Disc golf is one of the easiest sports to get into thanks to its low startup cost and the availability of courses across the country. If you’re familiar with the sport, you know the precision necessary for skillful play.
The key to improving your disc golf game is practice, which can help you familiarize yourself with your discs and perfect your form for driving, midrange throws, and putting. To learn more about disc golf techniques, continue reading our guide.
1. Types of throws and grips
Just as having different discs to choose from can help you deal with tricky situations on the course, knowing a variety of throwing techniques can help you adapt to any situation.
Forehand vs. backhand
Rather than choosing one style of throwing, why not practice both? Every disc golf player has a preference for either forehand (also called sidearm) or backhand, but on occasion a tricky situation will necessitate a particular type of throw, and it won’t always be the one you’re most comfortable with.
An anhyzer throw can be performed forehand or backhand and is a throw in which the disc is slightly angled toward the sky. This causes the disc to curve in one direction before fading back the other way. A greater angle will reduce the chance of the disc curving back the other way, while a lesser angle can result in an S-curve throw.
These throws are generally more advanced, though when you are just starting out you may find that most of your throws seem to “hyzer.” A hyzer throw is any throw in which the disc is angled toward the ground, generally resulting in an arc that curves away from you after you release it. For a hyzer throw that flies relatively straight, a hyzer flex shot is performed with an understable disc on a hyzer angle for a flat, straight flight path.
Know when it’s better to take a short throw to get out of the woods and back onto the fairway. Aiming for the basket with every throw is a good way to hit a tree just a few feet in front of you.
2. Understanding your discs
The most important quality of your discs is their stability. Most disc golf discs are either overstable or understable.
Overstable discs are generally preferred by advanced players for their ability to perform long-distance S-curve drives. These are discs that turn left if thrown with a right-handed backhand throw.
Understable discs are well-suited to beginners, though they are used by players of all skill levels. These discs tend to curve right if thrown with a right-handed backhand throw.
Every disc has its own flight path. When you are just starting out, you should focus on using just a few discs in order to gain an understanding of their flight paths. This will help you focus on your form rather than on choosing the right disc for the job.
If you are just starting out, consider purchasing a disc golf set, which usually includes a driver, midrange disc, and a putter.
3. Practicing your throws
Playing the course often is a great way to get better, but practicing off the course is the best way to perfect your form and understand your discs.
Driving practice: To practice your drives, pick an open field — preferably one that you know the length of or that has yard lines. Practice one particular type of throw with several discs to see how they behave. Or better yet, purchase a few of your favorite disc molds and practice with just one disc type to perfect your form and make your drives feel like second nature. You can also throw your drives to aim for a distant target like a tree or soccer goal.