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Forehand Shots - Disc Golf Throwing Analysis with 18 Power Form Tips
A forehand which can also be called a sidearm or a flick is one of the main types of shots you’ll use in disc golf. After the backhand its the most used shot. Disc Golf is a high strategy game. You have a variety of shot types, conditions, discs and of course the one thing you can’t change, the course at your disposal.
4 Ways You navigate a disc golf course
the type of shot you decide to play
your choice of disc – which is determined by the type of shot you want to play (check out my explainer article post here on overstable vs understable discs)
the conditions – is it windy, rainy, a left to right wind
course layout – what’s in front of you determines your shot type, could be trees to bend around or cut through, elevation shifts or water hazards, or obstacles (fences, power lines, buildings) – want to see some of USA’s most beautiful and challenging courses see here “The Best Disc Golf Courses To Play at in the United Sates“
10 Reasons To Use A Forehand Shot in Disc Golf
On practice sessions to equip you to get better on the disc golf course
If you prefer using them to backhands
To cut down your reliance on backhands- backhands are the dominant shot type and you can get overly attached to them
To make you an all round better player
break out of backhand throws legacy – want to do great things in disc golf- do the hard things and spend more time on your weak areas
when you need your disc to finish to the right because the course has a sharp dogleg
when you just want the disc to fade right at the end if you are throwing with a RHBH
on short holes 200-250 ft – makes sense to throw forehand as most players shot range sits comfortably in this area
overhand familiarity – if you are used to baseball the forehand throw takes the same motion as throwing a baseball overhand.
Forehands allow you to face the fairway and see your lines in full spectrum wide eyed vision- bit of a mouthful, but what i men is you keep your eyes on whats in front of you without turning away like you do on a backhand
How To Execute A Forehand Shot
Watch Big Jerm demo this, 1 million people already have.
7 Execution Points
start off with a two finger stack grip
middle finger goes against rim wedge (thumb track)
thumb rests on the flight plate (top of disc) and this will guide the release angle
start with your hips facing the target
Jeremy uses a 4 step (x step) run up (interestingly with an understable disc on a hyzer angle)
Take. four step run up on the last step make sure you get a huge pivot at the hips so make sure your lead foot has enough distance from your back foot to get a full hip rotation as you release the disc
keep the motion smooth- don’t over crank the power
Why Does A Forehand Shot Not Fly As Far As A Backhand?
A player’s lower body and core will be used more during a backhand throw. Just like boxing most of the power comes from the hips and the feet rotation. The pivot provides so much power. Backhand throws are a far greater windup angle than forehand throws.
Forehands rely more on elbow and shoulder power, the degree of hip swivel is a lot less.
Discs To Use For Forehand Shots
Overstable discs are the preferred choice for forehands for intermediate to advanced players. Why does this matter? When you use a forehand stroke the inclination of an overhand discs is to turn to the left. But in an opposing manner a forehand hand will turn the disc over to the right. An overstable disc can aid with the control of the forehand shot because forehand shots are typically more focused on control than on distance.
But you don’t have to start with an overstable disc AND YOU PROBABLE SHOULD NOT if you are just new to disc golf and testing out different discs. Try lobbing some neutral and understable discs first to see what way they fly. If you start out the bat with an overstable disc it might disguise bad technique. This can seep into your game and it can be harder to fix and really frustrate you the more rounds you start getting under your belt. Move over to understable discs once someone analyzes your form, someone who’s been playing a good few years.
Interestingly in the above demonstration video, seasoned pro Jeremy Koling uses an understable disc to allow the disc to work for him as he doesn’t put a lot of power into the throw. Saves his elbow and shoulder joints as well, especially as he is a forehand dominant player. Repetitive strain hammers your body if you are constantly overloading on torque and power.
Beginner Friendly Forehand Discs
Innova DX Leopard – for an understable beginner friendly control driver that is extremely straight and accurate, look no further. Only 6 speed so you don’t need a lot of power to throw, which is even more ideal on forehand shots.Practice getting this down pat and it’ll cut out lots of frustration.
The Discraft Buzzz is an excellent midrange which is so beginner friendly. It’s also a secret weapon in the hands of a pro. See my Buzzz review here. It’s a stable disc, right in the middle between understable and over stable. Z plastic is stable to understable.
Kastaplast Berg and particularly the Kastaplast Berg K3 is an excellent straight putter with practically Zilch fade, this is a good disc for a beginner to throw a forehand putt or putt and approach shot with.
18 Forehand Pointers For Beginners
Start With Understable Discs
Hold back on overstable discs when you are just stting to practice forehands
Understable discs are easier for beginners so stick with them and you will progress faster and throw further with them. Nothing like only making 75 feet with your forearm using an overstable disc and thinking you are puny. It’s not you its the disc choice.
Slow your speed down. Go smooth like big Jerm. Do exactly as he does- and he uses an understable disc as an advanced pro with over 60 career wins. Nuff said.
Hit a field and practice as many as you can. Work them into your game and start using short approach shots and really focus on accuracy and dialing in that form. Or go to your course early and repeat the same hole over and over again using forehands.
If you don’t have the space to practice or can’t get out often grab a practice net.
On grip push your thumb and fingers as far into the disc as possible so you are grabbing as large a surface area and your hand span allows. This will increase your power.
more grip tips – instead of placing your finger flat against the rim, try turning them, angling them out a bit. This will give you more of a movement range, towards the sidearm rotation that your elbow is going to make. Provides a much more fluid motion.
Some people like to fan their fingers out one against the rim, one towards the center of the disc. This won’t deliver as much power for longer distance forehands, but as said earlier you can use forehands for shorter approach shots. Try different finger placements and find out what works for you.
Instead of using Bug Jerm’s X step try a skip step run up.
Keep your power foot in the rear throughout the throw and plant your weaker foot at the front.
Keep your reach back straight like in a backhand and point it towards your target. Make sure your wrist is loaded and ready to fire.
During the pull don’t load the elbow – lead with the wrist and keep the elbow tucked in to your side (remember the point on avoiding repetitive injuries like Tennis elbow earlier – can also be disc golf elbow – ouuch)
Keep your wrist and elbow in a line – like a cross punch in boxing it stops you leaking power and helps with your aim.