Throwing the great shot sometimes isn’t about how far your disc can be thrown. Sometimes it is about knowing which kind of throw you use for the situation you are in. This sometimes might even mean throwing your disc at the ground.
Many disc golfers want to throw as far as possible. I think it is among the common misconceptions in this sport. It isn’t just about throwing as far as you can. It is about throwing well, meaning knowing the case and making the proper choices.
When you are in a situation with little or no ground cover and a low ceiling, I recommend throwing disc golf rollers. You may have seen this shot before, but I will still cover everything in detail here.
What Is a Roller Shot?
Disc golf rollers involve shots thrown on an aggressive anhyzer release angle, allowing your disc to turn over and hit the ground when spinning at high speed.
The spin carries your disc into a roll which will take it further down the pitch.
A roller in the right conditions and performed correctly can drive for 10 percent to 15 percent more distance than the disc thrown in the air.
I am sure this kind of throw will be beneficial in certain situations, such as the basket is on the opposite side of trees that you cannot throw around.
So is it possible to use the roller shot any time during a disc golf game?
The answer is a no-no. A roller shot can be utilized in certain playing conditions. The fact is that it is only ideal when the terrain or the ground is hard or smooth.
If you find the ground to have wet or long grass, some debris, or bumpy terrain, it’ll be challenging to do the shot.
Also, it won’t be a good idea to utilize the roller throw if your ground is uphill and the condition around the ground is windy.
How to Throw a Roller?
Now is the time to take you through how to throw disc golf rollers and help you decide which disc golf is best for throwing a roller.
Step 1: Pick A Disc
The first essential factor of throwing the great roller is picking the right disc for the kind of roller you want and recommended disc for each roller type.
A cut roller is among the more tricky kinds of rollers. This shot should be thrown on a moderately heavy anhyzer angle of release with max power, allowing your disc to turn over on its side and fight the flex.
When thrown properly, the cut roller will hit the ground at around a 20 to 30-degree angle and roll hard in a wide curve towards the direction of the disc’s bottom side.
The thing that makes this shot tricky is that your disc’s angle when it hits the pitch needs to be correct for it to cut into the curve rather than standing up as it rolls. The roller may quickly turn into a max distance roller, taking this disc further away from the target than you intended.
The best golf discs to use for this roller are overstable discs. The overstability of these discs will make them roll hard in the direction of their bottom when thrown correctly.
Max Distance Roller
It is a roller that will fly at a moderate altitude on a heavy anhyzer release angle.
A higher altitude on this roller means this shot will travel a fair distance in the air before hitting the ground.
It is a plus as there is less resistance in the air compared to on the ground.
This type of roller would hit the pith at a 45° angle, stand upright as well as roll for a great distance, then curve in the direction of your disc’s top plate side.
This shot should also be thrown as hard as possible for maximum spin. More spin means more velocity means more distance. It is true for rollers and all other max distance drives.
The ideal golf disc to use for this type of roller is a stable or neutral disc. The stable disc tends to also be stable on the ground as it rolls, which lets the disc stay on edge longer than either an understable or overstable disc would. This will result in more distance.
Flat Release Roller
This type of roller flies out of the hand level to the ground and relatively low to the ground. Due to the low altitude, this roller will hit the ground more quickly than other kinds of rollers, leading to less distance traveled overall.
That quality will make this roller type an excellent choice when you want a more controllable roller shot.
This roller would hit the pitch at a 45° angle while standing upright and rolling for a fair distance before curving heavily in the direction of your disc’s top plate side. The best golf discs to use for this roller are very understable or/and very flippy discs.
The flat-release roller doesn’t have much time in the air because of its low altitude. That means you will need a golf disc that turns over quickly.
Step 2: AIM
One of the most challenging aspects of throwing a disc golf roller is the inconsistency in the shot’s rolling portion.
Many things, including rocks, sticks, foliage, and the old man walking his dog, can all get in the way of the disc as it is trying to roll. Those things can change the direction of your disc and make it do strange things.
You should try to take all of those into account when aiming your shot. Moreover, you have to think about the kind of roller you are throwing.
For example, if you throw a flat release roller, it is highly recommended to aim far to the target’s left as it’ll curve considerably right.
On the other hand, when throwing a cut roller, you should be aiming far right of the target because it will cut hard left when hitting the ground (when throwing RHBH).
Finally, if you are throwing a max distance disc golf roller, you absolutely need to be aiming slightly left as it will curve slightly right after rolling straight.
Step 3: Footwork
When you throw a roller shot, the footwork should not be different from normal footwork. Also, if you are driving a roller, I recommend utilizing an X Step type run-up, like you normally would.
If you don’t know about this X Step, I will walk you through a little detail about this. For those who already know it, move on to step 4 right now.
The X Step refers to a style of run-up made to get the body of the disc golfer in the right position to throw with proper form when throwing backhand. It does this by keeping players moving sideways while also keeping them balanced.
Here is a quick video that is useful for learning the X Step:
Step 4: Reachback & Release
The reach back and release of each roller are somewhat different. Hence, I will go over each at a time.
Max Distance Roller
Regarding the max distance disc golf roller, you will need to come down a bit lower in the reach back and finish higher in the follow-through.
It is also essential to throw your disc with a lot of anhyzer, which means you want the far side of your disc’s top to be angled upwards towards you.
Just lean back in the stance, keep the shoulders back, and throw your disc hard.
This roller is somewhat similar to the max distance disc golf roller. All you need to do is adjust the anhyzer angle of release.
You’ll want a bit less anhyzer compared to the max distance roller. It will put your disc on an angle to cut left instead of standing up and rolling to the right (when throwing RHBH).
Flat Release Roller
For this type of roller, you will need to reach back and release flat or level to the ground at around chest height. Just keep the nose down and follow through the level when finishing your shot. It’ll keep your disc from rising so high in the air.
Note that you want this type of roller to stay quite low to the ground, allowing it to turn over quickly and hit the ground right away.
More Spin Result In More Distance
One of the important things not about disc golf rollers is that more spin means more distance. You need to put as much torque or spin on your disc as possible so that when it hits the ground, it will take off like a speeding car.
The spin of a golf disc will propel it across the ground instead of the momentum it has moving in space.
When the disc’s spin starts to slow down, it will start to become less stable and will begin to fade towards the direction of the top plate of your disc till it finally falls over. Keep in mind to put as much spin as possible to get this disc moving.
Forehand Or Backhand?
The backhand is the most common way to throw a disc golf roller. Throwing the backhand will allow you to control the angle of your disc coming out of hand, which is important when throwing a roller shot.
You can also throw a roller shot with the forehand. In this case, you will want to overhand, similar to how you may throw a thumper or tomahawk. The exception is that you will flicker downward at an angle rather than forward into space.
It will make your disc fly out of your hand and hit the ground quickly with little time in the air. Depending on your disc’s angle as hitting the ground, you can get a good distance out of the forehand roller.
Notes on Stability And Angle
Disc stability with the roller tends to be similar to the stability when this disc is flying through the air. The overstable disc wants to move left, the stable disc wants to stay straight, and the understable disc wants to move to the right (when throwing RHBH).
The difference with rollers is all discs would want to finish towards the direction of the disc’s top. The degree to which these discs finish depends on their stability. Remember that the more understable, the more this disc will finish right.
You may think of it as the same as fading in a flight path. Most golf discs will finish left, and the amount of fade will depend on the disc’s stability. Meanwhile, the “fade” in a roller is the opposite.
The Bottom Line
Learning and familiarizing yourself with throwing a disc golf roller will be a hard thing for both beginners and seasoned players.
It all comes down to your willingness and determination to constantly learn and practice the skill. If you exert more effort in learning your shot, the result of throwing a great roller will come to you in no time.
Through this post, I have talked about the different types of rollers as well as how you can throw them.
Also, I have talked about which type of discs are ideal to use for each kind of roller shot, and I have covered how the disc’s stability will affect the roll.
Hopefully, you have learned a lot after reading my post, and I’m confident that you now have the essential knowledge to get out there and start working on your disc golf rollers to perfect the form.
If this post is useful to you, check out other articles I have on my blog! I cover topics like this one regularly to keep all disc golfers informed!