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For many players, forehand is a technique to be avoided at all costs. But ask any of the pros (even those whose game is predominantly backhand) and they’ll tell you: a forehand is something every player needs in their repertoire.
The fact of the matter is, in many situations, even a basic forehand shot will be easier and more reliable than a backhand.
In this article, we’ll be addressing specifically lower-speed discs and giving you our pick for the best forehand midrange disc for disc golf.
We’ll talk about what makes for a good forehand disc, what factors separate mid-range discs from long-distance drivers, and what you should expect out of a forehand mid-range disc.
Will the ratings be the same as those on a backhand mid-range?
Or are there special qualities you should be looking for?
Do you need a different disc depending on your skill level?
We’ll discuss all that — and more! — in this article.
So whether you’re a beginner to the sport, an experienced backhand thrower looking to sharpen your forehand game, or even an advanced player in search of a low-speed alternative to that high-speed forehand driver in your bag, we’re sure you’ll find this article interesting and useful.
What makes a forehand disc?
As we’ve discussed in some of our other articles, a forehand disc needs to have certain specific qualities that make it different from your average backhand disc.
Although a right-hander’s forehand may resemble a left-hander’s backhand in many ways, the physics of two throws are actually very different and this means using completely different types of discs.
The main difference between the two styles is that forehand throws (even for those of you who are forehand specialists) have been statistically shown to generate less rotation than their backhand counterparts.
This can lead to two problems, loss of hang-time and in-flight wobble, both of which can shorten range and decrease precision.
Check out this quick video for Paul McBeth’s pro tips on how to improve your forehand.
In a mid-range disc wobble especially can be dangerous, since you will often use mid-range disc for shots that require a greater degree of control or finesse.
Wobble, technically referred to as off-axis torque, occurs when the thrower doesn’t produce enough snap for the rotation of the disc to stabilize itself.
Excessive wobble can be especially harmful in windy conditions, or in tight control shots, but the loss of effective flight can also result in wasted energy and reduced aerodynamics, causing your throws to fall much shorter than they need to.
Taking these frequent problems into account, the perfect forehand disc should have a higher level of stability (slightly to very overstable) in order to compensate for the slower rotation and tilt that often results from imperfect forehand technique.
Additionally, players who experience a high degree of wobble in their forehand should consider using a heavier disc that is less prone to off-axis torque.
Of course, a heavier disc will be harder to throw far, but the rewards of a proper flight-path can more than make up for this.
What is a mid-range disc?
As the name suggests, a mid-range disc falls somewhere between a putter and a driver, combining features of distance and control.
Mid-range discs are perfect for a huge variety of situations, including short-distance and fairway drives, ante shots, flex shots, and tight technical moves requiring special control.
More aerodynamic than a putter, but with a smaller, less aggressive rim than a driver, this type of disc will be your workhorse, an all-around disc you could use for eighteen holes straight.
These discs also make great drivers for beginners lacking the arm-speed to throw high-end drivers, and are a good tool for developing techniques that you can later apply to all your other discs.
A mid-range disc will generally have a medium speed rating, somewhere in the range of 4 to 6, and will feature a less aggressive rim than a driver, making it easier to control.
Other ratings will vary depending on the level of player and specific applications the disc is designed for.
What to look for (and avoid) in a forehand mid-range disc?
Now that we know what qualities to look for in a forehand disc and a mid-range disc, it shouldn’t be hard to combine the two.
A forehand mid-range disc should have a thick rim to limit off-axis torque (this generally means a higher speed rating), but not so thick that it sacrifices control.
Just like with mid-range backhand discs, you’ll want to look for a disc with a speed rating somewhere between 4 and 6.
Any more and you’ll be looking at something more like a fairway driver, and any less and you’ll be closer to a putter.
As with long-distance forehand drivers, forehand mid-range discs should be overstable or very overstable, meaning that their turn rating should fall somewhere between -1 and 1.
This overstability will be especially useful for beginners to help combat any imperfections in throwing technique.
The weight of the disc and type of plastic you choose will come down to personal preference, but as we mentioned before, players who suffer from a high degree of wobble in their sidearm throw should opt for a heavier material, while players with good technique and looking to maximize distance may prefer a lightweight option.
Best forehand midrange disc
There are a number of forehand midrange disc options that could potentially prove a good choice for your game. It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product for your game.
The following discs may prove a good place to start your search.
Innova Star Atlas
A few key features of this disc include:
- Speed: 5
- Glide: 4
- Turn: 0
For beginners, a good potential option is the Atlas from Innova, in terms of both comfort, versatility, and dependability.
The most common problem we’ve seen in beginners learning to throw forehand is to roll the wrist just prior to release, causing the disc to tilt left (rhfh) and off course.
Otherwise, the thrower tends to provide insufficient rotation causing the disc to wobble uncontrollably.
With these difficulties in mind, the characteristics of the Atlas make it one of the best discs to get your forehands to fly straight and far, and this disc will allow you to start seeing progress in no time.
Its high stability will forgive small throwing errors and help you to hone your technique from the start.
The Atlas is made using Innova’s patented Overmold technology, combining two different sections of plastic, a firm, low-angle plate and a soft outer rim for a better, more ergonomic grip.
This disc is comfortable to hold and easy to control, flies straight and with a good amount of glide, and as an added bonus for beginners it has very little fade on the back end.
Works well for backhand throws as well! An amazing all-around disc for beginners hoping to improve their forehand game.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc could work for you.
Innova Disc Golf DX Gator Golf Disc
A few important features of this disc include:
- Speed: 5
- Glide: 2
- Turn: 0
- Fade: 4
For more experienced players our recommendation is the Gator, also by Innova, a great sidearm disc with heavy fade on the end.
This disc is overstable, with a turn rating of 0, and it’s especially well suited to powerful sidearm throwers who are looking for a disc that gives them more control and better touch.
Great for shorter drives and antes, squeeze shots, as well as dependable hyzers, the gator flies smoothly and reliably even in the unfriendliest of wind conditions.
And with a high fade rating of 4, the Gator’s clean finish will drop in right where you want it.
That is why the Innova Gator gets our overall pick for the best forehand midrange disc.
But don’t take our word for it.
Just read what sidearm pro Hannah Leatherman has to say about the Gator: “The Champion Gator is my best sidearm midrange because it is very overstable, which allows me to trust it for touch hyzer flick shots that I want to land right beside the basket.”
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc could potentially work for your game.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @granitepeaker