As the fall slowly turns into winter, bags start getting hung up, discs get stacked, days get shorter, and players turn in for the long, cold months ahead.
Now don’t get me wrong because those months are tough to play in. A couple of them are super cold! But the winter can prove to be some of the best and most fun disc golf that you can ever play out in the disc golf course.
So today we’re going to be looking at more reasons why it’s important to play disc golf in the winter and 11 of the best winter disc golf tips to help heat up your game this season! Alright, let’s get to it!
Why it’s important to play in cold weather
1. Improve your skills: the winter gives you a lot of time to prep and practice for the disc golf competitive months. You may be able to get a tournament or two in, but most of the disc golf in the winter will be just you and your friends playing. Practice hard and you will improve significantly over the winter.
2. Don’t let your skills diminish: over the course of an entire winter season, if you don’t play at all, your skills will definitely diminish. Some players hate the cold and so they won’t play at all. This is your time to take advantage of what other players are taking for granted. The Winter is the time to practice and improve. So don’t wait and don’t sit by and let other less skilled players lap you!
3. Play more…and on the busiest courses!: the best part about playing in the winter? The courses are much less busy than normal. That means you have the ability to play more on any course! Dont let the cold weather stop you from playing. Check out our 11 best tips for the winter in the section below!
The 11 Best Winter Disc Golf Tips to Heat Up Your Game
1. Stay Hydrated and Nourished
This first tip is by far the most important concept in almost all of disc golf. It doesn’t directly apply to the game of disc golf but it can affect how you play in any temperature. Whether it’s hot or cold, you need to be nourished and hydrated. But this is especially important in the winter because you’re feeling cold and you may not think about needing any nourishment or hydration. Your body doesn’t tell you like it does when you’re hot and sweating.
You need to make sure you’re eating a decent meal beforehand and snacking to keep up your energy during each winter round. You want to also get hydrated before you play and continue drinking plenty of water to keep dehydration away. If you do that, your rounds this winter should go pretty well.
2. Dress AWAP…but in layers
When out on the course in the winter, you want to dress As Warm As Possible. You don’t want to have to think about being cold on the course. Dress warm and your body will love you while you play.
I also want you to make sure you don’t just put on two heavy fleece/wool sweaters. Because too much clothing could make you hot. Then if you take off one of those layers, you might not have enough on and you could get too cold. My suggestion? Micro Layering.
By micro layering, you’re putting on multiple thin layers of clothing to eventually allow yourself to be comfortably warm while you play. Like I said, don’t just grab two huge layers like a sweat shirt and a big coat. That won’t allow you to adjust your clothing very well. This may also be too constricting and will not allow you to throw very well.
Try wearing 4-5 different thin layers to help you microadjust while you’re out. Try an Under Armour Coldgear compression shirt with sleeves, a t-shirt, a thin sweatshirt, and a light jacket or windbreaker. Those 4 layers should keep you warm enough. I would take a medium sized jacket to add on if needed. If it gets warmer, start taking off one layer at a time as needed. If you do that, you’ll feel great and you’ll play great!
3. Disc Selection
Disc selection is extremely important during those winter rounds. The discs you choose can make or break you playing well and could cost you if you choose the wrong discs.
Here are a couple of discs to stay away from: white or earth colored discs, extremely stiff plastic, and valuable discs that are impossible to replace. If you use these discs, you could lose them or your disc could crack and break. All that means you have to spend more money to buy new discs. Now, buying new discs is not really a bad thing. But you don’t want to lose the discs you already have and probably like.
Here are the discs that you should take out with you on the course: you want grip, flexibility, light weight, and less stable discs during those tough winter rounds.
Grip and disc flexibility are probably the most important parts of this tip. If you’re playing in snow or wetness on the course, you need a grippy disc like the DX plastic from Innova. You also want to find discs that are soft and flexible. Plastic that can bend a little bit. Because stiff discs in cold weather equal cracked and broken discs.
I also want you to find a couple discs that are lighter and less stable. You want your discs to be able to get you extra distance because you’re going to be taking it a lot slower through your throws. You’ll likely lose some distance, but lighter, less stable discs will help you earn at least a little bit of feet back.
So remember: You want grippy, flexible, light, less stable discs for your winter rounds. Skip discs that are slick, stiff, heavy, and overstable.
If you can find a disc as suggested, do it. My recommendation is a lightweight Discraft Buzzz in Jawbreaker plastic – flexible, grippy, light, and stable. Perfect for winter rounds.
4. Stretch before your rounds
Before you start playing in the cold weather, I want you to stop and do a little bit of stretching. I would stress that just getting out in the cold and starting to throw without any warmup is not good for your body. In the cold, muscles are tight and can easily get injured without a proper warmup. So definitely do some stretching before you play. For our awesome stretching post, check out, “The 17 Best Disc Golf Stretches to Improve Your Game.”
5. Always be prepared for bad weather
One thing that I’ve learned over many years of playing sports in the cold is that you always need to be prepared for bad weather. This is also just a good tip for normal playing conditions. I always prepare myself for bad weather. This is especially important in the cold weather because it can get really nasty and cold. The weather can turn bad in just a few minutes and you need to be prepared for ice and snow just in case you have to hurry back to your car after playing 4 or 5 holes.
I would recommend making sure to dress appropriately for the cold and taking an extra light jacket, an extra set of winter gloves like these on Amazon (besides whatever Friction gloves you may have), and a pack of hot hands with you (you can get hot hands here on Amazon as well).
6. Take it slow
When the weather gets bad, the course can get very precarious. The course can be slippery and you can get seriously injured if you’re trying to play through too fast (or if you’re trying to throw as hard as you possibly can). Even if it’s not winter, the course can be slippery. But in the winter, we deal with “slippery” on a whole new level with rain, sleet, snow and ice. This can all cause a lot of problems on the course. So take it slow during those winter rounds and you’ll be fine.
Use those lightweight, less stable discs we talked about earlier and try to use more roller shots. That will help you continue playing well while having to go a little bit slower in your throwing motion.
If you haven’t learned how to throw a proper roller up to this point in your disc golf career, this winter is the perfect opportunity to learn and perfect this technique. Why would you want to learn the roller? Well, because the ground is normally pretty hard from how cold it is outside and so rollers can be really great options due to this. That hard ground normally won’t slow down a roller like wet or soft ground will. That means you should learn rollers and use them! They can really help you.
The video below will show you how to throw a proper roller shot ⬇️.
8. Don’t risk your safety
This tip really builds off the last two tips. I just told you how you need to be prepared for the weather and use caution while you’re playing. Because bad weather can really creep up on you and the course can get really slippery in the winter/snow/sleet/etc. But the weather can get to a point where it just isn’t safe to be out. With that, I don’t want you to risk your safety or your life for a round of disc golf. Those baskets will last through the winter and will be there in the spring. So you’ll get more opportunities to play. If the weather gets bad enough, call it a day and come back again when the weather allows it.
9. Try Friction warm weather gloves
As you may know, I’m a huge fan of the Friction disc golf glove (link to Amazon.com). They are really awesome. You can also check out my review here. I use one on my throwing hand for every round. And now they’ve recently revamped their popular Friction 3 gloves for cold weather! So the Friction Warms are here! I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly review them yet but once I do, I’ll update this part here and you’ll be able to find that review here. If you’re looking to get a Friction Warm pair for winter, grab them here on Amazon.com.
10. The Ribbon technique
The Ribbon technique is a simple, effective way to play in the worst of conditions such as the snow and the sleet. Now again, if the weather is too bad, you shouldn’t risk your safety just to get a round in. You know that, so I won’t harp on it anymore.
If conditions are safe and you’re looking to play when the ground is covered with some fresh white powder, “ribboning” is essential to not losing your discs. The ribbon technique is simple: put a long strand of colorful ribbon on your disc so that the ribbon (or ribbons) will stand out if it goes under the snow and is completely covered up. That ribbon will (hopefully) show you where your disc sat down. The ribbon will pretty much be a long colorful streamer to help you out if you’re daring enough to play in the snow. Easy enough! Here’s how to put one on…I’ll also put a video below for easy reference.
1. It starts with your disc: one extra way to help yourself out in pure white snow is to use a colorful disc. Don’t use a white disc…or a green, brown, or dark colored disc that could be mistaken for mud. Use something bright like light blue, pink, purple, or orange.
2. Ribbon: You’re going to attach a 4 foot piece of ribbon using a 3 inch piece of duct tape to the bottom of the disc. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make sure you do this with a warm disc (or the tape won’t stick). Check out Discgolfopath’s ribbon video below ⬇️.
See? Easy peasy.
11. Check out our post, “How to Play Disc Golf in the Winter.”
My last tip on this list is actually check out my entire winter disc golf guide. I wrote “How to Play Disc Golf in the Winter” to help you out in every way possible during the cold months. That guide is exactly what I do to keep warm, what discs I use, what I pack in my bag, a couple of quick tips, and how to stay safe in the cold weather. That’s the ultimate guide for winter disc golf. You can check it out here on my site.
Playing disc golf in the cold weather can be some of the most fun disc golf that you could ever play. It’s a different environment that will test you in many different ways, especially if there’s a little snow on the ground. But cold weather play is SO much fun and can help you increase your skills on the course over those insanely cold winter months. So don’t waste that time sitting around inside for 3-4 months. Get outside and get playing. Because there’s most nothing better than playing in the cold.
Check out 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. If you want to get better, you need a copy of this!