Throwing a forehand, or “flick” as some call it, is an essential tool to add to your disc golf throwing bag.
There are many players that don’t utilize this technique for distance throwing, but learning it can save you from bagging so many understable discs and can also get you out of tricky throwing situations (such as a right hand player being stuck behind some brush on the left side of the fairway).
How To Grip A Forehand Throw
A One-Finger grip, as seen below, is one of the two primary grips someone could recommend for a player who’s just learning how to throw forehand.
As shown, the index finger sits inside the rim, with the finger fully extended.
A key point to know is that the index finger should be pushed into the rim so that the inside rim is touching the bottom of the finger. If the side of the finger is what’s making contact with the rim, then this will cause the disc to come off the hand wobbly and be a less reliable shot.
The disc should be tucked into the webbing of the thumb nice and firmly so that the disc remains steady during the throwing and release phases. Finally, the thumb rests firmly on the top of the rim, extending slightly in towards the middle of the disc.
The grip should feel comfortable and secure so as it won’t fall out if you were to take some practice snaps of the wrist.
A Two Finger, or stacked grip, is the other one that will be highly recommended as this grip gives more control and ultimately more spin/torque on the disc as it is ejected from the hand.
As seen below, this grip is similar to a one finger grip, but the middle finger takes the place of the index finger as being the one pressed into the inside rim. The index finger stacks on top of the middle finger so that the bottom of the finger is pressing into the middle finger. Tucking the disc into the webbing of the hand and the thumb on top is the same in regards to placements.
This grip is especially helpful for discs with deeper rim depths such as mid-ranges and putters to help control angles.
An alternate grip for forehand is as shown below. Placing the tip of the index finger into the side of the rim so that there’s a fair amount of pressure and placing the middle finger in an extended position can also provide a higher amount of spin and torque on the disc.
This technique can be uncomfortable on the bent index finger, but is an option that some of the pro’s have admitted to using.
As stated earlier, the thumb will rest firmly on the top of the disc, extending slightly in towards the middle of the disc. This placement is used for all 3 styles of grips.
How to throw a disc forehand
Throwing forehand comes across as simpler for beginners and is a main reason why people resort to throwing like this right off the bat. Since the body is facing the direction of the throw, people tend to favor this as it gains them more accuracy and ultimately more distance while they don’t have the technique for backhand throws figured out yet.
Stepping into the throw is essential as there does need to be some rotation of the hips to generate more power. This is common among every throw. The more the lower body is involved, the more power that can be generated up to the throwing mechanism.
As you approach your throw, the disc is brought back behind the body from a level position, not over the head. Then, similar to a baseball pitcher, the elbow surges forward to perform a sidearm throwing motion. During the reach back, the wrist gets cocked all the way back (thumb towards forearm).
With the wrist cocked and the elbow driving forward, the hips turn to face your body at your target. Finally, the forearm and wrist come through the throwing motion, the wrist is snapped pretty hard, and the disc is released out in front of the body.
A key to remember here is that the elbow is going to stay relatively close to the body during the forward throwing phase. This helps to keep the disc level and provide the right kind of safe torque from the shoulder and upper body.
As shown, the elbow is kept close to the body
With this throwing technique, the elbow and the wrist both act as pivoting levers to give you more angle control to worry about during your throw. If you can learn to keep the elbow in the same area for each forehand throw, then you only really have to rely on the wrist to perform hyzer, flat, or anhyzer angles.
On the other hand, you can practice keeping your wrist relatively still and using the placement of your elbow to affect your angles. This is up to you based on what feels comfortable and safe for your body. Follow through is always essential to help decrease risk of injury.
How do forehand throws affect disc flight?
When throwing with this technique, the disc will want to do the opposite of what it does for a backhand throw.
Meaning that instead of an overstable disc finishing with a left hook at the end of it’s flight for a right handed backhand throw, it will finish to the right.
Because of this, forehands are great for getting a disc to bank to the right for a right handed player, get out of tough situations that a backhand won’t work for, and approaching the basket from the left side of a guardian tree or if the slope of the ground would be dangerous for a backhand landing and rolling away.
Additionally, newer players will find they can achieve some nicely shaped shots using a low speed, understable fairway or distance driver thrown on a slight anhyzer to get some decent distance while staying in the middle of the fairway.
Now that you have been shown the basics, it’s time to get out and go practice!
If you're looking for some discs to exclusively use for forehand throws, my 3 go to discs are:
And the Dynamic Discs Slammer as a putter for upshots!
Lastly, if you haven't already, be sure to check out our articles
to continue learning and developing those skills!
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