Get a grip
Your grip on your disc can be life or death on the course. Okay, we’re not saying that someone is holding a gun to your head and telling you to land the next throw, but if you’re going for a championship award, you should know how to toss a disc in every possible scenario.
There are a variety of grips that can improve your skill and add a bit of flare. The key, however, and we all know it, is practice. Fine-tuning your grip on a disc can show a world of difference, and it’ll encourage you to spend more time on the course. Here is an overview of some basic and some advanced handling. With any luck, your variation of these grips will become second nature.
The power grip, like its name entails, is the basic grip of champions. Many pros begin a drive with this grip, and it’s easy to see why. The power grip provides a steadier handhold than most, and it greatly reduces the risk of early release. Curl all four fingers under the rim of the disc and place your thumb firmly where the flight plate meets the rim. The palm of your had should be raised above the top of the disc to reduce air resistance. Make sure your fingers are tight together and maintain a firm grip on the disc.
Most commonly used for putting, the index-finger-wrapped approach provides a steady throw for long approaches. It is moderately similar to the power grip, but your fingers aren’t so tightly wound. Your thumb remains on top, but this time your fingers spread under the disc. Your index finger then curls under both your second and third fingers to assure long throws.
Its fancier cousin, the index-finger-at-bottom-edge-of-disc grip has everything in common except for one thing: your index finger curls around the bottom edge, further away from the rest of your fingers. This throw is particularly useful for putting and is super accurate.
Modified power grip:
There’s a reason we’ve talked about this one after both of those above. We’ve got the funky hybrid of the two: the modified power grip. Like the power grip, your last two fingers wind tightly around the inside of the rim, but like the fan grip, your index and second fingers are held in the fan position. As always, make sure to have that thumb stuck to the top.
You might say we take pride in our power grips, and you’d be right. Much like the modified power grip, your pointer, middle finger, and thumb are in the traditional power grip position, but your other two fingers nearly hover off the disc. Just like any good power grip, this position is perfect for driving.
Three-finger power grip:
Alright. It must be saying something if we’re hung up on this type of grip. The three-finger power grip is nearly identical to the two-finger power grip, but this time your ring finger just feels like following a crowd. It is positioned along with your index and middle fingers. In this scenario, we couldn’t care less what you do with your pinky, as long as it’s flashy.
AKA the super-stupendous grip of kings, are we right? The power grip for forehand throws is vastly different than backhand. With this grip, you place your middle finger along the rim and your pointer finger curls for a little extra hold. Your other two fingers will hang off the disc. This throw is important for those long shots.
If you’re a disc golf fanatic, you’ll know that the stacked fingers grip is one of the most popular of forehand shots. While forehand shots are generally considered difficult, the stacked fingers position is considered easier than most other grips. Your pointer and middle fingers are in a flat stacked position along the inner rim, and your other two digits are held straight or slightly curled. Again, make sure your thumb should be firmly held at the top of the disc.
Pointer finger to the middle:
For this one, consider the last time you’ve told someone to “peace,” and use it in your game. Your pointer finger extends straight to the middle of the underside of the disc, and your middle finger remains straight along the inner rim. This crazy grip is usually best for touch shots and when you don’t need full power.
If you’re looking for a gentle shot, this is perfect. The one-finger grip has, you guessed it, your pointer finger straight along the inside of the rim while the other three hang free. Pinch the disc between your thumb and finger, and remember, your thumb should be tight against the top.
Overhead shots are for those pesky tricky shots. Have you ever tried to throw a disc through a thick chunk of trees? Instead of shooting around, the thumber is thrown over, as the style suggests. Hold your disc vertically and wrap your hand in a fist. Use your thumb and curled index finger to hold against the rim.
This disc throw is almost exactly like the thumber, but the way you throw the disc is slightly different. Keep your wrist open and your throw loose. After that, it’s up to you!
When holding a disc, it’s best to think about your grip this way: don’t strangle it. All the techniques shown above require different strengths in handling the discs, but you need to be cautious about how easily a disc may leave your hand.
If you grip too tightly, you’ll develop a tendency to drive your throw into the ground, but hold too loosely and you’ll usually have to suffer from what we’ll define as ERS (Early Release Syndrome).
Just like all great sports, great names come in the mix. With your disc upside down, tuck your thumb over the rim with your index finger against the rim’s edge.
Like many of the great techniques shown above, the grenade depends on the motion of your arm and wrist. Holding the disc upside down, position your fingers like the scooby grip but firmer.
What you’re looking for in a good grip is the ability for your body to acclimatize to the weight and position of the disc. Practice is important to get you to championships, so don’t forget to try all of these. Some will likely be more comfortable than others, and you’ll soon end up with your own variation or style!