Do you remember when you first started disc golf? I’m guessing you were introduced to the game by a friend. I’m also guessing you had several questions that you were too scared to ask. Or perhaps you’ve been playing for a while and don’t know the game’s history, understand all of the rules, or know how to perform each type of throw. Maybe you’ve noticed that disc golf terminology is often misused, misunderstood, or even localized. In “The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf,” Justin Menickelli and Ryan “Slim” Pickens have written a comprehensive guide for the game you play.
The book starts with a very nice “Getting Started” section that answers many of your first questions about the game. Next up you read an overview of disc golf history, some course design tips, and a section covering rules and etiquette. These sections are straight forward but worth the read, especially if you’ve only played for a few years.
The next section gets into “The Science of the Game,” which is probably our favorite section of the book.
First you’ll read about the mental game, which provides a few good tips to get your on-course thoughts straight. We recommend reading Zen and the Art of Disc Golf for a more in-depth look at this topic (read our review of the book by Patrick McCormick).
Second you’ll find a chapter dedicated to fitness, specifically warming up and off-course training. This topic resonates well with the Puttheads and we’ve now noticed we rarely write about fitness. MindBodyDisc also has several quality articles about fitness and training.
The last chapter of this section provides a basic physics lesson on disc flight. You’ll really enjoy this section if you are more analytical and want to understand “The Dynamics of Disc Flight.”
The final section details the various skills of the game. This includes backhand throws, forehand throws, overhand throws, rollers, putting, situational analysis, and approach throws. We might argue that the situational analysis section also belongs with the mental game, but it fits well here too. Each technique is described in detail with words and pictures. Explaining a complex kinesthetic process in words is very difficult but Justin and Ryan have done well here.
The putting section provides a great overview of each putting style: spin, pitch, push, loft, turbo, and flick. Also included are some general putting tips, green analysis tips, and a few practice games as well. I learned a new style of grip for turbo putting, the “longhorn grip.”
Overall, “The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf” is a great book and fills a great need for the sport. It is tough to label anything definitive in our modern technological days and this book is no exception. Each chapter could easily be expanded into its own book. That said, the content presented is so much more than an overview and should appeal to disc golfers of any level. We both learned several new things and appreciated the boldface vocabulary words. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy to read when you can’t get outside to play. And if you use our Amazon link below, you’ll be supporting the DG Puttheads in the process!
Note: We received a review copy of “The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf” from the publisher, Triumph Books. Also, some of the links on this site are Amazon affiliate links and we may receive a small commission from products purchased using these links. We still give our honest opinions and will never recommend a product unless we truly believe in it, but your support helps us to continue to provide disc golf related content. Thank you!