How to get better at disc golf
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.
Forehand grips: There are two common types of forehand grips: the power grip and stacked grip.
To hold your disc with a power grip, tuck it into the corner where your thumb meets the rest of your hand and place the tips of your index and middle finger against the inside rim. This maximizes the power and flick of your throw. (Insert forehand power grip image)
For a stacked grip, start by tucking the disc into the corner of your hand as with a power grip. Then put the pads of your index and middle finger against the underside of the disk and press your fingers against the rim so that only your middle finger touches the rim. (Insert forehand stacked grip image)
Backhand grips: There is one dominant forehand grip: the power grip. This is performed by wrapping your fingers around the rim of the disc and squeezing while pressing your thumb against the top of the disc. Squeezing your disc hard may feel uncomfortable, but it will increase your power. ((Insert backhand power grip image)
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.
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.
Putting practice: Putting is where most disc golfers pick up extra strokes, so it makes sense that you should practice your putting as much as your driving, if not more. The easiest way to do this is at the practice basket at your home course. Be sure to change up the distance of your putts, since mastering the 10-foot putt is just as important as having a reliable 25-foot putt. If you want to practice your putting at home, consider purchasing a practice basket.
Peter McPherson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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