Disc golfers these days spend a lot of time online learning new information about the sport, but don’t often take the time to do the things that would really improve their game. It is time to take that action by making the time to go out there and really improve. I’ve compiled a list of 17 disc golf tips in this article that you can do today (RIGHT NOW) that will completely change disc golf for you forever. Get out there and take action!
Action #1 – Schedule Your First Disc Golf Tournament (20 minutes)
Disc Golf tournaments can be a great way to improve your game. I’ve run into players that have a misconception that tournaments are only for the pros. That’s just not true. There are tons of tournaments being run that are specifically for amateurs just wanting to have fun and get better. Not only that, but if you are really wanting to get better there is something special about setting a goal in the future and striving toward it. Goals with hard deadlines are key. By scheduling your first tournament today, you will be able to create the motivation needed to ACTUALLY improve before game day arrives, because no one wants to show up to a tournament unprepared.
Head over to Disc Golf Scene, search for a tournament in your area, and register. You won’t regret it. The registration fee is typically small and many tournaments have giveaways and player packs given out. Most importantly, you’ll come away from the tournament with more experience and perhaps a few new friends to play with.
Action #2 – Subscribe to a Disc Golf YouTube channel (5 minutes)
There are so many good YouTube channels out there producing high-quality content on disc golf. Whether you want to learn more about technique, new discs, or just watch pro level tournament coverage, there’s plenty out there to keep you busy. Also, watching people play the sport will give you new ideas of how to improve your game. Perhaps you’ve never thought of a certain type of grip that you could start using. Or a new shot shape that you you saw a pro execute. Once you see something you like, give it a shot the next time you’re on the course.
Check out my post on all the top disc golf YouTube Channels.
Action #3 – Go Read the Official Rules on the PDGA Website (45 minutes)
Most people understand the general concept how disc golf works. That’s not hard. But if you really want to get better at disc golf and play with ALL the rules, you need to actually sit down and read them. It isn’t incredibly surprising to me when I find out that most people who play haven’t ever read the rules for themselves. You pick up some of the important rules along the way such as out of bounds and marking your lie. However, there are a number of other rules that govern certain situations during play that all players should know about. Such as the 10 meter rule where a player must demonstrate full control of balance behind their lie when within 10 meters of the basket. There are also a number of question & answer restatements that can help you better understand how to apply the rules.
I have found that really understanding the rules has helped solve many potential disagreements that could come up. This is especially useful if your are planning on playing in a disc golf tournament. In fact, I would say it is a requirement for any player wanting to attend a tournament to first read all the rules. You can read the Official Rules of Disc Golf on the PDGA website here.
Action #4 – Uniquely Mark Your Discs Right Now (10 minutes)
Go grab a sharpie and write your name and phone # on the back of all of your discs. Or just do something unique to identify your discs as yours. This is one of the more overlooked requirements in the rules that I noticed people commonly missing. In tournament play this is absolutely necessary because all thrown discs must be uniquely marked or it will result in a warning and then penalty throw. In recreational play, identifying your discs is smart in case you lose or forget a disc on the course. If a another player behind you finds it, they can easily return it to you. And if you really want to increase the chance of getting your disc back, you can do what a friend of mine does and write a girl’s name along with your cell number. People tend to be more likely to return a disc if it has a girls name.
Action #5 – Buy a Basket For Your Backyard (5 minutes)
If you have a house with a backyard, you’d really benefit from having a disc golf basket back there. My putting accuracy dramatically increased when I purchased a basket for my house. On days when I want to go to the course, but I just don’t have enough time to make it work, I’ll go in my backyard and practice my putting for 30 minutes. Anyone serious about getting better at putting needs to be practicing more than a few times over the weekend. To truly improve, you need to be banging chains 4 to 5 times a week, or more if possible. For most of us out there, it is unrealistic to get out to the course 4 to 5 times a week for practice. However, I have found it very easy to get out to my backyard in the morning or evening when a basket is out there while my kids are playing.
You can check out the best baskets that I recommend here.
Action #6 – Create a Disc Golf Course Bucket List (30 minutes)
Playing on a disc golf course you’ve never been to before is an exciting experience. It can also be just the thing you need to improve your game by being exposed to new situations. We can sometimes get stuck in a rut by playing the same courses around where we live. Life gets busy and its hard to make time to get away and do something new. Take some time to sit down for 30 minutes to decide which famous disc golf courses you want to visit and play on. And once you have your list, write down a date for when you will visit the first course and what you need to do before then to make it happen.
Here is a list of the top rated disc golf courses in the United States to help you get started with your bucket list.
Action #7 – Find Someone Better Than You to Play With (25 minutes)
I make it a point of surrounding myself with people that are better than me. I discovered from an early age that I need a goal to work toward to be motivated to improve. Competition can help with that motivation. If you always play with or compare your performance with players that you are consistently better than, it’s likely you’ll never get better at disc golf. Get out there to a course and find someone that is clearly better than you and invite them to play together. Pay attention to how they play, ask questions when appropriate, and learn everything you can from them. This will push you to WANT to improve so you can keep up with the people you’re playing with.
Action #8 – Sign Up for the PDGA (15 minutes)
If you plan on playing in PDGA sanctioned tournaments and accepting prizes, you generally are going to need to be a current member of the PDGA. However, being a member of the PDGA is about more than just accepting prizes in PDGA sanctioned events. You’ll also get access to member only events, player rating & statistics. Membership is only around $50 per year for amateurs and $75 for professionals and new members receive the following from the association:
- Free UDisc Pro subscription – the official mobile app of the PDGA
- Subscription to Discgolfer magazine – the official publication of the PDGA
- PDGA logo disc
- Mini marker
- The Official Rules of Disc Golf and Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events
- Lifetime member number
- Membership card
- PDGA sticker
- Reusable scorecard
You can sign up for a membership here.
Action #9 – Buy a New Disc From a Smaller Brand (10 minutes)
There are a ton of brands making disc golf discs these days. It may have been true years ago that there were only a few brands that you could trust such as Innova and Discraft. Nowadays everyone is making some really good discs. If you’re needing to change it up for something more exciting, why not try the Gote from Kastaplast or the Bobcat from Mint? Both are really great mid-range discs. The Gote is a slower disc great for touch shots and the Bobcat is a slightly overstable, beadless mid-range that could be put to use in the wind.
Action #10 – Learn About All of the Different Disc Golf Terms (20 minutes)
Have you ever watched a disc golf tournament or been on a course and heard people using disc golf terms you’ve never heard before? It can be daunting getting into disc golf when it seems like everyone else is speaking a language that you don’t understand. Luckily Jomez Pro have put together a fantastic list of disc golf terms that everyone should know. You’ll learn everything from ‘A-tier’ to the ‘X-step’ so the next time you’re watching some tournament coverage, you’ll be able to follow along perfectly.
Action #11 – Go Watch the Two Greatest Disc Golf Rounds Every Played (50 minutes)
In 2018 during round 2 of the Great Lake Open in Milford, Michigan, Paul McBeth threw an amazing 18 under par round. A feat that has never been accomplished by anyone in the sport up to that point. You can watch a cleanly cut version of the round here, which is commentated by Paul McBeth himself and Jeremy Koling. It is great to hear Paul talk about the round and about what he was thinking at each point during the historic 18 under par. If you’re looking for inspiration or hype to get into disc golf, this is a great one to watch.
Remarkably, in 2019 during round 2 of the Waco Annual Charity Open in Waco, Texas, Paul McBeth once again threw an 18 under par round. Check it out here. This one is once again commentated by Paul, but he is joined by Nate Sexton this time.
Action #12 – Record Your Throwing Form and Post it on Reddit to be Critiqued (15 minutes)
This is a pretty common practice on reddit and very helpful for a player just starting out. You’ll have to take some of the responses with a grain of salt, but this is a great way to get raw and honest feedback from people that do not care about your feelings in any way. Sometimes this is exactly what we need to really see our flaws. And it helps when critical feedback comes from people you don’t know. I understand that this can make people a little nervous putting themselves out there like that, so alternatively you can review other people’s posting and read through the comments. Just search ‘reddit disc golf form check’ on google and a ton of these will come up. Many people will actually take the request for critique seriously and provide useful feedback.
Action #13 – Repair Your Older Disc Golf Discs (30 minutes)
I don’t like messing with my discs that much, because wear and tear on a disc golf disc can be a good thing. However, sometimes your disc will hit a tree just right or a sign with a sharp edge, and leave an uncomfortably large blemish on your disc. Uncomfortable from the perspective of gripping the disc. If you find your discs have enough battle wounds that the disc isn’t releasing from your grip effectively, you can always take some semi-fine sandpaper and work out the rough spots. Some people may say to just buy a new disc since they are so cheap, but a disc takes a while to break in to a point to where it is flying just the way you like it. With a new disc you have to start that process all over again.
Action #14 – Get the Right Equipment for the Course
It is important to be comfortable when you are out on the course. It’ll help with your focus on the actual game, rather than messing with your disc selection or bag. Before going out to the course, make sure you have the appropriate discs loaded up with all the essentials in your bag. Speaking of the bag, I used to carry a regular backpack with the four discs that I had when starting out. As my amount of discs grew I needed a actual disc golf bag that could hold all my discs as well as my water, snacks, towels, and other miscellaneous items. The bag I settled has been great because I can now carry around plenty of discs while keeping my water and snacks ice cold in the built-in cooler the bag has.
If you’re interested in what bag I’m using or want to see my recommendations, you can take a look at my recommended equipment page here.
Action #15 – Understand Your Actual Distance (1 Hour)
Oftentimes when I’m out on the course I’ll throw a really good shot and wonder how far it was. I can sort of guess based on how long the hole is and the disc’s position relative to the basket. But I’m never quite certain what the actually distance is. To help understand your actual distance, go to a football field and throw from the end zone. The painted distance markers on the field are perfect for gauging your distance capabilities. You can also use this as a way to track your progress as you increase your distance, which gives you something to reach for. Do this for about an hour with all of your discs and record your average max distance for each disc. The next time you’re at a course, you’ll know exactly which disc to pull out to reach the basket.
Action #16 – Throw A Disc Through a Football Field Goal (1 hour)
Throwing straight from long distances is an absolute must skill to have when you play on narrow fairways or wooded courses. While you’re at that same football field for Action #16, stand on the 50 yard line in the middle of the field and throw a putter or mid-range straight through the field goal uprights, aiming for the middle. 1). you will be able to tell how straight you can really throw by using the goal posts as a reference point, and 2). if you can reach the goal posts with a putter or mid-range from that distance, you’re ready to move up to a higher speed disc.
Action #17 – Share This Post on Your Social Networks
So, you got me. This one won’t help you improve at disc golf at all, but I would be very appreciative if you shared this on your social media. It only takes a minute and would be a huge help to me.