State of Disc Golf 2017–Wanna Throw Far?

So, do you wanna throw far? Or at least farther than you can right now? As disc golfers, I think we all would say we’d like the ability to get our discs a little further down the fairway. Those of us who have had the opportunity to play long championship level courses know that the guy in the group with the longest drive has a nice advantage. Of course, you can argue, “drive for show, putt for dough” right? But I don’t think too many folks would disagree that a good drive won’t hurt your chances of pulling in that dough either.

How Far Do Disc Golfers Throw?

So, how do we throw far? I don’t think anyone will argue with or be surprised with the answer I found from the results of the State of Disc Golf Survey…but what looks like the key ingredient to throwing far is: Practice. Practice, practice, practice—specifically, field work. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers.

Here we see how all participants in the survey answered our question about average driving distance. In my last article, I analyzed how practice affected our skill levels, and I identified weekly field work as a good indicator and separator for how well we play disc golf. Well, as I broke down how far we throw compared to whether or not we did weekly field work, I found a pretty consistent pattern.

Field Work

This chart shows the percentage of people within each throwing distance that do field work at least once per week. Of everyone who took the survey, 31.5% said they do field work at least every week. As we can see, there is a pretty consistent trend—The farther you throw, the more likely it is that you are doing field work at least once per week. Again, I don’t expect any of this to be surprising, but there was one other pattern I found to be pretty interesting–disc ownership.

Disc Ownership

How many discs do we own? And is there any correlation to how far we throw? To analyze this, I broke down the answers for the number of discs we own into three based on the responses we get. Each account for about 33% of the total: 0-30 discs (33.3%), 31-80 discs (35.4%), and 81+ discs (31.4%). Then I plugged these three in with how far we throw in the same way I did with weekly field work, and here is what I found.

First, a look at those who own 30 or less discs. We see the highest response percentages with those who throw the shorter distances.

The 31-80 discs range has the most representation in the middle distances.

Then, naturally, the 81+ discs answer was most popular with the farthest throwing groups.

So, does this mean all you need to do to throw far is by more discs? Not exactly, but I think what this is a good indicator of is how involved we are in disc golf. The more discs you own, I’d think the less casual your disc golf experience is.

So the secret formula to throwing far isn’t all that secret—just get out there and practice! Field work works, and stay involved in disc golf (aka, let that disc collection grow a little bit :)). Of course, proper technique is key. There are so many great tutorials out there to help you, like this one from Will Schusterick:

So get out and throw, and throw far!

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