Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

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Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Peot » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:24 pm

How much distance comes from either of these? I've been reading the site all winter and have been putting what I've learned to use in my somewhat limited field sessions and rounds, and it's already paid dividends. I'm really starting to feel the weight of the disc a lot more and am throwing farther with way less effort.

I still don't know how to throw these crazy distance lines, though, and I don't know if the Buzzz/Wizard I use for 90% of my throws are going to teach me. I've got a Roadrunner in the bag too, but when is it time to start adding some big boy discs to get the feel of them and what lines they require? I can get mids out reasonably far (270), so do I just have to get my feet wet with the high speed discs, or keep throwing the fairway drivers until I master them?
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby GripEnemyS2K » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:12 pm

Fairway drivers definitely...if you throw slower discs that often theres no need to get in over your head; patience is indeed a virtue.

I've watched too many friends/acquaintances over the past 8 or 9 years let the speed/description of a disc off the manufacturer's website get the best of them. "CRAZY DISTANCE MAN!" is a marketing technique and separates too many amateur's from the actual fundamentals of the game. Like any good player would say, accuracy is ALWAYS more important than distance - with very few exceptions.

>> and to add a little example from myself, in a field I can throw a star kite (speed 5) as far as a good percentage of my drivers [380' ish]. It's not what you throw, but rather HOW you throw it.
Last edited by GripEnemyS2K on Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Star Shark » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:17 pm

Yeah. Grab a Leopard and Teebird and see what that does for you. If you can throw them longer than about 330, I'd also grab something along the lines of an SL or Orc
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Mark Ellis » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:07 pm

I may be in the minority here but my opinion is you should be learning how to throw high speed drivers right now.

How many years does a child need to practice crawling before he starts walking? How many years does he need to practice walking before he starts running? How much worse does a person run if they started running early in life?

If you look at the top Pros, most of them learned the game very quickly and were competing as a Pro within a year of starting tournaments, often within a year of first throwing a golf disc. Do you really think these players would be better today if they spent their first year in the game throwing only putters? Then the next year throwing only mids? Then the next year throwing narrow rimmed drivers? In fact, can anyone name a single accomplished player who avoided drivers on purpose?

There is nothing magical about throwing drivers or throwing wide rimmed drivers or throwing overstable drivers. Every golf disc has a flight pattern which needs to be learned in order to control and to maximize distance. The sooner you start the sooner you will figure it out.

Even a raw beginner is ready to have a bag with putters and mids and a variety of drivers in it. Try to make every disc go flat and straight. As you practice you will learn to make adjustments. If a player has terrible form and poor skills and no control then try dialing back as needed, or better yet get a basic lesson from a good player. Otherwise have fun and try anything you get your hands on.

Go throw a Nuke. It won't bite. Oh, and start throwing forehand and thumbers and rollers and off-hands. They won't bite either. Just because they don't work easily at first is no reason to avoid them. The process of becoming good is one of continuous adjustment and consistent practice.

Either that or come back in a couple years and tell me how good you are at throwing putters.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Dookville » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:05 am

Mark Ellis wrote:I may be in the minority here but my opinion is you should be learning how to throw high speed drivers right now.

How many years does a child need to practice crawling before he starts walking? How many years does he need to practice walking before he starts running? How much worse does a person run if they started running early in life?

If you look at the top Pros, most of them learned the game very quickly and were competing as a Pro within a year of starting tournaments, often within a year of first throwing a golf disc. Do you really think these players would be better today if they spent their first year in the game throwing only putters? Then the next year throwing only mids? Then the next year throwing narrow rimmed drivers? In fact, can anyone name a single accomplished player who avoided drivers on purpose?

There is nothing magical about throwing drivers or throwing wide rimmed drivers or throwing overstable drivers. Every golf disc has a flight pattern which needs to be learned in order to control and to maximize distance. The sooner you start the sooner you will figure it out.

Even a raw beginner is ready to have a bag with putters and mids and a variety of drivers in it. Try to make every disc go flat and straight. As you practice you will learn to make adjustments. If a player has terrible form and poor skills and no control then try dialing back as needed, or better yet get a basic lesson from a good player. Otherwise have fun and try anything you get your hands on.

Go throw a Nuke. It won't bite. Oh, and start throwing forehand and thumbers and rollers and off-hands. They won't bite either. Just because they don't work easily at first is no reason to avoid them. The process of becoming good is one of continuous adjustment and consistent practice.

Either that or come back in a couple years and tell me how good you are at throwing putters.

When you see a real pro like Mr Ellis put it writing, it does seem more practical doesn't it?

Throw em all!!!!
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Parks » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:31 am

On the other hand, how many pros started with Wraith+ rim widths, and how many started playing Ultimate or throwing rim widths 1.7cm or less?
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Beetard » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:56 am

some people are missing the point of throwing slower discs and some kind of weird dogma that you shouldn't throw driver X unless you can throw farther than distance Y has developed around here.

The point of using slower discs is

1. you can actually get more leverage because the point you pinch is closer the edge of the disc

2. They generally have less low speed fade than discs with wide rims.

3. Their stability is less speed sensitive; High speed drivers = overstable if you don't throw them fast enough, squirrley if you throw them too fast

Here is the part some people are having trouble with. Trying to make overstable discs fly straight or flip a little bit can be accomplished by torquing them over a bit. If you always do this, it can become a habit and if it becomes a habit, it is likely that you will make your non-overstable discs fly like crap when you try to throw them with the OAT throw you are used to.

That is why people on this site try to steer beginners away from high speed drivers; they are overstable unless thrown at a high speed. People usually translate this into some distance, like 380 or something and therefore say something like, "You shouldn't throw an destroyer unless you can throw 380," or whatever.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby CatPredator » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:54 am

I think Mark is right in that most people have an innate level of skill and desire for disc golf. No matter what you start with, your drive to improve or natural ability will be what dictates your success. Just make sure you give yourself options and practice with all the different kinds of discs. Learning to throw a putter or comet is important, but someone with skill who is actively seeking advice will be able to do it while also learning to throw a Surge SS, Stalker, Buzzz and Predator.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby masterbeato » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:07 am

If you are feeling the weight of the disc at any point effectively Peot, really the only thing as far as feel goes, and the plastic used in your case really will not matter too much, but discs that have smaller rims like Eagles, Teebirds, XL's, X2's, Cyclones etc. would have a better chance of "feeling it" due to the much stronger grip you get from the smaller rim itself. wheras disc speed is not a big issue as long as you can leverage the disc out correctly. Leverage and timing are all basically "feel-based" as far as learning it, and feel comes in handy throughout your DG life as well. If you can feel it at least some of the time, you will be effective no matter what disc you are throwing.

learning big snap, as far as timing goes there are some things that should happen, and some things that you should go by to make them happen, which is where I would recommend slower disc speeds to make sure you are not getting "false" distance, and smaller rims to make grip a lot stronger.....for a small part of learning it! :D

I know you have been working on it for quite a while now, so never stray from what is super important, which is the "order of stuff", which are the fundamentals of awesome timing. If you have perfect timing your going to get some form of sweet leverage!
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby GripEnemyS2K » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:14 pm

I don't disagree with Mark, it should just be taken with a grain of salt thats all. Yes a Nuke will not bite, but like Beetard said OAT should be avoided and [GENERALLY SPEAKING] amateurs will use it to compensate for the "overstability" in high speed drivers due to not reaching a proper velocity.

It's a completely opinionated topic so there is no right answer, I guess just read the advice everyone has/will give and use trial and error to the best of your ability.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Dookville » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:51 pm

I have been playing for a little over three monthes now. When I first started I was told to learn how to throw a Roc 300' and then I might get some advice. I watched Master B's video instead and learned to throw hard and flat. At first it was a 169g Monarch unitil I strated flipping it, so I read that if I threw it on hyzer it would flip up and run, and it did, long. I figured that this was going against normal throwing motion and may cause a bad habit, so I bought a 175g Beast and started throwing hard and flat with it. While it isn't the most stable disc in the world, it was starting left and kept going left, back to square one. Before I setteled for that line of thinking I barrowed a friends 169g Beast a gave that a go. Snap...hard and flat, it ran long and faded real nice at the end in a lighter weight.

Based on this little bit of information I have figured out that I can throw understable discs on hyzer and flip them up to make them work properly and by increasing the weight I don't have to hyzer flip as much and change my throwing style drastically. I can also throw overstable discs hard and flat as long as they aren't to heavy. It didn't take much to figure this out.

I thnk as long as someone understands that the optimal throw is hard and flat, along with all the proper mechanics a driver can be used from the start. The disc doesn't lie when you throw it, reading the throw and decerning what went wrong, mechanics or disc, make take some thinking.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Wyno » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:17 pm

Wether there's a right answer or not depends on the question, there are lots of questions flying around here but most are not explicitly stated... I'll state another one:

Mark, even though there's a lot of advice to disc down, that's not the same as advice to never in any situations throw faster discs. I'm sure you realize this and only exaggerate for effect. Even so I have to ask you: have you seriously never given advice about disc selection? Don't you believe that learning may be aided by focusing on a disc that, for instance, reveals some type of flaw that you would like to correct, or makes some feeilng that is desirable more obvious (like the feeling of the hammer-pound/disc pivot)? I mean, almost all of the big D team talks about limiting disc choice in some form in their advice-sections... (slower/easier/understable discs while learning).
Point being: everyone agrees that feeling trumps every other factor in a throw. Many people (me included) believe that consciously fostering an effecient technique is beneficial in attaining, supporting and keeping this feeling. Don't you? If you follow your own argument; why bother talking bout throwing at all? Just throw, and in a year you'll know if you're going to be a pro...
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Dookville » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:57 pm

Point being: everyone agrees that feeling trumps every other factor in a throw. Many people (me included) believe that consciously fostering an effecient technique is beneficial in attaining, supporting and keeping this feeling. Don't you? If you follow your own argument; why bother talking bout throwing at all? Just throw, and in a year you'll know if you're going to be a pro...[/quote]
I would agree that feeling does trump other factors in the throw if you know what you should be feeling. I feel its might be a combination of the the two. Good form directing you toward feeling a good release and sustaining it through different types of discs. I am not changing my basic form on most throws, but I am changing release angle, speed, and other shot shaping elements that I am looking for a certain feeling upon release.
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Every time I've ever tried to implement any of the advice from on here to get more distance on my drives it has ended up wrecking my game completely for a while.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Mark Ellis » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:23 pm

Wyno wrote:Wether there's a right answer or not depends on the question, there are lots of questions flying around here but most are not explicitly stated... I'll state another one:

Mark, even though there's a lot of advice to disc down, that's not the same as advice to never in any situations throw faster discs. I'm sure you realize this and only exaggerate for effect. Even so I have to ask you: have you seriously never given advice about disc selection? Don't you believe that learning may be aided by focusing on a disc that, for instance, reveals some type of flaw that you would like to correct, or makes some feeilng that is desirable more obvious (like the feeling of the hammer-pound/disc pivot)? I mean, almost all of the big D team talks about limiting disc choice in some form in their advice-sections... (slower/easier/understable discs while learning).
Point being: everyone agrees that feeling trumps every other factor in a throw. Many people (me included) believe that consciously fostering an effecient technique is beneficial in attaining, supporting and keeping this feeling. Don't you? If you follow your own argument; why bother talking bout throwing at all? Just throw, and in a year you'll know if you're going to be a pro...


I don't recall ever hearing that FEELING trumps every other factor in a throw. I'm not sure what that means so I may not be with "everyone" on this. I have a vague idea what hammer-pound/disc pivot means but I haven't found the concept useful in making better shots.

Since I teach disc golf the process of thinking about and writing about and arguing about the game hopefully will make me a better teacher and maybe a better player. When it comes to throwing motion, writing is a poor substitute for showing which is why I do most of my teaching through face to face interaction and videos. Still, here I am pounding away on the keyboard. If I had a video crew always on hand I would post more videos on this site than written responses.

I'm not a big fan of discing down or limiting molds or starting every beginner on understable discs or putters. I would rather watch how a beginner throws and hand them a disc which will work most easily for what they do and start the process of adjusting their motion so that it becomes flat and smooth and balanced and eventually powerful. If they can see what the form of a good player looks like they can then try to mimic it, which is a superb start. Through trial and error they will find out what works best for them. Very few of my students become forehand dominant, even though I am. Nor do I want them to.

Sure, I give lots of disc selection advice. Once I see how a player throws and I know what kind of shot he is trying to make I can hand him a disc and tell him how to throw it to make that shot and I can demonstrate it so he sees what it should look like.

This website seems to be the altar of the pursuit of perfect throwing form and maximum distance. But neither necessarily translates into better scores or better players. Controlling a disc should the bastion of our religion and the deity we bow down to. Good players control discs. Great players control them better and more consistently.

So why teach at all? Painters paint. Writers write. Teachers teach. Few of the most gifted players will read our words, nor do they need them. I remember doing an interview for publication in one the disc golf magazines (probably DGWN) of the winner of the PDGA Male Rookie of the Year, although by now I would be guessing who the player was. I asked him who he learned the game from. He said he had never really had a coach and there were no really good players where he started so he learned most of his skills once he began traveling to tournaments and watching the Open players. I found that pretty amazing. He basically taught himself and became as good as he was by watching others.

So I don't claim to have the best or the most insightful advice. I just tell players what I think. If it makes sense and it works then use it. If it doesn't then try something else.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Blake_T » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:26 pm

threads like these tend to put me into a bit of a rant mainly because there's no set doctrine for every player, especially when everyone tends to approaching "learning the game" at different times along their progression.

as Mark has pointed out, and i agree, natural talent and playing time tend to breed the best players. the guys who are naturally athletic, figure stuff out on their own, and play 10 rounds a day are usually the guys who become dominant pros.

practice, mental strength, and smart play can elevate a player of lesser talent to a level similar to players of greater talent, but if the players of greater talent put in an equal amount of practice and have equal mental strength and smart play they should win pretty much every time.

the thing is, those with natural talent don't tend to seek instruction (as frequently) as those who lack natural talent, so most advice can (and probably should) be targeted at those with less natural talent... read as: people who plateau quickly and on a lower level than most who put in an equal amount of time and money. those with great talent tend to just play and figure it out or watch other players who can do what they want to do and then figure it out.

anyone who isn't proficient with a wide-rimmed distance driver is at a distinct disadvantage to someone that is. at the same time, the majority of the time players find themselves "stuck" are often due to those same types of discs. (as parks has pointed out) players that started after 2001 are face a steeper learning curve than those who started before then. it was around 2003-2004 (post-orc and crush) that i started having to spend 50% of my lesson work trying to get rid of people's OAT.

if those same players naturally develop form that creates enough disc speed to manipulate the flight of those discs, they are usually just fine. however, it's the players that don't naturally develop said form that end up posting their questions here and the result is the standard answers that tend to be reiterated.

from my experiences with lesson-work, most people don't put in enough "good" practice to move along the learning curve with enough speed to satisfy them. it kind of puzzles me in this regard. go to a local driving range and you'll find 50 hackers that are willing to hit 200 bad golf shots at the range twice a week. when people start in golf they are usually given 3-5 clubs (5 wood, 5 iron, 7 iron, putter, or something along those lines) and taught to add clubs as they establish proficiency with those clubs. the early-on club shorting leads to learning how to adjust power and swing to get different results at a much faster pace than if they had 13 clubs. their end goal isn't to own the course with 5 clubs in their bag, but to be good at hitting every club in their bag because they learned how to be "good at hitting."

you might not realize how difficult it is to convince a crappy newbie that they won't get better (very quickly) if they carry a max weight boss and a putter. those that have tried to impart this idea on others tend to get very vocal about it because 60% of the time it feels like you're banging your head against the wall.

the other thing that people rarely get to is the subtle advanced techniques of the throw. in ball golf you might find some guy who can hit a titanium oversized 1-wood with a teeny tiny sweet spot 350 yards perfectly straight... but if they were trying to learn how to hit a draw or fade that probably isn't the club to do it with. learning it with an easier to hit club and then applying what you have learned to any club is really the goal of that.

teaching someone to apply OAT to a shot to shape its flight doesn't work if they have to use tons of OAT just to keep it from stabling out. similarly, trying to teach someone to throw 40' high and nose down is an absolute beyotch if the rim is wide.

giving a direct answer to peot:

experiment with whatever you want to but develop a set of priorities. short term success vs. long term potential. accuracy vs. distance. control vs. distance. etc.

if you do want to jump to some speed, be smart about it. do you probably have enough power to throw a boss, halo, destroyer, etc really well? probably not. could you find a way to do it? probably. would that way you find probably murder your form? probably.

do you have enough power to throw a valk, beast, viking, flash, SL, orion LS, wildcat, monarch? most likely.

will those discs yield a significant distance jump over most fairway drivers? maybe, but probably not more than 5-7%. will they prep you to throw faster/wider drivers? yes.
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