A new disc golf season is just beginning. Well, that is for those of us in Michigan. Maybe your season has been in flight for a few weeks, or perhaps you’ve played all winter long like I have. Regardless, temperatures are rising and tournaments are finding their way on our calendars and there are things you should do to get ready for the disc golf season.
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Set Disc Golf Goals
Setting goals and objectives is incredibly helpful whether you are a casual disc golfer, a professional disc golfer, or somewhere in between. You can find plenty of information on the internet about how to set goals, so will just go over a few practical disc golf goals.
If you are a new disc golfer, you may set goals such playing in three tournaments, or throwing an 870 rated round. You could set an objective of adding two or three new shots to your arsenal. More seasoned players may set goals such as top 3 finishes in high divisions or improving putting accuracy at 45 feet by 10% through the season. I had to drop out of my final tournament last year due to injury so I have set an objective of staying healthy through this disc golf season.
You just throw for fun you say? Why not set a goal of playing 10 new courses this year! In my book ‘Disc Golf Data: Becoming a Better Disc Golfer’ I wrote a whole section on setting disc golf goals and then using data to acheive them.
If you played through the winter months then this may be less important for you, but it is still a good idea to evaluate. Before you hit the course and huck drives as hard as you can, start with a little practice in your yard or a field. Disc golf puts a significant amount of torque and stress on your body and you may benefit by starting small and building up.
First consider your overall level of activity. The less active in general you were in the off season, the higher the likelihood of injury when rotating with your core and pulling through with your deltoids. Consider some basic exercises like walking and arm bands. Don’t forget that you often walk 7-10 miles (11-16 kilometers) or more in tournaments with 2 or more rounds. Jogging or even yoga (read up on yoga for disc golf here) can help your endurance for these long rounds.
Equally as important as strength and endurance is your flexability. The tighter our muscles are, the more prone to injury we are. Disc golfers often come out of the cold months and injure themselves early on big drives because they did not move their bodies in the same way during the cold months. Think about both upper and lower body flexability.
Develop a Practice Regimen
Everyone practices in their own way and there is not necessary a right way to do it. The important thing is that you practice and you have a plan for it. Similar to body conditioning, it may help to start slow and build up, like putting practice for a week then move to longer throws. I have met disc golfers who go immediately to practicing distance to condition their arms then putt afterward so they can focus on form while they are fatigued.
I believe it is important to track stats and build a practice regimen around the areas where stats are poor or show there is a large opportunity for improvement. However you choose to practice, you should develop a plan and stick to it. Here are some good practicing tips from Ted Hegemann at Infinite.
When it comes to putting practice, you should consider stocking up on your putter mold so that you don’t have to walk to the basket after every 2-3 throws. Trust me, your fatigue level grows fast and you do not get nearly as many throws with 3 putters compared to 10! Infinite discs has some great disc golf putter packs available at a discount and will be restocking them early this season.
Disc Golf Retriever
It’s finally time you invested in a disc golf retriever. Already have one? Gold star for you!
We have alway been proponents of disc golf retrievers, but now that the price of discs has increased they are that much more valuable. The styles of retrievers have also expanded so you have many more to choose from and they are becoming more effective than ever before. Remember when we had to drag the Golden Retriever along the bottom of a mucky pond? Well, you can still do that, but the telescoping poles have made retrieving much easier. If you’re concerned about the price, you can even save money with a 3D printed Disc Grabber!
Evaluate Your Bag
You’re probably thinking, “Yeah I do that all the time!” Good, continually evaluating the discs in your bag is a good idea. However, instead of just pulling out each disc and thinking, “Do I still like this disc?”, consider how it fits in your game.
Many disc golfers do not realize how much their body and form changes in the offseason and that can change the way we play disc golf or throw individual discs. Adding strength in the offseason could require faster or more overstable discs. On the other hand, adding more strength to your grip and forearm may add consistency to your throws and allow you to throw those touchy discs that you had trouble with last season.
I am coming off of a back injury from last season so I have added a few glidier molds to my bag. This may sacrifice some distance in the early season, but if I can prevent another back injury by throwing with less power, then it will be worth the sacrifice.
Research Disc Golf Trends
I am sure many of you are already doing this. Any disc golf news that comes out, you are all over it and jumping in the forums to discuss. That’s great! Pay close attention to the number of people joining your local tournaments and how quickly they fill up.
One thing to keep an eye out for is new styles or new techniques. Every sport goes through a process of evolution; someone tries something that no one has thought of before and it works. Disc golf is a relatively new sport so we are bound to see new types of throws and skills that you can test on your own to gain advantage against other players.
Consider any disc golf accessories that are becoming popular that could give you an advantage, such as rangefinders. We picked up a disc golf rangefinder from Infinite Discs here, and found it useful on courses that we had not played before. Carts have exploded in popularity, along with all sorts of accessories. I invested in a cart last season. Not only was I less fatigued near the end of tournaments, but now I can carry things like a range finder, humidity gauge, and retriever with easy accessibility.
Disc Golf Clothing
This is kind of a soft ball recommendation; it’s always easy to tell someone to stock up on the newest disc golf styles. Still, it is important to understand how what you wear impacts your disc golf game.
Perhaps most important is your shoes since your shoes are the only thing between you and the ground when you throw (hopefully). Many disc golfers perfer the hiking style boot with large soles and grippy underside. Others, like me, prefer a more athletic crosstraining style. If you have not yet seen Ideo Sports new disc golf shoe that is currently being developed, it’s worth learning about. We have a couple pair on order and will provide a review this year.
Of course, there are always new disc golf apparel companies popping up. Here are a few of our recent favorites.
- RushOrderTees isn’t specific to disc golf , but we just ordered custom hoodies with the DGPH logo. We’ll share pictures when they’re in.
- Reaper Disc Supply with their new age meets gothic style.
- We both have an Infinite Discs Logo Zipper Hoodie and love them
- Starframe Bags with a line of retro looks or a line with clean logos.
- Money Ball is a company local to us. It’s mostly basketball gear, but the price is right and we love supporting local.
Ready for The Disc Golf Season?
There are many things you can to to be prepared for the upcoming disc golf season. We only touched on a few of things that we think are important for this year, but you probably have your own. Don’t forget to follow us on socials, then tell us what you’re doing for the start of this year’s disc golf season!