Disc Golf Driver Tips
Gripping the disc happens before you even step up to throw. There are some general rules of grip, although later on in your game you may feel the need to modify it, here are a few basic tips to get you started. You should be using a grip that has all four fingers under the disc. Your grip should be firm and the disc should rip out of your hand rather than slip out. If you are trying to let go of the disc, a consistent release is near impossible. Your grip should be loose enough to let your forearm and wrist move freely before the disc rips out. When people talk about a very tight grip they are referring to tightening the grip right when the disc should rip out of your hand. Your thumb should as close to the edge of the disc as possible while still being over the soft part of the disc.
Footwork and balance will dictate the success and failure of your throw. If you are off balance and have a poor center of gravity a consistent and accurate throw will be very difficult to achieve without compensating in other ways. While it is possible to do, the most efficient techniques are those with good balance throughout the throw. Try to stay light, quick, and smooth on your feet. Heavy steps will lead to mistiming and make shifting your weight more difficult. Make sure you get your weight over your front foot when you plant and start your throw. If your weight is behind your foot it will affect your throw in negative ways and also risk injuries to your knee and ankle. Use the explosion of your hips to start your body rotation. The direction of your feet will lead your hips, your hips will turn your torso, your torso will turn your shoulders, and your shoulders will lead your arm.
There are mixed philosophies on the reach back part of your throw. There are however a few things that are consistent between the various techniques. Your reach should only be as far as you feel comfortable with and can maintain a good balance. You should reach in a straight line rather than swinging the disc back on an arc. You should also plan your intended throw during this time. For a flat line drive, your hand should be on the same plane as the disc. For a hyzer, your hand should be under the disc and for an anhyzer, your hand should be above the disc.
The pull-through is where you begin to generate the power needed for a long throw. For maximum power and speed your shoulder rotation should pull your arm through. Don’t try to muscle or “strong-arm” the disc it won’t be nearly as powerful or fast as a whip driven by the shoulders. Also, keep the disc as close to your chest as possible and let your elbow bend. The extension of your elbow during the latter part of your throw will be your main power source. You should also have your off arm close to your body during the throw-in order to let your body rotate as fast as possible. Also of importance, try to be as strong as possible at the point the disc will leave your hand rather than at the beginning of your throw. This should give you maximum snap as the power is focused on getting the most force on the disc at the release rather than during the pull.
A good follow-through is important for both a clean throw and to avoid injury. Although you should be smooth and loose during the first part of your throw, concentrate on finishing strong during your follow-through. A clean pivot is also good to avoid knee injury, as your body will continue rotating after the disc leaves your hand.
Disc selection is also a very important part of your game. Make sure you are throwing discs that are light enough and easy enough for you to control. Most of the modern “ultra-long” drivers are designed with the pro player in mind. Most new players will have the best success with discs that are easy to control, have good glide and are under 170 grams. A rule of thumb is if your average distance is less than 200 feet (60 meters) you will probably have the most success with the larger diameter all-around mid-range discs and drivers. If you can throw 200-250 feet (60-75 meters) on average the easier to control small-diameter drivers should be within your range of control. Once you can throw over 250 feet (75 meters) you will be in a better position to control the faster, overstable, maximum distance drivers.