With the global pandemic shutting down much of organized Ultimate in 2020, many Ultimate Frisbee players have picked up disc golf as a new hobby.
While these are both flying disc sports, the flight of Ultimate discs is substantially different than that of most disc golf discs. Ultimate Frisbee players are able to adapt to and excel at disc golf faster than many without frisbee backgrounds, but learning to throw disc golf discs can be a frustrating experience.
In this article we are going to discuss the best golf discs for ultimate frisbee players. We’re going to go over some of the different golf discs that fly and feel more like Ultimate Frisbees, and provide tips for helping Ultimate players transition to disc golf.
What are the best golf discs for Ultimate players? Comment for a chance to win a $50 gift card.
To help us out, we’re looking for feedback from people who now play disc golf who began with an Ultimate background. In the comments below, please let us know what disc golf drivers, midrange discs, and putters were best for you as you learn disc golf.
In this disc golf clinic, professional disc golfer and coach Dave Feldberg discusses basic disc golf tips for beginners. These tips will help you to improve your disc golf skills and have more fun on the course.
Three Tips for New Disc Golfers
1. Choose a beginner friendly course. Disc golf is meant to be fun. It is not fun playing courses that are too difficult and frustrating for your skill level. It is not fun to lose, or even spend lots of time looking for your new expensive disc golf discs. Most disc golfers who learn to play on easy courses are the ones who become lifers and are still playing today.
2. Buy used and inexpensive discs when you start. Used discs are more understable and so generally work better for beginners. Until you have played enough that you’ve mastered basic control, you don’t really know which discs you should be getting anyways. Once you feel comfortable, head over to Infinite Discs where you can buy inexpensive disc golf discs. You can purchase on sale discs, x-outs, misprints, and bulk sets for extra savings.
3. Don’t Imitate but build good habits. Dave’s third disc golf beginner tip is don’t imitate. Everybody is different. You don’t have the same length arms, you don’t have the same body type, speed, height, or weight. Learn how to throw biomechanically, with the proper technique which does not have to be the exact same as the way someone else throws. When you throw biomechanically you are throwing like in any sport. There is a correct way to move your arms, your legs, your head, the timing and the whole thing. Be sure to build good habits as building bad habits is hard to break. If you learn the correct technique at the beginning it is harder to have moderate success in the beginning, but by the end you will be the better player.
We met with Nate Sexton at the 2018 Las Vegas Challenge and asked if he could teach about the Sidearm throw. Nate is one of the the best disc golfers in the world, and has one of the most accurate and powerful Sidearm throws. He most often uses his sidearm throw with a Nate Sexton Firebird (aka SexyBird). In Vegas, he made a short video with us explaining how he grips the disc, his run-up, angle, and release. Hope you enjoy! Leave a comment if you learned something that will help your game!
Ricky Wysocki, the #2 ranked disc golfer in the world, and arguably the best putter, gives a few putting tips to a clinic at the Cache County Fairgrounds. There are a lot of different ways to putt, different ways to grip the disc, and different stances that all work. Ricky recommends that you use the grip and stance that works best for you.
He emphasis these three points to improve your putting game:
1. Use your entire body.
2. Use your lower body to provide the power. Your arm guides the disc while the lower body provides the power.
3. When you bring the disc down before the putt, bend your leg, shift your weight to your back leg, and let the leg pop forward to provide the power.
It is early November here in Northern Utah, and last week marked the first mornings when I needed to scrape the frost off of my car before driving to work. As much as I hate it, this will become a habit in the following months. Acknowledging this opens the door for me to recognize another reality that I hate–the disc golf offseason is upon us. Other than a few small local events, tournament season has all but ended.
The offseason is both literally and figuratively a cold, dark, and miserable time for the disc golfer. However, this break from competitive disc golf play provides an opportunity for reflection and improvement. For myself, I know that there are several elements of my game that I need to work on to bring my game up to the next level that I would like to compete at.
How Do We Improve our Disc Golf Game?
So how do we improve? I had the opportunity a few months ago to ask some of the best players in the game this very question. It was during the press conference at the 2016 Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft in Peoria, IL. The pro panel at this conference included 4 World Champions with 12 World Championships combined–Catrina Allen, Valerie Jenkins, Nate Doss, and Paul McBeth. I asked them to give some advice for amateur players who are hoping to improve their game.
Cat went first, and the first thing she mentioned was the importance of field work. This became a point of reference for everyone’s answers. Catrina went on to emphasize the importance of dedication. She encouraged players to throw and grow and throw some more. She also stressed the need to prioritize the field work over the casual rounds. “Stop playing casual rounds, and get to the field,” were her final words of advice. If you want to really compete, spend your time working in the field rather than playing a casual round at the course. Put in the work, and the results will follow.
Val agreed with Cat, but also stressed the importance of the fun of the game. She started out by saying how she has been playing for her whole life, and it has been important for her to still have fun. “Remember to have fun. That’s when you enjoy the sport the most.” She recommended ta players remember why they started disc golf and just continue to play, and then they will excel.
Val’s husband Nate spoke next. He started off by jokingly saying that his biggest piece of advice was to be 15 years old and have really long arms. All jokes aside though, he did stress that in today’s game you have to start young to compete at the top level. He went on to say that it’s not easy to be a top level disc golfer. It’s a dream, but a lot of hard work, and there’s a lot of alone time, but if you put in the work it will pay off.
The mechanics for driving, putting, and approach shots are really pretty similar, just on a different scale. Professional disc golfer Ricky Wysocki gives a few tips to improve mechanics and disc golf driving distance for backhand throws, forehand throws, and rollers.
A few general driving tips:
Use a straight forward run up. Line your shoulders up and run up in the direction you want to throw.
Don’t throw across your body. It’s bad for your back and bad for consistency.
Get your timing right. Driving distance and power is all about getting the mechanics right.
Driving is all about timing and weight shift using both lower and upper body to maximize potential.
Straight back, and straight forward.
Don’t curl your wrist.
Throw essentially the same shot for a hyzer or anhyzer, just place your body in a different position.
Get a full reach back. You will get more power when you’re fully extended and reaching all the way back. Fully extend on the reach back and on the follow through.
Timing issues are best fixed with time, and practicing in the field.
The form between sidearm and backhand is actually pretty similar.
Reach all the way back and forward with your follow through in the direction you want to throw.
Keep your elbow tucked in close to your body right before you throw.
Having a good upshot game can reduce putting stress and shave strokes off your round. In this clinic, Professional disc golfer Ricky Wysocki provides a few tips to help you improve your upshots.
Ricky says that these tips are pretty basic, but that it’s the basics that people fail to execute that causes most of the problems. Here are four of his tips for more accurate consistent approach shots:
1. Line up properly. Line your shoulders up with your feet so that all body parts are going the same direction.
2. Keep your legs in an athletic position, pointing where you want to throw about shoulder length apart.
3. Lock your wrist in position and keep it there the entire time. (Whether you’re throwing a hyzer, anhyzer, or tomahawk throw)
4. Eliminate the variables so that your disc only has one thing to do — go in the right direction.