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How To Improve Your Disc Golf Drive

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Disc golf is an easy sport to get into. You just need a couple of discs and access to disc golf course and you are all set for hours of fun.

But playing disc golf rounds with your friends will only get you so far. If you want to improve in disc golf, you are going to have to do more than just play casual rounds.

One of the main aspects of their disc golf game, that a lot of players want to improve on is their driving.

Maybe as a player, you aren’t hitting your lines. Maybe you just wish you could throw farther. Or maybe you aren’t as consistent as you want to be.

In this article, we are going to take look at two steps you can take to improve your disc golf drive. I don’t want to disappoint you, but these two things aren’t necessarily quick or easy.

With that said, if you want to improve your disc golf drive doing these two things will get you there. So, what are the two things I’m referring to?

To improve your disc golf drive you need to do these two things:

  • Video tape yourself driving
  • Practicing your drive in a field

It seems pretty simple, right? All you need to do is tape yourself and practice? It is very simple but sometimes the most simple things can be difficult. More about that later.

Taping yourself while driving

So, why do you need to videotape yourself? The only way to get better is to figure out what you are doing wrong and then change it.

Because you may think your drive is perfect. You might believe that when you throw a disc your body is doing one thing but after you check the tape, it’s really doing something else.

The importance of videoing yourself is verification. When you look at the tape of your drive, you know for sure what your body is doing during the drive and than it’s pretty easy to figure out what you need to work on to improve.

Once you figure out what you need to work on, keep taping yourself to make sure you are actually making a change during your drive.

Sometimes, it’s really easy to spot what you are doing wrong but then when you step up to the tee pad and try to execute, it’s a lot hard.  

The video will make sure you are doing what you think you are doing. It keeps you honest.

Field Practice is great for your drive

Practicing in a field can do wonders for your drive. When you figure out what you are doing wrong and how you can improve, you need to change your mechincies.

Once you’ve got down what you need to change, you need to set that change in stone. You need to change your muscle memory.

The way you do that is by going to a field and practice over and over again. Keep that camera (or phone) around to make sure you are throwing correctly but keep throwing.

Take multiple discs so easy to stay in the flow. I like having multiples of the same discs when doing field practice to fix form.

If you don’t have a lot of discs, it’s not a big deal. The main focus should be on mechanics.

Common Driving mistakes

So now that you know how to verify your driving form and how to fix it, you’ll need to know what you are looking for.

For this article, we are going to focus on the backhand throwing style, as it’s the most common style.

If you are a sidearm dominate throwing, you’ll still find value in taping yourself and practicing in a field but these lists of mistakes might not help you that much.

If you are looking for some help with your forehand check out this video of Nate Sexton. He’s a professional disc golfer then is known for his sidearm.

Alright, let’s get into the list of common mistakes for backhand throwers.

Open Driving Stance

If you are utilizing the X-Step during your drive, you might be doing this. The main goal of the x-step is to incorporate your legs into your drive.

This is important because your legs are the largest muscle group in your body. More muscle engagement equals more power and distance.

If you are ending your X-step your throwing arm foot pointed toward your target, you’re missing the engagement of your legs.

The fix would be to point your toe straight or a better way to phrase this might be perpendicular to your target. Slightly back would also works.

This allows your hips and legs to be engaged so you’ll get the most out of your drive.

Not Reaching back Straight

When reviewing the tape of your drive, you’re going to want to make sure you reaching back is straight and away from your body.

This allows you to pull straight throw and release the disc effectively. Two common mistakes are reaching back behind your body and reaching back above your shoulder.

If you are reaching back behind your body, you need to go around your body during the pull through. This causes you to lose power and sacrificing accuracy.

Reaching back too high also as similar drawbacks.

Not Following through to match your release angle

Not every hole on the disc golf course is going to require a straight shot. You aren’t always going to be pulling back on a line that is parallel to the group and releasing your disc flat.

A lot of situations are going to require a hyzer or an anhyzer shot, in fact, I’d venture to guess you are releasing your disc with hyzer and anhyzer more often than you are releasing it flat.

When doing this, you’ll want to make sure your following throw matches the release.

For example, if you are throwing a disc on a hyzer, you’ll want your reach back to start your reach back low and then end it high.

Not timing the reach back correctly

To get the most out of your drive, you’ll want to time the full extension of your right back with the last step in your x-step.

By last step, I mean the loaded step you take at the end of your x-step before you release the disc.

After this step, some players will have their other leg swing around their body and touch the ground. I don’t mean this step.

If this timing is off during your drive and you are pulling to early or too take, it can affect your throw in a negative way.

You will lose accuracy and sacrifice power.   

Additional Resources:

Disc Golf Driving Tips for Beginners

If you are new to disc golf, check out this article I wrote on beginner tips. If the article you just read on improving your disc golf drive seems too technical, check out this my tips six on driving for beginners.

It’s simple changes you can try to help improve your drive. Once you’ve found success with those tips, you can always come back and try videoing yourself and doing field practice.

How to add more distance to your drive

In the same way that my tips for beginners article simplifies driving for beginners, if you are interested in adding more distance to your drive by making simple changes to your drive, you’ll want to check out my article on throwing farther.

It gives you ten things to try to help increase your distance while driving.

How to break your down distance record

If you are interested in throwing really far you might want to check out the article about how to break your own distance record.

This article is specifically focused on throwing really far without much consideration for consistency or accuracy.  If you are interested in pushing your distance limits give this article a read.

Driving Clinic Video

Check out this video of Nate Sexton and Sarah Hokom doing a back hand driving clinic. They are both professional disc golf players so they know what they are talking about.


Flickr Image Creative Commons – USAG- Humphreys

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