I don’t know about where you live, but it’s definitely spring here in Illinois. One day it’s cold, the next it’s hot. One day it’s calm, the next it windy. This is the time of year when every day off is a crap shoot weather wise. The forecast could change several times by the time I’m actually off work and headed to the course.
I’ll play in just about any conditions. Wind is no exception. And it’s been windy lately. A lot of people have trouble playing in the wind. Especially when they have to throw directly into the teeth of it. Throwing directly into the wind was something I always kind of dreaded until I was given a very simple tip… Don’t throw harder just because it’s windy.
There are some long holes on my home course. At least one of them is always facing directly into the wind. When you step up on the tee, wind howling in your face, it’s natural to want to throw the disc harder. Don’t. In fact, sometimes you may even want to back off a bit. There are two key reasons as to why.
First, the wind amplifies any mistakes you make. We’ve all seen the repercussions of trying to kill the disc. We stand up on it, we roll our wrist, we grip lock, we early release, the list goes on. Good form is almost always sacrificed when you swing for the fences. Nothing good usually comes from throwing harder than normal. Now add wind to all of those possible bad outcomes and you have a recipe for disaster. When the wind is in your face it’s increasingly important to be clean and smooth in your throw.
Second, you’d be surprised at how much distance you can get when throwing into the wind without having to throw really hard. Distance is created when a disc gets to flat or turns over a bit. The longer it stays flat or turned, the more time it spends in the air. Once a disc starts to fade, thats when it’s heading towards the ground and the end of its flight. The great thing about a head wind is that it will keep your disc flat or turned for longer than if there was no wind at all.
By throwing a moderately over stable disc into the wind at your normal tempo (usually a disc that you can almost but not quite get to turn when there is no wind), you will see that the disc holds its turn, flies quite a ways, and then still fades back. This is the key to getting good distance into the wind. You are actually using the wind to help your disc stay in the air longer.
Now this does take some practice, touch, and a solid knowledge of your discs. But so does everything else in disc golf, right? The great part is that it really does work. The next time you look outside and see those trees a blowing, grab your bag, head out on the course, and give this a try. You may just find that the headwind you used to hate has now become your friend.
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