Terminology for beginner disc golf players
As a relatively new sport, many of the expressions and colloquialisms that disc golf players use can be very confusing. With so many young and inexperienced players starting to play this awesome sport, we’ve compiled a list of Disc Golf Terminology you will hear on the course, at the store, and while bragging about your game. We’ve separated them into three parts, Field Terminology (this post), Disc and Throw Terminology, and Scoring and Slang Terminology. Hopefully this helps you learn what each of the different keywords and abbreviations mean, so you can enjoy the game and continue to grow and learn.
Course – Where you are going to play disc golf. Since most courses are hosted on State Park lands, they are often referred to by the name of the park, Ex – Ellison Park is the Penfield course.
Basket – A cage structure that represents the goal of each section of the course. Baskets are about 5 foot tall, and have a catching basket of metal or fiber about 2 feet above ground. Above this catching basket will be lengths of metal chain hanging loosely. Aim for the chain section and it will slow down your disc, allowing it to fall into the basket. Once the disc rests in the basket, you can record your score.
Hole – Has multiple uses, the first being a combination of one basket, and the surrounding area of the course. There are usually 18 “Holes” on a course. Hole can also be used to describe the Basket itself, similar to ball golf.
Par – Describes the number of throws an above average player will take to get the disc in the basket. A single hole will usually have a Par of 3, meaning you should get it in the basket in three throws. Also, Par can be the overall goal of the course, and is a combination of throws over all 18 holes. If not stated at the course, overall Par is usually 54 throws.
Stroke, Shot, Throw – Different ways to describe a single toss of the disc. Once the disc leaves your hand, it is considered a throw for your score regardless of outcome.
Dogleg – A hole where the beginning is straight, but the basket curves away from the straight at the end. Looks like a club. A Dogleg right will finish with a right turn, and vice versa.
PDGA – The Professional Disc Golf Association. This is the body of members that determines rules for the game, as well as structuring events for all ranges. Many players have a PDGA Number, which is required when signing up for most tournaments, and some leagues. The PDGA has a membership fee, and their package for becoming a member usually includes a t-shirt, disc, and your membership card with number.
League – A weekly meeting where scores are kept over the course of many weeks. Usually leagues have an entry fee, prizes awarded to the players at the end of the series, and weekly prizes to keep everyone interested. The most popular league in Rochester is a two-player league on Tuesday Nights.
Tourney – A weekend-long event for dedicated players. Tournaments usually require entry fees, which are paid in advance to guarantee a slot at the event. Tournaments also will include multiple courses per weekend, or at least multiple rounds at the same course. Your combined total over 54 to 72 holes will count as your final score. Most tournaments will have multiple divisions, so an amateur will not play against a professional, but instead will only count their score against other amateurs.