With the sport growing (#growthesport) and the number of Disc Golfers increasing day by day, why not level up your skills and join the foray to become a pro disc golfer. Played in more than 45 countries worldwide, with millions of active players, and pro level sponsorship paying out seven digit contracts, you would be remiss to not take a chance at getting a piece of the pie.
If you want to make a career out of disc golf, these are some tips to help you level up your game. Doing so can help you score big and improve your chances of going from amateur to professional.
15 Tips To Level Up Your Disc Golf Game
- Make Practice A Routine: Sports are not only good for your physical fitness, but provide valuable lessons in discipline and character. The best thing about a sport is knowing you’re helping to shape your future with the resilience it teaches, so whether you want to become pro at disc golf or something else all together, make it part of your schedule. Spend quality time each day on perfecting your throws. Awareness of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to work on those aspects, and steadily improve your skills too.
- Choose Courses Wisely: For beginners, it’s always a good idea to start slowly and work your way up. The same principle applies when you’re new to Disc Golf; you don’t want to pick a difficult course from the get-go. There are various different types of courses out there, so it’s best to take your time and find one that suits you where possible. Read reviews on courses before heading out and play a few. You will quickly understand the difference between a beginner-friendly course and one more advanced. Starting out and while working on skills to build your confidence, choose a beginner-friendly course.
- Go Play: This may seem like an obvious statement but one of the mistakes I made early on was only throwing my starter set in the backyard. I then went to the field down the road and just let them fly. This is a great way to start but it wasn’t until I started going to actual courses that I noticed something. For one, that practice doesn’t always translate to a course. In the field there are no trees. More importantly, playing on a course showed me my weakness faster than throwing in an open field. So, in short, go play a round or two at your local course and then evaluate what to practice next.
- Start With Affordable Discs: When you start out with Disc Golf, you’ll have to decide what types of discs to buy since there are four types: putters, driver, fairway drivers and mid-range drivers. This can be expensive for a beginner so you might want to get started with an affordable pack first. Discs will get damaged, lost, and eventually you will learn some just aren’t for you. Starting out with a lower cost disc will allow you time to build the skills and help you both understand and appreciate the higher quality plastics. You can also look for all sorts of disc bundles, as well as Disc Golf discs on sale and misprints. These are durable yet relatively inexpensive.
- Learn Disc Mechanics: There is a lot of physics going on for a flying object to spin and stay afloat. I am not saying you need to know the math and science behind it all, but knowing some basics wouldn’t hurt. Combine this knowledge with the next tip for a truly powerful punch that will level up your game.
- Learn Different Disc Types: If you’re reading this you probably have a general idea about the different types of discs: Driver, Fairway Driver, Mid-Range, and Putter. But do you understand the actual difference between these discs? Knowing why a driver disc can fly farther than a putter will improve your disc choice both during inventory stocking and actual play. Combine that with our above tip on understanding basic disc mechanics and you’ll really benefit from reading manufactures disc design specs. So, what does that wider rim do, or how does the weight of a disc affect its glide?
- Portable Disc Golf Baskets Are Worth It: You might not be able to play Disc Golf every day because of various factors like distance, availability, weather, busy schedule etc. However you can have the same experience in your backyard. One of the best things about this game is how you can play it anywhere, and that’s also a benefit of Disc Golf. You can even set up your own course and take it with you! The best Disc Golf brands make baskets that are easy to transport and can withstand windy conditions. MVP Disc Sports makes a great portable basket. When traveling with a portable Disc Golf basket, you can play whenever you find the time. This will help you follow your routine more easily as it’s difficult to get back in the habit after a vacation.
- Study The Game-Watch Videos: If you’re boosting your Disc Golf skills on your own, it might be worth checking out videos from some of the best players in the world. Disc Golf videos typically show a variety of player-styles and layouts to help sharpen and diversify your technique, which you can look up online. Failing to take expert advice will result in making mistakes a lot more frequently. Watch videos online that show professionals at work and try to take note of their techniques. Soon enough, you’ll master their skills without even realizing it.
- Love The Game: Before making a decision to become a professional in the sport, you should always be sure to make it an enjoyable experience. You can not feel bored or take on tasks you do not enjoy; then you won’t be able to give your all, so just play the game for fun & enjoyment. Never get discouraged if it takes more than a month to learn a throw. You’ll just start losing interest and that’s never good. If you only enjoy the game because of how well you’re playing, then your connection will never be as strong as someone who loves throwing
- Play With Others: Probably one of the quickest ways to improve is to see firsthand what others are doing. Not only can you see them, but maybe more importantly, they can watch you…and then give some feedback. Don’t be afraid of a little competition. When I play a round by myself I get to choose which throw to play. With someone else keeping score, it forces you to play a more realistic round.
- Warmup Before Playing: Disc golf relies on a lot of movement throughout the entire body, so you need to keep it flexible to avoid strain and injury. Do a few stretches or yoga poses before you start playing so you can loosen up. After you finish playing, try stretching for about 10 to 15 minutes to cool your muscles down after the workout.
- Take It Step by Step: Every new situation takes time to learn and adapt to. Be patient and don’t rush it, but steadily work at it. If you don’t do a proper warm-up beforehand, then there is a risk of injury. Step-by-step and make sure not to push yourself too hard when beginning a new skill. A risk of fatigue is possible and can lead to reduced productivity. In this way, you won’t feel stressed out, and you’ll stay interested in the game.
- Learn Different Types of Throws: There are generally five types of throws, namely backhand, sidearm/forehand, overhand, hyzer, and anhyzer. In order to be adept at throwing each one of them you might want to try and see which type suits you best. With that said, it’s recommended to try every one and see what you enjoy the most. When you find your preferred throwing style, it’s a good idea to focus on getting better at it.
- Get Some Gear: To play Disc Golf, you only need a few discs and a course to play. However, having a few extra pieces of gear might make the game a little more enjoyable. Comfortable apparel such as our designer disc golf shirts made with super soft cotton, along with a bag, towel, and maybe something to keep your drink nice and cool are all recommended accessories.
- Follow Others: Finding a mentor in any endeavor is a key component to success. You don’t have to go on this journey alone. While there are paid to coach opportunities available for Disc Golf, consider just reaching out to various enthusiastic players. The disc golf community is super helpful. You can try posting a video of your practice to Youtube or Instagram and asking for feedback. I have seen some great improvements in my throwing doing this very thing on our Instagram account @DiscGolfDash.
How Do You Become A Pro in Disc Golf?
There is no short answer to this question. Besides doing the above mentioned tips, you’re going to need to play in a lot of tournaments. Specifically accredited tournaments officially put on by organizations such as the PDGA. Below is a quick checklist, albeit not conclusive:
- Play league tournaments: this is where it all begins. Also known as weeklys, league tournaments can be a great way to tell you if disc golfing is a hobby or passion.
- Join the PDGA: this allows you to play in more “serious” tournaments and track your player rating.
- Post your scores and efforts: not only does tracking your playing and scores allow you to see progress, but it will benefit you when taking that step towards sponsorship.
- Play “higher level” tournaments: competitions are often classified in tiers. C-level being for non-registered players. B-level being for serious accredited play. A-level tournaments are for special events usually put on by the sponsored companies. Your goal at this point is to start playing “B-tiered” level tournaments.
- Market yourself: being a pro doesn’t mean just in name. It means getting paid, and that comes through both winning tournament prize money and sponsorship.
How Much Does A Pro Golfer Make?
I get it, show me the money right. Well if a $10 million contract doesn’t tell you enough then consider this…”As of Jun 13, 2022, the average annual pay for a Disc Golf Professional in the United States is $42,527 a year. – ziprecruiter.com”. Now sure, this stat may relate more to the individual working in the industry as opposed to the pro circuit player. The point being that there is more and more money coming into this sport and that ultimately turns into more opportunity for sponsorship.
Tournaments, even at the lower levels, can pay out hundreds to thousands of dollars. Looking at local tournaments on any of the online outlets (pdga.com, udisc.com, discgolfscene.com), I see payouts as high as $500, and in the mid-$150 range. So playing and winning one or two a month would not only acclimate your ability to go to the next level, but also give a little spending money to continue the effort.
Feel Free To Leave A Tip…
Will the tips mentioned above allow you to master the game of Disc Golf and become a professional? Maybe not, at least in the short time it took you to read and try these steps. However, we wanted to present these suggestions from our point of view. This list is not conclusive or even done…the plan is to hear from the community, take the feedback and continue to grow the tips. So be sure to leave a comment about what you think are some great tips to improve your skills. Focus on your weaknesses and spend a moment every day investing in quality practice.