Last night I went to a friend’s BBQ party, and three interesting things happened: I broke up a dogfight (wow, that was crazy), afterwards someone said ‘frolf’ during a conversation, and then lastly someone else said ‘frolf’ again within the same hour.
Even though the dogfight was crazy and gave me minor injuries and quite the adrenaline rush, the use of the word ‘frolf’ captured my attention the most, and it got me thinking…
The sport of Disc Golf is still growing, but there are a lot of players that don’t understand how truly amazing Disc Golf is.
Here is my short guide to welcoming new players to the wonderful sport of Disc Golf.
Be convincing that’s it’s worth their time. Take them to a scenic and/or relatively flat course – it will be more playable and enjoyable for a beginner.
I personally recommend buying them a beer (21 and over of course!) before the round, or buy/give them a disc… It will have more impact on whether they play again or not.
A new player will always ask, “What’s the best disc to use?” and you should give options – and in my years of playing, you should always say “mid-range” and a recommendation. Once they have played, they will find a certain disc that fits their hand and throwing style.
Give them a crash-course on the physics of how a golf disc flies. Teach them what understable, overstable, and stable is. I recommend throwing a couple discs from your bag to demonstrate – also, let them know about thumbing (thumber) and tomahawking. For right-handed throwers, thumbing will make the disc curve to the left, and opposite for tomahawks.
ALWAYS be courteous. A lot of new players take a while to learn and straighten their throw, make sure you’re quiet and patient during throws and be positive towards them no matter how far they go off course – and congratulate them on successful fairway drives!
This wonderful sport still needs a lot of players. If you play, don’t be afraid to invite a friend you think might like hitting chains for the first time – chances are, they wanted to hang out and have a great time outside anyway.
Lots of Chain Noise,
A long time ago a friend of mine who just started playing Disc Golf asked me a fantastic question:
“What is more important… manipulating the angle of the disc to fly how you want it to, or understanding how the disc is supposed to fly when thrown flat, and utilize it’s natural characteristics?”
The first thing I said, and I would think most would agree, is that you need to understand how your disc flies naturally first. Not only how it is supposed to fly new, but how it will eventually fly after you have hit all those darn trees and broke it in. You can really only determine this with your own experimentation disc to disc since no one knows how much bark you’ve made fly!
The rule of thumb with plastic is the cheaper it is, the quicker it will become understable with use. And for some plastics such as the Discraft Titanium plastic, that disc will fly the same as brand new forever. The Titanium plastic is close to indestructible. Don’t rely on expensive plastics to change flight characteristics too much over time.
Also, more expensive is not always best. One of the cheapest plastics you can buy is the Discraft Pro-D, I have an XL Pro-D, and it’s a staple in my bag. It’s crucial for me because after years of use it went from stable to understable, and I now use it as a roller or a predictable turnover disc.
Once you are very comfortable with how your disc flies (make sure you are using the same grip, speed, etc. to ensure predictability), then move on to manipulating your hyzer and anhyzer shots.
With proper practice and experimentation you will know if a disc thrown flat will give you exactly what you need without the huge unpredictability of angling a hyzer or anhyzer.
Grip, Throw, Repeat,
Recently I had the pleasure of playing White Oak Park in Dallas, GA. A beautiful open hilly course — nice little pond that comes into to play for holes after 14 too. The air was a bit brisk, but certainly a good day to hear chains as always. After about 6 holes I noticed my go-to Sidewinder not having the same glide it usually has. This made me think…
I’m not a meteorologist or a physicist, but proper disc weight in adverse conditions, no matter the skill level, is extremely important!
Over the years I have heard that low weight discs (roughly 150-168) are easier for distance, but hard to release and control consistently, especially with wind. Heavier discs are naturally more over-stable (slightly), harder to gain distance, but consistent. I find that this is very true.
BUT… I’ve yet to read about disc weights and how to adjust them according to the weather, mainly temperature.
I found that throwing my 172g Sidewinder feels like throwing a 190g when it’s coat-wearing time. It sunk like the Titanic on my first moderate up-shot this last weekend. I bought a 154g disc today to compare, and I had a tremendous improvement.
I highly recommend adjusting your disc weight according to the outside temperature. In these low temperatures of Winter (high 40’s right now here in Georgia) my go-to weight is 160 now, but I am not a high speed thrower. The beauty of Disc Golf is you need to find what works best for YOU. Right now, for me, it seems that lighter weight cuts the cold air a bit better.
Peripheral Blood Flow
While playing at White Oak, the great J.T. of this blog made an EXCELLENT point. When the weather is cold, our hands don’t have as much blood flow and do not move and react as they normally do. So naturally when we throw the disc it may not have the same release point, usually late-whipping it way off track — to the right for right handed back handed throwers.
The way he remedied this is by using a modified fan grip on his drives as he would a long approach shot. Since the fingers aren’t tucked in the rim, they don’t need to get out of the way in time, giving you a smooth release. As long as you have grip on the disc and can still snap it, this is a fantastic modification for cold weather conditions.
As always, these points and tips are something to read, enjoy, and go by – not to live by. Disc Golf is truly amazing because it’s personal. In order to become great you have to practice A LOT and define your own game. I just hope the tips and stories we share here at Dogleg Disc Golf steer you into a happy and successful direction.
When I first started playing DG, I did what most of us did — I bought a random disc not knowing very much about it, went to a course not knowing how to throw, and ran up the tee-pad with confidence and flailed my arm as fast as I could. Much to my ignorant surprise, I sucked, and if there was a lady’s tee, I’m sure I didn’t go past it.
Early in my DG days I heard the phrase, “Drive for show, Putt for dough.” There’s a lot of truth to that, and that’s how I have structured my game the past 5 years, but you cant win regularly without a well rounded game. I am usually solid at putting and approaching, but haven’t quite mastered the hit of the drive.
Recently I found an excellent video on YouTube that focuses on working from the hit (the acceleration and release at the end of the throw) backwards. It focuses on how very important it is to keep that disc very close to your body, and have an exponential acceleration, if you will… A slow pull across, and a burst of acceleration at the end.
I know this video will help me tremendously with my long game, and I hope it will for you too!