21 Disc Golf Tips and Tricks [2021 Edition]


Disc golf is one helluva sport. It’s cheap, fun, and can provide you with some good exercise. But it’s also really tough when you’re a newer player. So if you’re looking for some awesome disc golf tips and tricks, you’ve found the right post.

Youre looking for something to help you improve quickly, effectively, and with tips that are easy to handle. That’s what prompted me to write this post. This post is exactly what you’ve been wanting.

In it, I’m going to go over 21 of the absolute best disc golf tips and tricks that you can use to start improving on the course and finding that competitive disc golf attitude. Well, I won’t keep you from it any longer. So let’s get started!

21 disc golf tips and tricks to improve your game


1. Make sure you’re playing with the right discs

For this first tip, I want you to understand that in order to improve at disc golf, you need to be throwing with the right discs. This is something unique to each person. So you’ll have to assess your own skill level and go from there. Not throwing the right discs can be seriously detrimental to your game.

I want you to assess your current skill level. Right now, where are you at? True brand new Beginner? Beginner? Intermediate? Advanced? Don’t let your ego get in the way. If you’re reading this post, you’re probably between a beginner to intermediate player. So you need discs in your skill level. This means you want putters and mid-range discs.

Check out my beginner discs post as that post in awesome and has discs for beginner to intermediate players.

As a beginner, you’re going to want to skip the drivers because they’re normally too hard to throw. Intermediate players can start to throw fairway drivers but should stay away from distance drivers at first. As you progress, you can gradually work up to these discs.

If you’re throwing drivers, I want you to disc down, or move down in disc from drivers to mid-range discs and putters. If you’re brand new, I recommend using putters to play with for at least a month or two.

Another thing I would suggest is to learn the disc golf flight ratings or the 4 numbers on the front of a disc golf disc. These 4 numbers show you exactly how a disc is supposed to fly and can help you pick out beginner disc golf discs.

Check out my disc golf flight ratings post here to learn all about how to read the numbers on a disc golf disc.

Lastly, just make sure you find discs that feel good to you and that you like to throw. If you hate how a disc feels, don’t throw it. Find a better one.

If you need some other recommendations, check out that list above. It has 37 of the best discs for beginners. If you’re looking for the absolute best beginners disc golf discs, I’d recommend the Discraft Buzzz mid-range or the Dynamic Discs Judge putter.

2. Buy the right shoes

Now this tip won’t make or break your rounds but can be a good way to help you play better on the course. It can also help you solidify your footing on the course in almost every single situation. Any kind of tennis shoe can be fine for casual rounds. But once you start playing more competitively, or you just want to get better at the game, I would invest in a much better pair of sport hiking boots/shoes specifically for your disc golf rounds.

The reason you want a good pair of sport hiking boots/shoes is because you’re normally trekking pretty rough terrain and essentially hiking a mile or more while you play. You want shoes that have tremendous grip to allow you to maneuver and throw discs from any kind of terrain on the course. Slipping is not an option if you want to play well. And sport hiking boots/shoes can completely solve that issue for you.

I would also emphasize the need for finding a very comfortable pair of shoes. Comfort is definitely needed due to the length of walking you will put into each round. Some courses are 3+ miles in total steps taken and uncomfortable shoes can really hurt your game. You don’t want that.

I would also try to find a pair of shoes that are waterproof. This isn’t a need, but can be a huge benefit in the rain, snow, or early morning dew.

If you’re looking for a couple of good options, check out the following two picks:

You can also check out my post here with 27 of the best disc golf shoes in the game today.

3. Practice. Daily.

A lot of people have criticized some of my other posts because I’ve put practice as a disc golf tip. Well, duh, you have to practice! But I don’t just emphasize practice and leave it at that. I want you to take it to the next level in order to be a next level disc golfer. I want you to practice every single day. Again, if you’re only out on the course for casual rounds, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of time practicing. Just work on your game and improve over time.

But I want to improve quickly. And I’m sure you do, too. If so, you’ve got to put in the work required to rapidly improve. For this, you’re going to want to practice daily (or as much as possible) and play at least 1-2 rounds per week.

You also need a good practice routine. A routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed or in a fixed program. In this case, it’s practicing disc golf. You want to establish an everyday regular practice routine that can be repeated daily. It can be as easy as working on a different part of your game every day. Monday putting, Tuesday driving, Wednesday workout, Thursday approach, Friday field work, and a Saturday round. Then I would rest on Sunday or skip Saturday and play on Sunday. And you don’t have to practice for long. 15-20 minutes can really up your game if you practice every day.

I would also recommend that you buy some personal practice equipment to help you with practice. We’ll go over this is #9.

The last thing I want to say is to make sure you are consistent and effective with your practice. Screwing around won’t make you better. Check out our disc golf drills section in #10 for some good ways to practice different parts of your game.

4. Technique is key

One of the most important concepts in all of disc golf is correct throwing technique. If you have poor technique, everything else really doesn’t matter. But developing good technique is hard. Below, I’ve outlined the 7 steps to the best disc golf technique:

  • Grip: loose grip or grip lock can absolutely kill your shots. Find a balance between too loose and too tight when throwing. Too loose and you’ll release too early. Too tight and you’ll end up like Richard in the video below.
https://youtu.be/aIG0pBQw8X4

Link to video on YouTube.

  • X-Step: an extremely important part of the throwing process. The “X-Step” is a series of 3 steps that you take before you throw your disc. For a RHBH thrower – start out by stepping with your lead foot (same side as the arm you throw with – right-handed throw = first step with right foot). Your next step will be the opposite foot crossing behind your lead leg for the second step. Then the 3rd step will be the big final 3rd step out as you throw. Check out Danny Lindahl’s X-Step video below to help you out with this.

Link to video on YouTube.

  • Good hip rotation and reach back: good hip rotation is essential to get the proper reach back. The more you rotate, the more momentum you can get from the reach back.
  • Look away from line of sight: it may seem counter-intuitive to look away from your target…but do it anyway. Look away toward the direction of your reach back. That head turn will guarantee the maximum momentum from the reach back to throw.
  • Lead with the elbow: As you come out of you reach back, you will start your throwing motion. From here, what you do is crucial to how your throw will come out. When coming around for the throw, you will want to lead the throw with your elbow out. The next motion needs to be more of a straight line through the throw and less of a circular motion. You want the leading elbow to push through the throw. You also want to keep the disc close to your chest. This allows for maximum control and velocity of the disc. You will be able to get a “whipping” motion on the disc
  • Big, strong final step: this is step 6 of a good technique but is actually the final part of the X-Step. As you come through with your elbow to throw, you want a firm final step. Big but not too big. Take that step and use your back leg to push off as you turn and throw.
  • The follow-through: after you throw you want to let your body continue through the motion and allow yourself to follow naturally through the throw. Don’t just throw and abruptly stop your body from turning. This could mess up the shot and could cause injury if you’re not careful.
    For more, check out my post, “7 Steps to the Best Disc Golf Technique and a Perfect Throw.”
5. Master the mental game

If you’re a newer player and you’re looking for serious improvement on the course, mastering the mental side of disc golf can really help you get better. Here are a few quick mental disc golf tips:

  • Better physically = better mentally: the more you focus on yourself physically, the better you can be mentally. Proper hydration, enough sleep, and a few exercise workouts off the course can really improve your mental state. We’ll focus on exercise later in #11 but you can read about why water is important for your disc golf game here.
  • Confidence: the more confidence you have in your abilities, the better you will play.
  • Focus: No matter how you play, who you may be, or what kind of round you’re playing, disc golf is a game of focus. This tip kind of builds off of the last one. You need patience in your game and focus on your game. In disc golf, your ability to focus on each and every shot can potentially be the deciding factor on winning or losing that round. “I will crush this drive,” or “I’m going to nail this putt,” should be what you tell yourself whenever you seek to find the point of concentration for each shot.
  • Positive mindset: keeping a positive mindset on the course can help you crush rounds and turn them around when things go wrong.
  • Don’t rush – practice patience: in order to take that step up in your mental game, you need to practice patience and focus on each and every shot.
  • Goal-Oriented: *(we will focus on this in #21)*

If you’re interested in the mental side of disc golf, check out my posts below ⬇️.

“The 7 Best Mental Disc Golf Tips to Crush it on the Course.”

“11 Ways Patience Will Help You Win in Disc Golf.”

“The 9 Characteristics of Successful Disc Golfers.”

6. Consolidate your discs

The next crucial tip on this list is to consolidate the amount of discs in your bag from 20-30 discs down to no more than 10-12 (less if possible).This gives you the opportunity to play with them more and get better with those specific discs. With 20-30 discs, you’re really a jack of all trades, master of none. By switching it up and carrying less discs, you become a master of all of the discs in your bag. This will force you to start really thinking about YOUR game, figuring out what you’re best at, and which discs you throw best. The overall result will be better scores and more improvement on the course.

7. Strategize

Disc golf is all about strategy. It’s more than just throwing your disc at the basket. So from now on, whenever you throw, I want you to think about a few things:

  • I want you to think about how you’re going to get to the basket
  • which disc and type of throw will work best for this hole?
  • which line are you going to take?
  • disc placement – where do u want it to land?
  • Is it better to play it safe or do you have a chance at a riskier shot?

I know…It’s a lot to think about, but you have to think about all of these things if you want to get better on the course and improve your game. You need to think hard about every factor of your current hole and then build a strategy for your round.

8. Technical knowledge

Once your skill on the disc golf course starts improving, I want you to start looking into the technical knowledge side of disc golf. You can start learning technical knowledge as a beginner, but this really only applies once you start becoming a serious, highly competitive disc golfer. I want you to start learning all of the rules down to the small detailed rules. Understanding all of these rules will help you in unique situations and can definitely benefit you once you start playing competitively or in tournaments.

For example: I was out on the course not too long ago and my disc ended up on top of the basket. Because I knew the rules, and actually wrote a post on this, that disc did not count as completing the hole. So I had to play the hole with one more stroke to finish and it added a stroke to my score.

If you want to get more competitive, you need to learn all of the rules/technical knowledge of disc golf.

Check out the Official Rules of Disc Golf here on PDGA.com.

9. Practice Equipment

The next tip on my list is a good one. Something I’ve talked about thoroughly since I started this blog: making sure that you have personal practice equipment at home. Because if truly want to improve your disc golf game, I’ve already said it, but you have to practice daily. And you can’t feasibly practice every day unless you have some practice equipment at home. Nobody can get to the course daily. If you can, go for it. But for the rest of us, there are three pieces of equipment that you should have at your home to help you practice.

  • Personal practice basket: making sure you have a personal practice basket at home is essential for extra putting practice.
  • Practice net: having some kind of large practice net at home is great for your ability to work on approaching, driving, footwork, technique, and anything else you can think to use it for. I’ve got one for my garage and it is awesome. You can get the one I bought here on Amazon.
  • ProPull Disc Golf Trainer system: the ProPull system is fantastic for learning good technique using a resistance band with an actual disc golf disc on the end. So you can work on resistance band training while holding a disc. It’s the way to go. Check out both videos below. The first is disc golf pro Dave Feldberg showing you the ProPull and how to use it. The second video explains what exactly the ProPull is and how it can help you train. You can get a Propull system here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
https://youtu.be/9y1_9YMtHJ0

Link to video on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/BxC7l9bpnoM

Link to video on YouTube.

You can also check out a couple of our awesome posts below ⬇️.

“17 Best Disc Golf Baskets (Get One and Win).”

“The #1 Way to Improve Your Disc Golf Game This Year.”

What I recommend for portable and less-portable baskets.

10. Drills

I absolutely love drills. Drills are a fundamental way to practice various throwing techniques and hone in certain skills on the disc golf course like putting and driving. And they can really comprise of anything and everything you can imagine. For example, check out the following drills below:

Drill #1 – 10 in a row putting drill: This drill is simple and requires you to make 10 putts in a row from a certain spot before you move to a new more difficult spot.

Drill #2 – field goals drill: for this drill, you will start on the 50 yard line of a football field. That means you’re about 60 yards, or 180 feet total, from the field goal posts (50 yard line + 10 yards of end zone). From here, you’ll work on your distance and accuracy by trying to throw you disc through the field goal posts. If you can consistently do this, back up 10 yards and start again. If you went the length of the field, you would be at the opposite end’s field goal post and your total throw distance will be 120 yards or 360 feet. If you can consistently make that 360 foot shot, your throws should look much better on the course.

For more drills, check out my drills post below ⬇️.

“The 50 Best Disc Golf Drills to Change Your Game Forever.”

11. Become an athlete

One really underrated tip that I can give to up and coming disc golfers is to become an athlete. By this I mean you need to get healthy and fit.

If you take a look at the best disc golfers in the world, you’ll notice that they’re almost all very fit and in shape. That’s also the case with almost every other professional athlete on the planet. Disc golf is not overly demanding, but if you want to get significantly better, you’ve got to become a disc golf athlete: extremely fit and extremely dedicated to improving your game.

Check out our two workout posts below that were made specifically for disc golf ⬇️.

“The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to Keep You Fit.”

“The Only Disc Golf Core Workout You’ll Ever Need.”

12. Stretching and Recovery

If you want to really dig in to that last tip, I’ll take it even further and discuss two things that can affect your game – your willingness to stretch and your ability to recover from any workouts or disc golf rounds.

Stretching before rounds can have a positive impact on your disc golf game by allowing you to warm up earlier. That could mean a better score. Stretching after rounds can help speed up recovery.

Recovery after workouts, tough disc golf rounds, or any time your muscles are significantly used is basically how the body heals itself from damage done by those workouts. Whenever you use and stress your muscles, they get tiny little microtears in them. Your body then recovers and heals those tiny tears to help your muscles get bigger and stronger.

Muscle recovery is extremely important. If you don’t allow for recovery or your body doesn’t recover properly, those tiny tears could become bigger and start causing injury. You can read more about why muscle recovery is important here on Verywellfit.com.

For an awesome post on stretching for disc golf, check out, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Stretches to Improve Your Game.”

For a great post on how to recover quickly for your next round, check out, “The 11 Step Plan to Recover After a Disc Golf Workout.”

13. Watch some professional disc golf!

From the comfort of your couch, you can watch how the pros play in just about every single professional tournament. By doing this, you’ll be able to watch their strategy, disc selection, and their mindset of how they play each hole and get through each round. You can learn a lot from this and the commentary often gives even more tips and feedback to learn from.

YouTube features pretty much all pro disc golf tournaments, including those filmed by the channels below. Check them all out through each respected link:

JomezPro

Central Coast Disc Golf

SpinTV

Another way to watch the pros is by going to see a tournament in person. I mean, live tournaments are awesome. If you get a chance to go to one, do it. The atmosphere at the course is electrifying and they really are cool to watch. On top of that, you can get gear for relatively cheap from big name brand and local disc golf suppliers.

You can find this year’s pro tour schedule here on PDGA.com.

14. Enter a local tournament

Now that your skills are more refined, it’s time to take it up a notch. You might not feel ready, but you need to start putting some pressure on yourself to improve. It’s time to enter and play your first tournament. This can motivate you and show you the true skill of some players. Plus, players are always willing to help you learn your way on the course. Getting into a tournament can be a great way to improve and get some real competitive experience under your belt.

If you’re nervous or you just need some mental motivation for your first tournament, check out my guest post, “Mental Game: Five Tips For Your First Tournament,” on PDGA.com.

15. Find a mentor or someone better to play against

I love mentors. And I also love the challenge of playing people that are better than you in a certain sport.

Mentors in disc golf are usually older, wiser, more experienced players who have been crushing it on the course for years. These players know technique, strategy, and everything else in between. You need a mentor for a lot of reasons but mainly because there’s really only so much you can learn on the internet. You need real life experience with a person who’s made mistakes and can help you learn from them.

If you cant find a mentor, just find someone that’s better than you that can teach you the game. That competition will help you improve your game and help you get to the level where you can start to be that better player/mentor for other players.

For more, check out my post, “7 Reasons You Need a Mentor in Disc Golf.”

16. Record yourself for feedback

Now this next tip is not for the faint of heart. For this tip, you will need to be part of a disc golf community online like Reddit’s r/discgolf group. Join one if not already apart of one. Next, simply record yourself throwing a backhand, forehand, or whatever other kind of throw you’d like people to critique then post it on there. On top of one-half the community ripping you to shreds for everything you’re doing wrong, you should get some good critical feedback to help you improve your form and technique.

Also, don’t forget to watch the video yourself. Even if you didn’t feel yourself doing something wrong, you might be able spot a mistake from a side view or from the outsider’s perspective. All of this can help you find little flaws in your game that can help you to improve in a very short period of time (if you take advantage of it).

Check out the Reddit r/discgolf community here.

17. Master all the throws

Once you start developing your skills on the course, you should go all in on learning all of the different types of disc golf shots and throws. Then start learning how to use them on the course.

If you’re brand new, you should master the backhand and the forehand first before moving on to the more advanced throws that I’m referring to. The backhand and forehand are basically your two staple shots that can take care of 90% of the needs on the disc golf course. If you have both of those down, you’ll be fine.

But to really up your game, you need to learn the throws that help you on the other 10% of shots. Once you can throw backhand and forehand, start working on thumbers, tomahawks, rollers, and any other shot that you would like to learn. This will open up your game and give you multiple ways to play each and every hole. The overall benefit can be a better score.

For more, check out our post called, “What Are All the Different Types of Throws in Disc Golf?”

18. Don’t short your short game

Your short game, or putting as most call it, is the most important part of your game in disc golf. Now that’s just my opinion, but most of the time, you’re not going to end up with an easy putt. And I know you’ve heard the all-too-valid quote, “drive for show, putt for dough.”

Like I said, though, on most holes, you will end up with tough putts for birdies or for par. So your short game has to be on point for when you’re in those putting situations. Just check out a few of the tough putts that pros have in the video below ⬇️.

Link to video on YouTube.

So you can see that your short game can really make or break your final score. It doesn’t matter how well you throw, because if your short game sucks, your score will suck, too. You could park a beautiful 300 foot shot 30 feet from the basket, miss the putt, and end up with a par on that easy par 3 hole. Or you could be spot on with your putts and make the shot for a sweet birdie. The pros will almost always make that birdie. So you can see that your short game is really going to be what separates you from the rest of the pack.

For some drills to improve your putting, check out my putting drills post here.

For some tips on improving your putting, check out my putting tips post here.

19. Go the distance with your distance

Although I believe that putting is the most important part of disc golf, it doesn’t mean that I don’t believe driving and approaching are important. They’re just important in their own way. You still need to be able to get decent distance on your throws to be a good player.

Distance is still extremely important because there’s always “distance” from the teepad to the basket. And if you don’t get that distance, you can’t approach and you definitely can’t putt for the win.

But just remember: you don’t have to throw distance drivers to get good distance on your throws. As you gradually work up from a putter, your distance should start improving. All the other types of discs can get some good distance, too.

So my recommendation for improving your distance is to play with a putter for at least a month or more. I’ve already said that you should do that earlier in this post. It will help you in more ways than just distance. But on top of using only a putter, you should continually work on your throws doing a lot of field work if possible. Your accuracy, technique, form, and distance should all get a good boost from this practice.

For more tips on how to improve your distance, check out my post, “The 27 Best Disc Golf Distance Tips for Beginners.”

20. Goals

I gotta say up front that goals are extremely important! That’s why I’ve left this tip for next to last. If you want to achieve anything in life, you should have goals. They are fundamental to measuring your success and allow you to keep track of where you are and where you’re going. So you should definitely have goals if you’re trying to improve in disc golf.

If you’ve already decided that you want to get more competitive, you should start setting two kinds of goals: long term and short term.

Your long term disc golf goals will be a road map of what you want to achieve over a period of time – say 6 to 12 months – in the sport. An example would be: I want to beat that really good friend I have, be able to throw the disc 300+ feet, and play in my first tournament in no more than a year from today. Very achievable, realistic, and specific.

Your short term disc golf goals should be a couple of specific things you want to achieve in the next round or two. An example would be: I want to try to par every hole or better in the next round, throw my disc straighter, try to be more accurate, and start to work on my forearm throw. Again, achievable, realistic, and specific.

For more on goals, check out my post, “11 Powerful Reasons Why Goals Are Important in Disc Golf.”

Also, this article here on SportRec.com is pretty good. It shows all of the possible benefits of setting goals in sports.

21. Read “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual”

The 21st and final tip is going to be a shameless plug for the disc golf book that I wrote…I know, I’m going to have some angry disc golfers tell me that this isn’t a real tip and that I should’ve actually put a tip in here. To them I say, “Buy the book, read it, and I guarantee it will help you in some way or another.” It has over 200 pages of content for every disc golfer to use for learning, understanding, and improving their disc golf game. It’s not a tip, it’s an entire book full of tips. So check it out here on the site.

Related Content

101 Disc Golf Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level

Disc Golf 101: A Step By Step Beginner’s Guide

50 Ways to Get More Birdies and Improve Your Disc Golf Game

Red

I am an avid disc golfer and lover of the sport. My mission with DiscgolfNOW.com is to reach as many people as possible to help them love disc golf, too!

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