Posted on

Why Is Nose Down So Important In Disc Golf?

No ratings yet.

Please note we’re supported by our readers. When you buy through our links we earn an affiliate commission. Thanks for your support!

If you want to really improve at the game of disc golf, you are going to want to focus on the little things. To really excel at the sport, you must get every detail right. One of those small details is a nose-down release.

It’s a little change that can be made to a disc golf throw but it will make all the difference. Trust me when I say this. In this article, we’ve going to cover what nose down means when it comes to disc golf.

We’re also going to talk about why you’ll want to be throwing with the disc nose down, how you’ll know if you are releasing the disc nose up and ways to prevent a nose up release. 

Pay attention because if you make this small tweak to your game, I promise you’ll see big results.  

What does throwing nose down mean?

When we talk about throwing a disc that is nose down we’re saying that the front of the disc is angled down slightly in relation to the direction the disc is traveling through the air.

It may sound like we mean the disc is pointed down to the ground but that isn’t the case. If you throw all your discs like that they wouldn’t fly very far and they will hit the ground too quickly.

It may not seem like a big deal to keep your discs nose down with throwing them for distance but there are a lot of benefits to doing this that we’ll discuss a little later.

Why do you want to throw nose down?

If you aren’t throwing your disc discs nose down they aren’t going to fly as far as they should. So if you are looking to increase your distance when throwing, keeping the nose angled slightly down is a great place to start.

Another side effect of throwing your discs nose up is that they will tend to all fly a similar distance. We don’t want this. The main reason we carry different types of discs is that they are designed to be thrown at different distances.

The reason this happens is that when your disc is flying through the air with the nose up, the profile that is exposed to the air is not much different between putters, midranges, and drivers. 

How do I know I’m throwing Nose Up?

If you aren’t sure if you are keeping the nose down when you throw there are a few ways to tell. Seeing some of these or even one of them when you are playing a round of disc golf could indicate you are throwing at least some of the time with the disc nose angled upward. Remember, identifying that there is a problem is the first step to correcting it.

Four indicates that you are throwing Nose Up:

  • Midranges and Drivers flying a similar distance
  • Having a hard time throwing faster discs
  • Discs finishing with an air skip 
  • You can see the top of the disc during flight

Common Causes of throwing Nose Up

Now that you know how to tell if you are throwing nose up, we can try to determine what’s causing it and then how to remedy it.  I’ve listed three common causes here along with how to make changes to your throw to correct it.

I’ll go ahead and say it now. These changes will be simple but they may not be easy changes to make. It will likely take a lot of practice and time but it will definitely be worth it. Just think, if you make these changes you’ll be seeing some extra distance on your drives and everyone wants that. 

Trying to force your throw

A common cause of throwing a disc nose up is really trying to force your throw. Instead of throwing the disc smooth with finesse, disc golfers will try to muscle the disc to get it to fly farther.

When this happens, the thrower usually tenses up and doesn’t reach back as much as they could. They also tend to have their elbow down and as the disc moves through the pull-through it finishes with the nose popping up.  

Arch shaped pull through

If a disc golfer has an arch-shaped pull through, it’s almost guaranteed that they will release the disc nose up. What do I mean by an arch-shaped pull through?  During your pull through, you start the disc high and it curves down and then moves up releasing the disc high.

Another way to say this is if the disc starts at one shoulder and then move down across the stomach and then finishes at the other shoulder. As the disc moves from your stomach to your shoulder, it will remain pointed up during the release.  

Gripping the disc incorrectly

Not gripping your disc correctly can lead to a nose up release. If you aren’t gripping your disc tightly in the proper manner, you might not get the nose down release that you want and the disc might not fly as far as it should.

A weak grip can lead to the disc finishing tilted up as you pull through your throw. Another sticking point I’d like the mention is not pushing down on the disc firmly with your thumb. If you aren’t countering the fingers under the disc with your thumb, this can lead to a nose up finish.  

How to prevent a nose up release

Now that you know why you want to release the disc nose down and what might cause a disc golfer to release nose up, let’s dive into how to prevent a nose up release.

I’ve listed four ways to prevent a nose up release below. If you implement these tips into your throw, you’ll see more control and longer flights. Again, these changes won’t happen overnight but will take time and practice.   

Extend your reach back

Reaching back fully and really committing to it can prevent a nose up release. For your backhand drive, you’ll want to turn your shoulders away from the target and make sure your arm is extended straight back.

If you reach back lower or higher, it can cause the disc to pop up during the release. Committing to your reach back can help if the cause of the nose up release is trying to force your drive.  

Level your pull through

You’ll want to make sure you are pulling the disc through on a level plain in order to achieve a nose-down release. A great way to ensure that you are doing this is by making sure your hand is on the outside of the disc and to lock your wrist as you pull through.

Another tip is to keep your elbow slightly up on your throwing arm. Making sure you are doing these things can really help with a nose up release if you are one of those players trying to muscle your drive. 

Grip the disc properly

Having a strong, stable grip can go a long way to preventing the disc from being nose up. A good starting point to gripping the disc correctly is to line up the disc between the middle part of your palm on one end and in between your index and pointer finger on the other.

Once you have that setup, place your thumb on top of the disc and wrap your fingers around the bottom of the disc. Make sure your grip is firm but if you are still having issues with nose up, make sure you are flexing your wrist down as the disc comes out of your hand.

Here’s a great video that shows you how to properly grip a disc with the backhand power grip:

Final Thoughts

Making sure you release the disc with nose down can make all the difference. If you aren’t seeing the distance and control you want, making this small but important change to your throw can yield a big difference in your game.

Take the time to make this adjustment and then hammer it home with hours of practice and you’ll see more success in disc golf. Now get out there and start practicing.

Flickr Image Creative Commons Credit – MarkScottAustinTX

Review This Disc