Types of Disc Golf Throws Explained
There are basically five disc golf throws that you should be familiar with when you are learning how to play the game. These include the hyzer, anhyzer, overhand/thumber, roller, and sidearm.
But you also have to remember that there are other processes involved which include the proper throwing done by choosing your grip, stance, windup, and release. There are also some external factors that can affect your game, which include the natural elements of rain or wind, not to mention the pressure that you feel in the actual game.
If you are a beginner, you have to focus on how it is played, including the rules and the scoring. With that, it is important that you should not feel frustrated as you are still working on your throws, especially if you see a variety of players of different levels and skill sets.
However, before you get familiar with the basic throws in the sport of disc golf, perhaps it would be proper to introduce yourself first to the basic techniques.
Initiating the proper grip in disc golf
You should know that there is no right or wrong grip in disc golf. The important thing to consider is the orientation of the disc alignment with your arm. This will make the disc an extension of your arm.
Imagine a line drawn through the length of the disc, which matches up evenly forming a long line with it running down your arm. Therefore, you shouldn’t hold the disc angling upward because it is not the proper grip.
- Hold the disc in the seam of your hand – You can draw a line from the point between your middle and index finger toward the center of your wrist to find the seam. This is where the axis of the disc should be laying against.
- Angle your wrist downward – This will allow the line running through the disc axis to align with your arm. If you keep a straight wrist, however, you will now be moving the disc into the wrong position.
- Place your thumb above the disc – Find a comfortable position for your thumb on top of the disc while your fingers maneuver underneath. Put pressure on the upper edge of the disc using your index finger, while the third and middle fingers put pressure on the lip of the disc.
Practice your best stance for the win
Stance is essential when you are preparing for a disc throw. This depends on the type of throw you are going to perform. Thus, you need to keep a balanced posture upon release to achieve a quality throw.
You can achieve this by ensuring that your feet are spaced apart properly. So, the lower you are to the ground, the better your balance will become. You can slightly bend your knees in a shallow crouch. Having a balanced stance will help you generate more power in your legs that will then be transferred to the disc upon release.
Initiating the right windup in disc golf
Don’t underestimate the windup in disc golf throws because it is essential to achieve a better outcome. The whole throw will evolve from the right windup which actually creates consistency in your game.
Note that whether throwing forehand or backhand, lefty or righty, you should keep your windup the same for each throw. Therefore, you need to keep your windup calculated, slow, and methodical.
Remember not to snap the disc back because it can result to slack in controlling your throw. Your release should not look good if you don’t have full control of the disc when executing the throw. That said, your throw will end up worse off the mark.
Initiating the proper release in disc golf
You might have already heard it but the hardest aspect of throwing in disc golf is mastering the release. Take note that all effort you have invested into the throw should come together at this point. Just a tiny amount of error in your throw will result in dozens of yards off your target.
Make sure that your arm is fully extended to initiate an ideal release. This includes putting your weight off your legs as you move forward while extending your fingers. You can practice this by facing a wall or a net with a target on it.
Stand about 10-15 feet away and try hitting the target using the same release point while using the proper stance for the type of throw you are practicing. Release points may vary from one side to another. Likewise, releasing it too late or too early will affect the direction or distance of the disc.
Types of disc golf throws to get familiar with
You need to know that the different types of disc throws are not a necessity for each disc golf player. However, the more you will understand and practice these throws the more tools you will be able to build to your advantage. Here are different types of throws and the components of each that you need to get familiar with.
- Backhand disc golf throw
This is the most common disc golf throw which has been derived from the sport of tennis which executes a similar stroke. The grip becomes ideal for the backhand throw if you cup the disc on the outside and across your body. Use your thumb on top and finger underneath, while keeping the index finger farthest from the ridge.
You will find that the side-straddle stance or the foot-forward stance is very well suited for the backhand throw in disc golf. Just keep your feet in proper alignment and aim toward the target. You will notice that the disc will travel in that direction once you have mastered the release point.
From your throwing hand, bring the disc toward the opposite side of your body for the windup. You may also curl the disc toward your left if you are right-handed, just around the lower end of your ribcage.
If you want to gain maximum power from this throw, you can turn your shoulders including your hips away from your target. You can fully extend your arm and snap your wrist forward to release the disc. Master the snap of your wrist and release timing because that is one of the most crucial aspects of throwing.
- Sidearm or forearm disc golf throw
The use of the sidearm throw can be done by either facing the opposite direction of the backhand or using the straddle stance to face the target with feet parallel to it. Thus, the grip is similar to the backhand but you need to curl your wrist outward instead of inward.
However, this type of throw is more complicated in comparison to the backhand in terms of creating control and stability of the disc. If you want to gain more distance though, this throw can generate more speed and power.
- Overhead disc golf throw
You should practice the overhead throw in order to gain an advantage from it. Such a type of throw resembles the throwing of a tomahawk and the grip to be used is just like that of the forehand. The toss, however, provides a unique flight pattern making it ideal for getting over or around obstacles.
You can use the stand similar to that of the sidearm or forehand throw but the straddle or the foot forward stance is excellent. The windup can be the same as the sidearm but your arm must be brought over your shoulder and above your head.
- The hyzer disc golf throw
This type of disc golf throw is designed to use the advantage of the natural angle of the disc. As a right-hand disc golfer, you can use a backhanded throwing style. This way, the disc will travel toward the left side following the natural angle.
You should understand the natural angle of the disc so that you can plan your next angle of approach. That said, you may consider a tree that is blocking your target wherein the hyzer type of throw and angle the golf disc further down to help you generate a harder angled turn.
- Anhyzer disc golf throw
Use the anhyzer type of throw if you need to move the golf disc toward the opposite way. If you are a right-handed player, you can angle the left side of the disc in an upward position. The disc will then move toward the right once it is released to go against the disc’s natural angle.
This will require practice in order to master the hyzer and anhyzer throwing techniques. But you should also understand that it will depend on how much of an angle the disc is released and on how much angle is needed to move it by compensating for the distance that will be lost.
- Roller disc golf throw
This type of throw is done on an anhyzer release angle. The disc will actually turn over when it makes contact with the ground while rolling mostly of its distance. You can achieve this by putting your shoulders back and pulling the disc through using a high release point.
You will be able to see that the disc will travel even further with the roller throw compared to your regular aerial throws. It can sometimes get you out of trouble when you are put in a bad position.