Improving At Disc Golf

practicing disc golf driving to improve

One of the question I hear asked a lot when there is someone new to a disc golf group is, how long have you been playing disc golf? I’ve often asked that question and have been asked it many times myself. It’s fun and interesting to learn how and when people started playing. It’s also interesting to see people’s skill level based on how long they have been playing, and what they are doing to improve at disc golf.

Some people have impressive amounts of skill, even though they haven’t been playing long. Others are at about the level we would expect them to be, based on how long they have been playing. There are a couple reasons why there might be a difference. First, some people just have more athletic ability than others. Second, the courses and people we play with can influence how much and how rapidly we grow. Third, some people want to get better while others are content to just play at their current skill level.

Survey From Remix Outdoors

How does your growth and skill level compare to others? Our friends at Remix Outdoors shared the results of a survey they conducted among disc golfers which shows the average driving distance and the length of time playing for survey participants. This gives us an idea where our skills match up with others who have been playing as long as us.

disc golf distance survey results

 

According to the survey, after starting out as a beginner, the average disc golfer doubles their driving distance in just six months. Then the average distance gains slow quite a bit. The longer we play, the more difficult to add distance to our drives. I’ve seen this trend among a lot of disc golfers that I know. Although the arc seems accurate, the distances seemed a little lower than I’ve seen.

I would have guessed that the average disc golfer would have picked up a little more distance in the first year or so. After people learn the basics of form, quite a lot of growth can occur. Then the progress might slow down. Even so, the growth/plateau arc is close to what I’ve seen a lot. Is there something we can do to speed up the growth?

Improving at Disc Golf

There are several methods we can use to improve our skills in disc golf. Some cost money but most are free. They all involve investing time to improve our skills.

Watch Youtube Videos

YouTube logo

One of the great benefits of social media is that people with a lot of knowledge can impart that knowledge to the masses easily and cheaply. There are many disc golf coaches who post videos that walk you through every aspect of disc golf. Watching the videos, doing the drills, and following suggestions can help us improve our skills. We can see every detail of good form, then work to implement that form for ourselves.

That method of improving does have a few drawbacks though. First, not everyone learns just by watching a video. Some need to be told how to make our body do the moves in the videos. We might assume we are doing what is suggested in the video, but really just creating new bad habits. Which leads us to the second drawback: A video can’t give feedback. Unless we know we are using proper form, we can’t really correct our issues. Which leads us to the second method we can use to improve:

Take Video of Our Form

If you watch good tutorials you can get a good mental image of what proper form looks like. If we then record and watch ourselves doing the same moves, we can compare our form to the proper form to see what areas we need to work on. This still requires us to be able to make changes to the way our body moves, which may or may not be easy for us. That is where the last improvement method comes into play:

Get Some Coaching

cartoon image of a coach

Having a knowledgeable coach watch our form and give immediate feedback, including ways we can correct any issues we’re having, is a great way to speed up the learning curve. This takes more than just pointing out problem areas. This means finding someone that can teach us how to change our muscle memory and lay the foundation for good form and good habits.

When it comes to coaching, there are several options. Some coaches have monthly subscriptions that include video form reviews. Others offer single lessons with feedback. If you are lucky enough to have a good teacher in your club, you can get some one-on-one coaching or maybe some feedback if you’re playing a casual together.

Practice!

Regardless of the method you choose to improve your skills, if you don’t plan time for practice, you are making the road to getting better a hard one. I mean, even the pros practice. We need that body/brain connection on a regular basis to cement the neural pathways so we can duplicate the correct form on a regular basis. Practice!

What is YOUR experience with driving distance vs Experience?

As I said in the before, the general trajectory I’ve frequently seen with new players fits nicely with the results of the survey by Remix Outdoors. How we fall on the scale and how fast we want to advance is up to us.

How about you? How fast did you gain distance? Are you taking steps to improve your disc golf game?

Disc Golf Tips on Accuracy

Forehand Tips

This post on accuracy in disc golf, is the first post in a series designed to optimize your opportunities to absorb and learn the content that will elevate your game. This series will have tips clearly laid out for you in writing which will then be reinforced with videos by professional disc golfers. Read, watch, practice, and improve! Let’s begin!

If you are reading this post, I applaud you. You are serious about taking your game to the next level! 

We all love the distance (and don’t worry, we got you there too!). 

But the last time I checked, the object of the game was to get the disc into the basket in the fewest strokes possible. 

And how much good is that 475 foot bomb going to do, if you smack a tree 50 feet in front of you and send it careening off into the bowels of the woods? Not so much help there… 

Same thing if you throw that 475’ shot out of bounds, or 150 feet off line. That’s no good either.

Throwing Disc Golf Discs AccuratelyNo, if you’re serious about low scores, then throwing your discs accurately is what’s going to get you there. Then, once we’ve got a firm handle on accuracy, we’ll add that distance in. Then, you’ll be a true force to be reckoned with!

So let’s get going and start getting you that pinpoint accuracy to drop your scores. 

This post will give you videos AND lay out the written highlights for you to review. That way you can be sure you’re downloading these lessons into your brain and carrying them with you onto the course… Let’s get started!

In our first video on accuracy, we meet one of disc golf’s rising stars in Cole Redalen.

Cole starts us off by highlighting the importance of accuracy to scoring those birdies. (Like I said, you’re in the right place!).

As you’ll see in the video he is working on a straight shot in a direct line with the basket. For this shot he is using a neutral putter. This brings him to his first tip for accuracy.

Accuracy Tip #1 – Make your walk-up be in a straight line with the direction of your release.

For a straight shot, you want to be moving your body along that  straight line to the target. That means your walk up, and X-step are all along that same straight line.

If you are throwing a hyzer line, you’ll be going diagonal from the back left of the tee box to the front right (for RHBH). And the opposite is true for an analyzer line (Back right of teebox to front left for RHBH).

But really, it all boils down to one thing: Make your walk-up be in a straight line with the direction of your release! 

Cole does a good job of demonstrating this tip before getting to his second tip on accurate shots.

Accuracy Tip #2 – On your reach back and follow through, keep your disc in a straight line with the basket.

After Cole shows you two examples of his pure form, throwing the disc straight and true, he goes on to emphasize this second tip on accuracy. He also gives a helpful visual on what not to do (note: this is a prime visual example of that dreaded term we call “rounding”) and shows how problematic it can be for accurate shots. 

Logically, it makes sense. If you want your disc to follow a straight line to the basket, you should keep it on that very same straight line the whole time. 

Otherwise, If you pull it back behind you and off that line, it is going to be far more difficult to release at the precise time that will get it heading towards your intended target.

Now that you’ve read up on these two tips, have a look at Cole’s explanations and let it crystallize in your mind!

Those two tips should help tremendously. But there’s more information to be had!

In our next video, there is a very important tip that is closely related to the previous two tips.

It has to do with foot placement so you can ensure that you won’t round and will be able to keep that disc on a straight line as you pull through towards the basket. 

In this video Eric Oakley talks about 3 things that all pros are doing on tour. The first “thing” leads us to our third accuracy tip.

Accuracy Tip #3 – Do NOT keep your feet parallel to the line to the basket.

As you watch the video (this tip starts at the 4:30 mark) it all makes sense. If your feet are in a parallel line with the basket, then when you reach back, your body will be in the way of that straight line you want to pull through on (tip #2). This leads you to twist and contort during your shot and seriously hampers the likelihood you’ll keep that disc on your intended line.

Instead, Oakley explains, put your front foot forward. This allows you to create space for your disc to go back and follow through on that line to the target. 

Watch the whole video, because it’s helpful (and funny!), but if you want get right to the spot where tip #3 resides, start watching at the 4:30 mark.

We’ve got one more tip for you on disc golf accuracy, but I don’t want you to worry about holding it all in! We’ll be sure to review all the highlights at the end of the post for you as well… For now let’s check out this last tip for you to take with you!

Another video that is going to help you with your accuracy (and distance) helps stress the importance of your follow-through. 

In this video, Infinite Discs sponsored pro, Eric Oakley, really stresses the importance of follow-through for effective backhand driving accuracy (and distance).

At the start of the video, Oakley gives a nod to pro legend JohnE McCray, whose very deliberate follow through helps demonstrate its importance to accuracy and distance. This brings us to our next tip.

Accuracy Tip #4 – Keep your follow-through continuing forward on the same line as your pull-through.

When you are practicing this tip, play around with really exaggerating the straight-line follow through. In this way you can find the amount that works best for you in your new and improved form. 

Some of you may be wondering: How does this help with power as well as accuracy?

As it turns out, this tip has multiple benefits because it adds power to your form as well. 

Eric Oakley explains how by saying, “it really takes all of my momentum and puts it into the disc…”

Now, watch Eric Oakley for yourself and see how keeping that follow-through in line with your pull-through will keep those shots accurate, with an added boost of power as well!

Disc Golf Accuracy – In Summary

As we said at the start, accuracy is an oft-overlooked, but absolutely crucial part of any complete player’s disc golf game. With so many obstacles on the course, how could it not be?

And while most players are looking to add that coveted power, you’re here and looking to drop your scores. Well played.

Thinking about it further, this is a far more logical sequence to follow. Once you have the accuracy, then you can focus on adding distance. The reverse just leads to bad form and more headaches.

So, let’s quickly review our tips on disc golf accuracy. Then, you can feel confident hitting those tight lines the next time you’re on the course.

Disc Golf Accuracy Tips:

  • Tip #1 – Make sure your walk up is in a straight line to the basket.
  • Tip #2 – On your reach back and follow through, keep your disc in a straight line with the basket.
  • Tip #3 – Do NOT keep your feet parallel to the line to the basket. (Instead, have your front foot staggered out in front or forward).
  • Tip #4 – Keep your Follow-Through continuing forward on the same line as your pull through.

There you have it folks! Combined with practice, those tips are sure to help you navigate past trees, through mandos and around any other obstacles that are constants in our beautiful game!

If you need a refresher on any of these tips, be sure to come back to this post and reread/re-watch the content any time!

Also, we want to know your thoughts, so be sure to comment on this post as well.

Were there any tips that you found helpful or new to you? Are there other tips you find helpful for your own disc golf accuracy? Did any of these tips result in some tighter lines for you on the course?

Be sure to let us know this and more in the comments!

 

 

Putting Styles: Should You Spin Putt or Push Putt?

In this quick disc golf tutorial, Dave Feldberg discusses the differences between different putting styles. There are advantages and disadvantages to each putting style. Depending on the conditions and scenarios, to be the best disc golfer you can be, Dave recommends that you learn and implement both putting styles. He also gives additional tips and explains why Paul McBeth is the best disc golfer in the world.

Spin Putt

A “spin putt” is where you spin the disc by rotating your wrist at least 90 degrees during your putting motion. Spin putts are more effective when putting into headwinds and for longer distance putts. The spinning motion helps the disc travel farther and makes it less susceptible to movement from wind.

Push Putt

A “push putt” is often the preferred choice for closer putts. This putting style is also referred to as a loft or shovel putt. With a push putt you simply open your hand and let the disc come out. The push putt is recommended for short term accuracy. A big advantage of the push putt is that when these putts miss they generally stay much closer to the basket and require shorter comebacks.

Click this link for more disc golf putting tips by professional disc golfers.

Nate Sexton Disc Golf Clinic – Sidearm 2018

We met with Nate Sexton at the 2018 Las Vegas Challenge and asked if he could teach about the Sidearm throw. Nate is one of the the best disc golfers in the world, and has one of the most accurate and powerful Sidearm throws. He most often uses his sidearm throw with a Nate Sexton Firebird (aka SexyBird). In Vegas, he made a short video with us explaining how he grips the disc, his run-up, angle, and release. Hope you enjoy! Leave a comment if you learned something that will help your game!

Paul Ulibarri Disc Golf Clinic: Angle Control



In this disc golf clinic, professional disc golfer Paul Ulibarri provides tips on how you can improve your game with more accurate angle control and follow through. He demonstrates the grip he uses when driving, and discusses his mental game and what he focus’s on to compete at the highest level. Paul is an excellent teacher and was kind enough to share some of his wisdom with us.

Improve Your Disc Golf Game – Dave Feldberg LEVEL Clinic

Dave Feldberg, 2008 PDGA World Champion and one of the best disc golf teachers, was in Utah last week where he gave this clinic. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, so instead of doing the clinic at the beautiful Mulligan’s Creekside Disc Golf Course, he had to do it in a storage shed.

In this clinic, Dave teaches his LEVEL acronym that can help you improve your disc golf game and be more successful in life.

L – Learn. Learn why a disc does what it does and take the time to understand why. Learn the rules so you are practicing the right way. Learn the proper technique, even if it’s uncomfortable.
E – Evaluate. Once you have learned, evaluate where you are. Figure out where you want to go with the game to decide what you want to do.
V – Verify. Once you have the skills, verify that what you are doing is correct. Play in tournaments to make sure that what you are learning is translating to the results you want.
E – Execute. Execution can be the hardest part. Most disc golfers experience performance anxiety that changes the normal energy. Find a way to get over performance anxiety because it will hold you back.
L – Learn again. You can never learn too much. To continue to progress you need to continue learning. Continual learning will help you be good at things.

Dave gives advice of how to position your body to make a continual line that will give you the most consistent hyzer, anhyzer and straight throws. He also teaches proper footwork to help get your body in position to make these shots. Dave stresses the importance of keeping your chin tucked and your head down to maximize your power and control.

If you like the coaching given by Dave, support him by purchasing his tour series discs.

Ricky Wysocki Disc Golf Clinic for Infinite Discs – Pro Tips

On Memorial Day 2017, Infinite Discs was honored to have Ricky Wysocki come to our home town and join with the locals in a tournament at the Cache County Fairgrounds. Ricky is a class act and really treated the local players well, addressing everybody with respect and a contagiously cheerful, positive attitude. After the tournament was over, Ricky took the time to give a disc golf clinic and answered questions for the group of players who were anxious to hear from him.

These are three videos covering that clinic.

The first video covers Ricky’s answers mostly concerning putting and grip.

The second video covers Ricky’s answers about throwing rollers.

The third video covers answers to questions about Ricky’s infamous sidearm throws.

We really look forward to seeing Ricky again in the future. We feel very lucky that he has taken the time for a couple of years to visit the players of Cache Valley. It’s always fun to not only watch, but play with and learn from a professional.

Ricky Wysocki Putting Tips


Ricky Wysocki, the #2 ranked disc golfer in the world, and arguably the best putter, gives a few putting tips to a clinic at the Cache County Fairgrounds. There are a lot of different ways to putt, different ways to grip the disc, and different stances that all work. Ricky recommends that you use the grip and stance that works best for you.

He emphasis these three points to improve your putting game:

1. Use your entire body.
2. Use your lower body to provide the power. Your arm guides the disc while the lower body provides the power.
3. When you bring the disc down before the putt, bend your leg, shift your weight to your back leg, and let the leg pop forward to provide the power.

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