How To Throw Forehand in Disc Golf: Perfect Your Stance, Grip, & Max Out Your Distance!

Learning how to throw forehand in disc golf is useful in one of two ways: As a necessary throw for a specific fairway layout or as a primary throwing mechanism for disc golfers. 

In other words, you either use it a lot or only when necessary. 

The forehand throw, often shortened to RHFH or LHFH, is a technique all its own. It is completely separate from backhand throws and often more difficult to execute. While some have a knack for it, others require some time and practice to achieve a certain degree of accuracy and precision. 

The Warm Up Phase

A lot of disc golfers, especially the young bucks, don’t spend any time warming up before cranking out backhand throws. Maybe it’s just me being over 40, but you really need to get the blood flowing in your arm before you start throwing sidearm. 

If you’re going to get hurt disc golfing, the sidearm throw is where it will happen. 

If nothing else, just take five minutes or so to work your throwing arm through the motions. The forehand throw involves a lot of ligament strain, and ligaments don’t take kindly to sudden, vicious movements. 

The Setup: Visualizing The Disc Flight Path

If you’ve read my backhand article, this will look familiar to you — mostly out of necessity. This is because everything up until the moment you situate yourself in the tee box remains the same. 

Visualizing your flight path is essential regardless of your throw. 

Plus, it helps get your mind in the game; it’s a psychological benefit that will create opportunities and do wonders for those trying to improve. In baseball, keeping your eye on the ball is 90% of your ability to hit when the pitch comes in. 

Analyze the fairway in front of you and break things down. 

  • What’s the distance between you and the basket? 
  • How hard is the dogleg, and the distance from the elbow of the dogleg to the basket? 
  • What is the best disc choice? 
  • How narrow is your fairway? 

In your mind’s eye, trace your disc path down the fairway and around the corner.

Of course, the fairway might be perfectly straight and you’re aiming for an s-curve that hugs both sides of the OB. Regardless of the layout, trace your path ahead of time and pull the disc out of your bag that’s made for the given situation.

Set Your Feet and Grip

A forehand throw in disc golf has its own power grip. From the tee box, the power grip will be your number-one go-to in most situations. However, you can dial it down if you’re dealing with a short par 3. 

With a power grip, run your index finger inside the rim, straight, with the pad of your finger resting solidly along the inside of the rim. 

Stack your middle finger on top of your index, or you can run it beneath the rim. Your thumb should be on the flight plate, above the second knuckle of your index. 

Position your body east-to-west (the tee box is north-south in this description), with your feet shoulder length apart. Your dominant foot should be slightly behind your forward foot. 

Hip Rotation and Release

Believe it or not, there isn’t as much hip rotation with the forehand throw as there is with the backhand throw, though there is some. Your arm should extend back, maintaining a 90° angle between your wrist and elbow.

As you bring the disc around, you’ll shift your weight from the back foot to the front foot, generating power. Your elbow will lead the way forward and serve as a dependable marker for the line the disc will take once you release it. 

Right before you release (and this is the most difficult part, at least for me), flick your wrist forward, creating the necessary spin on the disc. The spin is what generates the flight path and turns those four numbers on your disc into reality. It also generates additional power.

Your arm and body should follow all the way through the arc, even after the disc is released. 

How To Throw Forehand In Disc Golf: The Various Forms and Scenarios

Now that the generalizations above are out of the way, it’s worth laying out the variety of scenarios you will face, from standing still as you throw to running up to the edge of the tee box

Where backhand throwing takes form, practice, and patience to perfect and improve distance, learning how to throw forehand in disc golf is more of a finesse action. 

Timing is essential, especially when you’re moving your feet in the lead-up to releasing the disc. Your footwork has to be in rhythm with your windup and release. As always, mental focus makes up most of the game and if you have your mind right, everything else will logically follow. 

Forehand Throw – Standing Still

You’ll mostly face a standing still forehand toss on an approach shot when you need the disc to fade in one direction or another, fairly close to your current position. You can get some decent distance flicking from a stand-still position, but it won’t be nearly as much. 

Stance

In this scenario, you don’t change anything about your stance — feet shoulder length apart, with your strong foot (in the rear) planted slightly behind your front foot. Make sure your hips are aligned with the point you want to hit before your disc begins to fade. 


For instance, if you are throwing around an object and the object is between you and the basket, don’t point your hips directly at the object. Point your hips at the mark you want your disc to hit, allowing the disc to naturally fade once it hits that point. 

Motion

Your shoulders will parallel your hips and feet. In short, your entire body is facing east-to-west (or vice versa), while your target is north or south of you. Windup, the 90° angle between elbow and wrist, elbow leading off, and release all remain the same. 

Release

You’ll notice that from a standing still position, your overall power is drastically diminished, but you can make up for that with a solid wrist flick and release. 

Disc Type

For these short, forehand throws, you’ll be using an understandable mid-range or a stable to overstable putter. I tend to use the Sockibomb Slammer for this one or the occasional Harp. Kestrel makes a good, stable putter for just this sort of throw. For more familiar discs, look to the KC Pro Aviar, the Prodigy A2, or the famous Gateway Wizard.

Forehand Throw – Max Distance

Nate Sexton has a neat little windup called the Sexton Hop. At full speed, it resembles most other run-ups before release, but there’s a little hop thrown in for good measure. It’s worth trying if it feels comfortable for you. 

  • Square up, facing the basket
  • Visualize the disc flight path
  • Take a large step forward, leading with your strong leg
  • As you bring your weak leg forward for the next step, begin your windup
  • Your windup should carry you into the proper east-to-west position
  • As your weak leg passes your strong leg, use your momentum to sort of short-hop forward on your strong leg
  • Finish swinging your weak leg forward in a massive step
  • Maintain your 90° arm angle as you bring your arm down to waist level and forward (your body will be much lower to the ground at this point)
  • Lead with your elbow and flick your wrist as the disc catches up to your elbow’s lead

Remember to keep your weight on the ball of your back foot until you transfer your weight forward. As the weight transfer takes place, the impact will be on your weak foot’s heel as you are driving forward. 

Grip

You’ll mostly use the power grip for these throws, and just as with the backhand throw, the disc should tear itself out of your hand as you bring your arm around and flick your wrist. You should feel it whip off the pad of your index finger in a straight line, whether you’re adding a hyzer or an anhyzer to the disc. 

Disc Type

For power forehand throws in disc golf, you’ll mostly use fairway and distance drivers. However, there’s nothing wrong with using a power throw with mid-ranges. As a matter of fact, I use a semi-bunny hop power throw with the Justice, Verdict, Slammer, and Harp. 

Remember, for this type of throw, unless you are putting a hyzer or anhyzer on it, the torque from your wrist flick will flip understable discs. I mostly utilize this throw with moderate to seriously overstable drivers and mid-ranges. The Pioneer, Destroyer, Sergeant, and Trespass are excellent for hard-core sidearm throws. 

Disc Types and Their Impact on the Forehand Throw

The forehand, at least in my opinion, puts a lot of torque on your disc, which translates into spin when you release. The more understable the disc, the more difficult it is to control with a strong forehand throw. 

Pro Tip: One of the things you’ll have to learn with the forehand, once you have the dynamics of the throw-down pat, is taking some of that elbow grease off. 

You’ll also need to learn how to hyzer and anhyzer more understable discs from the forehand position. To me, it’s actually a little easier to maintain either angle throughout the entire windup and release than it is with the backhand. 

You can throw any disc forehand, but the degree of oomph you take off or add is more than what you take off or add with backhand throws. Everything is different in this position, and it will take time to get used to. 

Forehand throws are perfect for tackling doglegs in the fairway and for creating dynamic s-curves to navigate more complicated fairways. 

Speaking From Experience After Learning How To Throw Forehand In Disc Golf

My first forehand throws in disc golf were nightmares of inconsistency. It’s not like throwing a baseball. I learned to improve by throwing from a stand-still position and repetition. When you get out on the course, find a practice basket or utilize the first basket on hole #1, so long as no one is waiting to play through. 

While learning how to throw forehand in disc golf, I would take up multiple positions and distances from the basket, flicking the disc at different angles, from different approaches, and with different obstacles until I felt comfortable. 

The key to learning the forehand is patience and persistence. My forehand throw is still not the best, but it’s a world apart from my early attempts. 

Final Putt: How To Throw Forehand In Disc Golf

Learning how to throw forehand in disc golf will open up an entirely different and advantageous strategic approach to your game. Not everyone can do both the backhand and forehand, which will also give you an advantage in competing against friends who can’t.

Once you get the process and form down, there is no fairway or obstacle that you can’t get around. Now, all you have to do is add the tomahawk and roller to your growing list of disc golf skills, and you will dominate your local course before you know it!

Leave a Comment