Distance in disc golf. That’s what we want! How do we get it? Now that’s the $64,000 dollar question and one that I’m going to try to answer for you today. I’m also going to give you a list of 7 different things that are holding you back from the distance that you really want. But before we get into it, let’s take a look at a post written by InfiniteDiscs.com here called, “State of Disc Golf 2019 – Average Throwing Distances.”
That post covers the topic of distance as reported by players in the 2019 State of Disc Golf Survey conducted by Infinite Discs. Players answered their age and how far they could throw a disc golf disc. Now barring any exaggeration, the results were reported and the average disc golfer stated that they could throw between 251 and 350 feet. And Those numbers made up more than 50% percent of all players who answered the survey.
Now 350 feet is pretty decent, but it’s still not crazy far. I’d say this is probably where my distance tops out at. So try to gauge your distance and find out how far you can actually throw. Because the average intermediate disc golfer is throwing around 300 feet. So you might be doing better than you think. But if you’re still struggling with distance, we’ve got your back. Here are 7 things that are holding you back from getting serious distance in your disc golf game.
7 things holding you back from serious distance in disc golf
1. Your discs
I want you to first take a look at the discs you’re throwing. Those discs are probably above your skill level. This is the single biggest issue that players have when trying to develop and improve their distance game. Beginner to intermediate players pick up discs that they’re not ready to throw yet because they want the toughest, fastest discs that you can possibly throw. Distance? Hell yeah, give me distance drivers! That was me when I first started playing.
The first five or six rounds I had featured an assortment of throws from an Innova Katana, Innova Beast, Dynamic Discs Sheriff, and a Discraft Mantis. NOT the kind of discs you should be throwing as a beginner. So that made me bad…no, worse than bad. I was awful and I needed to do something to get better. Finally, I started listening to advice. Don’t use any drivers at first. Next, Disc. The. F*ck. Down.
I started fresh using mainly my Innova Wombat, Innova Atlas, Discraft Buzzz and Dynamic Discs Judge. I was able to disc down, or drop down in disc from using mid-range discs and drivers, to mainly only using putters and mid-range discs. Those discs are much easier to control for beginners and usually fly much straighter. These discs are much more forgiving for newer players and can help you learn the game a little bit better.
The irony is that using distance drivers when you’re not ready will actually hinder your ability to get distance on your throws. So skip the drivers and instead, use putters and mid-range discs to learn the game. These discs will slowly help you gain more skill, learn and understand the game, and throw farther.
Check out the posts below and get a couple of the discs that we recommend ⬇️:
2. Your technique
You throwing technique has a lot to do with how far you can throw your disc. If your technique is bad, you won’t be able to throw as far. In our post, “7 Steps to the Best Disc Golf Technique and a Perfect Throw,” we highlight all of the steps necessary to perfect your technique and seriously improve your game. Let’s take a quick look at all of the steps.
• Grip: it all starts with good grip. You want to make sure you’re picking the grip that’s right for you and not holding your disc too tight or too loose.
• Hip rotation: you want to try and get as much hip rotation on your throw as you can while maintaining balance. If you can do that, your technique will start to come together nicely.
• Reach back: you want to literally reach your disc back as far as you can get it at about a 45° degree angle before you bring it back through for your throw.
• Look away from line of sight: even if it seems like looking away from your target may feel wrong, you want to turn your head toward your arm reaching back to allow for maximum hip rotation and maximum reach back.
• Lead with your elbow: when bringing your arm back through to throw, you want your elbow to come through first so that your disc can be thrown on the straightest line possible.
• Big, strong final step: your taking one big final step with the same side leg as the arm you’re throwing with. That final step gets you more momentum on your throw.
• The follow through: after your arm comes through, you don’t want to just stop all momentum. This could cause injury. So make sure to let your arm and body come through and finish the rotation.
As you can see, there are quite a few steps to good technique. And neglecting any of them can completely throw off everything. If that happens, you can forget about distance. Check out our technique post here for more on learning good technique. If you learn technique, your distance will improve dramatically. Check out the video below ⬇️. It shows four different pros all seemingly in sync with each other. That’s because they have phenomenal form and technique. That’s what we’re working towards.
3. “Slow is smooth and smooth is far”
This was probably the biggest gamechanger for me as far as distance goes in disc golf. This is taking everything from a technique standpoint and slowing it down. When I first started playing, I thought you had to try and throw as hard as physically possible. Combine that with those dang drivers and it was a combination for complete failure as a beginner. It also caused me to partially tear my rotator cuff in one of my rounds when I was trying to run up on the teepad and throw my disc as hard as physically possible.
I had no idea what I was doing and was amazed how much better my throws were when I finally started to slow down and control my throws (instead of just trying to sling my disc hard as f*ck). In disc golf, there is a saying that I want you to remember: “slow is smooth and smooth is far.” If you can only remember one thing from this post, remember that. That tip was one of the most important things that I’ve learned in disc golf to date. All I did was slow down and I had already improved my disc golf game 100%.
4. Your timing
Timing is everything on the disc golf course. Timing, or the moment you go from throwing motion to disc release, is important because you want your throw and release to be perfectly timed. That perfect timing, along with everything else done correctly, can help you maximize every bit of distance that you can get. Focus on timing your throws to release straight ahead.
5. Your strength, flexibility, and power
There are a couple fitness related things that can hinder your distance abilities and they’re pretty easy to improve. Normally for newer disc golfers, there’s a lack of strength, flexibility and power behind throws that will limit distance at first. I recommend improving your strength by working out off the course. Check out the two posts below that can help you with this:
I also recommend improving your flexibility and you can do that by either checking out our post here on stretching and flexibility or checking out our YouTube video below on flexibility.
Now power is something that not many achieve in the sport of disc golf. According to google.com, power is , “to move or travel with great speed or force.” But power is something special if you can use it in disc golf to gain more distance. I believe power is a mixture of speed, strength, and explosiveness, combined to equal great force in whatever you’re trying to accomplish. If you can improve everything else above, your power will improve as well.
6. Your pride
Pride is something that gets to a lot of new disc golfers and can be something that really holds you back from gaining good distance in your disc golf game. What do I mean by pride? Well, have you ever wanted to impress your buddies on the course by trying to throw your disc as hard and far as possible? Have you ever wanted to show off to the group behind you or waiting for you to play through? Yep, that’s your pride getting to you and making you want to show off. What does that do for you? Nothing. Nothing but hinder your game. Don’t worry about other people and just play your game and make yourself better at disc golf.
7. Your patience
Finally, your patience is something huge that can hold you back from major distance in disc golf. Most players don’t want to put in the work and have patience with themselves. This leads to frustration, moving up in disc too fast, and possibly even quitting disc golf. All of those things will limit you getting better and improving your distance game.
I know you don’t want to hear this last tip, but I want you to try and not worry as much about improving your distance as a new to intermediate player. Like I said earlier, your distance is probably better than you realize anyways. But from here on out, just focus on improving your game, practicing as much as possible, using discs appropriate for your skill level, making sure your technique is as solid as possible, slowing down just a bit, getting your disc release timing down, becoming stronger, more flexible, and more powerful, forgetting about pride on the course, and becoming as patient with yourself as possible. If you do all of those things, your distance game will improve tenfold.
Want more disc golf? Check it out in the posts below ⬇️:
Thanks for reading, disc golfers!
Don’t forget about the book!
Before you go, don’t forget to check out the best beginner disc golf book on the planet, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” This ebook is packed with over 200+ pages of the best tips, tricks, and advice for new players