Disc Golf for Lefties
When reading through articles or watching disc reviews, we often see things demonstrated or talked about in terms of a right handed back hand (RHBH) throw.
Hyzer, anhyzer, fade, turn, etc. are all written and described about most commonly this way.
But it's not without reason, as just 10-12% of the world is left handed, so it makes sense that 90% of disc golfers are right handed, so they demonstrate things as a right handed player.
While most articles do tell you to simply reverse everything they say to apply it to the lefties in the world,
we felt that the topic deserved its own article all together to briefly discuss how disc golf terms apply to left handed players and how it can affect strategy while out on the course.
To start things off, let's rattle off some common disc golf terms and quickly explain how they apply to left handed players for both back and forehand applications:
Disc Golf for Lefties
Disc Flight Numbers
The first topic we'll cover is related to turn and fade, two flight numbers that are used to describe a disc's flight pattern and one we talked about in detail in THIS ARTICLE.
Turn: Turn is defined as a disc's tendency to want to go to the left upon release when thrown back hand by a left handed player. The more negative the turn rating, the more the disc will want to the left.
During a forehand throw and flat release, high turn will make a disc want to go to the right for a left handed player.
Fade: Fade is defined as a disc's tendency to want to go to the right, especially as it slows down, when thrown back hand by a left handed player.
During a forehand throw and with a flat release, high fade will cause a disc to go the left for a left handed player.
Building off of flight numbers, let us next discuss stability as it is very closely tied to turn and fade ratings.
Overstable/Over-stability: Discs that have a lot of fade, with little turn will be considered overstable. Overstable discs will want to go right when thrown back hand by a left handed player and to the left when thrown forehand by a left handed player.
Stable: Stable discs will have turn/fade ratings of 0/0 or have matching/offset turn and fade ratings (-1/1, -2/2, etc.) and will overall finish dead straight with a forehand or backhand when thrown with a flat release by a left handed player.
Understable/Under-stability: Discs that have little fade, but a lot of turn will be considered understable. Understable discs will want to go left when thrown back hand by a left handed player and to the right when thrown forehand by a left handed player.
Next we're going to take a look at the 3 release angles and how to do them as a left handed player.
Hyzer: When throwing a disc on a hyzer line, you will will want to have the outer edge lower than the inner edge where you're holding the disc. This is true for both back hand and forehand approaches. As shown below.
Hyzer releases tend to cause the disc to fly as if it has more fade than it is rated for.
Shown here is a hyzer release angle for a left hand, back hand throw
Flat Release: Stays the same whether you're a right handed or left handed player, throwing back hand or forehand. Simply keep the disc flat with both sides on the same horizontal plane. Shown below:
Flat release angles will make the disc fly as it is rated.
Anhyyzer: When throwing a disc on an anhyzer line, you will will want to have the outer edge higher than the inner edge where you're holding the disc. This is true for both back hand and forehand approaches. As shown below:
Anhyzer lines and release angles tend to make the disc fly as if it has more turn than it is rated for.
Shown here is an anhyzer release angle for a left hand, back hand throw
You can learn more about release angles and how to use them to manipulate disc flight in our article
Hyzer vs. Anhyzer
Playing Disc Golf Left-Handed
Now that we got the important terms out of the way, its time to briefly discuss how these terms all come into play when out out on the course.
This won't be the most exciting answer in the world, but the truth is,
Playing disc golf left handed, at its core, is no different than playing as a right handed player in terms of sizing up a shot, choosing the appropriate disc, and executing the shot.
You'll still approach the hole and attempt a shot with the same thought process that any player goes through.
Your shot selection will obviously be different than a right handed player because the disc is going to behave differently out of your hand due to the reasons discussed above.
One thing worth noting however is that I have played courses where many of the best lines were seemingly designed for right handed players.
Not that left handed players couldn't play these holes because they can, but on many holes, a right handed player may have more than 1 "best" line to the basket, so they could choose a shot that they're good at and go for it.
On some courses though, there often seems to be fewer "best" line options to choose from for lefties.
This could be just my perspective and not the reality as I'm not a left handed player, but I did want to throw that observation out there.
With that being said, playing disc golf as a lefty is fairly straight forward, and once you get used to the terminology and understand how a disc will fly out of your hand compared to a right handed player,
You're good to go!
Things can get a little confusing when you're first learning, but hopefully this article helped clear things up, and get you going in the right direction when sifting through videos and articles that teach you how to be a better player from the perspective of a right hand player.
So get out there, practice your skills, and as always,
Happy Disc Golfing!
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