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​How to Avoid Hazards at the Disc Golf Course


How to Avoid Hazards at the Disc Golf Course

There’s basically nothing worse than setting up for a nice, long drive and watching your disc clunk against a tree trunk 10 feet in front of you (well, maybe losing a disc is worse…). Hazards are everywhere on disc golf courses, and they are an integral part of the game. While perfecting smooth, graceful tosses is a huge part of disc golf, numerous hazards like trees and bushes make for an entertaining and sometimes difficult procession through the course. Here are some tips to help you avoid hitting those trees and adding up numerous strokes to your score:

Aim Low: One of the amateur disc golfer signs is a toss that elevates to the clouds. Not only are such throws liable to veer way off course, but they also often end up smacking against a branch, and at worst, become stuck 20 feet high in a tree. This is also one of the surest ways in which to lose a disc, unless you have a disc beeper of course!

Analyze the Path to the Basket: Many players are in too much of a hurry to really check out the fairway and make a solid plan about their throw. My advice: take some time and visualize how you want to throw your disc, taking note of any potential hazards in the path. An extra 30 seconds plotting your path isn’t going to take much longer, especially as your throws become on-target, thus reducing total throwing attempts and speeding up your progress.

Don’t Let a Hazard Distract You: We’ve all experienced this scenario: you see a tree standing in the middle of the fairway, and you think about how you’ll bend your throw around its right side. You visualize the perfect throw, go for it, and then watch your disc smack right on that tree. The problem is by over-thinking the hazard you actually threw right into it! Be aware of hazards but don’t focus on them too much or you’ll certainly hit them.

Make Controlled Throws: The truest way to aim is by taking a bit of the steam off your disc tosses. When you throw hard, you give up a bit of your aim, raising the likelihood of hitting a hazard. When you look over a particular hole before driving, think about how aggressive or conservative you want to be with your throws. If there are lots of hazards, go for soft throws so that your aim is better and you avoid those branches.

Like any other aspect of disc golf, avoiding hazards is perfected through practice and understanding the course. Since you’ll likely be playing on the same few courses over and over again, you’ll grow familiar with each hole and be able to understand the best approach for each part of the course. While it can be incredibly frustrating to hit a tree on what should have been a big throw, take it as a learning experience and think about where you went wrong. Over time you’ll develop a keen knack for bypassing hazards and making throws close to the basket.

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