So, you’re all about the sport of disc golf – Fantastic! Where do you begin?
Below are a few tips to keep in mind as you pursue your passion and work to develop and play a better game of golf.
High Speed Drivers Are A No-No
No as in not good for beginners, and not good for keeping out of the rough. High speed drivers offer maximum disc speed while in flight which is great for a player that has the technique and control necessary to throw them.
The trade off for speed is how accurate and controllable a disc is. This is very similar to low end steering vs high-end steering in a car. If you can go fast, but can’t steer – you’re going to crash. Stick with slower discs until your throwing technique leaves you looking for something a bit faster.. This should take around 6-8 months into playing depending on the frequency of your rounds.
Summary: Throw a mid-range disc that has a small amount of fade and low stability.
Speed and Power Does NOT Equal Distance
This is something that took me months to understand – and ultimately it came down to wanting to throw the disc father – not necessarily more accurately. Using your arm muscles to throw the disc isn’t proper technique. The disc “throw” is much more of a fling – using your body’s movement and timing to catapult the disc towards the target.
I used to come home from a single round of disc golf with my shoulder and arm aching. This was wrong. Throwing a disc should never strain or hurt you, and if it does – you’re not doing it correctly! Slow down, concentrate on a smooth, clean and slow rhythm and the distance will develop.
Accuracy Is King
When working on your throws off the tee pad, and really any approach shot you make – aim for accurate throws. Don’t try to just get the disc to the basket if it’s really out of reach – aim for a place you know the disc will actually reach. If it’s the 30ft grassy gap between two trees or 200ft across the meadow. The more accurate you are, the better you’ll be at staying on the fairway and finding your disc.
Practice Your Putting
Drive for show, putt for dough. If you can’t make it in the basket at the end of the hole, what happens to all the effort leading up to it? Disappointment and increased strokes on the scorecard.
Getting your putting technique and practice in is extremely important in helping you lower your score and boost your confidence. Don’t practice impossible shots. Again, the distance will come – accuracy is the key.
Putting is all about confidence – if you believe you’ll make the shot you’ve got a chance – if you’re doubting yourself when you step up to make it…. what do you think will happen?
Start your practice by putting from 2 steps/strides away from the basket (5-6 feet). This might seem like a ridiculously close distance, but if you miss even one – it’s the right distance to start at. Keep putting this, take a break and putt from anywhere, come back and finish practice with the same starting distance. Eventually you can start making a game out of putting distances – When you feel confident (you’ve hit 10 out of 10 putts) take another step out. If you start missing, move in.
Play Off The Course
Not everyday should be about playing on a course (even if it’s a ton of fun) – Field Days are absolutely necessary.
Getting out and throwing in a wide open area is crucial to understanding how your technique is forming, what you can do to improve it, and really getting to know the disc you’re throwing.
Throw every shot you can – straight shots, hyzer shots, anyhyzer shots. Try to hit the high arc’s and the low slight bends. Envision the flight of the disc, throw the disc.
Last But Not Least
Have fun! There’s a balance between enjoying your time on the course and working hard to improve. Each time I go out I Focus on one new thing I’ve learned about – a change in my body mechanics, the grip you’re using, or a particular new shot type I’m trying to throw.
Don’t try to make them all happen at once! Get one down, move on – and eventually come back to work on the things that are missing.