Combining golf and frisbee – two classic pastimes – Disc Golf has been around since the early 2000s but only came into the public eye in the past few years. Whether you’re just getting started or an old pro seeking new tricks, this is the guide for you!
Tip #1 – Timing Is Everything
That goes for every single part of your body. Sure, you hold the disc in your hands, but there are actually multiple bits of you that require careful consideration, each of these body parts coming into play at different times.
Looking to send your disc flying further? Get your timing right! You need to be moving with synchronicity in order to maximize your chance of achieving enough power behind the throw to travel as far as possible – aiming for the mark, of course.
In an ideal world, the point at which your reach-back is highest occurs at the same time as your hips being pivoted furthest. Before you begin to pull your arm back through and release, open up those hips wide and generate some extra power!
Tip #2 – Get A Good Disc
This is easy enough to do when you’re following the guidelines established by the Professional Disc Golf Association, which regulates discs for tournaments as well as setting all of the sport’s rules. That way, your disc is the same as a professional’s!
You’ll find the majority weigh in at 165-175 grams: the lighter the disc is, the more likely they are to turn over, acting more understable. Conversely, a heavier disc tends to be overstable, but it’s also less likely to turn over mid-flight.
Those new to the sport or who are on the younger side, as well as players with a slower throwing speed, should stick to a lighter disc to begin with. Diameter-wise, all discs are around 21-21.4 centimeters from rim to rim – size rarely exceeds this.
Tip #3 – Focus On Footwork
Though most of this sport revolves around what you do with your hands, arms, and upper body, where you position your feet is more important than you might think! If you’ve done some research, you might have heard about a so-called “X Step”.
It’s not that mysterious: this simply refers to how you position your feet and where you put them when running up the tee pad and preparing to throw. You generate most of your throwing power from your hips and legs – not everyone knows that.
It’s hard to explain how to perform an X Step using words. Check out this video and seek out other clips of beginner, more intermediate, and then finally advanced players, carefully observing what they do with their feet as they throw.
Tip #4 – Co-ordination, Co-ordination, Co-ordination!
Your lower and upper body should work together in sync – this will enable you to generate maximum power and throw as far as you possibly can. That goes for every part: shoulders, chest, arms, even head! Each one should be perfectly positioned.
Remember, your body moves fluidly – or at least it should! – as you throw; your hips rotate, providing your arm with additional reach as you pull it back and ready your throw. Then as you snap forward with your arm, you also open up your hips!
This might sound tricky, but it’s the key to success when playing disc golf. Not only will you able to put more force behind your throws, but you should also achieve a more accurate shot, and perform well on a more regular, consistent basis.
Tip #5 – Discover Rounding… Then Don’t Do It
If you’re guilty of this, don’t feel bad: even the most experienced players can struggle with rounding. A common problem in throwing, it basically means your arm is moving in a circular motion when throwing, rather than back and then forwards immediately.
It doesn’t necessarily prevent you from generating power or throwing particularly far, but you’ll struggle to throw accurately as the point at which you let go of the disc is inconsistent. You may end up releasing too early or late when you throw this way!
Players will find it a whole lot simpler to hit targets when they move their arm back and then pull it forwards in their straight line, as opposed to swinging it out and around the way you might throw a discus or shotput!
Tip #6 – Accuracy Trumps Distance
Yeah, how far you can get a disc to go is definitely important, but nowhere near as necessary as learning to throw accurately. Basically, chucking a disc as far as your body will physically go doesn’t matter as much as where it lands does.
At the end of the day, being able to fling it an impressive distance is helpful, but as long as you figure out which size and weight of disc are best for your capabilities, the distance it travels is mostly covered by getting one that’s of good quality.
Focus on finding a throwing technique that works for you, then devote a great deal of practice to hitting targets at various different distances. Directing your attention to landing the disc in a particular place versus “as far as you can get it” really helps!
Tip #7 – Allow Your Disc To Do The Work
Try not to focus too much on what you’re doing when you throw! This might sound like contradictory advice, especially after all of the above tips told you to concentrate on your form, positioning, and timing! It’s not though, and here is why.
Much like a frisbee, discs for this funky form of golf have been specially designed to sail through the air gracefully. It’s what they were made to do! All you have to contribute is a decent throw that’s aimed towards the mark you’re trying to hit.
Instead of attempting to throw as much weight as you can behind a heavier disc, get a lighter one and allow it to glide effortlessly across the course. As long as you get the footwork right and move your arm properly, the disc is responsible for the rest!