Upper Park Gives Back
Four Easy Ways to Improve Your Disc Golf Throw
A few simple moves can help you throw your disc with far greater distance and accuracy. But you can’t really improve your skills by simply reading a blog; review these notes, then get outside as soon as you can and try to put them into action. The best way to learn is by doing! Especially in a sport like disc golf, which requires muscle memory and the ability to loosen your body and let go of old motions and habits.
Here are four key places to start as you look for ways to elevate your game.
Remember: Disc golf isn’t frisbee.
When you putt your disc into the basket from a few feet away, or throw a frisbee to a friend on beach – a motion you’ve probably executed thousands of times in your life – you keep your eyes on your friend and you typically maintain a rigid, planted stance. Your arm extends in front of you, and then then your hand releases the disc in a gentle toss that’s designed to be easily caught by your friend. To turn a putt or a light frisbee toss into a strong disc golf throw, imagine your body loosing at every single joint, from the neck down the spine, until it seems to be turning a full 360 degrees at every single point down the line, like a screw. A strong disc golf throw engages the entire body on a rotating plane parallel to the ground. Loosen your neck, shoulders, hips and back and allow them to spin as far around as possible from the beginning of the throw to the end.
Pay attention to the releasing arm
During a frisbee toss (or putting game), a good thrower brings the disc-holding arm around the body and reaches forward toward the receiving friend, straightens at the elbow, and then gently lets go, as if handing the frisbee to the friend across a few yards of grass. Disc golf doesn’t work that way; instead of extending, straightening, and letting go, release the disc at the point of maximum momentum, and don’t pause at that point to recalibrate. Just throw. The arm should not be straight at all at this point. In fact, the elbow should still be tucked comparatively close to the body. Watch an expert to better understand the difference.
Get the other arm out of the way
In disc golf, there’s no need to be especially graceful with your non-throwing arm. Use it for spin momentum, and then get it out of the way. Your throw in this game should be so intense that it requires the force of every bone and muscle in the body. But when the time comes to bring the throwing arm around and let go of the disc, the non-throwing arm has finished its job and should not be part of the equation.
What about those legs and feet?
When you putt or throw a frisbee, your legs and feet are planted more or less in place. You may step lightly into the toss to brace yourself and align your body with the target, but otherwise, your legs are just a base for the launch. No so for a long throw. Here, your legs and feet are an essential source of power in the throw, and they should be dynamic, forceful participants. When you watch expert disc golf players, you’ll see that their legs and feet are in strong and constant motion, before, during and even after the release.
For more on how to improve your game, visit the Upper Park Disc Golf site and check out our videos!