How to Practice Disc Golf to Help You Play Better
The game of disc golf
Disc golf is a sport that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy. Kids from six or seven years old can play. And adults of any age can play. I have seen several players in their 70’s still playing. I am 64 and still play well. However, before you play, you will want to practice and learn the basics. You will want to know how to practice, to get the most out of your practice time. In this article, we’ll look at tips on how to practice disc golf to get better.
Getting better as a beginner
Disc golf is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Like traditional golf, it involves going from tea to hole in the fewest number of throws. In disc golf, you will use a flying disc (aka a frisbee) to hit various targets, or baskets, in the fewest number of throws. In recent years, the sport has grown quickly and there are now thousands of courses in the US and around the world.
Disc golf equipment
There are hundreds of discs to choose from. The number of choices makes it difficult to know what discs to start with. Discs come in a variety of sizes, weights, and colors, so players can choose the one that best suits their style. Most disc golf players use a driver-style disc to launch from the tee to the fairway. Golfers then use a midrange disc or putter-style disc to shoot from the fairway to the hole (or “putt”).
As a beginner, you will want to start with a fairway driver as your main disc. They are easier to throw and control. As you get better, you can switch to more aggressive discs to get more distance and allow you to throw harder. My go-to fairway driver and midrange disc is a Discraft Buzzz. This is a great first disc to learn with. Another good starter disc is the Innova Roc.
When I started playing in the 1970s, there were Innova and lightning discs. Now there are many manufacturers that you can choose from. The different ones are mostly a preference. I use Mostly Discraft myself, but I have some Innova that I use, and still use a couple of Lightning discs as well.
Learn the basics: There is a learning curve to disc golf, so it’s important to start by learning the basic rules. This will get you off on the right foot.
Learn about discs: There are many discs to choose from. There are both “distance drivers” and “Fairway drivers”, and different weights that you need to experiment with. If you’re just starting out, choose a beginner disc designed for new players. These discs are easier to play with and the flight characteristics make it easier to plan your shots. Start with a mid-weight disc in the 160-gram weight.
There are also several plastics that work better for different people. Plastic is something you will need to find what you like the best. The Discraft Elite Z plastic is my favorite overall.
Get the good gear: Disc golf doesn’t require special clothing. Lightweight sneakers and a T-shirt are fine for casual rounds, but you’ll need to wear boots, shorts or pants, and long socks when playing courses with lots of weeds and tall grass.
Disc Golf Practice
As with most sports, disc golf brings out the competitiveness in the players. Getting hooked makes you want to get better so you can beat your friends. The best way to get better is to practice. How you spend your practice time will make a difference in how effective the practice is.
All practice is not equal. If you practice the wrong things, you will not get better. If you want to get better at disc golf, and you want to beat your friends the next time you play, try out my practice techniques, and you will get better.
Where to Practice?
My favorite place to practice is on a soccer field. I set it up perfectly for disc golf practice. The field is 360 feet long. It has lines at 60-foot length from both end lines. It also has a circle in the middle that is about 60 feet across. What this does for you is that it gives you accurate measurements of 360 ft., 300 ft., 180 ft, and 120 ft, the perfect lengths to practice from.
BRP hole #4
Everyone wants to go out and drive the disc 450 feet or longer. That is a wonderful goal to shoot for, but it will not help you significantly with your score. You will spend your driving practice time much better by practicing on the accuracy of your drives at the 300-foot length.
My recommendation is to spend 20% of your practice time driving. Work on your grip and your release point the most. You should always use the power grip when driving. The key to accuracy in driving is releasing the disc at the correct time, releasing the disc with the nose down, and getting the snap on the disc so you get it spinning fast enough. Watch the video directly below to see the Dave Feldberg grip training tip.
Stand at the goal line on one end and throw your drives at the goal on the other end of the field. Try to keep the disc flight side to side, inside the width of the nets, and if you can throw it that straight. Take 5 or 6 drivers and throw them. When you walk down to get them, you can tell how far your drives were and how accurate they were. Then pick them up and throw them back from the other end. If you want to go shorter, move up to the next line from the goal line. That line is 300 ft from the other goal. You can practice your hyzer and anhyzer shots by turning your body to face at an angle away from the net and try to get the disc to land in the net. Just go back and forth. You will always have helpful feedback on distance and accuracy.
Disc golf Approach shots
This is where you can really improve your scores. If you have a portable basket, put it in the center of the circle in the middle of the soccer field. Stand in the net area and practice with your approach discs. It is 180 ft from the back line to the center line. If you want to go shorter for practice, it is 120 ft from the next line to the center line. Spend 40% of your time practicing the approach shots. If you have a portable basket, you will also get your putting practice in here as well. If you can consistently put your approach shot close to the basket so you end up with 10 foot or shorter putts, you will have great scores. Test your different discs, see which ones are best for what distance. Make them hyzer into the circle and anhyzer into the circle. This will make you a lot better player quickly.
disc golf Putting
You can practice on the soccer field if you have a portable. If not, there are a lot of courses that have putting baskets set up. If you really want to be a good putter, get your own basket. You should practice putting whenever you can. Even if you only have 15 or 20 minutes, practice putting. Practice from different distances. Set up to throw from different angles. Practice in the wind, from both sides, with the wind blowing each way so you know what you need to do in those situations. Try to spend the other 40% of your practice time putting.
If you don’t have a basket, the best way to practice is to find a field where you have 120 to 200 feet of space to practice approach shots to a spot. Get to where you can throw the disc to a spot from two hundred feet in, and you will drop a bunch of shots off your score. The best use of your time for disc golf practice is from 200 feet in. The approach shot is the key to getting better scores.