Disc golf is a lot of fun for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that as a player, you're always striving to be better week in and week out, round after round.
In getting better, you start to set goals for yourself and milestones to check off as you progress through the sport.
And there are tons of achievements and personal goals that players may want to reach at some point in their time playing, such as...
Driving 200', 300', 400', and more
Throwing par on a course
Throwing under par on a course
The list goes on and on and on.
But few things in the game of disc golf are more sought after, and more elusive than one particular goal, and that is...
Brandon posing after throwing his second ever ace!
Throwing an Ace.
This is seemingly the golden milestone for most players, until they reach it of course,
then they move on to bigger and more time consuming goals such as playing a course in every state, etc.
And while every ace is special in it's own way, nothing is more special than throwing your first ace.
Some players even choose to retire the disc that they throw their first ace with for fear of losing it or damaging it in the future.
But one, big, looming question remains for those who have not yet thrown an ace, and that is:
How do you throw an ace in disc golf?
While throwing an ace isn't easy by any means, as many players haven't done it despite playing for years,
knowing how to attack each and every hole and putting yourself in the best position possible to throw an ace is actually not too difficult and something that every player can and should learn.
Even if it may take many more rounds and holes before that first ace happens.
In this article, we're going to discuss the 5 steps that you need to take on not just holes you think you can ace,
but all holes,
because no matter what, getting yourself as close as possible to the basket is always the end goal, whether that happens in one, two, three, or more shots.
So with that all being said, let's dive right in.
1. Size Up the Hole
Step 1 to throwing an ace is to simply size up the hole.
This is fairly vague, so let's discuss what sizing up the hole actually entails.
When you walk up onto the tee pad, you need to first look at the 2 major characteristics of the hole, which are simply:
Shape and Length
Few factors are going to determine what shot you throw and whether or not it is "Ace-able" more than the overall shape of the hole, and the overall length of the hole.
If the hole is just 200', but a harsh elbow shape or S shape, it's going to be difficult to ace.
Likewise, a hole that is straight as an arrow from tee to basket, but 500' is going to be equally difficult to rattle chains on from the tee.
Its up to you to know what distance you feel confident in throwing, and knowing if the hole your stepping up to is within your reach when throwing maximum distance.
Shot shape and length is your first step in determining what shot you think you want to try, and what disc you want to use, whether its a putter, mid-range, or driver.
After assessing the shape and length, you then need to look at some more subtle characteristics of the hole: such as elevation change, guardian trees or objects, water carries, OB's, Mando's, or anything else that may interfere with your disc reaching the basket unobstructed.
These things all run through your head, and pulling from your personal memory bank and skill set, will help you decide what shot you think is going to give you the best odds of throwing an ace.
Keep in mind that shorter, less technical holes are going to ace the easiest, so you may even need to decide at this point if an ace is even possible.
2. Choose Your Shot
Once you've looked the hole over and figured out everything you need to be concerned with, it's time to focus in on the shot that you want to take.
Straight, short, unobstructed looks to the basket will be ideal, because you can simply choose your favorite straight flying disc and make your best run to the basket that you can.
But varying shapes and lengths will truly dictate which shot you want to take.
As a right handed player, a dog leg to the left will may lead you to throw a stable disc with some hyzer, or an overstable disc flat.
A dog leg to the right and you may opt for a turnover shot or a forehand flex shot.
But making this decision is what allows you to move on to step 3, and ultimately determine the choice you make in step 4.
3. Check the Wind
The next step, after sizing up the hole and choosing which shot you want to try, is to check the wind.
This step could be technically included in the first step, but we feel it's important enough to dedicate its own step to as the wind is always changing, and always going to affect the flight of your disc.
When you step up to the tee box, be aware of the wind, but before you choose your disc and shot, make sure you take the extra couple of seconds to actually check the wind, as it can and will affect which disc you ultimately choose.
How do you check the wind?
Well, you can do so several different ways.
You could simply pick up some lightweight debris laying around, such as grass, give it a toss in the air, and see which way it drifts while it falls to the ground.
Nature provides even better options than debris however in the form of lightweight plants such as dandelions and milkweed pods that provide the perfect tool for assessing even the most subtle wind directions and strengths.
Artificial wind checkers do exist, such as THIS ONE on Amazon and are commonly used in hunting applications.
These work equally well in assessing the wind as the ones nature provides, without you being at the mercy of that plant existing where you're playing.
If the wind is gusting hard enough, you probably won't need any type of wind detection tool, as you'll be able to get a feel simply by how it is hitting your body or by using visual cues such as seeing which direction trees, leaves, and other vegetation are being blown.
4. Choose the Right Disc
Once you have sized up the shot, figured out your best shot options, and successfully checked the wind, it's time to finally make your disc selection.
Disc selection is largely dependent on what you feel comfortable with and the shot that you're attempting, as it is with any shot, not just one that is going to make a run at the basket.
This is where knowing each and every disc in your bag is going to be extremely important.
If the hole is 220' with a slight dog leg left, I'm probably not going to throw a straight flying mid-range or control driver that I can throw 300'.
I'd instead opt for something like a Discraft Zone, an overstable putter.
Likewise, if the the hole is 258' straight with a soft finish to the right, I'm not going to choose an overstable putter that I know I can only throw 260' under optimal conditions
The only way to learn your bag is with a lot of practice and field work, taking note of how far each disc you have flies under different wind conditions, release angles, and power.
As mentioned in Step 1, shorter, less technical holes are going to ace the easiest as they require the most straight forward approach: Straight flight to the basket.
For these holes, mid-ranges are often great choices, especially if you are able to throw them 250'-300' or more.
Stable discs are great because they will go straight, but will also hold just about any subtle line that you're able to put them on.
Some popular options to consider for such situations include:
You can view any of these discs or more POPULAR OPTIONS at infinitediscs.com by clicking on their name.
5. Execute the Shot
After everything else, it's now up to you to do your part and execute your plan to a T.
You've chosen your shot, checked the wind, and selected your disc,
all that's left to do is put everything together, and simply throw the best throw of your life in an attempt to sink your shot into the chains, and fall into the basket for your first ever ace.
Fail to release your disc with the right angle, or throw with enough power, or release at the improper time, or anything else,
and your odds of acing go significantly down.
But that's what makes this sport both fun and challenging!
Yay! You did it! You finally threw your first ace!
Or if you're lucky, you're next ace!
Ahh, if only it were that easy right?
While the idea of throwing an ace this easily is entertaining, the fact of the matter is that it's extremely difficult, and even the best players in the world can't will themselves into throwing an ace on command.
There is some luck involved.
They can however, do everything right, all the time, so that they have as many good chances of throwing an ace as possible.
Pro players are better at every aspect of the game than amateurs, so they are more likely to do everything right more often as a result.
This doesn't mean that without following our steps above, you can't create a little bit of your own luck from time to time, and before you know it,
Boom, you'll throw your very first ace.
Just be sure to brag, and send us over a picture so we can share it when you do!
Best of luck, and happy disc golf ace hunting!
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