DiscGolfWarrior.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an affiliate, this website earns from qualifying purchases.
If you’re new to disc golf, congratulations! Disc golf is an exciting and strategic sport that takes a lot of skill, technique, and practice in order to master. It can be hard and frustrating, but we’re here to help!
One of the best strategies for beginners to learn is throwing forehand (or sidearm).
In this post, we’ll illustrate the differences between backhand and forehand shots, discuss the pros and cons of forehand, and at the end we’ll offer our recommendations on the best forehand discs for beginners!
What is a forehand in disc golf?
Forehand is a style of throwing that allows some players to achieve better distance or accuracy than they would when throwing backhand.
Throwing forehand begins with grip technique. The technique you use to grip the disc is going to be different from backhand and other throwing styles.
With backhand, you typically curl your four fingers under your disc with your thumb pressing against the top.
With forehand, you’ll nestle the disc into the thick part of your hand between your thumb and index finger.
Your thumb will still press against the top, but your index and middle fingers will form a gun-like shape underneath the disc.
If you’re a right-handed player, you’ll be standing sideways facing the right side of the tee. Your left foot initiates movement forward, but keep the weight on your right leg.
When you’re ready to throw, explode off your right leg and shift your weight to your left. At the same time, swivel your hips around to face forward instead of sideways.
Throughout this motion, your arms are doing a lot of work!
Keep your right elbow tucked close to your body and swing that arm across your body as your feet and hips are doing their movement.
As you release the disc, make sure your hand is pointing at your desired target.
For a video demonstration of forehand technique, check out the video below.
Why the forehand?
So why should you, a beginner, learn to throw forehand?
There are a few reasons:
First of all, if you want to be a well-rounded player with a firm grasp of different techniques and strategies, there’s no reason not to learn forehand.
You may think backhand is all you need, but once you try forehand you might discover that you perform better with forehand drives than backhand drives! You’ll never know until you try.
Second of all, understanding forehand can help you achieve different angles on shorter distances.
This is useful because it provides you with more opportunities to throw around obstacles or strategic shots like tunnels without having to sacrifice the game.
The more strategies and techniques you know, the better your disc golf game will be.
What to look for in a good forehand disc for beginners
Good forehand discs for beginners will have shallow rims that are easy to grasp. This will allow for better control for you.
Deeper, thicker rims are more difficult to grip for that gun-like hand position. Aim for a rim width under 1.8 centimeters.
Another good thing to look out for for forehand discs for beginners are mid-range discs rather than distance drivers.
Distance drivers are the hardest discs to learn on because they require the most power and speed to operate properly.
Mid-range discs do not require as much power to throw correctly, which is why they’re a great choice for beginners who are still developing power and technique.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that the discs you purchase, as a beginner, are going to be either stable or understable.
Understable discs are easiest for beginners to learn on, but stable discs are ideal as well!
You’ll know a disc is stable or understable if its Turn rating is between 0 to -5.
For the discs we recommend below, you’ll see their ratings are between 0 to -2.
Best forehand discs for beginners
There are a number of discs that may work well for use with a beginner. It’s important to consult an industry professional before using any new product in your game.
The following options may work well for your needs.
Fairway Driver — Innova Star Leopard Golf Disc
The Innova Leopard is a popular fairway driver. Its flight ratings are: Speed 6, Glide 5, Turn -2, Fade 1.
This disc is a moderate-speed disc, making it appropriate for beginners who only have a moderate amount of developed technique.
It’s a higher glide disc which means its loft can help compensate for the lack of power you’re able to put into it.
It’s an ever-so-slightly understable disc, making it easy to operate as a beginner. Because it’s low fade, it will finish straight without any dramatic hooking at the end of flight.
This disc’s rim width is 1.6 centimeters, making it slim enough and comfortable enough for forehand grips.
When to use this disc:
The Innova Leopard is a great choice for forehand combined with: tailwinds, roller shots, and anhyzer shots.
When thrown, this disc will start out straight, curve slightly to the right, before finishing straight. This disc is consistent, predictable, and reliable.
Although this disc is available for purchase in almost every Innova plastic line, we recommend purchasing the Star plastic.
The Star plastic has almost the same level of durability as Innova’s Champion plastic, but it has a more improved and comfortable grip than the Champion.
This disc might be slightly more stable than understable, but not enough to make a significant difference in the disc’s flight pattern.
The Star plastic is extremely durable which means it will hold up well against wear and tear from roller shots.
You do not want to purchase one of Innova’s more popular plastic lines, the DX plastic, because that plastic line is too flexible for the types of shots the Leopard is good for.
In the Star plastic, the Leopard is available in the following weight ranges: 165 to 169 grams, 170 to 172 grams, and 173 to 175 grams. We recommend purchasing this disc in the 165 to 169 gram weight range for optimal use.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc may work for your needs.
Mid-range disc — Innova Champion Atlas
This stable mid-range disc is a straight shooter with little to no fade. This disc’s flight ratings are: Speed 5, Glide 4, Turn 0, Fade 1.
This disc is moderate speed and moderate glide, with a stable flight path and hardly a glimpse of fade at the end of the flight.
Its rim width is 1.4 centimeters, which means that, like the Leopard, it will be easy and comfortable to grip in the forehand style.
This is a great disc to use for shots that require a high level of technique and control, such as tunnel shots.
This disc can also be used for approach shots as you get near to the basket.
This disc is extremely predictable, reliable, and will offer you a high amount of precision when thrown properly.
While we recommended the Leopard in the Star plastic, we recommend the Atlas in the Champion plastic. The Champion plastic is one of Innova’s highest quality plastic.
It’s extremely durable, very inflexible, and to some degree uncomfortable to grip. Although it’s not the most comfortable grip, the Champion plastic is still worthwhile for the other features its able to offer the buyer.
The Champion plastic allows discs to hold their flight ratings up to 5 times longer than some of the more flexible plastic lines, which means it will take a lot of wear and tear to break in this disc.
This disc in Champion plastic is available for purchase in the following weight ranges: 165 to 170 grams, 170 to 175 grams, and 175 to 180 grams.
Either the 165 to 170 range or the 170 to 175 range can work well for this disc, but if you’re a beginner we recommend avoiding the heaviest weight category since that can be hard to throw properly.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc may work for your game.
Putter disc — Innova Star Aviar3 Putt & Approach Golf Disc
The Aviar3 putter is one of the most popular putter discs on the market. This is an excellent disc for beginners to learn with because this disc offers pin-point precision and accuracy on throws.
Its flight ratings are: Speed 3, Glide 2, Turn 0, Fade 2. This stable putter will fly straight with the slightest bit of fade at the end of the flight. It’s rim width is 1.0 centimeter.
Like the other discs we’ve mentioned for beginner forehand, this disc is stable, reliable, predictable, and accurate.
It does not require a high amount of power or technique to throw properly.
We recommend this one in Star for the same reasons we recommended the Leopard in the Star plastic!
The Star plastic is durable yet comfortable and will hold its flight ratings for a longer period of time than some of Innova’s other, more flexible plastic lines.
The Aviar3 in Star plastic is available for purchase in a wide variety of weight ranges, from 140 grams to 175 grams.
Like the other two discs we mentioned, we recommend purchasing this disc in a heavier weight range, since the heavier weight will help the disc be more resistant to external effects like wind.
When thrown, you can expect this disc to follow a straight line with a gradual yet noticeable hook leftward at the end of its flight when speed is slowest.
View at Amazon for more information on how this product may work for your needs.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com