Addicted to Disc Golf -- Critique my Form!

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Addicted to Disc Golf -- Critique my Form!

Postby MrSpeedyB » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:30 pm

I played my first round about a month ago, with a few buddies, a few beers, and an ultimate disc. I played horribly and was immediately hooked. I want to improve. I've been devouring the knowledge here and playing at least three times a week (Golden Gate Park DGC in San Francisco). I bought a handful of discs, realized I made some dumb purchases, and narrowed-down my bag to play with just three discs for the time-being. I throw primarily RHBH, and a good throw for me is over 225'. Actually, a good throw for me is one that goes the direction I want it to go.

I'm working on a stacked fan/fork grip with decent success so far (the last couple days). Previously I had success with 2-finger and Bonopane grips, but I don't want to get into bad habits that have to be un-learned later. My goals are to increase consistency off the tee -- many of my throws stall out and fade hard. I think this is why the Bonopane grip was good for me, as I can't seem to keep the nose down consistently with other grips. My shorter approach/putting game is also pretty awful, but that's for another post. The course I play is very wooded and not too long.

Here's the video of three practice throws today:


Throw 1: 168 Star Aviar P&A (like new) -- 150'
Throw 2: 166 DX Cobra (beat, bought it used) -- 190'
Throw 3: 166 Pro-D Cyclone (lightly used) -- 205'

These are actually pretty good for me: they went in the direction I was aiming, didn't get high/stall, and were about my average distance.

I'd love any and all feedback.

Note: I settled on these discs because they seem to provide the most consistency for me right now. I'm particularly comfortable with the Cobra, as it was the first disc I bought. I also have a handful of 150-class discs from starter packs (Leo, Shark, Buzzz, Aviar) as well as some heavier stuff that I acquired (173 Buzzz SS, 168 Champ Leo, 171 Champ Valk, 173 Champ Wraith, 164 FLX Avenger).
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Re: Addicted to Disc Golf -- Critique my Form!

Postby JR » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:07 pm

Hi and welcome. you're bound to hear some bs about light discs from grognards but don't listen to it. Light discs go farther and penalize harder for form errors in discs that aren't particularly resistant to turning over. I would keep on practicing with light discs. It is good that you have found out that there are differences in discs. As you gain power and distance you will need to rethrow every disc you have because you will grow out of some of the most understable low power requirement discs for full power throws. Right now i wouldn't even use a driver for learning. No driver has been designed to fly the best at 200'.

Check this out you are rounding:




At the moment you are good with that speed and the distance of reach back (how far back you bring the disc in the rear before you throw). That is because now you need to get the mechanics of the latter part of the throw correct first before you add the earlier parts of the throw. Eventually you will need to reach back farther by turning the back and the heels to face the target but it should be done later. Right now you need to gain consistent accuracy sideways and up and down. For that everyone needs slow throws so you're good with that.

What you should train now is to twist the hips and shoulders to the left when you reach back and again to the right once the disc has passed the right side. That requires leading with the elbow but please don't ever push the upper arm straight from the shoulder toward the target. That locks the elbow and can maim you for life because all the momentum created unlocks the elbow forcefully trying to rip apart your tendons maybe the muscles too. So an inch or two short of that should be the maximum before you start to straighten the elbow.

You don't really accelerate the arm hard toward the end of the throw. It should be like a Kung Fu movie fast punch in the end after the elbow starts to straighten. Keeping the arm limp loose up to that point helps in acceleration and arm speed.

The discs flew up because your arm was lower in the beginning of the throw than at the end of the throw. The arm climbed up all the way. Also pushing down the wrist so that the disc is parallel with the arm or lower with the front of the disc needs a lot of forearm effort once the elbow chop has begun. The grip is a major issue and you could try to raise the rear of the disc from the crease of the palm up to the inner joint of the thumb. The higher you raise it the tighter the forearm muscles will be so the arm acceleration suffers.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Addicted to Disc Golf -- Critique my Form!

Postby MrSpeedyB » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:56 pm

Thanks JR! The stuff about rounding makes total sense (although I don't seem to be able to put it ito practice yet!). I also need to work on the flat motion vs elevating!

I'm considering focusing on RHFH for a bit since I can put my throws on a dime and my D is greater, without even trying. I know beginners are encouraged to develop BH since it will be more advantageous in the long run...but I'm wanting some instant gratification here. :twisted:

BH also seems to aggregate my right shoulder problems. I broke my clavicle, scapula, and some ribs a few years back and the cross-body motion necessitated by BH (reaching back) causes brachial plexus nerve problems (hand goes numb etc).

Will post in the equipment / bag suggestions forum for some additional feedback on disc selection!
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Re: Addicted to Disc Golf -- Critique my Form!

Postby JR » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:14 pm

Never mess with nerve damage and don't ever push through pain until you know your body can take it. Sadly my nerve pinch went to the point of overuse. I played a marathon day with 9 hours of active playing and that taxed the muscles and tendons to the point of inflammation which pinched the nerves. It takes a long time to recuperate. Maybe even 6+ months for as much recovery as possible.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Addicted to Disc Golf -- Critique my Form!

Postby MrSpeedyB » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:08 pm

Thanks JR! I saw a doctor and a chiro again about my shoulder and it's doing a lot better. They reassured me that I wasn't doing any terrible damage and I have some ongoing treatment happening.

Yesterday I played a round FH-only (as I mentioned in the bag feedback thread) and did pretty well -- better than my recent BH scores. However I realized very quickly the limitations of playing FH-only: limited line-shaping options meant additional throws. Also, and maybe more importantly, I realized my FH drives weren't as good as my short FH approach shots.

Anyway today I stocked my bag with 150g discs and played a full 18.

150 DX Leo (driver for all tee shots and some long second shots)
150 DX Shark (mid for nearly everything inside of 200' except sidearm)
150 D Buzzz (get-out-of-trouble disc for overhand shots and sidearm approach shots)
150 DX Aviar (putter and super-short approaches -- didn't see other opportunities to use this)

The combo of the 150g discs and the ability to throw sidearm approach shots when the conditions were appropriate led to a great round! I hit a couple of trees off the tee which led to a couple trip-bogey holes, but aside form those I had the most number of par holes I think I've ever shot. I thought the 150 Aviar might screw with my form and be too light for reliable putting, but I was pleasantly surprised with my putting success.

Thanks again JR for the input!
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