Beginner's Corner

Beginner's CornerLearn Disc Golf Terms & Lingo

New to the sport of disc golf (frisbee golf)?  Can't figure out why your max weight, overstable driver won't go straight?  Tired of your friends taking it to ya on the weekends?  Ready to prove yourself to the world and your friends?  Okay, enough already.  Let's get down to business!

First, let me direct you to some great beginner disc golf resources that you will want to explore in detail now and/or later.
What do I do first?

Disc selection is crucial, especially early on in your discgolf career.  Many people buy the coolest looking/sounding disc that they saw someone else throwing.  The likelihood that the disc is too fast and too overstable for them is high.  The chance that they will immediately be successful with a disc like this is low.  Don't choose a golf disc because you THINK you can make it work. Choose the RIGHT disc for YOU. 

So, what disc is "right" for a beginner.  Here's a rule of thumb, beginner disc golf is about throwing lighter weights & understable to stable discs.  Lighter weights are less than 170g.  There are also many discs that weigh 150g (called the 150 Class) that are good choices for beginners.  You can get discs that are even less than 150g but these are best suited for youths, some women, or anyone that doesn't or can't throw as hard.  Understable discs will give a beginning player the MOST distance early on.  I repeat, if you want to throw far from the get go (like we all do) then pick a disc that is understable or stable at most.  Avoid overstable discs while you're still learning.  Understable golf discs will turn right (for Right Hand Backhand shots) when thrown fast and flat.  With a hyzer angle, understable discs will produce a great "S-curve" that yields maximum distance.  Many pros and advanced players choose understable discs to achieve great distances by this method (called hyzer flip).

The next principle by which to abide is that beginner's should start with Putters and Mid-Ranges.  I wouldn't have believed this when I first started playing if someone told me so.  "Surely, I won't get the distance I need from mids and putters."  Try me!  Even now, I can throw my mids over 300 ft consistently and upwards of 350 ft.  The furthest I usually drive is 360-400 ft with my maximum distance driver disc, but I normally throw 300-325 ft .  Now, first things first, I personally should be driving further.  More importantly than my own shortcomings though, the principle you MUST understand is that with proper technique, you can throw mid-range discs really far!

Great Golf Discs for any Beginner

Ok, before we go any further, here are our suggestions for 10 ideal beginner disc golf discs in each category.  There are many more available here at Disc Golf Station but this will give you an idea of where to start.  (In no particular order)

Putters (Approach Discs)
Mid-Range Discs
Drivers (Long-Range)
What do I focus on first?

So, you sorta understand how to throw your discs.  You kinda get it.  I remember not having any concept of working on my game.  I just figured I would try to do better next time or figure it out as I went.  I wish I would have actually worked on my game sooner.  Here are a few instructional tips for working to improve your game. 

  • Practice putting - The concept is simple, the dedication and discipline to see it through is another animal altogether.  This is the QUICKEST way to erase strokes from your score.  Imagine throwing a pinpoint 300 ft drive that lands 25 ft from the basket and 2- or 3-putting for bogey or worse.  Buy a basket for your backyard and put in the time.  
  • Work on upshots - Work on short throws of 150 feet or less.  Go through all scenarios- headwinds, tailwinds, straight shots, right turning, left turning, and anything else you can imagine.  Get a stack of mids or putters (stop using drivers for these shots!) and drill this distance.  How many times have we all shanked an easy 100 foot approach so bad that it's STILL 100 feet away from the basket?  If you want to stop doing that, practice throwing accurate shots to the target from 150 feet and under.
  • Putter round - Yes, it is self explanatory.  Take your favorite putter to your favorite course.  Throw that thing for every single shot.  Drives, approaches and obviously for putts.  You will be amazed at your score.  If I had to guess, it probably won't be too much worse than if you had all your discs available.  Why does this help you ask?  A couple of reasons.  First, you are getting lots of practice gripping and throwing your putter.  Becoming more acquainted with your discs and understanding how they fly is very important.  Second, your putter is your slowest, most accurate disc.  Likewise, it won't hide mistakes.  Upon releasing your upshot only to see that it is shanking 50 feet right of the basket, you won't be rescued by your putter fading hard at the end of its flight.  Putters generally go where you tell them.  Practice throwing accurately.
  • Putter/Mid Round - Same song, different verse.  You get to play another practice round and are allowed to take your putter and ONE mid-range disc.  You may use either at your DISCretion (lots of pun intended).  Now that you're laughing (or not), you will again be surprised at how well you can shoot and score using just two discs.  You will be forced to make accurate shots.  You'll also soon discover that mids and putters stay on the fairway much easier than a maximum weight, very overstable, high speed driver.  This is HUGE!  Stay on the fairway.  I know, rocket science.  Much of disc golf is the mental strategy, and learning to confidently throw mids and putters will allow your mind to make the smart choice over the fancy one.  A 150 ft shot lying in the middle of the fairway is much better than a 250 ft shot that hooked 60 ft into the rough. 
  • Putter/Mid/Driver - 3rd verse. You got the idea.  Add ONE driver to the mix.  Limiting your choices makes the game a lot more simple.  Of course having other discs is very valuable and I'm not discouraging carrying lots of discs.  The lesson I hope you can take away from these practice rounds is that you will feel completely confident with three discs in your bag to make the shots you have to make.  Rinse and repeat with different discs.
  • Hit the Brakes - As you build your confidence with your putters and mid-range discs, you should gain the ability to SLOW DOWN!  Always throw your SLOWEST disc that can reach the target.  Let's say you can accurately throw your putter 230 ft. When you walk up to that thrilling ace run on Hole #6 that is 212 ft away, put down your maximum distance driver, PUT DOWN your mid-range, THROW YOUR PUTTER!!!  Don't be afraid to tee off with your trusty putter.  He is your friend, your buddy, tu compadre.  Let him have the spotlight for once.  The same concept applies to your mids: if you can throw your mids up to 300 ft, you really should be pulling those out for shots under 300 ft.  I love throwing big drives just as much as the next guy, but if you want to see your score improving,  put down your distance drivers on shorter holes and THROW SLOW!