Blog, Instruction

Hyzer vs. Anhyzer (What are They and What Do They Mean?)

hyzer vs anhyzer

Disc golf, like any other sport, has lots of different terms and lingo that get thrown around by fans, players, and any other enthusiasts of the sport. There might be terms that are only shared by a select few who refer to something among themselves, or it may be a term that is shared by the community as a whole.

Two of these terms that we are going to look at today are known as hyzer and anhyzer. These two words of the day are used when referring to how someone throws the disc, and more spefically, the angle at which it is thrown. These two terms have another name if you are coming over from Ultimate Frisbee known as inside-out (IO) or outside-in (OI).

Starting with the hyzer throw, or inside-out, this throw that angles the outside edge of the disc (for right-handed throwers the left edge and for left-handed throwers the right edge) down during a backhand throw.

This angle is used to achieve a large, curved throw to the outside shoulder that can help you get around an obstacle or force your disc to crash down quickly in what is also known as a spikehyzer or knifehyzer throw.

The hyzer is especially useful for when you have an obstacle directly in front of you and want to get around it, but still end up in a relatively straight line from where you started. This throw can have varying degrees of severity as shown in this small diagram below:

types of sweep hyzers

Diagram by Blake Takkunen

Imagine you were playing and there was a big tree right in front of you, which line would you choose to throw?

Maybe you could get away with throwing something like line 2 or line 4, but if you have an out-of-bounds area close to the right, or if the basket is off to the left more, these might be shots that you don’t want to take. With lines 1 or 3, however, you would either be safer or closer to the basket meaning that those would be more advantageous for you to throw. This is the power of the hyzer throw.

There are more variations on the hyzer throw, but we won’t get into them just yet. The main thing to remember is that the angle of the hyzer is a downward facing angle on the outside of the disc and will cause your disc to come down pretty hard if it is too severe of an angle. Be sure to adjust your angle for your situation and don’t make it too severe if you want to go straighter or farther.

Now we come to the anhyzer throw. This is as the name itself suggests, the opposite of the hyzer throw. Whereas the hyzer throw has a downward angle to the outside edge of the disc, the anhyzer will angle the disc so that the outside edge is facing more upwards. This will cause the disc to do something entirely different then what a hyzer will do.

If you were expecting it to do just the opposite, you probably have played Ultimate before. That is what an ultimate frisbee disc would do, is curve the opposite way of the diagram above, however, disc golf discs are bit trickier. They won’t just curve the opposite way; they will cause the disc to do what is known as a flex shot or s-shot.

This means that the disc will make an “s” in the air as it flies. It will start out by curving the opposite way of the hyzer shot, but it will eventually start to come back the other way and turn into an s.

typical anhyzer s turn

Diagram by School of Disc Golf

See the “s” on the diagram? It may be a bit backwards, but this is the type of flight path that is typically created by an anhyzer throw as long as it isn’t too severe of an angle and isn’t too flat. This flight path is one of the best paths to take if you are beginning and struggle to get the disc to go farther.

The natural curve that is created by the angle of the anhyzer is what will help you squeeze out a few extra feet on each of your throws and is definitely a great thing to get into the habit of for anyone coming over from Ultimate Frisbee.

The anhyzer is a great throw to become familiar with quickly because it can be somewhat difficult to get the hang of due to its somewhat awkward nature. It is not an angle that most people are going to be very comfortable with throwing at first, but the more you practice getting the angle on the disc correct the more quickly you will start to be able to get the “s” shot that I have been referring to and gain those few extra feet on your throws.

As a final wrap-up to our lesson for this article, there are quite a few terms out there in the world of disc golf, and we have only just scratched the surface. However, two of the best terms to get acquainted with quickly are hyzer and anhyzer.

They are not just terms to learn for a vocab lesson, but things to practice and become better at to help hone your skills as you progress your game. They will help you envision more the type of throw that you want to make and what lines you want to take to achieve your goal on the course.

Whether it be something as simple as getting around a tree and back to a safe spot, or getting a few extra feet added onto your throw.

Practicing these two principles will ensure that you can get your game to where you want it to be. Get out there and keep on throwing, and the most important thing to remember when you are practicing, is to have fun and do your best.

Don’t worry if it takes you a while to get angles down or if you don’t get as much distance as your friends, because everyone has their own pace at which they progress in their disc golf career. The key is consistency and to have fun! Get out there and enjoy your next adventure on the course!


About Joshua Christensen

I am an ultimate frisbee player turned disc golfer. I have been playing disc golf for a few years now and have fallen in love with the sport and love to do what I can to further its growth!