We’d all love to be able to throw our discs farther, especially our distance drivers. You see the professionals ripping huge drives and may even know local players who crush drives time and time again. Whether you are new to the sport of disc golf or you’ve been playing for awhile, you are searching for the secrets to unlock more power.
Making it Look Easy
Have you ever noticed how the people who throw the farthest don’t seem like they are trying very hard at all? They make it look way too easy. You watch them and think to yourself, “that’s exactly what I’m doing.” It may seem like you are mimicking their great form, but you probably aren’t. Remember that pros practice A LOT and it takes time to hone a perfect form that produces max distance. You also have to put in the practice time if you want to become a better disc golfer.
However, the lesson to learn from watching those who throw far without much effort is a good one. Remember throwing far is not about throwing the disc as hard as you can, having a violent wind-up or running up to the tee pad from 30 feet away. It’s about having smooth form, building up torque in your lower body and then getting a little extra “whip” at the end of the release to generate more spin.
Natural Abilities vs. Learned Skills
It’s true that some people are just born to throw disc golf discs far. Tall, lanky people like Calvin Heimburg are just naturally suited to generate more power once they learn a decent throwing form. Then, it has taken him years of practice to develop the control, consistency and mental strength that have made him one of the world’s best players. Then, you can watch a power player like Garrett Gurthie, who isn’t tall and lanky like Calvin. Yet, he is one of the longest throwers out there with a Destroyer or Wraith in his hand. He has developed his own unique form and harnessed his abilities to maximize distance. The point is, you can learn a lot from watching these top throws, but ultimately you have to find your own style that allows you to get more out of your game.
One great tip for unlocking more power is to actually slow down. We previously talked about how you can greatly improve your form by practicing with putters and mid-range discs. Using slower, more neutral-flying or understable discs can certainly help you smooth out any kinks in your throwing form. Slowing down your mind and body on the tee pad will also make a huge difference.
Next time you go out and do some fieldwork, make a concerted effort to take a deep breath and relax before each throw. Then, try doing your run-up, X-step, reach back and release all at half your normal speed. You may even want to practice with stand-still throws only. You might be surprised how much more smooth and consistent your releases become over time. It may take a little practice, as you will probably have a few grip-locks early on in this routine. That’s okay. The more you practice, the more you will see the benefits of slowing down a bit.
Find Your Form
Another tip on the same note is to video yourself throwing some discs and then watch back in slow motion. You may think your form exactly matches your favorite pro’s, but you will likely find that is not the case when you review the footage. You may be able to identify some obvious problems that you can work to fix in your next fieldwork session. You may see some things you are doing right, as well as some things you are doing wrong, and this can be a very helpful process if you are willing to learn and keep refining your form.
More distance will come with better form and smoother, flatter releases, as well as learning your discs and different shot angles. Taking the time to slow down a little bit is a great method to unlock these distance driving skills. Don’t be discouraged when you can’t throw your distance drivers 500 feet—very few people in the world can throw that far. Put in the work to maximize your own distance capabilities. You may never be a bomber. Work on all other parts of your game. Just keep practicing and keep working to become a better disc golfer.