The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf

I am trying really hard to change my BackHand driving form. I have been playing about 2 years and developed my own form which is essentially an 'underarm throw'.  I wondered if anyone else has made this change and about how long it took to unlearn this habit.


Right now, all of my discs are hyzering out on me but I've been playing a lot of putter/mid rounds as well. A Pro player from Discraft mentioned to me during a round that one of the problems with underarm throwing is it leads to understability of most discs when you throw them.


Was hoping for a little help! Thanks in Advance!!! :)


Views: 123

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Also, Schwebbie mentioned to me that the underarm form is a huge distance limiting factor. I noticed that this weekend, when I got stomped distance wise in an ADV Women's Group. I always thought I was ok with my distance until now :\


I have heard of Backhand and forehand throws, and even tomahawk, and thumbers.  But I have never heard of an underarm throw.  Please explain.

When you reach back under your arm with the disc you are freezing the left side of your body from rotating with the right side when pull forward to throw the disc, losing a lot of power in your throw. You also are having to make room to miss your left arm by putting the disc on hyzer when your right arm comes forward.


Practice reaching around behind you with your left arm and grabbing the waist of your pants, and go through your normal motion. When you reach back you won't be able to put the disc under your left arm and you'll be able to pull across your chest hard and flat. When you do pull across your chest, let the left side of your body release and go with the rotation of the whole upper torso. This is only a quick fix, you'll eventually want to stop grabbing you waist with the left  hand and start incorporating it into your reach back and body rotation at release to gain as much accuracy and power that you can with your motion.

That makes total sense, the part about not rotating my left side with my right side when I pull forward. My right arm is about twice the size of my left right now and I know it's from strong-arming so much to get that extra power.


I have been keeping my disc relatively flat and tight tho on the pull through. My throws under the arm are decent; well directed and level. It's mostly extra power I am looking for with this change. So far the change is giving me a lot of hyzer. I will practice what you are saying and try to reach around my waist with the left arm, I just don't think I'm swinging the left side of my body enough at all when I rotate during my motion still.


And it'd dumb to me that I can't easily make this change. This way is so much more logical and simple, it's like I'm introducing another unnecessary element of motion by throwing that left arm up in the air.


This is old way.




The process of getting better is made up of continually making changes and adjustments.  Even 1000 rated players experiment with small changes in grip or footwork or body mechanics in order to try to improve.  So rather than locking into a technique and viewing it as permanent it might be better to keep an open mind about the form which works best for you at the moment and which adjustments will let you make the next steps forward..


There are very fine players who have non-traditional techniques so it would be hard to say point blank that your form (which you call underarm but I would refer to as "crossing" arms) is wrong.  For sure it costs you distance potential because it limits body rotation but it may be that you overcome that disadvantage with better accuracy.  You won't know unless and until you spend the time to develop a form which allows full rotation.


Btw, I believe you can likely  achieve your accuracy potential  with traditional form (keeping your left arm down to your side and out of the way) with practice and the resulting confidence.  At first, though, you will be far worse than normal.  Improvement is never a straight line graph.  You take steps backward before you take steps forward.


If I were teaching a new player I would never teach a crossing arms backhand drive (as your right arm pulls back your left arm crosses forward as though you were trying to hug yourself).  But once that technique becomes ingrained it will take time to change it.


An underarm throw, btw, is one where the player's motion looks like they are bowling (arm swing low to the side of the body) with a wrist snap at the end.  There are weird spots in bushes where it is the only way out for a putt or an upshot but aside from that good players seldom use this form.  Freestyle players use it to set up air bounces (high spin, little speed).

Hey there Sue,

I am a chronic under arm thrower.  It was ingrained in me and my form by a close friend that taught me most of what I had first learned about form.  The way that this happened was, he was very concerned about the angle of the nose or the general line that the disc would take in his form , so he would hold the back side of his disc lightly with his left arm as he was a RHBH thrower.  That over blown concern and watching him while he was playing/ teaching gave me this bad habit.  :)

I got the DG bug really bad and spent alot of time in the field and on Disc Golf Review technique and repair forums and over time I learned to balance out or "fix" what was happening with the flight of my disc, because of what I was doing and the "ugly" form that I had (have).  This allowed me to progress in accuracy and distance.  Mostly these fixes were with the arm/body/back angles that I would have by reaching back and under my left arm.  Another huge thing that helps is following through correctly, this changes the flight of the disc in almost any situation.  In the DVD that Climo and Feldy put out (the basics) they teach that following through with your arm up (1 o'clock) will give you a hyzer, straight across ( 3o,clock) will give you a straight throw, or really the disc will fly as per the characteristics of that disc.  Conversely if you finish at 4 o'clock any disc will turn into an anhyzer, for atleast a small period of time.

Fixes and messing around with things like these that can be learned on the discgolfreview site can help you manipulate any flight that you want with a disc that is able to do so, which with very few exceptions in almost all discs in any given situation.  The exceptions to this would be a brand new Flick or a Max for a hard back hand anhyzer.  That can be done but generally isn't worth the effort.

As far as fixing it, or eliminating it, do as you feel!  If you want to be rid of it good for you!  It is not aesthetically pleasing at all, as I know all too well.  I really is another Cost /benefit question that golf is so good for...  If you want to take the steps back in the hopes to progress much more forward the road is there to do so, all you have to do is walk it.  you may find as I have found that it wouldn't be worth going back and fixing at the point you are at.  I am not an advocate of this form at all, I don't teach anybody the way to throw like I do, which is of course this form.  But in my teaching of other folks I have found that there is one really important thing.  What works for you.  Climo's beautiful form (which is just about all of the other top pro's form) works for him, that is why he did it, does it and is the Micheal Jordan of DG.  On the other side of that equation you have a great player like Josh Anthon who, forgive me, seems like he is holding an angry badger as far away from his body as possible in his form and then at the end of the throw, he has crazy D and accuracy and smoke a lot of people with excellent form.  I am not trying to take anything from him, he is a beast and if I was to be playing a round of doubles with another good player, I doubt we could beat his singe's score.  The only reason I bring him up is because the aesthetics in his form just aren't there compared to most but the results certainly are there and easily quantifiable to show that he is a monster of a player and a 2010 biggest money winner out on tour.

I have a video of a few throws during a round a few weeks ago.  Some are distance throws and until watching that serious of shots, I never knew that I look like I chop my left hand off on every throw.  My form is ugly.  Ugly Ugly UGLY!  No denying it.  But my results beat many if not most of my peers, so I am not changing it.  Ultimately it is up to you and if there is any way I can help, I would be glad to do so!  I will try to get the vid on this site.  It is posted on a site that makes all videos proprietary, so I have no idea how to get it in my comps grubby mitts.


@ Mark, thanks for the information. It is definitely going to take some time to make this change. As you said, I am certainly taking a few steps backwards with accuracy and distance right now. I am not suffering hugely in distance compared to some others, but I have been stalled at my current for about 6 months.


I will keep working in the field and hopefully I can get it on track. I've almost started wondering if I should leave the arm up but at a much lower angle to help with reach back.


Thanks Sean for the info, nice to hear from another 'underarm thrower' that has learned how to make it work. It has been 'working' to a certain degree. I finished 2nd at Women's Nats in Int. I just find moving up to Advanced my distance is lagging.


I don't know what a reasonable time is to consider whether this change is working or worth it, but I will keep doing it in the field. I do try to look at DGR from time to time, but I don't really understand everything I'm reading.


Also, I realize there are plenty of good players with non-traditional techniques that have made it work. I know my current technique works for me in terms of accuracy if I could just figure out how to get a little more distance.


One thing I've noticed that is helping with the transition is throwing rounds with my mids and putters. So, it looks like starting from the basic stand still position may be how to best accomplish this change. I think I will keep trying it this way for now.

I was really glad I made this post so I can see how long I have been working on this change with my throw. So, right at two and a half weeks. I'm happy to say that I've successfully transitioned and learned to keep my left arm by my side. My biggest problem at first was a lot of nose up, but now I've gotten my disc more under control.


I've already seen about 10-20 ft improvement in my drives, but that could also be the weather warming up. I do feel a little bit of muscle soreness around my scapula. BUT, when I take into account that I'm reaching and rotating further back, I'm not surprised by this. It makes sense and I don't think it's related to strong arming. I only wish I would have withdrawn from the PDGA event I played while working on this b/c I was really a little skewed on my release and all. :( I did have a 5 stroke improvement at my home course this weekend at our club monthly, but I also started using a new approach disc that I'm pretty happy with.


Regardless of what is causing the improvement, I'll take it. All in all...becoming happy and comfortable with the change and I think in the long run it will pay bigger dividends. Thanks for your help and support guys!!! :)

Reply to Discussion


Blog Posts

Disc Golf Approach Shot Tips by Paul Ulibarri

Posted by Alan Barker on October 30, 2014 at 12:40pm — 1 Comment

State of Disc Golf: Disc Golf Growth

Posted by Alan Barker on January 29, 2014 at 2:26pm

What are your favorite Disc Plastics?

Posted by Alan Barker on November 4, 2013 at 1:38pm

2 Tips For Guys To Entice A Girls

Posted by Frederick Cranford on September 11, 2013 at 5:42am

Disc Golf Answerman Episode 6

Posted by CoolDaddySlickBreeze on August 13, 2013 at 4:40pm



© 2015   Created by Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service