There are many variables that can affect throwing a disc golf disc. Curling the wrist is one of those variables that can be confusing. How much curl is too much? Should the wrist stay straight?
You won’t be able to properly throw the disc without some wrist curl. But, there is a point when too much curling of the wrist can hurt your throw. I’ll explain how much curl you should have when throwing.
Is Curling Your Wrist Bad When Throwing a Disc Golf Disc?
You should not curl your wrist when throwing a disc golf disc. When throwing a disc RHBH, the back of your hand down through the forearm should stay straight until release when the wrist will snap. Too much curl in the wrist can cause pain, reduce accuracy, and lead to inconsistent throws.
Below, I’ll explain when you should curl your wrist and how to stop excessive curling of the wrists when throwing.
Is All Wrist Curl Bad When Throwing A Disc Golf Disc?
To be clear, there are many professional disc golf players who add a lot of curl to their wrist during their throwing motion.
They are professional disc golf players and they have found a way to make this work for them, but in general, an over-pronounced curl will not add more distance or snap to your throw.
Adding so much curl that the disc tucks underneath your forearm is too much wrist curl.
How To Stop Rolling Your Wrists in Disc Golf
Straight Reach Back
For an RHBH thrower, the focus should be on keeping the back of the hand down through the forearm on an even plane from the reach back to the follow-through.
There will be slight wrist curl action, especially when the disc is released. But, too much curl of the wrist will add extra movement at the time the disc is released which can affect the accuracy or the angle at which the disc is released on.
To reduce curling the wrist too much around the disc, focus on a straight reach back.
Rounding of the shoulders at the reach back will cause a rounding motion during the follow-through of the RHBH throw. In most cases, the wrist will also be curled too much as well.
Point the Back of the Hand
A good way to make sure that you don’t have too much wrist curl is to focus on pointing the back of the hand toward the fairway during the pull-through of the throw.
Even during a straight reach back, the wrist will need to be bent slightly to point down the fairway. This is just enough wrist curl to allow for wrist snap when the disc is released.
Practice Basic Footwork
You might be wondering what footwork has to do with not curling the wrists too much during a drive. But, a good disc golf drive means that everything through the throwing motion is working together.
Using proper form and footwork will force your upper body to move a certain way. For example, loading the hips and planting the front foot during the drive will decrease a rounded pull through and increase wrist snap when the disc is released.
The X-step is a good overall technique to learn for throwing a driver. It gives you momentum and generates the power from your legs and hips that will then transfer into your drive.
Making sure that your feet are planted properly during your X-step is crucial to a powerful drive and easy to fix if you’re doing it wrong.
Be sure that the toes of your back foot are in-line with the heel of your plant foot. This will put your body and hips in a loaded position that will generate power through the drive.
The Difference Between Wrist Snap and Wrist Curl
The wrist snap that is needed when the disc is released will give the disc the spin it needs to make for a good throw.
A proper wrist snap is one of the most important aspects of having a good drive in disc golf.
Throughout 95% of the throwing form, the wrist and the forearm should be on a straight and flat plane. During this time, the wrist should not be curled.
It would be very difficult to have a straight reach back and pull through if the wrist was curled. This would cause a rounded pull-through, which would decrease distance, proper wrist snap, and accuracy.
The wrist snap will only take place right when the disc is released. At this point, the level plane of the wrist and the forearm will be broken so spin can be applied to the disc.
Think of this wrist action as the same as when you snap a towel. To make the towel snap, you only need quick wrist snap action at the very end. Curling the wrist before that point won’t help to snap the towel.
What is the Proper Way to Hold a Disc Golf Disc?
For an RHBH throw, the way you grip the disc can help to increase distance and reduce over-curling of the wrist.
If you’re a backhand driver, chances are you’re already using the power grip or something similar to it. But for the sake of covering all bases to drive further, the power grip is a basic grip for backhand throwers.
The power grip is done by simply placing all four fingers under the rim of the disc using your right hand, and your thumb on the top of the disc where the flat plate meets the rim.
The edge of the disc rim should be resting on your palm and your fingers will be curled underneath the rim of the disc.
Using this grip will create more rotations on the disc when thrown, which is key to maximum distance on your drive.
Pro Tip: Keep the heel of the palm from resting on the flight plate or the rim of the disc. This will eliminate unnecessary drag on release.
Final Thoughts | Curling Wrists When Throwing a Golf Disc
As with many aspects of disc golf, practice makes perfect. Too much curl can hurt your drives in the form of less accuracy, distance, and even wrist pain.
But, too little curl in the wrist can make it difficult to get any snap on the disc.
The only way to find out what works is to practice with proper form and technique. You can experiment with how much wrist curl you need when throwing.
In general, keeping the forearm and wrist in-line and straight from the reach back to the pull-through, along with some wrist snap at release will generate the most distance and accuracy in your drives.