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So have you noticed how much elevation affects the flight of your disc? I know some of you guys that play worlds or tour a lot, have noticed the difference. I was thinking about this because of all the talk on here about how far some people claim to throw certain discs or low scores on long courses in areas with high elevation.

Here in Michigan the elevation is between 500-1000 feet in the Lower Peninsula, lowest being at the southeast part of the state near Lake Erie. Now, I have played in Las Vegas where the elevation is 2028 feet, and man did I feel huge throwing out there. I was overthrowing baskets that were 450’ until I realized there is a pretty big elevation difference and I should disc down to a midrange. I played in Denver Colorado area, where the elevation is 5183 feet, and I could throw a Wasp like 400+, CRAZY! My friend from Denver was here visiting over New Years and when we went and played, he was trying to throw mids at baskets that were around 400' and he was not coming close, then he finally thought about the elevation difference when I said somthing about it.

This next Worlds is in Kansas City where the elevation is 740 feet. This is very similar to what I’m used to but some others may be hating life that are from higher elevations. They are going to feel like someone taped lead weights on their discs.

So what are your feelings on this subject? What’s your elevation? I have never really thought about it when I disc golf, but on here when I hear some of the distances people throw it all makes sense.

Tags: affects, change, elevation, of

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I play in SoCal, but have played at elevations as high as 9,500ft, 2,000ft, 4,000ft, and on the daily less than 300ft. What I notice more than anything is the tendency for discs to be less stable in thinner air, hence the outcome being increased distance when throwing "all out" in wide open spaces. Further, when coming to lower elevations, those used to less stable flights from their plastic experience loss in distance due to the increased "apparent" stability of their plastic.

It's easy to flip a brand new Xcaliber in Denver, not so much in LA - so much so that it was a real shock to me, however it did force me to learn the disc that much better down at lower elevations. And I'm progressing to throwing much more stable plastic longer distances as a result of seeing the differences first hand.
I wonder about FL, what our elevation is and how far I could let one rip somewhere like denver, thats pretty cool, I didnt really ever take it into consideration, we usually have ppl from out of state at our local courses all the time and they are not so good most of the time, wonder if thats why?
Clearwater, FL elevation is 30' above sea level. You are right there man.

JeremyRogers said:
I wonder about FL, what our elevation is and how far I could let one rip somewhere like denver, thats pretty cool, I didnt really ever take it into consideration, we usually have ppl from out of state at our local courses all the time and they are not so good most of the time, wonder if thats why?
I hate to be disagreeable with Todd, but my experience has been the opposite. Everything's been way more overstable at high altitudes. When Sheila and I played Worlds in Flagstaff, I was throwing my roller discs as drivers!
I think there are a good many disc golfers whose elevation is High.

I always thought that the main reason for the discs to fly differently was that the air was a little thinner at higher elevations, meaning there is less drag on the disc thus making it more stable than compared to throwing it at a lower altitude. I play in Alabama, in a valley, with lots of humidity.
I have been organizing a mountain disc golf tour since 2000, and we try to go every year but sometimes it's just not to be.
Since them we have been to the higher elavations in 2000, 01, 03, 04, 05, 07, and 08 to the courses in Russell Gulch, Copper, Vail, Frisco, Leadville, Aspen, Snowmass, Eagle, Glenwood Springs, as well as several trips to the Albuquerque area although that's not the same elevation as the Colorado courses being at 9000' to 12,000'

I have noticed two things about playing at higher altitudes.

First, the thinner air doesn't seem to hold the disc aloft as much as thicker air does. This is also supported by my amazement of some of the crushing drives right before a thunder storm when the air really starts to get charged up and the barometric pressure starts to increase.

Second, the discs seem to be more stable, by roughly the equivalent of I'd gues to be four to five grams of weight. This speculation is semi-enforced by the fact that more than seventy-five percent of mountain golfers seem to employ the flick as the main drive.

This is only my opinion but almost everyone that has joined me in the mountains have noticed and agreed to this flight characteristic. I do have to say though, they will fly a mile when thrown off of a perfectly good mountain.
good call terry. this has been my conclusion as well. things that might confuse or change this outcome naturally are winds (which are typically stronger at higher elevations out here) and elevation changes specifically on the hole. i played a flat course in Sisters, Or this past year at 3000' and i was throwing all my flippy gear on straight/long hyzer shots. if i wanted a turnover i had to go uber-flippy. it was hard to adjust to but after a bit i got the hang of it.

now if you are playing a hole that starts at 6000' and ends at 4000' with a headwind, well, that's a whole different story to say the least.

Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun said:
I hate to be disagreeable with Todd, but my experience has been the opposite. Everything's been way more overstable at high altitudes. When Sheila and I played Worlds in Flagstaff, I was throwing my roller discs as drivers!
When I have played at 8000 + , I need slightly understable discs. Closer to sea level , I prefer more overstable discs !!!!
I may be confused but if the disc becomes more stable (over stable) at higher elevation. Then I would think for distance you would prefer somthing less stable (stable to understable) like I did. I was loving my Flash, Crush, Pulse. I didn't even need my Flick (mine is very overstable unlike what I have heard from others) or XC. But it wasn't all that windy when I played, like it is here off Lake Michigan.
What, WTF, discs are more overstable at higher elevations, not less overstable. I hear it tons here in Colorado Springs elevation at 6,000+ ft.

You need to learn physics man. Thinner air means disc does what it wants to do more, less thick air for it to go straight, so it turns left (or right for forehand) much easier.

Not to mention I moved here from Iowa 6mths ago so I know, I lived there all my life. Discs are MUCH more OVERSTABLE AT ELEVATIONS!!!!



Todd Mitchell said:
I play in SoCal, but have played at elevations as high as 9,500ft, 2,000ft, 4,000ft, and on the daily less than 300ft. What I notice more than anything is the tendency for discs to be less stable in thinner air, hence the outcome being increased distance when throwing "all out" in wide open spaces. Further, when coming to lower elevations, those used to less stable flights from their plastic experience loss in distance due to the increased "apparent" stability of their plastic.

It's easy to flip a brand new Xcaliber in Denver, not so much in LA - so much so that it was a real shock to me, however it did force me to learn the disc that much better down at lower elevations. And I'm progressing to throwing much more stable plastic longer distances as a result of seeing the differences first hand.
You have no clue what your talking about man. You never was in Denver were you. If so you would KNOW that discs are much more OVERSTABLE up here.


Todd Mitchell said:
I play in SoCal, but have played at elevations as high as 9,500ft, 2,000ft, 4,000ft, and on the daily less than 300ft. What I notice more than anything is the tendency for discs to be less stable in thinner air, hence the outcome being increased distance when throwing "all out" in wide open spaces. Further, when coming to lower elevations, those used to less stable flights from their plastic experience loss in distance due to the increased "apparent" stability of their plastic.

It's easy to flip a brand new Xcaliber in Denver, not so much in LA - so much so that it was a real shock to me, however it did force me to learn the disc that much better down at lower elevations. And I'm progressing to throwing much more stable plastic longer distances as a result of seeing the differences first hand.
You're not confused, he just doesn't know what he is talking about.

Mike said:
I may be confused but if the disc becomes more stable (over stable) at higher elevation. Then I would think for distance you would prefer somthing less stable (stable to understable) like I did. I was loving my Flash, Crush, Pulse. I didn't even need my Flick (mine is very overstable unlike what I have heard from others) or XC. But it wasn't all that windy when I played, like it is here off Lake Michigan.

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