When you’re new to disc golf, it can be intimidating to see the pros complete a game in one hour that takes you approximately five, but there’s no need for alarm. With a few changes in your form, you’ll start to see massive improvements.
But where do you start? One of the easiest but most versatile moves is the backhand, which is where we’ll begin. Professionals Eric Oakley, Will Schusterick, Paul McBeth, Dave Dunipace, and Discraft explain what helps them succeed. Included here are the synopsis of their videos.
The most important part of any disc launch is the throw, right? Well, you’re partially correct. The way you throw a disc will help determine the direction and power of the throw. The steps of the perfect backhand utilise all parts of the body from your toes to your fingers, so follow these steps to get started.
Hands: You have one of two options for gripping your disc: a fan or power grip. For the fan grip, your thumb holds on to the bottom of the disc while the rest of your fingers fan out. Both Eric Oakley and Will Schusterick drill using a power grip. All fingers curl around the lip of the disc. Though either grip can give you that perfect throw, most professionals opt for the power grip.
Arms: Your dominant arm (the one holding the disc) should create a perfect line, guiding your disc from behind you directly to where you want it to go. Reach your dominant hand across your body to start the throw. Then, pull the disc close to your body to create the perfect line. The further your arm travels from your body, the less power you have, so hug it close.
So, what does your other arm do? True, your dominant hand may seem like the lead of the show, but your other arm is just as important. Your opposite arm is responsible for propelling your upper body in the perfect 180-degree spin, which bring us to the next section.
Will Schusterick and Discraft both relate to elbow pain from throwing a disc in a way that might tear your ligaments. So, use your arm as a guide and your body as an anchor. As you throw, focus on how your body feels and stop if you feel pain. The only way to succeed is to practice the throw correctly.
Torso: Just try throwing a disc without moving your torso. The disc probably won’t make it very far. So, if you are driving, put everything you can in that torso rotation. If you are putting, use as little rotation as possible to significantly reduce your power.
Feet: Dave Dunipace, the founder of Innova, takes a particular interest in footwork. The way you move your feet can make or break how well you throw the backhand. First, plant your feet with both feet pointing toward 90-degrees from the direction of the basket. As you sweep your arm across your body, grape-vine for two steps then pivot on your heel with your front foot. When you pivot on your heel, you get far more power than pivoting on the ball of your foot.
DRIVING IT HOME