Disc golf is so freakin’ awesome. Ever since 2016, it has captured my attention and been a huge part of my life. I’ve played, practiced, written about, and learned everything about it. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert player by any means, but I’m a decent player and can hold my own on the course.
Alot of that skill that I’ve gained is because of the time I’ve put in practicing my game. I’ve spent hundreds of hours working on every single part of my game. Needless to say, practice is important. But you need to know how to practice efficiently and effectively so that you can improve your skills and become an elite disc golfer. This post will show you how to practice the right way so that you’re not just wasting time trying to improve.
But disc golf is like any skill. How much you practice will determine how good you can really be at it. If you only “practice” during your weekly rounds, you probably won’t be anything more than a mediocre disc golfer for years. But if you put in the work and practice your game multiple times per week, you can become an exceptional disc golfer in just a short period of time. This guide should help with that. Let’s get started.
Why is practice important in disc golf?
Practice is important for a lot of reasons. Here are three of the best reasons why you need to practice your disc golf game:
1. Repetition and muscle memory: practicing is all about the repetition, or repeated movements that you do, to gradually improve over time. Those repetitive movements eventually start to become naturally ingrained both physically and mentally. This leads to something called muscle memory, or your ability to easily reproduce those actions after continually practicing them. Basically, you do something over and over and you get better at it.
2. Consistency: improvement doesn’t happen instantly, but slowly over months and years. If you practice disc golf every day for a month, and don’t do anything for the next 11 months, your next round will probably be pretty bad. But if you stay consistent and practice 3 days a week for the whole year, your game will be 10 times better than the first scenario.
3. Experimentation: lastly, practice allows us to experiment and try out new things like different grips, discs, shoes, types of throws and just about anything else you can think of. Do this so you can find the right equipment, throws, and techniques for for your game.
How often should you practice in disc golf?
Now here’s the real question: how often should I practice disc golf including rounds?
A good rule of thumb is that you should try to practice something in your game every day. I recommend daily practice for those looking to become competitive players. Why every day? The answer is simple: the best disc golfers in the world practice every day. They live and breathe to improve themselves. So if you want to get to that level, you’ve got to practice your game a lot. Just make sure that you keep everything fun so that you don’t burn out.
But that’s entirely up to you and how good you actually aspire to be. If you want to be a really good disc golfer, I would suggest that you practice more, because the more you practice, the better you will be.
In order to not get burnt out from all of the practicing, I want you to establish a routine, or a schedule, for yourself and whatever you choose to practice that day/week. And practice doesn’t have to be long or boring. Just a quick 20-30 minutes a day can really help out your game. But the best thing you can do is to get on a good schedule of practice. Write it out and have a routine for each week. Here are a couple examples of how I’ve set up my practice schedule⬇️.
Example 1 (with lighter physical gym workouts only twice a week)
Monday – Putting practice
Tuesday – Approach work
Wednesday – Disc golf workout and leg workout in the gym
Thursday – Technical knowledge & rules
Friday – Field work
(+ upper body workout in the gym)
Saturday – Rest/miscellaneous practice
Sunday – Full round
Example 2 (with working out in the gym four times per week)
Monday – Field work (+ chest workout)
Tuesday – Technical knowledge & rules (+back workout)
Wednesday – Approach work
Thursday – Shoulders and disc golf workout
Friday – Putting practice (+ arm workout)
Saturday – Full round
Sunday – Rest/miscellaneous practice
So as you can see, you can vary it up and make a schedule that fits around your free time. That’s what I do. Also, don’t be afraid to take rest days if you need to. Just don’t take too many!
My #1 practice tip
My #1 practice tip for you this year is simple: buy yourself some quality practice equipment. Having some really nice equipment to practice on can really help improve your game all from the comfort of your home.
Here are 3 pieces of equipment that you can get to help you practice at home:
1. Personal practice basket
This is one piece of equipment that almost every hardcore disc golfer has and can be used in many different ways to help you practice…putting, approaching, and driving. Though you’ll probably use it for putting practice more than anything. If you don’t have your own basket, check out my post, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Baskets (Get One and Win).” A good, quality practice basket will cost you around $150 dollars.
2. Practice net
Another really awesome item to buy is a large practice net like this one I bought off of Amazon. I’ve got it set up in my garage to use for extra driving practice when I otherwise can’t get out for field work.
3. The Propull system
The Propull system is an absolutely phenomenal way to improve your game. This awesome resistance band trainer allows you to use a real disc with a band attached to “increase acceleration in the exact angles and positions related to your individual throwing motion,” states InfiniteDiscs.com.
If you’re interested in more about practice equipment, I’ve already written an entire post on this one tip called, “The #1 Way to Improve Your Disc Golf Game This Year.” ⬅️ Check it out!
Before you practice
There are three things that I want you to do every single time before you practice:
Have a plan
One of the absolute best things you can do to ensure you have good, efficient, and effective practice is to start by having a plan of attack.
You want to know exactly what you’re practicing, for how long, and what you need to work on.
Goals are SO important in disc golf. If you don’t have goals, what’s the point in even trying to improve? If you’re looking to improve at all in this sport, you should be setting short term and long term goals.
Now your long term goals can be as long as a couple of years out. And your short term could be as short as what you want to achieve in the next practice round. That’s what I’m getting at with practice round goals. Set specific goals for what you want to achieve in the next practice round. If you make a plan and set yourself specific goals, your disc golf practice will be both efficient and effective.
If you want to learn more about goals, check put my post, “11 Powerful Reasons Why Goals Are Important in Disc Golf.”
Practice how you play/compete
This tip is something that I learned very early on in my life [regarding sports]. That is, if you want to be truly skilled in a sport, you have to practice how you play or compete. We’re all serious in our rounds because we want to do well and win or just beat our previous best score. But sometimes we mess around in practice and don’t take it seriously.
How to effectively practice driving
Driving practice is extremely important if you’re looking to improve your disc golf game. I’ve gone back and forth on this over the years but I’ve finally set on a number. You need to dedicate about 40-45% of your time to practicing your driving. If you want to do more, that’s fine. Just no less than 40%. Because if you can’t drive and you don’t get to the basket, you won’t be able to approach or putt. Plus, the further you can drive and the more skilled you are, the better chance of you being close enough to hole out and take strokes off your game.
Field work: field work is the absolute best way to work on driving. Here are a couple of quick tips for field work ⬇️:
- Be very serious in your field work practice. Remember to practice how you play/compete.
- Don’t just randomly practice throwing in a field. You’ll never make any progress if you just go out and throw. Work on specific types of throws, practice only with specific types of discs (drivers, mid-ranges, etc.), have a whole day of working on technique, or try having a personal distance record day where you try to throw as far as you can.
- For more, check out my post, “The Ultimate Guide to Disc Golf Field Work: 7 Tips to Use Today!”
Net practice: very simple to practice at home but you have to have a net set up inside or outside your place. Check out the net I got here on Amazon.
Propull: the propull system I mentioned earlier can help you work on your technique for your driving. Grab one here on Amazon.com.
Drills: drills are amazing and can be a crucial part of your driving practice. Check out the following couple of drills ⬇️:
1. Field Goals/Laces Out Drill
In this drill, you should strive to make all of your field goals. For those who don’t know, a field goal is simply a set of upright posts on a football field. Normally, a kicker will try to kick a football through them. For you, though, they will be used to develop both accuracy and distance. For this drill, only use putters and mid-range discs. Drivers can be thrown too far for the field you will be on.
Grab your discs and start on the 50 yard line (60 yards or 180 feet away from the field goal). The goal is to throw your discs from the middle of the field through the field goal posts. Once you can consistently do this, move back 10 yards to the other side’s 40 yard line (210 feet away). Continue moving back until you are on the complete opposite field goal post. This post is roughly about 360 feet from the post on the other end of the field. If you get good at nailing these throws, your game will improve tremendously.
You can check out the drill by Shoot Lowe in the video below.
2. Beto Drill
The Beto drill is probably one of the most famous drills in the disc golf community. The Beto drill by Dan Beto can help the amateur player learn how to properly drive and start to build distance into your disc golf game. Check out the Beto drill in the video below.
For more drills, check out my post, “The 50 Best Disc Golf Drills to Change Your Game Forever.”
How to effectively practice approaching
Approach practice is super underrated and most people don’t even work on this outside of their rounds. But you need to do something and give approach work at least 10% of your practice time. I wouldn’t overly practice approaching but you do need to give it a little bit of time. Here are a couple of ways to do that ⬇️:
Field work with a target: field work using a target or two at different distances can really be great practice for approach shots.
Drills: I love drills… if you couldn’t tell already. Here are a couple of approach drills to try.
1. Hip Mobility Drill
Disc Golf Strong’s quick hip mobility drill will allow you to become more flexible in your lower body for tough approach shots and putts around obstacles. Check out their video below.
2. The Approach 21 Game
The approach 21 game for disc golf is super fun. Each round, a person gets to pick where the disc will lie from about 50-150 feet from the basket. This person then calls what kind of a shot you will all use (backhand/forehand/tomahawk/hyzer bomb/thumber/etc).
Scoring works like this:
4 points for a made basket
3 points if you hit basket or above
2 points if you make the putt from the approach shot
1 point if you miss the putt but hit chains
0 points for missing the putt
The first person who gets 21 points wins.
3. The Landing Zone Approach Drill
With the landing zone approach drill, you will mark off a landing zone around your basket in preferably an open field. Next, judge out the following distances based on the distances in your game: put a pile of your throwing putters about 100-150 feet out, a pile of your mid-range discs 150-200 feet out, a pile of fairway drivers 200-250 feet out, and a pile of your control drivers 250-300 feet out. If you throw farther, just make the adjustment.
Now we will throw all of these discs and try to get as close as you can to the original marked landing zone. Start the first round of all discs with a hyzer angle. The second round with a straight angle. And the third round with an anhyzer angle. If you still want more practice, switch to throwing sidearm with all of those angles as well. Remember, practice makes permanent.
4. The “This Looks Fun” Drill
This is an interesting drill to try. Basically, head to a course with a lot of obstacles, woods, and areas where you can try challenging yourself. Walk off the path for those really tough or weird shots that will test your mental resolve. Try those tough shots and work on different angles and throws to get yourself out of the sh*t and back onto the fairway.
Before you throw, though, think to yourself, “this looks fun.” Thinking that to yourself every time will help you with your mental game whenever you have a challenging shot in a real round. When you get to a competitive round, and you have a challenging shot, you won’t think, “ah this sucks!” Instead, you’ll probably say, “oh, this looks fun.”
For more, check out Avery Jenkins and his take on approach practice ⬇️.
How to effectively practice putting
Putting is another hugely important part of your game. Just like with driving, you need to dedicate around 45% of your time to it. Because if you can’t get the disc in the basket, you can’t complete the hole! Here are a couple ways to practice your putting:
Repetition: for putting, repetition is SO important. Remember that repetition is simply repeating a movement over and over until it turns into muscle memory. A good quote to remember is, “Amateurs practice until they get it right; Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.”
Drills and practice: have I mentioned drills yet? Oh, cool, well give these a try.
1. 100s Drill
This easy drill is part drill part super repetitive practice. We won’t bore you any more with this one. Simply grab your discs and go out to the course. Take your discs, and at varying distances, just practice. Practice until you’ve made 100 putts or try the simple “250” variation and don’t stop until you make 250 putts.
2. Obstacle Drill
This next easy putting drill requires you to put an obstacle like a tree in between you and the basket. Now take two shots from behind the obstacle. If you make at least one shot, you can move back a little further. If you miss both, just stay put. Try two more putts. Continue moving back until you’re crushing putts from a good distance away.
3. McBeth Putting Drill
Paul McBeth’s putting drill from an older edition Disc Golfer Magazine is a nice little variation from some of the other putting drills we have in this post.
Start by placing markers from 10 feet out every 5 feet until you get to about the 35 foot mark. You will be throwing 3 discs. If you make all 3, move back 5 feet to the next marker. If you make only 2, stay put. And if you make only 1, move 5 feet closer to the basket to the next marker. Our variation is if you miss all 3 discs, start over from the first marker.
For more on putting drills, check out my post, “The 11 Best Disc Golf Putting Drills and Games.”
At home: get yourself a practice basket!! That makes putting practice so easy to do. You can do almost all of the putting drills and games at home with your own basket.
If you want to get your own basket, check out my post, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Baskets (Get One and Win).”
You need some good gear to practice with so check out some of my top gear recommendations below ⬇️.
Don’t forget about the book!!
Before you leave, grab a copy of the best disc golf book on the planet, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” You can read more about it here to see what’s inside! If you’re new to disc golf, you need this book!