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There’s a lot more to disc golf than being able to throw at the largest distance.
Disc golf is a game that involves a great deal of strategy, and it’s important to know what throws work best for what situations.
So what is a roller shot in disc golf?
Simply put, it’s throwing your disc at the ground.
That probably seems strange! After all, the higher you throw, the more distance you can cover.
But some courses require you to have more precision and accuracy.
And when you’re playing on a course with a low roof and very little ground cover, you might not be sure what to do next.
So what is a roller shot in disc golf, really?
What is a roller shot in disc golf?
One of the five types of throw is called an Anhyzer throw.
This type of throw involves tilting the disc so that it works against its natural angle, which allows you greater control of the direction it flies.
A roller shot is a type of Anhyzer throw that uses an aggressive angle to make the disc hit the ground while continuing to spin.
As the disc spins, it moves into a roll along the ground. Rather than moving through the air, it simply rolls onto the next part of the course.
If you perform a roller correctly and under the right circumstances, you can often cover 10 to 15 percent more distance than you would with an aerial throw.
Some people are surprised to hear that roller throws are legal. But they are!
There aren’t any rules against rolling your disc on the ground.
It’s just that you have to do so with skill and a lot of practice if you want to compare to aerial results.
How to throw a roller shot
Choosing the Disc
When you throw a roller, you need to make sure that you have the right kind of disc.
There are three types of roller throw:
- Flat release
- Max distance
Flat release rollers tend to leave your hand fairly close to the ground. They hit the ground quickly, which prevents them from traveling as far.
This means that the shot isn’t helpful when you need to cover distance, but it’s great when you need more controlled gameplay.
Flat release rollers work best with flippy and low-stability discs. The disc doesn’t need to spend a lot of time in the air.
Since it hits the ground so fast, it needs to turn over quickly.
Max distance rollers, as the name implies, are done for distance. They’re accomplished by using a steep Anhyzer angle at a moderate height.
As long as you don’t make the angle too steep, this roller tends to travel a fair distance in midair.
This throw requires all of your strength for maximum spin.
Neutral and stable discs are the best ones for max distance rollers. As a stable disc rolls, it tends to have increased stability on the ground.
This allows it to stay upright for longer, leading to more covered distance.
Cut rollers are the most difficult types of roller. Instead of being thrown at a standard 45 degree angle, they have to be thrown at an angle of 20 or 30 degrees.
The main benefit of a cut roller is that the disc will roll in a curve rather than a straight line.
Overstable discs are best for cut rollers.
If you do the throw correctly, the increased stability will cause the disc to roll toward the disc’s bottom, which is what causes the curve on the ground.
When you roll your disc on the ground, you have to be prepared for certain inconsistencies that you don’t suffer in the air.
For example, your disc might roll over rocks, sticks, or other obstacles.
You can also expect the ground to be somewhat uneven, even if you’re playing on a level field.
These are all factors that you have to consider when you aim.
It takes practice to analyze your environment and the potential influences on your disc.
Flat release rollers should be aimed to the left of the target, as they then curve back around to the right (for right-handed people).
Max distance rollers should be thrown slightly to the left, since they curve back to the right.
Cut rollers need to be aimed to the far, far right of the target, as they move harshly left once they hit the ground.
Rollers don’t need any special or fancy footwork. You can use the same footwork when throwing both aerial and roller shots.
Driving rollers should be thrown with an X step run-up.
X step run-ups are important for players because they help position your body in the right way to throw the disc.
This specific step causes you to move sideways without losing your balance.
Reaching Back and Releasing
Each type of roller shot has a slightly different release method.
With a flat release shot, you should release the disc flat and non-angled, so that it’s parallel to the ground.
Let it go at around chest height. Make sure the nose stays down so that the disc remains low to the ground.
Max distance rollers should have a slightly lower reach back. As you follow through, move your arm higher so that the disc will achieve a moderate height.
This disc must be thrown with an Anhyzer angle, which means that the far side is angled upward.
Lean back, hold your shoulders steady, and throw with all of your strength.
Cut rollers are thrown very similarly to max distance rollers.
However, you do need to adjust the angle of release. Rather than angling the disc at a 45 degree angle, you’ll try to achieve a 20 or 30 degree angle.
This shallow angle allows the disc to cut to the left when it lands. A larger angle will cause the disc to roll in a straight line.
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