Control Your Drives Off The Tee

Control Your Drives Off The Tee

There’s really 3 throws to every disc golf hole. The drive, the upshot, and the putt. This blog is going to be focusing on the drive, and not distance but accuracy.

In my blog about getting max distance I encourage players to throw lighter weights, throw high glide, and get big S curves off the tee. All 3 of these can increase your distance dramatically. But as you increase your distance, you have to sacrifice something. It’s your accuracy.

How often are you throwing as hard as you can?

For me, it’s pretty rare that I grab something and throw it as hard as I can. Maybe that’s the Maine wooded courses I play. If you’re playing a course that features BIG distance as one of your challenges, I get it. But most courses I play have the challenge of keeping the disc in the fairway as well as getting the distance right.

First let’s define accuracy goals off the tee.

I care about a few things when determining accuracy off the tee.

  1. Did I land on the correct side of the basket? (This is the one you want)
  2. Did I hit a tree or obstacle?
  3. Did I hit my landing zone?

Spend some of your time next round asking yourself about these.

Let’s try to figure out how accurate you are off the tee.

Take 5 similar discs and go to a hole that’s wide open. If you don’t have that, try a soccer or football field. Put your bag out there as a marker however far away you feel comfortable driving to. I really love Hole 4 of the Hawk course for this. At 335’ it’s right in my comfort zone for my Wraith with my backhand. If I do this drill throwing a forehand, I like the rock that’s 275 feet away. I don’t have as much power in my sidearm as a lot of players so I need to move my target closer.

With the first 5 throws your goal is to get all of your discs on the same side of the basket. Really try to get it close to the pin, but try to be all on the right side or the left side of the basket.

Don’t throw your first one and then decide right or left.
Pick it before you start and see how you do. That mental switch should be on from the first throw of your practice.

If you’re hitting 4/5 or 5/5 you’re doing pretty well. Consistency is key and that’s going to help lower your scores.

What do I do if I kind of spray my drives all over the place?

Let’s ask some questions and figure it out.

  • Am I throwing understable discs?
  • Am I throwing into a headwind?
  • Are my discs really light?
  • Do I hold the same angle of release every time?
  • Am I throwing too far to be accurate?
  • Do I follow a routine when I drive?

I know that’s 6 questions and it’s a lot to think about. Let’s look at the 3 together and then the last 3 together.

If you’re throwing a disc that’s understable, it’s harder to control but it offers more distance because it’s easier to S-Curve.
If you’re throwing in heavy winds it’s harder to get an accurate drive no matter who you are. Maybe try again when it’s less windy.
If the discs are light they’re affected by wind or if you’re speeding up your arm a little bit more.

If you answered yes to any of the first three questions my recommendation is to try something more stable. Discs like the Firebird or Thunderbird offer more hyzer and virtually no turn. Discs that don’t turn don’t fly as far, but they give you more control.

If you’re not consistent on release, slow down. Slow is smooth and smooth is far. You don’t need to rip the disc to get it to fly far.
If you’re maxing out your distance, consider that being accurate this far away is too much. No one is accurate when giving their all. You’ll get there, but practice from shorter distances.
If you don’t follow a routine, start one. I like to test the teepad with my feet and do a practice swing. Find what works for you.

Accuracy is the name of the game for lower scores.

If you’re struggling to be accurate these are the best ways to increase your accuracy. A more overstable disc doesn’t move side to side, it just fades. This means you know where it’s going to go.

A heavier disc slows down your arm, slower throws improve technique, and you’ll have improved accuracy.

Take the time to develop a routine. Doing this helps you develop muscle memory. Soon you won’t have to think about your grip because it’ll be so second nature.

Bonus Tip!
Stop comparing yourself to people you watch on Jomez for accuracy. They’re the best in the world. Do you compare your other fun hobbies to elite professionals?

I don’t think my BBQ is as good as Aaron Franklins.
I don’t think that my chess is as good as Anish Giri.
So I don’t compare myself to people who have spent their entire working lives in pursuit of perfection.

You’re good at disc golf. Reading a 3 page blog on a Friday morning about controlling your drives proves that you care about your game.

As you increase your accuracy and find you’re hitting 4/5 or 5/5 times on the same side of the basket. Take a few steps back and look at what you accomplished. Remember how you used to throw 125 feet and just hope it went straight.
Then take a few more steps back and challenge yourself with longer controlled shots.

May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397

Streeter (PGDA #70397 )

He started disc golfing in 2011 and instantly fell in love with the flight of a disc. He has a degree in Sports Management from the university of Southern Maine and has been blogging for SDG since 2020, He writes about informational disc golf content editorials, and disc golf entertainment.

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