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I throw much farther and accurately with a flick, than backhand. My backhand is decent, I just prefer to drive forearm. I've been told however, that I will never realize my full potential as a disc golfer, because a flick will never be as good as a backhand. (though the people who said this agree that it is best to be able to do both). Supporting evidence given was that the world record backhand is farther then the world record forearm throw, and that absolutely no touring pro's throw predominantly forehand.

So, anyone know any pro's who throw mostly sidearm? Anyone want to back the forearm side?

Tags: flick, forearm, forehand, sidearm

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My response above was sarcastic but evidently the sarcasm wasn't obvious enough. I have thrown probably over 90% of my drives sidearm for the last decade.

If you watch beginner disc golfers you will see about half who throw backhand and about half who throw forehand. I think most everyone is naturally dominant one way or the other. I was forehand dominate for the first three years I played but didn't know it. The players who taught me were backhand so I threw backhand like they did. Only when an injury forced me to abandon backhands did I learn the potential of the forehand.

Forehand is the more difficult of the shots to master (due to a smaller margin of error). It does have advantages that overcome this for some players. Some players throw much farther forehand ( I do by about 100 feet). For those with good form the sidearm is much easier on the arm and the body (with poor form your elbow and shoulder are in danger). It is much easier to hit a tunnel since you face the tunnell throughout the shot (but it is harder to control the finish of the shot once you get in the tunnel). It is much easier to throw uphill (and harder downhill). It is much easier to throw with no runup or in terrible lies. It is much easier leaning out of a bush. It is much easier to throw get-out-of-trouble rollers from tight spots. It is much easier to throw on one knee when you need power on the shot. It is much harder to control midrange discs forehand.

In a perfect world all players would have a servicable forehand or would be ambidexterous.

In areas where there are good forehanders (Michigan & Wisconsin for sure) many of the emerging tournament players have good forehands. I would guess the best forehander in the world is Geoff Bennett, who has an amazing blend of power and touch. I have played with him a lot and am still in awe of what he can do. He hits holes that I am afraid to attempt and goes over things mere mortals should be incapable of. The craziest thing is watching him throw 400 feet. He does it effortlessly. Just a smooth little snap. Geoff thinks he might reach 600 feet in a distance competition. I wouldn't bet against him.
Thanks, a lot of good insights. It's good to know that there are pros out there who support forehand. You mentioned that it's easier on your body if you have good form. Are there any instructional videos, or youtube clips, etc that focus on forehand? I'm relatively new to the sport, so I haven't heard of Geoff Bennett. I'll see what I can find.
Walker, There is a Discraft Pro Clinic on forehand drives. You can see it at Youtube or the Discraft site.
Mark Ellis is one FUNNY guy....

There's ONE touring pro who throws forehands, and throws them incredibly well... After seeing Geoff Bennett @ the River Cities RUmble, I was IMPRESSED! Check out discgolftv.com, and search for Bennett. Search for the rumble, or "final nine". You'll find a solid 9 holes of play w/ Geoff.

I'm not totally sure about the two from personal experience, as I don't use forehands as much as I used to try to. Does thowing a forehand require a lot more room in order to get that kind of distance? That could be one possibility.

I believe another reason is that beacause of the major muscle groups used in backhand eventualy become stronger, you get your hips into a hackhand more....

It IS good to have both throws, for versatility's sake. A backhand anny flies different than a forehand, and can be useful to have both in your repertoir... At least try workign on your backhand. It takes a LOT of time to master, but here a couple years after I just barely could to a slow X-step walkthrough approach - I'm hucking 400+ no problem. It's very possible - I coached & converted a friend to abckhand this year, and he's throwing 300 already this summer.
Geoff Bennett throws predominately forehand. There are a couple others, but not many. I throw LHBH, and RHFH. I play almost all sports right handed. The only sports I play(ed) left handed are Ping Pong, and Frisbee. My right hand/arm are stronger than my left. I will never have the power in my left hand/arm that I have in my right. I would have never reached my full potential if not for the Side Arm throw. I have heard the same thing you have from the top local pro etc, and I completely disagree. I would have stopped playing competitively if I only had a Back hand.

I have some friends who are casual players they were frustrated with the lack of distance they were getting with backhand drives, they switched to Sidearm, and are very happy with the results.

I LOVE the Sidearm-
amen brother !! and glad to see mark ellis clairify his earlier statement as being sarcastic, i was worried maybe i had missread about mark being pro forehand as well as avery,geoff and cubby, these guys are my heros, the wind beneith my discs so to speak LOL sorry, i had to thro that in, i couldnt resist.

peace and may the forehand be with ya - dc
oops sorry mark i meant mark ellis, you were probalbly wondering if there was some long lost relative named mike out there who threw forehand like yourself LOL
I have been playing for roughly 2 years now and the flick, sidearm, forehand, whatever you want to call it, is my main drive. Of course this varies depending on the needed shot, but I was told to throw, my first inclination would be to throw flick!! The backhand just does not feel right in the body but I will use it when needed. My advice, throw what works for you!!!! Learn everthing or every type of throw cause you never know when they may be needed, but know what you like to do most and what works best for you. Keep throwin"!!!!!!!!!!!
I heard a local refer to the backhand as "the hippy" the other day. As in, "wait, you're gonna throw that "hippy?" Funny too, cuz he kinda was a hippy. Word.
O.K., so I overstated the case :).

Let me restate, there are very few top Pros that play side arm, and the top players who do use the sidearm as their primary drive are not in the elite players of our sport.

Everything else I wrote holds true at some level, it is harder on your arm and it isn't as long.

BTW - I'd never say not to use a forehand, I use one frequently, several times a round, but I'd have to say that making it your primary, places you at a disadvantage.
That should be disc-advantage!!! ...lol.
Do what works for you........Your score will be better for it.

I've been working on turnover shots with my backhand and they are improving, but when it counts I still use the forehand for the same shot.
I'm not saying you shouldn't work on a backhand drive. I'm just saying that it doesn't make you any less of a competitor to predominantly throw forehand.

Throw what you know....know what you throw....(this is someone's signature on another discussion board......i thought it was fitting ;)

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