Hey folks if you’re just getting into disc golf there’s a lot of stuff you can learn in a short period of time. But there’s also a lot of traps I see beginning players falling into. This week I’ll share some common mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Your pointer finger needs to go underneath the disc on your backhand drive. I see lots of folks starting out with their index finger along the wing. It’s popular with frisbees and these are discs, it’s a slight change that will help. That finger should be gripping the inside edge. Why is it important to put your finger underneath? You gain lots of power, and you won’t miss the accuracy when you’re throwing much further.
- More speed in a disc does not mean more distance. When you’re just starting out, no one throws a 12 speed disc successfully. You’ll get up there quickly, maybe after a couple months. It’s important to learn the fundamentals and get slower speed discs to S curve naturally. You’ll get more distance by letting a disc turn naturally versus forcing it over, so learn how to do it with a slower speed disc first and work your way up.
- All putters are not created equal. In my blog where I explain putters vs approach discs. I note that there are some common putters that people like to putt with and some that people like to approach with. Discs like the Aviar, P2, Whale, Fierce, Birdie, Polecat and Luna are all popular putting putters. They fly flat and don’t hyzer out early so they enter the basket flat. If your putter is going into the basket at a perpendicular angle, it may be because you have an approach disc.
- “I need something overstable, all my discs are flipping over.” There’s a chance that this is true, however it’s probably something with your form. If you’re trying to throw as hard as you can you might be pulling the disc too far over and releasing late. Or you might be pulling down at the end which is common. Both of these mistakes will turn over any disc, and you’ll end up with an overstable disc that S curves, but you won’t get as much distance as picking the right disc to release flat. I learned this tip from Nate Sexton when he was giving a demonstration at the Sexton Shootout in 2019. If you’re flipping over all your discs. It’s not the disc's fault, it’s yours.
- Stop just showing up and playing. I recommend a warm up. Think back to any athletic activity you’ve participated in with a coach. Soccer, gym class, it doesn’t matter, you warmed up. You’ll have much more fun if you score well, and to do that you can devote 10 minutes to practicing putting before you play. If you’re playing with friends at 4:45 show up at 4:30 and get a couple practice putts in. You’ll be more confident in those putts on the course and that leads to you feeling better. We have a great 9 hole course that takes about 20 minutes to play. Some courses have practice baskets or nets to drive into.
- Don’t ignore mid range discs. Your driver should go further, but your mid range should be straighter. If you play anywhere with woods make sure you have a straight flying disc. Sometimes it’s work sacrificing distance to be accurate, that’s why mids exist. They also tend to not skip or roll like drivers do. The Shark, Cobra, Mako3, Buzzz, and MD2 are all excellent discs for getting somewhere mostly straight. You should have at least one of these in your bag.
- Slow is smooth, smooth is far. It’s true, it’s really true. You will generate better distance with a slow, correct motion than you will with a jerky fast one. If you’re throwing harder than your friends and not getting a lot of distance, slow down! Get your release flat and then speed it up, you’ll be driving further in no time.
These are my 7 tips for beginners. I see folks fall into these traps all the time, in fact I’ve fallen prey to 2, 5, 6, and 7 myself. If you’re getting started in disc golf, it’s much easier to correct bad habits early on in your game. Good luck!
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397