Disc golf lingo: Many groups have their own dialect

In a recent round at DeLaveaga, I paused briefly to tell my friend that his last throw had tons of “E.V.,” but I held the comment for later when we noticed a large group of marauders was quickly gaining on us. So naturally we…

What’s that? Not exactly following my meaning?

jackDon’t worry, you’re not behind on the latest disc golf lingo — at least, not yet.

Most of those reading this are well acquainted with the fact that, while disc golf borrows a great deal of terminology from its stick-and-ball ancestor (par, birdie, drive, putt, etc.), the sport has a lexicon all its own as well.

Words like hyzer, anhyzer and thumber, and terms like “chain music” and “high-tech roller” mean nothing outside of disc golf (or at least disc sports). And words like “chunder” and “schule” — while they can be found in a standard dictionary — have very different applications in the world where golf meets flying disc.

These words and phrases serve as an instant bond between people who might otherwise have zero in common. Picture, for instance, a 55-year old clean-cut professional type visiting a course he’s never played before during some free time on a business trip.

As he arrives at the teepad of a blind hole, he encounters a couple of long-haired, dreadlocked, hemp-wearing locals. The locals offer to let him play through, and the traveler asks them where the basket is located. One of them replies “If you throw a big anhyzer over those trees on the left and can get it to ‘S’ out at the end, you’ll be putting for birdie.”

Different as they might appear and even be, in respect to the other aspects of their lives, the visitor and the locals understand each other perfectly well on the disc golf course. We’re all members of a subculture that, while steadily growing, is still far from the mainstream, and our lexicon of unique terminology is one of the true identifying marks about which those not yet part of the clan remain completely ignorant.

But even within subcultures there are smaller microcultures. For instance, I had played for years before I knew that those in the Midwest (and other regions, for all I know) refer to thick disc golf rough as “schule.” Where did that word come from? Who cares?! Schule is cool (unless you’re stuck in it)!

And recognizing there are regional idiosyncrasies in disc golf is merely the tip of the iceberg. A sport with endless options for creativity and amazement that also happens to still be commercially decentralized is bound to foster new and unique terms in every tiny enclave where it is played. And so it has been — in my circle, anyway (and therefore, I assume, in others). Despite what my mother always tells me, I’m not that special.

Hopefully this post will garner a discussion about disc golf terminology unique to your regular groups, or at least your local courses. Here are a few that have become commonplace between myself and a few guys with whom I regularly play.

  • E.V. stands for entertainment value, and we use the acronym to describe a shot that was highly entertaining to watch, whether it was successful or not. A technical spike hyzer from 100 feet out that passes surgically between crowded trees exactly as planned before slamming to the ground right past the basket would have E.V., even if it rolled away after.
  • Marauders are not hoards of barbarians bent on ripping out baskets and melting them down for weapons. Nothing as dramatic as that. They don’t even necessarily appear in large groups, although that is most often the case. Rather, marauders on a disc golf course are those who seemingly have no concept of the written nor unwritten rules of golf. It’s not that they’re rude; they just don’t know the rules or don’t care to play the game that way. They don’t bother to take a legal stance (anywhere within five feet seems to be okay — especially if there is a tree or bush in the way), and they don’t take turns to throw. Instead, there is a general continuous advancement with discs flying simultaneously and close calls galore. To players who are ahead of them, taking the game more seriously, marauders seem like a swarm of locusts swiftly approaching. Hmmm, locusts. Maybe that’s a good synonym for marauders!
  • When you’re stuck behind a bush, consider yourself foliated (as in, blocked by foliage). When you’re stuck deep inside a bush, with more bushes and trees all around you, consider yourself extremely foliated. It’s an easy, one-word way to explain to your buddy why you weren’t able to get more than 30 feet out of the rough. “Dude, I was completely foliated.” Note: This term only applies when the foliage is close enough to your lie to make it difficult to even get your throw off cleanly. You can’t claim “foliation” just because there are hundreds of trees and or bushes blocking your line.
  • As I go through my list here and type out definitions for these words and phrases, it occurs to me that more than one of them are novel terms for classic golf excuses. A good example is Fickle Factor, or for those who prefer saltier language, Fickle F#% Factor. My favorite application is when a player has a shot that is wide open and uncomplicated except for a lone twig that appears to be as light and thin as a pipe cleaner — and somehow that twig stops his disc dead in its tracks. A more objective view might be that he should have seen that twig and avoided it, but instead he assigns the blame to the “fickle factor.”
  • We also have other factors, my favorite of which is alternatively referred to as Chutzpah Factor or Scrotal Factor. It is usually referenced in regards to a shot taken that was difficult and might easily have had disastrous results. A more common way of expressing this sentiment would be to say that the shot took “big cajones.” Scrotal Factor is the scale that determines exactly how much cajones the shot required.
  • Another category not to be overlooked relates to good-natured gamesmanship between frequent competitors. For instance, my friend Alan often likes to put extra pressure on me before putts (and I occasionally return the favor). He uses reverse psychology at select times by asserting that putts inside the 10-meter circle are in the Jack Zone, meaning they are automatic for me. I assure you, they are not.

A flip putt is attempted from the edge of the Alan Belt. (photo by Jack Trageser)

  • My similar weapon is not reverse psychology but the sadistic reminder of his lifelong struggle with short putts. He deals with this struggle by using a flip putt when close to the basket, but there is always a gray area when he has trouble deciding whether a putt is too long to flip. I sometimes refer to that gray area — usually for him between 15 and 20 feet out, depending on wind direction — as the Alan Belt. If I’m playing doubles against him, I might say to my partner (loud enough for Alan to overhear), “Oooh. That one is right in the Alan Belt.”
  • Another one to mention quickly is Allenfreude. I won’t go into detail on it here, but it is related to the famous German word schadenfreude. Follow the link to a previous blog post for a description. I’m sure others can relate.

As a reminder, this is the kind of teasing that is appropriate among friends only- and my friends and I have an understanding that these types of mind games are only to be used when defeat appears imminent. Don’t try this with the thick-necked guy on your course with a temper and a short fuse.

So my question to you, the reader, is which of these terms do you identify with the most? Better yet, share some of your own, with a description of how and when they are used. Language is a big part of any shared experienced, and few subcultures have a richer lexicon than the disc golf community. Let’s add to it!

Jack Trageser is the founder of School of Disc Golf and the instructional writer at RattlingChains.com. You can reach him at jack@rattlingchains.com.

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0 thoughts on “Disc golf lingo: Many groups have their own dialect

  1. “Cook out” is a term we use to describe a shot that looks as though it could easily get stopped by a bunch of trees, or limbs in its path. When it gets through one must yell “Cook out!” to praise the shot that made it through.

    (It has to do with a bet that someone couldn’t make it through a tough area and would rate a cookout if he made it)

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  2. We call a putt that is low and hits the front of the basket a “Deano”. Dean has a habit of doing this. It started out as good-natured ribbing and became a part of our disc vocabulary. We also have a few players that refer to an anhyzer as a “drunko”. I’m not exactly sure how that word came about but we all know what it means.

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  3. Thanks for those initial comments- hopefully we get more. All all the terms listed, the only one I’ve heard of is ‘black ace’, and I learned that when I recorded one the first time I played Morley Field in San Diego. Keep ’em coming!

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  4. For RHBH, my group calls the stance with left foot behind the mini, right foot on the left side of the lie, looking over your right shoulder towards the target as the “patent pending” stance. We have observed that every disc golfer adopts the stance naturally when needed, but a lot of people want to claim credit for inventing it.

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  5. I had no idea that schule was a midwestern only term. It’s absolutely used here in the midwest all the time. I haven’t heard marauder before. Frequently it is referred to as a casual player, or people that are probably more similar to marauders: chuckers.

    I’m a disc vendor, so I don’t get to play in many tournaments anymore. I hear more of the terminology about the disc and the flight path more than the throw itself or on the course terminology. Flat or Domey are common words for a disc, and a lot of the times real domey discs have a poppy top. Is a disc real flippy or hyzer hard at the end. I frequently forget when explaining the game to a person that has only played ball golf that they have no idea what a hyzer or anhyzer is. I have to tell them it’s like a hook or a slice. I like hyzer and anhyzer better!

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  6. Everyone knows what it means to be “parked” for a birdie putt after a great drive. Sometimes, the shot is really tight, and all you need for a birdie is to drop it in the basket. If you get that tight on a tough hole, we like to call that “Handicapped Parking”.

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  7. When you throw what appears to be a great shot and a tree limb seems to come out of nowhere to knock it off course or a tree seems to slide over just a little bit to get a piece of your disc, you got tree-nied (pronounced like denied and obviously with similar meaning). I’m not sure who coined the phrase in our group, but I believe it may’ve been Jim H. I just wanted to make sure no one in my group that reads this thinks I’m trying to claim that I came up with this clever term. Feel free to adopt, but here’s hoping you never get tree-nied.

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  8. FFF is the Flying Fossil Factor…this is the reason the old guys beat the young guys on a regular basis….those guys can PUTT!

    Treenied…The tree denied your line.

    Iron Leaf…See Gregg Barsby does Ken Climo

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  9. “Get New” when you are begging for something to hyzer out of its current line. Used the same as “flex” or “work”

    “Viagra Putt” – a putt that needs to get up. i.e. when you are hitting the tray all day instead of the chains.

    “TREEnied or TREEjected” when your disc is denied or rejected by a tree.

    “Iron Leaf” See YouTube video called: gregg barsby does ken climo impression.

    “Boomhauer or Boomhauered” To throw the disc really hard, really far.

    And about 20 others, but that’ll do for now.

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  10. I have so many from my area its ridiculous

    Good Pull- a far throw

    Noob hyzer – A shot that goes 100ft up but only 50 forward

    Chain out – hit chains but still falls out.

    punch through – to get through a group of trees.

    Getting skinny – Getting through an unlikely line.

    tree love – hitting a tree that helps your shot.

    worm burner – throwing straight into the ground

    hyzer flip – flipping a disc from crazy hyzer (practically up and down) back to annhyzer

    nice up – a shot that gets close to the basket

    good run- a putt that almost goes in from a decent range.

    field ace – a very long second shot into the basket

    and many many more

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  11. my friends and i frequently bet ‘poop discs’ with each other when we play. ‘poop discs’ refers to the worst discs in your collection. i.e. discs with holes, warped discs, and moldy discs from the bottom of the lake.

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  12. Our course is heavily wooded so…
    Tree-nied – A term used when a disc hits a tree and falls to the ground.
    Tree-jected – A term used when a disc hits a tree and falls to the ground. Also, tree-routed.
    Tree-directed – A term used when a disc hits a tree and changes the flight path of the disc.
    Thank you Treejus – A term used when hitting a tree positively influences the flight path of the disc. Also, Tree-warded.
    Treedeemed – A term used when hitting a tree, then hitting a second tree that positively influences the flight of the disc.
    Treechable – A term used for a disc that is stuck in a tree, but reachable. Or – UNtreechable if it is not reachable.
    Tree-pulsive shot – A term used for your lie when there are too many trees in the way. Also, Tree-pugnant. My lie is tree-pulsive.

    Salad shooter – A term used when a player successfully throws out of thick foilage.
    Joshua Tree – A term used for any tree that Josh hits.
    Lone Pine – A term used to describe a single telephone pole in the middle of the fairway. Your disc just missed that lone pine.
    Born again – A term used for a disc that has been recovered from the water.
    Kidney Transplant or Kidney operation or Kidney failure – A term used for a disc that travels upgright through the chains and falls on the ground.
    DISC-ussion – A term used for any disc related talk.
    Lettuce – A Term used for any foilage.
    FROLF – A term used when you wish to have 175g of plastic hurled at a high rate of speed towards your balls.
    Ball Golf – A term used to describe a sport that used clubs and little balls to play golf.
    Facemask – A term used to describe a disc that has hit the outside of the basket and does not go in.
    Chastity belt – A term used for the large (usually yellow) band on top of Innova baskets.
    Brad time – A term used to describe a point in time, usually 10 – 15 minutes later than regular time. We tee of at 3 p.m. Brad time. (3:15 p.m.)
    Nice! – A term used when an opponents disc is in flight, typically used to Jinx a good shot. Player 1 – Nice! (then disc hits tree) Throwing player – Hey! You “niced” me!!!
    Hand of God – or HOG – A term used for a tree that “smacks the disc out of the sky”
    Work Burner – A term used for a disc thrown low and skips across the grass.
    Don’t throw when I’m talking!!! – A phrase used when someone wants to interupt your conversation by throwing. ~sarcastic.
    Einstein Deuce (time is relative) – A term used when your t shot lands near another pin position on the same hole.
    Beer – Beer.

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  13. here’s a few: “sorry I ‘nice-shotted’ you”. Basically when your opponent throws a nice through a tight wooded lane and appears to be perfectly on line and you say “nice shot dude”. The disc then proceeds to hit the one tree you couldn’t see and shoots directly to the left or right 50 feet into the woods. That’s when I apologize for “nice-shotting you” since it is clear that had I kept my mouth shut the shot would have been parked, however, by speaking too soon I jinxed it.
    “hook up”! When an over-stable disc is ripped hard and anhyzers out to the right and you need it to stabilize and fade back left at the end… we yell “HOOK-UP”! we all know that dreaded suspense and anxiety hoping the disc turns back over and hyzers out avoiding the trees.

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  14. What is a flip putt? Never heard of this and can’t find anything on it? I didn’t think I was that much of a noob!

    Along the lines of the the “Cook Out” comment we call it “Getting Slutty” when I disc takes a route through the trees and some how makes it out. So if we have a bad shot and it starts heading toward the trees you’ll hear us saying “Get Slutty!” Or if you have a shot and that goes through the trees and act like it was what you meant to do someone will say, “That got slutty”

    I really have no idea where this came about!

    There is also the classic “Nice” Or getting “Niced” when someone says “Nice” while your disc is in the area cause it looks like a good shot and then it hits a tree or flips the wrong way.

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  15. At Warwick Town Park (The Brinsters’ main course)we have two sets of baskets(and tees) for each hole. If you are playing to the long basket and make it in the short basket on accident on your drive, we call it a “Grey Ace”. Your reward is almost always a really obnoxious stance for your next throw.

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  16. Thanks everyone for all the great comments. There is an interesting mix of terms that are fairly universal in disc golf, some I’ve never heard of that just may spread thanks to this post, and others that are obviously unique to the regular group in which the commenter plays. Gotta love disc golf!

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  17. Other than many of the terms already added from the other brilliant comments, I’d only add a couple:

    Catholic Drive – when you’ve obviously pulled out of your drive too early.

    Pregnant Drive – when you obviously should have pulled out earlier.

    Anhyzer Bush – the beer that says “you don’t have a clear shot.”

    Nay’ce – when your off-course drive sinks into the wrong pin. Usually combined with a Catholic or Pregnant drive, but still – plenty of E.V., hahaha

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  18. “Get Squeeky!” used when your disc is thrown towards a small gap and you’re just praying it misses that tree it’s headed towards. Picked it up from the West Coast disc golf guys. Same as “tickling the chains.” Anything that touches the chains but doesn’t drop.

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  19. Get Local! This is sometimes shouted at a disc heading for trouble and your’re begging for “local” or friendly treatment. I think this is similar to what’s called a “member’s bounce” in ball golf…where members of the club supposedly get favorable bounces compated to non-members. Also used as, “you got local” by another player (in other words you got lucky). It is particularly relevant to use if someone “gets local”, but it’s not their home course.

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  20. I’m loving all the comments. Too many to mention. The recent ones from Thorny and Chris (“Get squeeky” and “Get local”) remind me of one I heard in while visiting courses in the Atlanta area. I’ve heard it’s used in a wider region- maybe all of the South. When a disc looks headed off route, but locals know there is a small chance it will wiggle or squeeze through an unintended gap or gaps, they will yell “Secret Squirrel” beforehand in hopes it will get through, or afterward once it does.

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  21. “Grip-lock”: hanging on to the disc too long.

    “Premature E’disc’ulation”: letting go of the disc too soon.

    “Water-Worked”: hitting the chains on a putt, coming out and rolling away (outside “the circle “).

    “Rollins”: laying up when it’s not necessary. (Ex.- a 25 ft. putt that doesn’t even get to the pole.)

    “Leaner”: when a disc comes to rest, leaning against the pole.

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  22. In Austin we say you “gakked” when you take the line that you know is blocked. You see the obstacle, (frequently
    a tree), and then throw as though it didn’t exist. When your disc’s flight is rudely interrupted, it’s because you gakked.
    We also refer to the PLU, or pussy lay up. “nuf said on that.
    Lastly, if someone leaves a disc behind and has to go retrieve it, we call that “taking the walk of dementia”.

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  23. “Get Lucky” trying to talk a bad shot through that could turn out OK if luck prevails.
    “Nubbed Out” a putt kicked out by the Nubbs of Hedrick.
    “Cut Roller” a roller that never stands up completely.
    “In the Doughnut” The worn putting ring around the pin.
    “Frozen Rope” a putt that stays fast,straight and level.
    “Bomber” a very high bomb like shot.
    “CSI” Catastrophic Shot Insurance. An absolutely terrible drive that all players agree you should re-throw with out penalty.
    “Floater” a putt made into the wind that appears to float in on the breeze.
    “Flick” side arm shot.
    “Hook Up” a plea for the disc to start hysering.
    “Poke and Hope” Just throw as it will be pure luck getting through.
    “Snap” the popping sound of your fingers when the disc comes out.
    “Good Pull” a well executed long drive.
    “Find a Hole” talking a disc through a tight line of obstacles.
    “Tree Help” a good tree deflection.
    “Get Legs” a plea for additional flight distance.

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  24. I played with some guys from my last job and one of the times this coworker took too cavalier approach to a 5′ putt and it clanged and missed. Later on I found out that the coworker was involved in some shenanigans at work so we now call missing an easy putt a Pervis in dishonor of him.

    We also call being in the bushes, being in jail.

    Taking a route off the main throwing line is taking the local route.

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  25. Man, way too man to recall right now, but my favorite originals are:

    “Fresh release” – usually a backhand shot, all release, usually not too powerful and with no snap. Looks nice but lacks distance. You can also ‘fresh one off’ where it just hyzers off into the woods.

    “whip” – the anhyzer opposite of fresh

    “dark meat” – three bogies in a row, opposite of the “white meat” of the turkey (3 birds)

    “sniffing darkness” – two bogies in a row

    “soft darkness” – bogie on 3 out of 4 holes

    “fair dick” – fortuitous kick off a tree

    “zita” – shorthand for the manzanita bushes that populate many courses in northern California

    “in the godamn” – in the rough, or far off the fairway

    And many many more…

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