When you are getting ready to play a disc golf tournament, you should take the time to prepare mentally and physically. Today, we want to talk about physical preparation. What can you do to get your body ready for a long day of tournament disc golf?
Many PDGA-sanctioned events require you to play two rounds in a day. These are very long days. Pace of play is always slower in a disc golf tournament setting compared to casual rounds. There’s a lot of waiting around and it’s easy for the body to stiffen up in between throws. Even when you have one round a day with tee times, you can expect a pretty long day of disc golf.
Physical preparation will not only help you get through the day, but perform at a higher level. Here are a few tips we recommend to get your body ready for a disc golf tournament.
This is always the most important step. Your body dehydrates rapidly while you play. Disc golf is an active sport with a lot of walking (sometimes climbing up steep hills) out in the elements. Even on cold days, you have to hydrate properly. Drink a lot of water on the days leading up to the event and pack plenty of water in your disc golf bag to get you through the day. Remember to drink often to stay hydrated. Sports drinks, energy drinks and even coffee can also help if you need a little caffeine or electrolyte boost. Meanwhile, sodas and other super sugary drinks might actually slow you down.
It’s smart to develop a consistent stretching routine that you can use before the first round (and again in between rounds in a two-round day). Focus on key muscle groups including your core, back, legs, shoulders and even wrists. Resistance bands and rollers are great for stretching and there are even specialized disc golf warm-up tools you can use like Pro Pull or FlightTowel. Consider a membership to Disc Golf Strong for a full fitness program and excellent warm-up routines designed specially for disc golfers.
After you’ve properly stretched, you should make an effort to get in some practice throws before your round starts. Your first full throw probably shouldn’t be on the first tee! Start with some putters and mid-range discs before working your way up to full-power distance drivers. Don’t be concerned too much about distance. Slow your routine down and get your form dialed in first. Throw different shots and angles like you might actually throw during your round. Don’t just stand in a field and throw as far as you can. That is not a realistic practice for how you will throw on the actual course. If you are able to play a few holes on the course before the round, that can also be helpful.
You should also take some time to practice putting. There are all sorts of different exercises and routines you can apply. Find something that gets you centered. Putting practice is mostly about developing muscle memory. Getting some reps in before a tournament disc golf round will help you find your form and be more comfortable when you need to make a pressure-packed putt. Be sure to practice some different stances and angles (straddles, anhyzers, etc.) to warm up for some awkward putts you might actually have to attempt during the round.
Fuel Up with Good Food
It’s probably not a good idea to play a full tournament round on an empty stomach. At the same time, you should avoid heavy meals right before you play. Eat a healthy meal or something that won’t weigh you down too much. Pack some snacks in your bag to give you a little energy boost during the round whenever you need it. Jerky, nuts and protein bars are all great options, but sometimes even a little candy is good for a quick sugar boost. Might we recommend some delicious Double G Craft Jerky?
Time Your Warm-Up Routine
The top professional disc golfers have some very specific routines they follow before each and every tournament round. They know exactly when they plan to get to the course and when each warm-up step should happen before it’s time to tee off. Be careful not to get to the course too early and wear yourself out with too much practice. Sometimes, you get all warmed up and ready, then there’s a long wait until you actually tee off. Everything tenses up and gets stiff again. At the same time, don’t arrive too late and just walk to the first tee with no mental or physical preparation. Find that ideal timing that works for your pre-round prep routine.
These are just a few helpful tips to get your body ready for long disc golf tournament days. The more mentally and physically prepared you are, the better you will likely play. More importantly, your body will be able to keep up with a long, slow day of competitive disc golf.