Disc Golf Starter Pack : Essential Tutorials, 5 Books on Disc golf, and 3 Disc Golf Podcasts
Disc Golf is a dynamic game and it provides never-ending opportunities for improvement. You may think that the best way to work on your game is to go out and play, and you would be right. There is no substitute for real practice. However, it is always worthwhile to sit down to read some literature, watch some videos, and study technique. This is a compilation of essential resources for disc golfers to help you improve your game. This article contains the best disc golf tutorials, books on disc golf, and disc golf podcasts. Enjoy!
1. Disc Golf Basics and Tutorials
Spend some time learning the fundamentals. This includes how to throw and how to choose your discs. If you already know the basics, you can move on to the literature section.
Understand Types of Discs
Many people begin playing disc golf, and are immediately hooked. However, they need some guidance on how to choose their discs. Here is a quick video that explains the difference between drivers, mid range discs, and putters.
You will also want to read up on flight ratings (the numerical markings on your disc) and understand what those mean.
One of the least understood flight ratings is turn, which determines whether a disc is overstable or understable. This is an excellent video that explains how turn works.
Learn to Drive For Distance Shots
This video is a little bit older, but it does an excellent job of explaining driving technique. The instructor shows both backhand and forehand shots.
Practice Your Putting
Just like any other sport, you will need to get out and practice. To get really good, you should isolate certain shots and practice them repetitively. Here, you can see Paul McBeth (a five-time world champion) practicing a putt 50 times from the same distance.
Here is a pro-tip video by Thomas Gilbert on how to putt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE4SVA3OsGg
Own Your Forehand/ Sidearm Throw
Every disc golf course will have holes that favor a forehand throw (the path to the basket will curve right). A lot of beginners don’t know how to throw forehand. Thankfully, we can learn from the best. Here is a video by 5-time world champion Paul McBeth with pro tips on throwing forehand.
2. Best Books on Disc Golf
There isn’t a ton of literature on disc golf, mostly because the sport is not even 50 years old yet. However there are some great reads on golf that have transferable lessons. We will recommend 2 disc golf books and 3 regular golf books as key resources. Some are technical guides, and others are about the spirit and mentality of the game.
The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf
By Justin Menickelli
Justin Menickelli is a Ph.D. is Kinesiology who teaches motor behavior and sports psychology at Western Carolina University. His book covers a spectrum from the history of the sport to throwing techniques and course design. The chapters are very diverse, making it an engaging read. It is approachable enough for beginners to learn from and enjoy, while simultaneously providing plenty of content to keep experienced players interested. Expect to read about BioMechanics, step-by-step breakdowns of throw motions, game psychology, and shot visualization.
Zen and The Art of Disc Golf
By Patrick McCormick
This book contains good concepts and mental recommendations. If you are serious about playing disc golf, this book is a must read. It’s not a “how to” guide for the game itself, but a framework for managing your thoughts and attitude on the course and in all aspects of your life. McCormick has a practical tone, making the book comfortable to read and understandable. Zen and The Art of Disc Golf is really about centering yourself mentally for the game
Anything by Bob Rotella
Dr. Bob Rotella is one of the top consultants for professional golfers. He is a sports psychologist whose wisdom is relevant for pros as well as the casual weekend player. Rotella is all about mental preparation, and rightly so, because so much of golf is mental. You can get a feel for his style in this 4-minute video.
Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect
By Bob Rotella
This is a game changing book. Rotella will convince you to change your mental attitude so that you visualize the putt going in and drain it without hesitation. He is keen on overcoming the mental war that is fought in the most difficult 6 inches in golf – the space between our ears. This is the best book for game improvement out there.
How Champions Think : In Sports and in Life
By Bob Rotella
This is a general sports psychology book more than a golf book. One main idea presented in this book is that “talent” in the conventional sense isn’t an inherent gift, but it is much more the working habits and attitudes of exceptional people. He encourages us all to seek our God given abilities, explore them, and exploit them to their highest levels. Anything Bob Rotella writes becomes a masterpiece of art.
The Inner Game of Golf
By W. Timothy Gallwey
The Inner Game of Golf is all about getting your mind to believe you are good so that you will be good. This is a philosophy book. You know the old saying “he’s his own worst enemy”? Welcome to The Inner Game of Golf. Gallwey teaches you how to learn from your mistakes rather than beating yourself over them. All concepts in this book are applicable to disc golf, especially the back-hit drill.
3. Best Podcasts on Disc Golf
If you just can’t get enough disc golf, you can listen to a great disc golf podcast while you are commuting or hitting the gym. This article would be incomplete without some good listening recommendations, so here they are.
SmashBoxxTV’s podcast is very conversational. They interview pro disc golfers, analyze tournaments, and provide tips. This is a long-form podcast for easy listening.
This podcast is ideal for beginners. It has a question and answer format. The three hosts, Eric, Bobby, and Robert have great personalities that will make you laugh as well.
PDGA Radio is all about the news and happenings of the professional disc golf world. They also do player interviews and analyses of tournaments. This is also a more structured and concise podcast than SmashBoxxTV’s podcast.
I hope you found at least one resource on this list useful. There’s something for everyone. Best of luck on your disc golf journey!