There are two basic disc golf driving techniques, though the more you play, the more you will see unique variations or approaches from other players. While the two main techniques are engineered to provide the best stability and balance for the average player, and you should certainly concentrate on them first, if you find a technique or style that suits your abilities or style a little better, and you get great, consistent results from it, then you shouldn’t abandon it just because it is unconventional.
The Two Main Disc Golf Driving Techniques
Breaking the disc golf drive techniques down into two, you will find your basic, traditional backhand approach and then the forehand approach. These two techniques are engineered to offer the best opportunity to achieve maximum distance on shots as well as the best control. It doesn’t serve anyone much good if you make an incredible throw that ends up thirty feet into dense trees.
The backhand technique is based on the traditional Frisbee throwing style that many children learn when they first head outside to toss one with their siblings or friends or parents. Crossing your dominant hand over your abdomen, the disc rest by the opposite hip while you rotate your waist away from the target. This generates torque, which propels the disc farther. The more torque that you create, the farther the disc will travel.
The forehand technique is one in which you throw the disc with your dominant arm open, as though you were throwing a baseball, football, or other object. The body’s torque comes from the legs and shoulders more during this technique than it does with the backhand.
Choosing the Right Driving Technique for You
When you are learning the game of disc golf, you will need to understand that comfort is important to becoming successful playing it. Many of the top disc golfers will use both techniques at some time or another during their rounds, but for driving, it’s best for you to stick with one, as it will offer your much more consistency in the long run and consistency is the name of the game for low scoring rounds.
The backhand approach will offer you much better control over the disc from the outset. However, you should not that any decent drive will begin with a stepping motion. In other words, when you drive, you shouldn’t be standing still, just turning your hips and wrist. The drive consists of every part of your body working together as one to create the maximum amount of power with the least amount of movement.
Sounds complicated? It’s not, really.
When it comes to motion, the most popular and perhaps best form is to line up with your shoulders creating a line to your target landing area. Don’t confuse the landing area with the basket. Many beginning golfers focus on the basket, even if it is at the end up a long hole that doglegs (turns at a hard angle somewhere along the fairway). When they do this, they will end up in the woods, having to struggle to get their shots out and back onto the playing area, with an actual chance to reach the basket … finally.
Make sure your shoulders are square and if you took a rule and lined it up across the top of your shoulders, it should point to your target landing area. If you are right handed, begin with your right foot forward. Reverse that if you are left handed. Step forward with your right foot while maintaining good balance. Plant your right foot and then slide your left foot behind your right leg. Once you plant your left foot, drive your right foot forward again and when you plant it, you’re ready to throw.
Now you need to incorporate the rest of the throw into your swing.
Disc Golf Driving: The Windup
Your windup should consist of your full motion during your release. In other words, the entire motion of your throw should be completed in reverse order for your windup to be effective. From the shoulders through the arms to the wrist and fingers, each aspect is crucial in your driving technique. When you windup in the reverse motion of your throw, then you will increase your consistency and efficiency, which will mean longer and more accurate drives.
Disc Golf Driving: Arm Extension
Some disc golfers prefer to keep their arms compact through their swing and to leave them not fully extended upon release. However, full arm extension will give you the full distance that your driving form will allow.
Do not attempt to truncate your arm extension. Not only can this cause strain on your ligaments and tendons, as well as muscles over time, it will reduce the distance that you can actually throw the disc. When you complete your full body motion, allow your arm to fully extend, even after you release the disc. This will help stabilize the disc, giving you more power and control.
Disc Golf Driving: Release Point
The release point is often a matter of discussion among disc golfers. However, the point of release should be at the apex of the throwing motion. The moment your arm, wrist, and fingers are extended (though the arm won’t be fully extended at this point) is when you should release the disc. Releasing too early can cause the disc to hop to your left (for right handed golfers) and turn at a hard angle away from you. Releasing too late and it will push right, and also drifting away from you.
Disc Golf Driving: The Snap
The snap of the wrist can create an enormous amount of speed and torque and this is where you will find extra distance. Getting the snap timed perfectly with the release is vital and will take time to develop. Only the wrist should snap at the point of release, though, not other parts of your body. This will allow you to maintain control over the throw.
Disc Golf Driving: The Follow Through
Make sure that you follow through with your swing. Stopping any aspect at the end can cause your shots to drift or fall short of your target distance. There is no reason to not follow through, though too many disc golfers don’t. If you develop a good habit of following through, you will become a strong disc golfer.
Make sure that you spend time working on each aspect of the drive. When you master one, then move on to the next, making sure that you continue to use good technique and gauge the changes that each aspect brings to your throw.