, 2022-08-01 18:47:45,
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Joe Rovere has been playing disc golf for 17 years and teaching for two decades—longer than some of the pros he now competes against have been alive. The 44-year-old father of two continues to be a dominant force on the tournament circuit, however, with a win percentage over 50 percent. That count includes the 2022 PDGA Masters Disc Golf World Championships in July and this past June’s High Plains Challenge in Fort Morgan, where Rovere took the $2,000 top prize plus a $1,000 bonus from his sponsor, Innova. “I made as much in a weekend,” Rovere says, “as I make in a month of teaching.”
The educator’s competitive drive probably can’t be taught. What he can explain is the S-curve flight pattern of discs, which are designed to fly differently, and farther, than Frisbees. There are many factors—from the weight and style of the disc to wind to arm speed—that affect the trajectory. But basically, if a right-handed person throws a backhand (the most common throw) and releases the disc flat, rotating clockwise, “it should turn to the right a little bit—that’s called turn,” Rovere says. “Then, it’ll hold that angle and ride straight. That’s your glide. At the very end of the flight, it’ll fade left.”
The best way to grasp the S-curve concept is practical application. Step one: Head for an open field with a lightweight fairway driver. Step two: Find a comfortable grip, with your thumb atop the disc and your fingers curled together underneath. Step three: With your right foot forward, standing perpendicular to your (imaginary) target, bring the disc across your chest, extend your arm, and release.
If you don’t get a smooth S-curve, don’t despair. YouTube has no shortage of how-to videos on footwork, body mechanics, altering a disc’s flight to get around obstacles by adding vertical and/or horizontal tilt, and mastering other throws, such as a forehand or overhead. Still struggling? It could be you need a different disc (see more below). If all that fails, Rovere did share one insight for your mental game: “When I lie in bed at night, I always go through courses in my head as I’m trying to fall asleep.”
What The Numbers on Discs Actually Mean
Thrown flat, most discs follow an S-curve, but how exaggerated each part of that trajectory will be depends greatly…
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