Disc Golf Throws 101

This post will take you through all the throws you need to know in Disc Golf. Before you even think about acing the bucket you have to know the best way to get to there, and that of course is dictated by where your previous shot landed and what’s in front of you. Which is dependent on course design, tactics and weather conditions.

 

But first things first, let’s get to all the throws that will take you from Point A – the teepad, to Point B – the basket.

This piece will focus on the throws you can use in this game. If you are new to disc golf you’ll learn the names of the throws and there’ll be a description of each shot type, and how of course, to execute them.

10 Throws You Use In Disc Golf

  1. the backhand – most used shot will make up possibly 90% of your game
  2. the forehand – second most used shot
  3. Hyzer
  4. anhyzer
  5. S Shot
  6. turnover
  7. Hyzer flip
  8. roller shot
  9. The flex shot
  10. Thumbers and Tomahawk shots

 

Shot Breakdown

I’ll provide a breakdown of what each of these shots mean, but if you want even more details I have more detailed analysis of each of the shot types on this blog.

 

Shot 1 – Backhand – The numero uno shot you will use in this golf. It is the most natural and powerful shot you can make. It’s exciting and comes natural to most players. The game has some great forehand players, but the majority of us are forearm dominant players. Assuming you are a right handed backhand thrower (RHBH) this is how it goes.

Execution:

To perform a backhand throw in disc golf, follow these steps:

  1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing the target, right foot planted in front.
  2. Hold the disc with your righthand, with your thumb on top and your index finger on the rim.
  3. Bring the disc back behind your body at roughly chest level, keeping your arm bent at the elbow.
  4. As you bring the disc forward, twist your body and snap your wrist and release the disc with a slight upward angle.
  5. Follow through with your arm after releasing the disc, pointing your arm in the direction you want the disc to fly.

The above backhand does not include a run-up, but the same principal applies during a run up.

 

 

Shot 2 – Forehand – The second most popular throw. Again this is from the point of view of a right handed player. Forehands are also known as sidearms or flicks, as they rely on much more of a wrist flick as a backhand. This is a RHFH (right handed forehand shot).

Execution:

  1. stand with your left foot forward and grab the disc with your thumb on top of the flight plate and your index finger on the rim.
  2. raise the disc to your shoulder as if you where about to pitch a baseball.
  3. rotate your arm forwards and maintain a sideways throwing motion
  4. apply some snap at the wrist as you release the disc

 

Shot 3 – Hyzer or Hyzer Flip – This is from the point of view of a RHBH thrower.

For a RHBH thrower, a hyzer is a throw in which the top of the disc is tilted away from the thrower. This causes the disc to turn to the left  almost as soon as it is released.

A hyzer shot in disc golf is a type of throw where the disc is thrown at an angle such that the leading edge of the disc tilts away from you as you throw. This causes the disc to initially fly to the left (for a right-handed backhand throw) or to the right (for a left-handed backhand throw) before it eventually turns over and flies towards the target.

A throw that curves the way opposite that of the throwing arm, i.e. left for a right-hand player or right for a left-hand player.

 

So why would you use a hyzer flip? When you want to throw long distance and you want the disc to fly straight for the longest possible time. If you were to release an understable disc with a flat release it will move over to the right and you will lose distance on your throw.

Fairway drivers will generally fly straighter than control drivers.

So if you where to hyzer flip an understable distance driver lets look at what will happen.

  1. An understable disc what to fly out to the right.
  2. So to counteract this if you want a max distance shot don’t release the disc flat. Put it on a hyzer angle.
  3. So tilt the top of the disc down towards the ground.
  4. Release the disc. It will start to go slightly left. During flight it will want to turn right. So it will “flip up to flat”. But because you have put it on a downward angle work its way up to horizontal.
  5. In terms of flight it will keep relatively straight and won’t make it’s way over to the right. You will have a slight left fade at the end if you are using a high speed distance driver.

[If you want to make an overstable disc fly the furthest you have to put it on an anhyzer release. It’s all explained here.]

Some discs are more understable than others and if that’s so your disc will keep tuning (turn over) and keep going that way until it lands. If this happens grab another disc or put more hyzer angle on it, point it down a bit more than the previous throw, find the angle that is comfortable for you. Don’t go as extreme as 90 degrees.

If you have a disc that’s too overstable naturally its going to finish way left of the target.

For more accuracy on hyzer flips – Disc down to a fairway driver for much straighter tunnel shots.

 

Good Understable Hyzer flips disc to try 

Driver – Prodigy D3 Max – high speed (12) distance driver – although it’s fast the understability can help newer players, Innova Roadrunner great for new players- has a good bit of turn (-4)

Fairway Driver – Legacy Patriot  7 speed disc with a lot of glide (5) good for beginners and up,  or Innova Sidewinder – 9 speed – good when you want to transition up from beginner level

Mid-range – Westside Discs Tursas 5 speed beginner friendly,  Discraft Comet straight as disc, good for beginners.

 

Shot 4 – Anhyzer – An Anhzer or Anny as it’s affectionally known as, will curve towards the same direction as the throwing arm, so for righties it will go right, and for lefties it’s gonna go left. And how exactly is an anhyzer performed? If you are to throw a RHBH then hold the disc so the nose is titled upwards and facing you.

Like with a hyzer, an anny does not describe a discs flight characteristics, but the angle of release.

Here’s how it goes with a RHBH shot

  1. Grab your disc and aim to hold it so the nose faces towards you
  2. Instead of using your wrist to make the angle stand more upright, and lean back slightly. This way you will not leak power, you will have the same torque as you would with a flat release.
  3. Reach back across your body, and in one turning motion bring your hand back out across your torso and twist into the shot.
  4. Just like you would with a regular flat release backhand

 

Shot 5S Shot

For an S-Shot, it works best with an understable disc. After a RHBH throw is released flat the disc will turn to the right. As the goes into the end it makes its way to the left. So if you look at the flight from above it will make a nice S Shaped curve. It can also be done on a hyzer line.

Here’s how it’s done.

The S-shot, also known as the S-curve shot, is a technique used in disc golf that involves throwing the disc with a specific trajectory that causes it to curve in the shape of an “S” as it flies through the air. This shot is used to navigate around obstacles and to hit difficult to reach baskets.

Here’s a basic tutorial on how to perform an S-shot:

  1. Begin by selecting a disc that has a moderate to high level of turn. This means that the disc will naturally want to turn to the right (for a right-handed thrower) when it is thrown.
  2. To make it curve in the opposite direction, give it a slight hyzer angle at the end of your release. As the disc begins to fly, it will naturally want to turn to the right.
  3. The disc should now fly in an S-shaped trajectory, curving first to the right, and then to the left before reaching the target.
  4. Practice this technique to develop the muscle memory and consistency.

Keep in mind that the S-shot takes a bit of practice to master and that it may take some time to develop the necessary control to consistently hit your target. However, once you have mastered the technique, the S-shot can be a valuable tool for navigating tricky holes and reaching difficult to reach baskets.

So what situations would you use the S-Shot for?  For courses with a lot of trees, and to add distance to your shot.

Scenario 1 – Shot shaping is the initial step. The flex shot is ideal if you need the disc to make a sharp right turn to escape one obstacle (tree) and then quickly make a left turn to avoid another obstacle. You should learn and get good at this shot if you play a lot of courses that are in the woods.

Scenario 2 – Distance shots.

If you throw an overstable disc with a flat release, it will fly straight and then hyzer out, but if you push it out with an anhyzer release, it will bend and glide for a longer period of time. When you throw it higher, you get better results.

 

Throw Definition
Backhand this is the most common throw in disc golf, involves gripping the disc with the fingers on one side and throwing it with a flick of the wrist
Forehand also known as a sidearm, this throw is similar to a baseball throw and involves gripping the disc with the fingers on one side and throwing it with an overhand motion
Roller a throw where the disc is thrown low to the ground, with the intent of it rolling along the ground after it lands
Tomahawk a throw where the disc is gripped vertically and thrown with a chopping motion, similar to a tomahawk axe
Thumber a throw where the disc is gripped with the thumb on top, and thrown with a flick of the wrist
Hammer a throw where the disc is released with a high, vertical trajectory and then falls steeply to the ground
Hyzer a throw where the disc is released at a slight angle, causing it to curve to the left (for a right-handed thrower)
Anhyzer a throw where the disc is released at a slight angle, causing it to curve to the right (for a right-handed thrower)
Flick a throw similar to a backhand, but with a more pronounced wrist flick to generate extra power and spin
Turnover a throw where the disc is released with a combination of hyzer and anhyzer, causing it to curve in the opposite direction of the initial angle.