also need to add another stroke to your score. In general, hazards such as water features and public roads are always out of bounds.

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