Can't Throw Discs Straight? Try These Tips!
As you begin your disc golfing journey, you start to realize that sometimes,
disc golf isn't all that easy.
Shots go awry, you hit trees, you hit more trees, and discs even get lost in the brush.
In a previous article, we discussed a common problem seen in newer players:
Not being able to throw a far distance.
In that article we provide 5 tips that will help you increase your throwing distance. If you want to check it out,
In addition to inadequate distance, another problem commonly seen in beginners is not being able to throw a disc straight. Sometimes the two even go hand in hand as premature fade or excessive turn can be detrimental to distance.
You throw and throw and throw and no matter what you do, you just can't seem to make the discs go where you want them to go and do what you want them to do.
Lucky for you, in my opinion anyways, this problem is easier to fix than improving your distance, so let's tackle it together!
Tip 1: Proper Disc Selection
Choosing the proper disc when just starting out is a significant factor in how straight your disc flies when released.
Of the four disc ratings printed on the front of each disc: speed, fade, and turn will especially dictate how straight a disc flies when you throw it.
Generally speaking, slower discs will be easier for a beginner to throw straight than a faster one. This is because when a fast disc is thrown slowly, it is going to become more stable than what it is rated, causing it to fade more than what it typically would.
This is similar to why a disc becomes more stable with a tail wind, because the disc reacts as if it is moving slower than what it actually is. We will discuss wind in more detail a little later.
To combat this, try sticking with control/fairway drivers, mids, and putters over distance drivers initially to maximize both distance and straightness in your throws.
Fade/Turn & Stability
Discs that are too overstable or understable will also be difficult for a beginner to throw straight. Stable discs will be easier to throw straight when starting out, but if you have to choose between an understable or overstable disc, pick the understable one.
Slower arms will often times not overpower an understable disc, which prevents it from turning over and finishing prematurely to the right.
Instead, the disc will fly with a smooth S shaped flight pattern by flipping up to flat upon release and finishing nicely on the line you threw it or just slightly to the left after a soft fade.
Overstable and Understable discs can be thrown straight like a Stable disc, but will require better control of your release angle, which we will get into next.
If you're looking for some easy to throw, straight flying discs. Here are a few of our best suggestions. Just click on the disc to shop and check it out:
If you're interested in picking up some discs that are geared towards beginners, then be sure to click on the picture below to check out all the options at Infinite Discs.
Tip 2: Release angle
Piggybacking off of Tip #1, the angle of release is the next biggest factor in how straight your disc flies. We have already discussed how speed and stability affect flight,
but how does release angle affect how straight your disc flies?
We mentioned that stable discs will tend to fly straighter, more easily for beginners, and while this is true, it's important to note that this holds true when those discs are flown as flat as possible.
A common problem we see on the disc golf course with beginners is releasing their throws on a very hard hyzer line, rather than flat.
This is due to many reasons, with the most common being a breakdown in proper form and technique.
Even a stable disc thrown on a hard hyzer line will likely not straighten out by the end of its flight and finish far to the left, which is not always desirable. Understable discs will combat this a little bit better but only IF they are thrown hard enough.
Here is a quick guide on how to throw each type of stability to achieve a straight flight:
Overstable: Overstable discs should be thrown minimally on a flat line, but anhyzer releases will fight the overstability best. An overstable disc thrown on an anny line is known as a type of flex shot and is thrown by more experienced players to maximize distance or to get around tricky obstacles.
Stable: As mentioned, stable discs will be the easiest for you to throw straight when thrown on a flat line. Some stable discs, such as the popular Discraft Buzzz will actually hold the line you put them on, giving you an idea of what your release angle is.
Understable: Understable discs will be the second easiest to throw straight behind stable discs. They too should be thrown with a flat release, but if thrown hard enough on a hyzer release, they will still give you a nice straight finish. In this sense, understable discs are probably the most forgiving of the 3 stability ratings.
Frequent practice is vital in learning how to manipulate different release angles and to see how your various discs respond to different releases. Playing a round of disc golf with just one disc can also allow you to quickly learn a disc's characteristics, which is why we suggest doing so in THIS ARTICLE.
Stable discs make for great practice discs when working on "feeling" release angles because they will generally hold the line you put them on.
It's important to note that practicing release angle is not only important for straight throws, but also any and all throws as sometimes you want to intentionally throw on a hyzer or anhyzer line depending on what shot you're facing.
You can learn more about Hyzer and Anhyzer and how they affect disc flight HERE.
Tip 3: Learn to Play the Wind
The first 2 tips we provide are great ones as long as you're throwing in ideal conditions all the time.
But let's face it, rarely do we get a day without some sort of wind here and there with some locations throughout the country being drastically more windy than others.
I learned this 2 years ago when playing on my first beach course and seeing first hand how the strong ocean breeze affected disc flight.
Playing the wind isn't difficult to understand, but it can takes years of practice and experience to fully grasp how it affects every disc in your bag as all discs aren't created equally and some are more resilient to windy conditions than others.
Because of this, we're going to keep things simple in this article.
Headwinds will make your discs more understable than what they're rated
Tailwinds will make your discs more overstable than what they're rated.
How crosswinds affect your discs' flights will vary depending on how much headwind and tailwind is involved and takes more experience to effectively manage.
To combat windy conditions and offset the wind's effect to maintain straight flight,
be sure to pick a more overstable disc for headwinds and a more understable disc for tailwinds.
If you're looking for a more in depth look as to how and why the wind has such an effect on disc flight, then be sure to check out THIS ARTICLE.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As always, it's best to practice as much as possible to improve all your disc golf skills and learning to throw as straight as possible is no different.
The less time you spend with a disc in your hand the more time it's going to take to learn all the skills and techniques necessary for consistency in your desired flight path, whether it be left, right, or straight.
Acquiring a feel for release angle takes time but once perfected, you will start to see those shots improve and those score steadily drop.
So get out there and throw those discs!
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