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Here is a general question for you old pros out there.

I have been playing disc golf at least twice a week over the last few weeks, and have gotten quite a bit better. I know which discs I want to use for different holes, and my putting is amazingly more accurate. Prior to the last few months I would go out and play with friends maybe 6-10 times a year, but I have stepped up the frequency lately as I have decided to make this my outdoor sport of choice.

With that said my drives are still horribly inconsistent. There are two main parts to that drive that I am working on.

The first is consistent release. I am getting to where maybe every 3 holes it goes squirrely on me and I am tossing it into the woods, or WAY off to the right. Usually this happens when I am trying to go further, and tend to have too much of a death grip on the disc.

The second part is distance. I am 6'5" with decent muscularity to me, but I only throw about 250-300 (with the long range drivers...) so I definitely need to work on my form. I am working on finding some people to go throw with in my area who are known for their distance, and hopefully that will help me get some pointers on my form.

The main question I had here though is:

How long did it take you to get into a comfortable groove with your driving? And once you got it down have you been able to keep it pretty consistent or do find you have to really focus on all the small bits of your throw to keep it going the way you want?

I am sure my lack of focus plays a big part in my inconsistency. I need to run through a mental check list before each throw most times or I just go out there, wing it, and then curse my self for not taking my time :)

As I have learned with other sports a lot of this seems like it just needs to be repetition to get the muscle memory going, but I wanted to get some input on ways others might have sped up the process, or how they practiced to get it ingrained in their systems (IE throwing out in a field).

Leave some pointers or stories of your worst newbie drives in the comments!

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Comment by Bill Burns on July 26, 2010 at 4:06pm
Charles,

Where do you play, and when? I can try and give you some pointers. Despite my advanced age (50), my best drives can sniff at 400 ft - one of the benefits of playing for 30 years is that by that time, anyone playing consistently for that long has tried enough throw variations to discover what works for him/her.
Comment by mark ellis on July 25, 2010 at 10:01am
Hey Charles King,

For the first 8 years I played I increased my distance each year so with practice and dedication you probably will too. Then I leveled off and diminished some with age (threw my first golf disc at 39 y/o and am 55 now) until this year when the Nuke came out and am now throwing farther than ever. This year's gain was not about me finding the fountain of youth, it was just superior technology.

The pursuit of greater distance is a compelling goal even though we know that accuracy is much more important. In tournament players there is only minor correlation between power and handicap ratings, so throwing farther is not the key component to playing better.

Distance comes from form, timing and power. Power is the least important of these factors and includes snap, strength, flexibility and fast twitch muscles. So going to gym to bulk up is not the best way to throw farther. Practicing your form and timing under the tutelage of a good player or coach is.

If you throw smooth, flat and balanced with full follow through you have the core of good form. Practice this. Focus on this. This is the muscle memory that will yield both power and accuracy. Imagine that your distance is not about how hard you throw but how smooth, controlled and graceful you are. Think of yourself as a dancer or a skater or a gymnast demonstrating perfect form as you throw.

Timing is a function of practice. If there is a shortcut for this I have never found it. When you shank a drive or griplock it astray, many times it is because you are trying too hard. Dial back. You don't need that extra 10 feet in distance and trying to get it just bit you. Don't be greedy. If you keep piling more food on your plate, no matter how hungry you are, all you are doing is making a mess.

Smooth, flat, balanced, controlled and follow through: make this your mantra.
Comment by AK Discer on July 24, 2010 at 4:25pm
Charles,
Check out the below links and just peruse this whole site as there is tons of priceless info. I don't really have much in Alaska as far as "real" pros so I don't have that advantage. Blake and associates from DGR have given me most all that I know about disc golf as well as this site.

All the articles you'll need to figure out your drives and form:

http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources/articles.shtml
http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources/technique.shtml
http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources/throwanalysis.shtml
http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources/tips.shtml
http://www.discgolfreview.com/forums/
Comment by Kory Olko on July 24, 2010 at 8:39am
I've only been playing for a year and a half, but here's what I've done to try and get better.

- Throw in a field. This does help a lot.
- Join in a weekly league. We have 3 parks close to here and all three have some sort of league play on different days. You get to play with people who can give you pointers and you get to see how the better players throw.
- Watch the videos on youtube. There are some really good videos from Discraft for pointers on throwing.
- Don't assume since someone better than you can throw a certain way that you can do the same. Find your own style that works for you.

Hope this helps. Happy throwing.

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