Disc Golf for Beginners
Disc golf is a sport that I have come to enjoy and love. Sadly I only started playing disc golf relatively recently, so I haven't had the chance to enjoy the beautiful game nearly long enough. I know that I will continue to love this game for as long as I am able to continue playing it.
Disc golf is easy to learn. If you know someone who plays, ask to join them the next time they head out for a round. The disc golf community is very welcoming and encouraging of new people starting to play. If you don't know anyone who plays you could ask a friend or family member to join you, double the fun this way and you can learn alongside someone else. And if neither of those options are available, just show up at your local course to play a solo round or join up with some soon to be friends. You won't regret it. The most important thing about disc golf is having fun!
Here are a few things to help you along the way to feeling more comfortable and confident as you get into the game of disc golf.
First off, let's explain the four numbers you will commonly see on a disc.
The four numbers you may find on a disc golf disc represent a flight ratings system that generally tell you the flight characteristics of a disc golf disc as it flies through the air. Basically, how a disc is supposed to fly with a proper throw.
For disc flight explanations it is commonly assumed that the thrower is right handed and is throwing back hand. Meaning they are reaching left across their body and pulling it back to the right, coming across their body, to throw. Abbreviated by RHBH.
Speed: 1 To 14
Is the rate at which a disc can travel through the air with 1 being the slowest and 14 being the fastest. It takes more power, also referred to as arm speed, to throw discs with higher speeds. The higher the number gets the harder it needs to be thrown in order for it to get the proper flight path. Higher speed discs can cut through the wind easier making them a good choice when throwing into the wind. High speed discs are not recommended for beginners as they require more power to fly properly.
Glide: 1 To 7
Describes how much the disc wants to stay in the air. Discs with more glide are best for new players, and for producing maximum distance. Beginners wanting more distance should choose discs with more glide. If you are throwing against the wind you would want a disc with a lower glide rating. This will help the disc try to get back to the ground rather than flying away and out of control. When throwing with the wind you could use a disc with a higher glide rating to get more distance and let it surf down the fairway riding the wind.
Turn: +1 To -5
Turn is the number representing how much the disc will naturally want to turn to the right (RHBH). With 0 being neutral that would mean a +1 will want to go slightly left and -5 will want to go far right. This flight characteristic is reversed for left hand back hand throwers and also right handed players throwing forehand.
Fade: 0 To 5
The fade number tells you how much your disc is going to want to finish to the left (RHBH) or to the left (LHBH). With 0 meaning it will come back left (RHBH) the least and 5 showing the disc will go very hard to the left (RHBH). Keep in mind ALL discs will want to fade at the end of their flight. This number just tells you how much the disc craves the fade.
There are also some common terms that will be used when explaining discs. Here are a few.
Stability: This is to explain the general flight path of a disc.
Overstable: This tells you a disc will go to the left at the end. (RHBH)
Understable: This tells you that the disc will turn right during the flight. (RHBH)
Stable: This is something a bit more recent for terminology. Some people reference a stable disc as an overstable disc, but it is becoming more common that a stable disc is something more neutral or straight flying.
Hyzer: This is a throw that goes to the right (RHBH) immediately when thrown and is thrown on an angle so that its only option is to come back left. The disc is always on an angle.
Anhyzer: The is the opposite of hyzer. On an anhyzer you will release the disc so that it will typically go to the left once released (RHBH) and then glides to the right farther than a disc typically would fly. Again the disc comes on an angle, opposite that of a hyzer.
Roller: There are a few different ways to throw these but the outcome is the same. The disc is going to roll. Rollers are a great way to get through tight areas that are hard to throw in the air. Just keep in mind, with a roller it will always want to finish with the top of the disc on the ground when it comes to a stop.