When it comes to disc golf, we all want to drive further and straighter, right? There is nothing worse than getting out drove by a buddy, or whiffing a drive when you needed some distance on a straight line.
That is why it is important to not only understand the equipment you are using, but the technique as well. This will all culminate in you throwing the driver straighter than ever before.
The Driving Equipment
With so many discs to choose from, knowing what kind of disc golf driver you need is paramount. This may be the biggest mistake that any disc golf player makes. Especially for beginners and novices, an over-stable disc can really put your direction on notice.
Start with a disc that has less stability, and one that is lighter and slower for use. This may all seem counter-intuitive, but you will reap the benefits in no time at all. You will set off better shots that are straight as an arrow.
You may not overpower the competition to start, but you will always know where your disc will land. It will always be pointed right at the basket.
When it comes to brands, stay clear, at first, from Giant, Enforcer, and/or Stiletto. Your technique will be shot with these options, especially down the road as you gather more experience.
At first, you may even consider a putter, which will give up some distance, but you will be remarkably accurate each and every time. As you become more skillful, midrange and drivers will be your next best bet.
Look for discs with a speed between 6-7, and a stability between -1 to -3. Maxing out at a speed of 10 for your disc will not make you friends, but rather mortal enemies.
Brands that you should delve into include Discraft and Innova.
Don’t Sweat the Technique
One of the worst things you can do when trying to throw a disc golf driver is to tense up. Being as relaxed as possible will allow you to throw further and with better direction. If you can’t relax yourself, there really could be some hurtful repercussions like injuries, strains, and pulls.
Additionally, you will throw your disc golf driver at a short distance because your shot will come out of your hands slower when you tense up. The rule of thumb should be that you throw the disc not harder, but faster. When you are about to pull the disc through your chest, this is where your technique affects your distance and your aim all together.
Grip is also a must when working toward accuracy. Of course, your grip should be tight, but not so much that your knuckles turn white. Open up your wrist, as to not strangle your hands around the disc. Also, you do not want the disc to come too easily out of your fingers either.
Finding the right grip, not too hard or soft, can be touchy; however, it is doable. Use a friend for assistance, and ask them to pull at your disc, while you are gripping it. If your friend really pulls at it, the disc should come loose, but it should not be easy to take away either.
This exercise will really set the stage for how an early or late release can affect your disc golf drives for the worst. When the grip is true and the release is on time, the disc will travel further and straighter than you ever thought possible.
Another thing that affects accuracy negatively is this next misconception. You have seen many players do this. Since the pros run up to the tee and then throw, you think you should do the very same thing. Like in basketball, we think we have to “be like Mike.” Imitating the pros is a no-no. They are pros for a reason, and you are still working your way up the ladder.
Running-up to the tee will definitely not help you at first. It actually gets you more off target. Before you try to grip it and rip it, either shoot standing still or take a slow pace up to the tee box when you throw the disc golf driver.
Think of it scientifically. It is said that an average human can run between 10 to 15 miles per hour. This might seem like a lot of pace when looking to throw a disc golf driver, but let us examine it further, shall we?
You do not run straight forward when throwing a disc golf driver. The x-step technique makes each thrower reach only up to 7 or 8 miles per hour. You have to plant your leg to throw, pivot, and turn your body when releasing the disc anyway. In the end, only 2 to 3 miles per hour is gained from your running throw anyways. That is not a big enough gain to say it will help your distance and accuracy together. It will honestly only cause more trouble in the end.
Lastly, really observe your tendencies, and see if you are overcompensating. Sometimes, really funky driver throws happen when a player tries to do something else to compensate for an issue they really need to fix. This may be as simple as seeing if your throw the driver flat on release.
Using phones or cameras can really help you log how you are doing with your form and technique. Then, you can use it your advantage to grow and improve. Ask for advice from close players and coaches. This will go a long way.
Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you. Are you looking to impress your friends or do you really want to become a straighter disc golf driver? If you side with the latter, do yourself a favor and go back to basics. Losing accuracy for distance really is a problem.
Many people will have something to say on the manner, but trust your instincts. Work on the skill you need to uses the driver effectively. Think of the legendary golf quote that reminds all players that you “drive for show and putt for dough.”
Driving far might be amazing to see, but at the end of the day only one-thing matters: how accurate are you?