There are a ton of elements to consider when heading out to the disc golf course, and aside from having a solid game plan and knowing how to execute a variety of shots, making sure you’re using the proper grip is essential for success. Couple this with the importance of selecting the right disc for the type of throw you’re about to line up and the variables can get rather staggering.
If you’re new to the sport or simply want the chance to reevaluate some of your go-to throws, this article is for you. We’re going to cover the basics of a variety of grips and shots so that you’ll have a better understanding of what they entail and hopefully can find success with them at your favourite course or field. Let’s get to it!
When you want to achieve maximum distance, you need a lot of power right? This grip was aptly named, as it gives you the most control possible. Simply curl all four of your fingers underneath the rim of your disc and position your thumb right where the rim and flight plate meet. Squeeze the disc tightly, and hear the snap as you release a full power shot!
Some players prefer a different grip for those shots that need a little more finesse, and the fan grip is a perfect choice. Like the power grip, you’ll be putting your thumb on top of the disc and wrapping your fingers around the rim, but with a bit more wiggle room. Imagine fanning your fingers out a bit along the underside of the disc and try using a pinching motion more than balling your hand into a fist.
Modified power grip
Depending on what feels most comfortable for you, a modified power grip may be your best bet. Combining elements from both previously mentioned grips, it can help you to more comfortably hold a disc with a wide rim. Your index and middle fingers will follow a fan grip while the other two will be curled around the rim, with your thumb in the same position on top.
2 finger power grip
You may not always want to throw your drivers with max distance, and in these situations, a two finger power grip works well. Place your first two fingers under the disc in the same position as a power grip, but leave your ring finger and pinky almost hovering along the rim. Between your thumb on top and your two fingers under, you should have enough pressure to hold your disc firmly.
3 finger power grip
A slight modification to the two finger power grip, this three finger option adds your ring finger to the gripping portion of your hand with your pinky left hanging in the breeze. Most people opt for curling it under into their palm but you can always extend it out if that feels more comfortable.
Not to be confused with a backhand power grip, this type of hold is specific to a flick shot. You’ll want to put your middle finger straight out along the inner rim of your disc and curl your index finger for more stability. Typically, your ring finger will rest alongside the edge of the disc with your pinky hanging free.
Many players opt for a stacked finger type of set-up in which your middle finger is extended straight along the inner rim of the disc and your index finger sits on top of it. Position your thumb where the flight plate meets the rim and you should feel like you have a very secure hold on your disc.
Pointer finger to the middle
Lining up a super touch shot and need to ensure you hit your line? Try this type of grip which almost looks like a peace sign. Place your index finger straight under the disc toward the center and your middle finger flat along the inside of the rim. You’ll have stability in your throw without feeling like you’ll throw too hard.
The ultimate in grips that result in softer shots, the one finger option relies on a pinching motion between your thumb, which rests on top of the disc, and your index finger, which sits straight along the inside of the rim. Try it when you don’t need to go far but want your shot to be accurate.
We’ve seen some of the sport’s big guns pull off impressive thumber shots, so now it’s time to learn how to do one yourself. Hold your disc vertically and place your thumb along the inside of the rim. With a tight grip, wrap the rest of your fingers like you’re making a fist. Throw this shot over your head and see how far she flies!
Somewhat similar to the thumber, a tomahawk can take on a variety of grips. Ultimately how you choose to grab your disc will depend on your shot and the mold you’re throwing, so try a few options to see what works best. A vertical hold like a thumber combined with a unique arm motion makes this a fun one.
For many of us, throwing a forehand means that we may not get quite as much distance as we would with a backhand shot, so that means a different type of grip is in order. An approach grip typically involves a loose version of the stacked fingers grip, offering you accuracy without massive amounts of power.
If you’re too far away to putt but much too close to throw a full powered drive, the backhand approach grip will be your new best friend. Using a loose power grip, simply place your index finger along the outer edge of the disc. Try this with drivers and midranges to see which works best for you.
Depending on your putting style, a power grip might be just the thing you need to reduce wobble. Mirror the same finger placement as the backhand power grip but leave your hand a bit looser. This grip works great for players of all skill levels.
Another option on the putting green is a traditional fan grip, as this often feels more comfortable for people depending on if they are using a beaded or beadless putter. Ultimately it’s up to you to determine what works best to get your disc to connect with chains.
Middle pinch grip
Sometimes a looser grip can yield better results, so a middle pinch grip might be the best option for you. A somewhat unique blend of a power and fan grip, you’ll place your middle and ring fingers in a curled position under the rim. Your index finger and pinky can be any number of places depending on what you prefer.
There’s always someone in the group who has to throw a turbo putt, so why not let it be you? You’ll flip your disc horizontally, place your thumb in the middle of the flight plate, and wrap your fingers around the rim in a fan-like position. If you particularly love this grip, try seeing how often you can make it in from circles 1 and 2!
Not often seen during competitive rounds, the Scooby can be broken out when you just want to have some fun. Turn your disc upside down and tuck your thumb over the rim. You’ll position your index finger along the edge, and let the rest of your fingers fly free.
Throwing a grenade is often distinguished more by how you move your arm rather than how you hold your disc. Similar to a scooby grip, you’ll use a bit of a firmer placement. Don’t rely on this shot when money is on the line!