When I first started playing disc golf, I was seriously bad. I mean throw-a-disc-into-the-first-tree kind of bad. I had no idea how to play well or how to practice and improve. I thought that if you just showed up to the course once a week for a few months, that you’d improve dramatically in a short period of time. Well, I was wrong.
I started playing more and gradually improving. But I needed to get better quicker. I thought to myself, “If I really want to improve in disc golf, I have to practice a lot. But how do I practice?” It took me some time, but I learned. And a big part of that practice was field work.
I had heard of the concept but really had no idea what it was. So I started doing “field work.” But I did it all wrong. I just went go a field and threw discs. Yep, you guessed it…I still didn’t improve. Eventually it clicked that I had to practice in some way in my field work and not just show up to throw with discs. So I studied the idea of field work for a few days a came up with a game plan for myself. In this post, I’m going to give you an idea of what exactly disc golf field work is, why it’s important, and 7 huge tips for you to learn disc golf field work and how to practice your field work effectively (for serious improvement). Let’s get started.
What is disc golf field work?
The concept of field work isn’t really difficult to understand. Disc golf field work is practicing your driving, throwing, shot-shaping, distance, power, technique, or other parts of your game with your discs in a large, open field.
But even though it’s called field work, it doesn’t always have to be a large open field. You can practice on a particular open hole on your favorite course (if it’s not busy, of course) or you can throw some discs on one of the holes on your favorite wooded course. Those are other great ways to get some field work in.
Why is disc golf field work important?
- Practice in general is important to work on your overall disc golf game. And field work plays a big part.
- Field work can help you work on multiple different parts of your disc golf game like consistency, accuracy, distance, power, release angles, flights lines, etc (we’ll talk about this later).
- Field work can help you reach your disc golf goals (we’ll also talk about this later).
7 tips to crush your disc golf field work practice
1. Practice often
If you truly want to improve your disc golf game, you have to practice often. And since field work is a part of that, you should do field work as often as you can. I believe that you should practice daily and do field work at least three times a week. Your game will improve dramatically if you can keep that schedule up.
I know, I know, it’s tough to find the time to be that disciplined. But if you don’t have time, make time. You have to find a way to be consistent so I suggest that you create a practice routine that you can stick to every week. I opt for a 60/40 practice split meaning that I do field work 60% percent of the time and other practice 40% percent of the time (for every ten practice sessions, I do 6 field work sessions and 4 other sessions like putting practice or a solo disc practice round).
And those sessions don’t have to be very long. If you only have 15 minutes, practice anyway. You can get double the amount of throws in in just 15 minutes as you would in an entire round in the course. Try to dedicate at least 15-20 minutes or more to your field work and the results will be pretty awesome after a few months.
2. Make sure to stretch
Stretching before you do field work is very important for multiple reasons:
• First: you want to be warned up so that you don’t get injured during your practice. It sucks to get injured, period. So don’t forget to warm up your body before throwing.
• Second: you want to be warmed up so that your body is ready to throw from the start. You want every single practice throw to be effective and warming up beforehand can help you achieve this. If you’re properly warm, you’ll most likely throw better quicker.
If you’d like to learn more about stretching, check out my post, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Stretches to Improve Your Game.”
3. Have a goal in mind
Goals are one of the most important concepts in disc golf because if you don’t have any, you won’t accomplish anything. It works the same with field work. If you just go out to a field and randomly throw (like I did when I first started), you won’t improve much. You need to have some kind of goal in mind so that you can work towards improving an individual part of your game.
Believe it or not, field work isn’t just about improving your throwing in a wide open field. Like I mentioned earlier, there are many different parts to your throw that you can work on during this practice. So you need to make a decision on what you’re going to be working on. Once you do that, then you can get back to your goals.
As far as goals go, you need to set overall goals for your disc golf game AND you need to set individual goals for your field work practice sessions. You should set individual goals for each and every practice session or you won’t really be trying to improve anything. Set those individual goals so that you can work hard to achieve a new goal every session. That achievement will continually keep you motivated.
Example 1: I want to make 50 successful anhyzer throws using all of the discs in my bag.
Example 2: I want to try to throw 10 successful throws completely straight with at least 250-300 feet of distance.
Example 3: An entire round of distance throwing in an attempt to break your personal distance record of about 320 feet.
All of those are easily achievable and realistic. If you’d like to learn more about goals, check out my post, “11 Powerful Reasons Why Goals Are Important in Disc Golf.”
4. Practice like you play/compete
This next concept was one the I learned at a very young age when I started playing sports. The idea is that you have to take all of your practicing very serious because what you do in practice usually translates to directly into your real competitive play. You can have fun with your practice, but you should still take it all very serious. If you screw around, when you go to play a serious round, you may not play very well. A person who takes their practice seriously will easily be able to translate that improved skill directly into competitive rounds on the course. Field work is important. Have fun with it but take it seriously.
5. Technique and accuracy
Both of these parts of your disc golf game are extremely important and require you to work on them during your practice field work.
- Technique: during your field work, I want you to work exclusively on your technique and make all of your throws with perfect form/technique. Once you perfect your technique, you can work on everything else. Just make sure you pay attention to your technique from here on out. For more on technique, check out my post, “7 Steps to the Best Disc Golf Technique and a Perfect Throw.”
- Accuracy: the key to accuracy is to tackle the master head on. Being accurate is tough but if you work on it enough, you will get better and better. Here are three quick ways to improve your accuracy:
- An accuracy field work day.
- An accuracy practice day in the woods.
- Reading and learning more about accuracy in my post, “7 Best Disc Golf Accuracy Tips to Always Hit Your Line!”
6. Power and distance
Field work also gives you an exciting opportunity to start working on both power and distance. Their are a lot of different parts of your game that you can work on (like I mentioned earlier). But power and distance are two huge parts of your game that you should definitely try to improve. And these are just about the most fun to work on. Here are a couple of ways to try and improve your power and distance:
- A max distance field work day.
- Using landmarks to work on your distance.
- A practice day using only putters to try and improve total distance.
- Using my post, “The 27 Best Disc Golf Distance Tips for Beginners,” to try to improve your distance for your field work days.
7. Learn your discs
Lastly, you should attempt to learn all of your discs on all of the possible lines a disc can fly on, during your practice field work sessions. Because if you can’t trust your discs, you will not play well with them. Understanding and learning all of your discs will guarantee you better scores. Work on every disc that you plan on throwing and learn them all with every shot type and on every line possible. If you do all of that, you will dominate on the disc golf course.
A couple of great field work videos to check out
A.J. Risley’s 5 tips ⬇️
Eric Oakley’s 5 tips ⬇️
You can also go to YouTube and type in “disc golf field work” to find tons of other great videos to help you out.
Try the Par 4 Drill during field work
Instead of the same disc over and over, set up cones at different intervals > ex: initial 300 foot power throw and then an anhyzer finesse throw. This will help your body get good at switching between different tempos and eliminates some of the monotony of normal field work (which is sometimes the same throw over and over). You can see a video of exactly how to do this drill below (credit: Discraft)
Link to video on YouTube.
Another way to work on your driving
Field work isn’t the only way to work on your driving (although it is probably the best way). Another way that I use to improve your my driving is a practice net. I put up a large net in my garage and constantly use it for throwing/driving practice. It won’t help you find your max distance and you won’t be able to tell how accurate your throws are but you can work on technique and power from your house. This makes it super easy to get practice in and can make a huge difference in your disc golf game. Grab the net that I use here on Amazon.
Field work is important in disc golf. That much is evident. Because the work that you put in outside of your normal rounds can determine how good you will be when you step up to the teepad. The great thing is, though, that field work is super easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of time. You can also find places to throw at most public parks, disc golf courses, soccer fields, or other local large fields. So of you really want to get better at disc golf, get out there and get that field work done!
Thanks for reading, disc golfers!
Check out the book!
Before you go, don’t forget to check out my book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual!” It’s a 200+ page beginner’s guide that can help you to learn disc golf and improve your game significantly. If you want to start crushing it on the course, this guide is for you!