Types of Disc Golf Throws for EVERY Situation

As a beginner disc golfer, you might know a couple of types of disc golf throws, the backhand and forehand.

While these are the two most common disc golf techniques, expert players use many other throws to lower their scores.

Once you’re confident in your backhand and sidearm throws, you should try learning more advanced tactics.

Below you’ll find an explanation of the different types of disc golf throws and when you should use them.

Disc Golf Throwing Techniques

The types of disc golf throws vary because the disc flies differently depending on how you throw it.

Sometimes you need to adjust your throwing form to make it to the basket because a backhand or forehand isn’t the best option.

Other times, you only need to make slight adjustments to your backhand or forehand to get it to the basket.

All of these adjustments have names; some sound funny or get confusing to beginners, so let’s start breaking them down!

Disc Golf Backhand Throw

Disc golf backhand throw

The backhand is the most common throw in disc golf because it’s used off the tee and for approach shots.

The backhand throw looks similar to a tennis backhand shot, meaning your hips are perpendicular to the target, and the shoulder of the hand you throw with will be closest to the basket.

You can stand still or use an X-step to generate more power and distance.

It’s important to have a staggered stance when throwing backhand. Your toes on your back foot should be behind the heel of your front foot.

You’ll twist at your hips, which will turn your shoulders, and then explode with your hips and throw the disc.

Now there are a lot of minute details I can’t cover in this article, so I recommend watching some professionals in slow motion to pick up on their technique and form.

Disc Golf Forehand Throw

Forehand type of disc golf throw

The forehand or sidearm shot is an underutilized shot, in my opinion. It can be used off of the tee and for approach shots. It can be used just about anywhere a backhand throw is used.

Many baseball and football players prefer this type of disc golf throw because it resembles their natural throwing motion.

A forehand shot doesn’t go as far as a backhand shot, but it’s a great tool because it finishes in the opposite direction of a backhand throw.

Your hips will be opened toward the basket as you stand still or crow hop.

You want your throw to be as smooth as possible, and flick your wrist to force the disc to leave your hand.

There are many different sidearm techniques, but they all share a snappy wrist. Once again, I recommend watching the pros and using a method that’s most comfortable for you.

Hyzer Shot

A hyzer shot is the angle at which you release the disc.

For right-handed-backhand throwers (RHBH), a hyzer shot will generally finish harder to the left, depending on the flight numbers of the disc.

The opposite is true for right-handed-forehand throwers, and left-handed-backhand (LHBH) throws.

Many players bend at the waist and tilt their wrist down to create this angle while releasing the disc.

The more hyzer angle you give the disc, the faster it will move to the left for RHBH.

Anhyzer Shot

An anhyzer angle is the opposite of a hyzer angle.

For RHBH players, an anhyzer shot will finish more to the right, while an anhyzer throw from LHBH players will finish more to the left.

To put an anhyzer angle on the disc, players don’t bend at the waist as much and tilt their wrist up.

An excellent backhand anhyzer shot can be used in place of a forehand if you’re uncomfortable throwing a forehand.

However, I recommend learning to use both as you advance your disc golf skills because each throw is more useful in different situations.

Disc Golf Turnover Shot

Very similar to an anhyzer shot is the turnover shot. The main difference between these two types of disc golf throws is disc selection.

For most anhyzer shots, you’ll choose a stable or overstable disc. This means it will have some fade at the end of the shot.

For a turnover shot, you’ll need to choose a stable or understable disc; that way, the disc fades to the right for RHBH players and to the left for LHBH players.

A turnover shot is used when a hole curves to the right. Sometimes this is called a lefty hole, and other times; it’s called a dogleg right.

Disc Golf Flex Shot

While the flex shot is a very tough technique to master, it’s incredibly beneficial to lowering your score.

As with most disc golf shot types, it depends on the type of disc you choose.

You’ll need an overstable disc released on anhyzer to get a flex shot.

A flex shot is similar to an S Shot, which we will discuss next; however, disc selection is the crucial factor that differentiates the two.

Mastering this shot requires you to have good arm speed and control of your release angle.

It’s primarily thrown using a backhand, but you shouldn’t overlook it as a forehand shot.

Disc Golf S Shot

The S shot has a similar flight path as the flex line, but you’re throwing a different disc at a flat angle.

You’ll need an understable disc with a slight fade released flat (parallel to the ground) to throw an S shot.

The understability of the disc will pull the disc to the right for RHBH players, and the fade of the disc will cause it to move left at the end of the shot, creating an S-shaped flight path.

Choosing the right disc most often depends on understanding disc golf flight numbers. While there’s no industry standard for determining the numbers, most disc golf companies try to use similar numbering systems to help out their customers.

Hyzer Flip

You’d be wrong if you guessed the difference between the hyzer flip and S-shot was disc selection.

The release angle is the primary difference between a hyzer flip throw and an s-shot throw.

Instead of releasing the disc flat, as you do with an s-shot, you’ll need to put it on a hyzer angle.

You might hear other players say, “wow, that flipped up to flat” this means even though they threw it on a hyzer angle, the understability of the disc caused it to fight the hyzer and fly parallel to the ground.

This is typically the throw you want to use to get maximum distance.

Disc Golf Roller Shot

When I first thought of disc golfing throws, I never considered rolling the disc as one of the disc golf throwing styles, but it is!

Rollers are an effective technique when you have a low ceiling. The main problem is they’re difficult to control.

To throw a roller, you need an extremely understable disc. You need to arch your back and have a high release point. The effect will look similar to an extreme anhyzer shot.

Your disc should fly for a little bit, hit the ground on its rim, and begin rolling toward the basket.

You’ll have to practice your timing and release angle so that you have better control of your disc.

You can throw a roller shot using a backhand or forehand technique, which means this is a shot that’s well worth adding to your arsenal of throws.

Disc Golf Overhand Throw

The overhand throw stance is similar to a forehand throw because you use a similar motion. However, the disc flies nothing like a sidearm throw because your arm angle is so much different.

When using an overhand shot, the overstable disc will have a corkscrew-shaped flight path.

The two overhand shots are a tomahawk and a thumber. Hand or finger placement and disc rotation are what separate these two throws.

While some disc golfers can bomb an overhand throw, most of the time, they’re used to get over obstacles instead of trying to go around or through them.

I also want to point out that this type of throw is hard on your discs, so be sure you use an overstable disc made of durable plastic. Otherwise, you’ll be buying a lot of discs if you use these types of disc golf throws often.

Tomahawk

A tomahawk uses the same grip as your forehand shot with your thumb on top and your pointer and middle finger inside the rim.

However, you want to throw it like a baseball or a football, almost straight over your head, instead of a sidearm motion.

It’s imperative to follow through because you won’t get the needed power on it if you stop your arm short, increasing your chances of a shoulder injury.

A tomahawk throw rotates in the opposite direction of a thumber, which is why it’s essential to master both types of overhand throws.

Thumber

To throw a thumber, you must put your thumb inside the rim and your fingers on the top of the disc.

You’ll throw a thumber very similar to a baseball and tomahawk throw, be sure to follow through with your arm.

The higher your release point, the farther the disc will travel to a point.

You’ll have to practice to master the timing of everything, but you might be surprised at how far and accurately you can throw a thumber or tomahawk.

Regular Putt

disc golf putter grip

Different styles of putting, such as spin or push putting, are used within the 10-meter circle.

Putting is much more accurate than a traditional backhand or forehand; however, you give up a lot of power compared to these types of disc golf throws.

Though it might look similar to a backhand in some instances, putting techniques are very different than backhand techniques.

Straddle Putt

Suppose you land behind a large tree near the basket. You can straddle putt from there, meaning you can step off to the side and putt.

However, you must be sure you do not step towards the basket; if you do this, it is an illegal putt.

It’s also important to point out that you have to keep a point of contact behind your lie.

Step Putt / Jump Putt

Types of disc golf throws: Jump putt

To step or jump putt, you must be outside of the 10-meter circle around the basket.

The 10-meter circle is often an imaginary line, though some courses have it marked, that determines if you can step putt or use a regular putting motion.

A step or jump putt gives you more power, so you can putt from farther away without using a backhand or forehand.

According to the PDGA putting rules, you must have a foot behind your disc, and as you’re stepping, you must release the disc before your other foot hits the ground and maintain your balance.

The rules for a jump putt are similar because you must release the disc before both feet leave the ground.

Final Putt: Types of Disc Golf Throws

It’s important to remember that disc golf throwing techniques work much better if you choose the correct disc and don’t try to muscle the throw.

Often the harder I try to throw, the worse the shot. Practicing excellent form is much better than throwing the disc as hard as possible.

If you watch the pros, many of their throws look almost effortless. This is because they choose the correct discs and have a solid throwing technique with all of their types of disc golf throws.

What disc golf shot do you prefer?

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