- Throw a lower weight disc. Some folks don’t check the weight on a disc when they initially buy it but that’s the first thing you should look at. For those who don’t know, a disc’s weight is written on the underside. When I’m in a wide open field one of the discs that I can max out is an old beat up 150g PD2 from Discmania. I bag 175g discs for control, not distance. Innova makes Blizzard plastic so you can get the same molds you love but in lighter weights. Lighter weight discs are easier to get up to speed and are more affected by the wind. There’s a reason the world’s longest drives have been with lightweight discs and not 175g discs. So if you’re in non windy or tailwind conditions, make sure you use a lighter disc. If you’re facing heavy wind or headwind, just throw something stable.
- Go for a full flex shot. It’s often called an S-curve in the disc golf world, because viewed from above it would look like an S. You want your disc to be in the air a long time so it can glide and get all that energy out that you put into it. You won’t be getting max distance with a Sexton Firebird, you need a disc that will turn for you, and then fade back at the end. For many touring pro players that disc is an Innova Destroyer. That’s too much disc for me, so when I’m throwing for max distance I use something slower than a Destroyer, something I know will flip over, like a Wraith.
- Get something with Glide. You’re going to want your max distance shot to be airborne for a long time. A disc with a glide rating of 4 isn’t going to hang out in the air. Look for discs like the Shryke, Tern, and Mystere. These all have a long glide rating and are perfect for an understable turn (as mentioned in point #2) The extra glide is going to give your disc more time to move from side to side and forward in the flight. A disc with a glide rating of 5 or 6 will be your longest driving disc. Don’t bother with the 4-glide drivers and distance.
- Slowly work on your form. I’m going to compare disc golf driving to Tai Chi, a class I took at USM several years ago to fulfill some random credit. When I first started, the movements were jerky and difficult. I was struggling with the basics. The more I practiced, the more I became smooth in my actions. Soon I was able to move more quickly and keep the correct motion. This is how it works in disc golf as well. You don’t need to practice distance solely by ripping on your disc down the fairway. Work on a slow X-Step, practice your full reachback, the pull, and don’t forget your follow through! You’ll be getting more distance in a few weeks. Good things come to those who are patient. Try going through slowly each time you’re on the teepad next round.
- Believe in yourself. Positive mental thoughts are awesome. Instead of “Don’t hit that tree” think of something like “Get through that gap” or “Get to the other side of the clearing.” It’s something I do when I get on the tee, don’t think of hitting the bad thing, think of doing the right thing. It’s a little different but I believe it helps overall to project a good mental image for you. For distance shots I think of how my favorite part of the flight is when the disc stops going straight and starts to turn over. That little flip is my favorite thing to watch. So think of how far you’re going to throw this disc, how long it’s going to be in the air, and how nice it will feel when everyone on your card says “nice shot.”
- Take your time. Don’t just drop your bag, pull out your driver and rip without a warmup throw; that’s not usually going to work. Take a breath, you’re not running the 100 meter race so just … slow… down… Focus on the one shot you have in front of you. Go back to point #5 about positive thoughts. When I’m giving a driving lesson, I don’t let people throw more than two or three times before I stop them. Each drive should be its own shot. There aren’t do-overs so don’t rush it, and make sure you know what you want the disc to do. You’re less likely to have a bad drive if you slow down and think about it. When you’re watching live disc golf you see those pros take 10-20 seconds on the box, make sure you’re taking that time for yourself as well.
So these are my 6 tips to try when you’re going for max distance. Plus here’s a bonus one for you. Many folks lie about their distance on the internet. UDisc doesn’t have fact checkers out there when someone walks 40 feet past their disc or when they throw slightly downhill on a windy day either. So focus on you and your game, don’t worry about what random people on the internet say their max distance is. There’s a lot of people who throw “500” feet that really don’t. Let me know if you folks have any questions in the comments, or if I missed any tips be sure to share them here for others.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397