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The first thing many disc golf beginners think is making the disc go as fast as possible.
There is a misconception that how fast your disc flies will directly affect how far it goes.
After a few throws using different discs, you soon appreciate that’s not 100 percent correct.
Throwing a disc as hard as you can, is not always necessary.
In fact, it can be counterproductive to what a particular disc rating is designed to do.
When we think about how fast do disc golf discs fly, there are variables in disc design that affect flight speed more than how hard you sling it.
Speed vs. Fast
The difference between the speed rating on a disc golf disc and how fast the disc needs to fly is frequently misunderstood.
Many beginners pick up a disc with a high first number, the speed rating, and expect that means the disc will fly fast.
That is not true. The speed rating on your discs indicates how fast you need to throw your disc.
Speed ratings go from 1 to 14.
It is a measure of how much power the disc needs to be thrown to accomplish the full flight pattern the disc is designed to do.
Beginner disc golf players might assume this number indicates how fast the disc will fly without any other variables.
To help you understand why this number is important to how fast your discs fly out of your hand, here’s how the speed rating affects this.
Lower speed ratings mean the disc will fly slower. It takes more power from you the thrower to make the disc fly.
However, discs with lower speed ratings are predominately more accurate.
A disc with a higher rating will perform in an exact opposite manner.
Discs with high first rating numbers, especially those with double-digit speed ratings, will automatically fly faster no matter how hard they are hurled.
High speed rated discs take less effort to launch, but they are also prone to the effects of wind.
Now, if we really want to be confusing, the speed rating that indicates how hard you must throw your disc also will affect the other three rating numbers.
Glide, turn and fade are the final three numbers on a disc golf disc rating.
We suggest every new disc golf player explore the physics of how disc golf discs fly.
A simple appreciation of how each of the four rating numbers work together to create disc flight distance and pattern can help shave throws off your scorecard.
Since we’re focused on helping you learn how to throw faster in disc golf, we’ll just briefly touch on the final three disc rating numbers.
Glide is almost as important as speed when it comes to gauging the results of flight based on how fast you throw.
Glide is a rating that indicates how aerodynamically the disc is.
Discs with higher a higher glide rating will naturally travel farther when thrown with the same force.
Likewise, with speed ratings, there is also more time in the air for the disc to go off course.
Turn and fade are the last two numbers. They show the disc’s propensity to turn at two different points in its flight.
Both numbers are based on a right-handed disc throwing using the standard backhand disc throwing motion.
How to throw faster
Now we’ll shift from how the physical design of the disc affects how fast it flies and shift to how technique can affect disc flight speed.
Arm power and arm speed are two things that will dictate how fast you can throw your discs.
You can practice both, but there will come a point where you reach a maximum on your arm speed.
Baseball analytics often discuss bat speed. It’s something certain players have more of than others.
Bat speed relates to the physical force applied to the ball on contact. High bat speed will send the ball farther.
The same type of physics principle can be applied to disc golf throws. The higher your arm speed, the more force there will be behind the throw.
The laws of physics, specifically Newton’s Law of Motion, come into play. Throwing a disc golf disc blends all three of Newton’s principles.
However, the third law of motion address how the force applied to an object relates to what that object does.
The more speed and power you exert on your disc, the higher the level of force will be as it leaves your hand.
We’d have to smile at someone envisioning a massive bodybuilder as potentially the most successful disc golf thrower.
That’s not how the force relationship works between arm speed and how fast your disc flies.
Disc golf veterans have certainly witnessed the lanky player whose discs leave their hands like rocket ships.
These advanced disc golf players have practiced their technique. They have improved their arm speed, plus removed unnecessary movements and poor hand release.
Improving how fast you can throw your disc is something you accomplish in the weight room.
Developing arm speed comes from practice throws, thousands of them. This repetitive practice also helps to fine tune your precise release point.
As your arm speed increases, your discs will fly faster.
Once you remove any poor technique from your release, it will get even better.
Avid disc golfers call it field work.
It’s the time you spend simply throwing different rated discs in an open area. It’s not as fun as trying to knock down birdies.
However, it is the most important step you can take to improve your disc golf game.
Once you accept that throwing fast on every throw isn’t necessary, you’ll improve your accuracy on important shots.
The up-and-down part of the disc golf game, the throws near the basket, will not benefit from how fast you can throw a disc off the tee.
Nevertheless, good release technique will help with accuracy.
As you work on producing a consistent type of release, you’ll also find your putting around the basket improves dramatically.
We can’t stress enough that while how fast the disc flies out of your hand is important, it is not the only factor in becoming a good disc thrower.
So, if you want to know how to throw faster in disc golf, begin by understanding what it means.
You should know that the disc speed rating is an important part of the equation.
It’s also important to appreciate how disc speed affects the other ratings.
It’s critical to know when and when not to overpower your throws.
You will find that your tee shots travel farther and more accurately if you spend the time practicing your technique.
Ultimately, that is the biggest key to making a disc fly faster.
The only way to generate the perfect speed for the right disc rating is to practice.
The more you throw, the better your arm speed will get.
Your release point will improve and essentially become second nature.
As your throwing motion becomes technically sound, you’ll soon find you can generate a faster disc when you need one.
You’ll need to practice often, stressing good form. If you’re like most disc golf players, you’ll soon be out there on the course bagging birdies.