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If you’re new to the game of disc golf, you may be just learning to perfect your throw. But learning to throw in disc golf isn’t quite as straight forward as it may seem.

There are a number of disc golf throwing styles to master if you’re to become proficient at this popular game.

There are five disc golf throws you need to be familiar with:

  • Side arm
  • Backhand
  • Overhand
  • Anhyzer
  • Hyzer

You don’t have to use every single type of throw to be a good disc golfer.

But it’s important to understand the different disc golf throwing styles so that you understand what techniques are best in a given moment.

The more you study and practice, the better your performance will become.

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at each style to help give you an overview and get your game off the ground.

Disc golf throwing styles

Backhand

The backhand throw is the best-known throw in golf, and it’s probably the one you think of when you picture golf swings.

The name comes from tennis, since the physical movements are similar to those used in a backhand tennis stroke.

A backhand grip should involve cupping the outside of the disc as it sits across from your body.

Place your thumb on top of the shaft with your fingers below. The index finger should be positioned furthest from the ridge.

Backhand throws are easiest if you use a foot forward or side-straddle stance.

It’s important to align the feet properly toward the target, as this will generally cause the disc to travel toward the target without a lot of focus.

During the windup, the disc should be brought to the side of your body that isn’t your throwing hand’s side.

For example, left-handed people will curl toward their right side.

You’ll then turn your shoulders and hips from the target.

This puts you in a physical position where you can get maximum power from the throw.

Release occurs when your arm becomes fully extended and your wrist snaps forward.

There’s a specific timing to the wrist snap that takes practice.

Forehand (Side Arm)

A side arm throw doesn’t use the same stances as a backhand.

If you use a side arm throw, you’ll actually want to face the opposite way from a backhand stance.

Alternatively, you can use a straddle stance, which involves facing your target with your feet parallel and shoulder width apart.

The grip for this throw is almost the same as with a backhand throw.

But you turn your wrist outward instead of snapping it inward. You’ll also twist your hips a little as you move to increase power.

The point of release is about a foot in front of your shoulder line. Forehand throws are more complex than backhand throws.

You have to practice a lot to retain ideal disc control and stability.

With that said, mastering this throw is well worth it because it allows for much greater power and speed.

If you’re a distance golfer who wants a way to increase your distance shots, using a forehand throw instead of a backhand one is one of the best ways to do so.

Overhead

Overhead throws are a unique type of throw that isn’t often seen in casual play.

Most people who use this throw are serious golfers who dedicate a lot of time to honing their craft.

To become a master of this throw, you do have to get a lot of off-course practice.

Other names for this throw include:

  • Tomahawk throw
  • The hammer

These names are because the motion is similar to throwing a hammer.

You use the exact same grip for this throw that you do for the forehand.

However, your motion generates a toss that creates a unique flight pattern.

For this reason, this is the best throw for navigating around or over obstacles.

One example would be if you’re doing a distance shot, but there’s a small building between you and your target.

Navigating around the building can add costly strokes to your tally.

But with the flight pattern from an overhead throw, you can fly over the building entirely.

You’ll also use the same stance as with the forehand throw: either a foot forward or straddle stance.

The actual motions are also identical to the forehand, but you bring your arm over your shoulder and above your head instead.

This generates more powerful lift and height.

Hyzer

Hyzer throws are engineered specifically to work with the disc’s natural angle.

It’s important to understand how different throws affect your disc’s angle.

A right-handed forehand throw will cause the disc to naturally angle toward the left.

If you understand the angle, you can plan your next throw’s angle.

The Hyzer throw allows you to control your disc’s angle more steeply.

This can help you navigate around obstacles in your path, or help you move across a crooked course.

The more you angle your throw, the harder your turn will be.

Hyzer throws are accomplished by angling the disc downward in the direction you want to move.

Anhyzer

The Anhyzer method is the opposite of the Hyzer method. Rather than angling the disc down, you’ll actually angle it upward.

By angling your disc upward instead of downward, the disc will move against its natural angle when it’s released.

This can be ideal for right-handed throwers who want to angle their discs to the right, and so on.

It takes a lot of practice to master the Hyzer and Anhyzer techniques.

You have to get familiar with the different angles, how much distance you need to cover, and how to compensate for your lost distance.

For example, if you move a disc fifty feet to the left, you’ll have a longer journey to the target than if you threw straight.

One common rookie mistake with these techniques is to draw the disc back as you change the angle.

If you draw back during your throw, the disc will angle toward you instead of toward the target.

Final thoughts

When you first get started, you’ll probably be the most comfortable with backhand throws. These allow for the greatest accuracy with the lowest effort.

But getting familiar with the other throws can help you to pass over objects, avoid obstacles, correct your course, and generate much greater distance and speed.

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