As an avid golf player, I was pleasantly surprised to discover another golf-like sport. This sport uses similar mechanics to golf but only with a disc, instead of a club and ball, hence the name disc golf. Because you need to throw the disc at a target, it made me wonder just how far a beginner should throw a disc golf disc?
According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), you can expect beginners to throw disc golf discs at an average distance of around 175 to 250 feet. This is typically approximately 80% of their ultimate throwing distance, becoming farther as they gain more experience in the sport.
Average Throwing Distance in Disc Golf
As mentioned, most beginners tend to throw disc golf discs at an average distance of 175 to 250 feet. Meanwhile, with around 1 to 2 years of experience, recreational players have an average throwing distance of approximately 200 to 300 feet.
For intermediate players that have been playing disc golf for 2 to 3 years, they can reach a maximum distance of 250 to 350 on average. For advanced and master players with several years of experience, their throwing distance can reach an impressive 450 feet.
Factors That Affect Disc Golf Drive Distance
Like regular golf, several factors can affect a disc golf player’s throwing distance or “drive distance.” Factors like a player’s experience, technique, and speed can affect the distance a disc golf disc reaches when thrown.
To understand this better, let’s go over some of the factors you need to consider for your drive distance.
Player’s Overall Experience and Technique
One of the defining factors that affect drive distance is a player’s experience and overall technique. As a beginner, you might not have much control over how you throw the disc, resulting in a shorter throwing distance.
However, the more you play and the more experience you gain, you’ll better control how you throw the disc golf disc. You’ll also learn to apply specific techniques when you throw it.
For example, you’ll know when to use either a forehand or backhand technique, depending on the conditions when you play. As such, more experienced players can throw discs over a longer distance, with some reaching as far as 450 feet as their average.
Player’s Arm Power
Another factor that affects drive distance is a player’s arm power. This means the more powerful your throwing arm is, the farther you can throw the disc. However, this should be combined with proper technique, so you can easily reach your target.
A player’s form is also another primary factor that affects drive distance. Your form includes your position and posture as you throw the disc across the field.
Adopting the proper form allows you to not only achieve longer distances but also help you reach your target more easily. Your form can also affect your speed, accuracy, and throwing consistency, all of which can determine whether you reach the mark or not.
Disc Weight and Condition
The equipment used can also affect how far you can throw the disc. While its weight doesn’t inherently affect its overall stability, this can affect the effort needed to throw the disc.
For example, a more lightweight disc requires less power and speed to throw than when throwing a heavier disc. The former has a higher chance of reaching long distances compared to a disc thrown with less power and speed.
The disc’s condition also affects its flight, with newer discs being at their most optimal shape when thrown.
Angle of Release
Another factor that affects drive distance is the angle used when the disc is thrown. The angle at which a disc is thrown can determine its time in the air and just how far it goes. The release angle can also affect its torque or the rotational force of your disc.
How to Improve Your Drive Distance in Disc Golf
As a beginner, there’s plenty of room for improvement. With enough practice and training, you can reach longer distances in disc golf.
Now that you know some of the factors that affect a player’s drive distance, let’s discuss what you can do to improve it.
Improve Your Upper Body Coordination
As you know, your form can significantly affect just how far you can throw your disc. Improving your upper body coordination can also enhance your overall form. This entails positioning your arms, shoulders, chest, and head in the right spots as you throw the disc.
With proper coordination throughout your upper body, you won’t just improve your drive distance. You’ll also increase your overall power, speed, and accuracy.
Work on Your Footwork
While power in your upper body is also necessary, most of the power generated in your body when you throw comes from your hips and legs. Becoming more aware of where and how you position your feet before you throw can affect just how far your disc will reach.
Improve Your Timing
Like with other sports, timing is crucial when throwing the disc. Everything needs to line up perfectly when you throw so that you can maximize the distance and power. If not, you might lose your throwing power which can result in shorter drive distances.
Accuracy Is More Important
While reaching a long distance is essential, accuracy tends to be a heavier factor in disc golf than drive distance.
This means that even if you can throw it up to 450 feet, it might not matter that much if your throw isn’t accurate. So, aside from your drive distance, make sure to work on the accuracy of your throws as well.
Disc golf adds a fun new twist to traditional golf, using discs to make it more enjoyable. However, there’s more to it than simply throwing the disc at a target; several factors can affect your distance and accuracy.
As a beginner, you might not cover too much distance when you throw. Still, with time and practice, you will eventually cover farther distances with every throw.