Blake_T wrote:an easy drill for this is to find an obstacle of a given height between you and a target. practice throwing over the obstacle while parking the target.
That's several of the holes at my home course.
Every disc has an angle of attack (angle of disc moving relative to air) for which the aerodynamic lift force is zero. For discs with positive camber, this angle of attack is negative (though only slightly, like 5 degrees nose down). If it is flying with this particular nose angle relative to level ground, the disc will rise and fall with the acceleration of gravity alone, just like a golf ball would do in the up-down sense of motion.
Don't take my word for it. Get one of your discs, and stick it out your car window sideways with your arm extended (but not while driving too fast, or near objects that may strike your arm in passing...in fact this works better if somebody else is driving, and you're in the passenger seat). Drive about 30 MPH. Now, change the nose angle of the disc up and down, and you'll notice how the disc pulls up or pushes down. The force you feel is the lift force minus gravity. You'll notice that the disc has a neutral weight (just its natural weight, as it would be if you weren't driving) at a given angle. That angle is slightly nose down, and is the "zero lift force angle of attack." It is often thought that this angle does not depend on speed, which is true only if the form of air flow around the disc is the same planform at all speeds (just faster, but same pattern of flow). I think this assumption may very well be wrong, but in any case, it is a first approximation.
To generate lift force that would balance gravity and maintain level flight requires a smaller angle of attack (less nose down) than for the zero lift value, so that lift can balance the weight of the disc. You can also feel this from sticking the disc out your car window. There is an angle where the disc is practically "weightless" and gravity is exactly balancing lift. This is the angle of the disc relative to the ground that will allow your disc to fly level (in calm wind conditions) while flying at the same speed as the car. Let's call this the "level flight nose angle." Unlike the "zero lift force angle of attack," the "level flight nose angle" varies with disc air speed (higher nose angle for slower speeds).
OK, so if you put the nose down relative to level ground more than the "level flight nose angle" for the speed you are generating, then the disc cannot maintain level flight and will burrow down into the ground. If you put the nose up higher, the disc will ascend, lose speed, and then level off in flight for conditions of higher nose angle and slower speed. The disc will then gently fall as the lift force tails off owing to drag.
If you throw with a nose down orientation that is at or further down from the "zero lift angle of attack," then the disc will fall toward the ground like a brick no matter how hard you throw it. So there exists an extreme nose down angle range of no return.
I don't remember the point I was going to make. But yeah, this is an important topic.