Keep That Fade Under Control

I had me first experience with “soggy socks” after jumping into a canal when I errantly threw with my Innova Boss. Believe me, it was not a pleasant experience. Slimy mud with with a green ooze suctioned to my foot and tried eating me as I made the rescue. But hey, my Blizzard Champion Boss is one of my favorite distance drivers, so I had to get it back. Besides, my socks look better when one of them has a brown green hue anyways.

When you throw a disc golf disc, it has a natural tendency to fade to the left (for right handed back hand throwers) at the end of the throw. Now, if your throw is not level (as mine usually isn’t) it will really fade very far to the left. My backhand release is almost always hyzer (left tip of disc pointed down), and my back hand shots always land left of where I am aiming. This isn’t usually a problem, as I know my throw is consistently inconsistent. I usually throw my discs in a way where by aiming right, they will really land, where I want them to land.

However, on this particular shot, teeing off on hole #3 at the Skyview High disc golf course, my throw was way too high, and way too hyzer. The result was the shot didn’t get the distance I needed, and faded right into the canal. As I heard the “plop” I quickly ran to rescue my precious disc. I found it all right, but had to get my lawn mowing shoes wet in the process.

Now I’m no expert, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t by drying my shoes out right now, but I’ve learned a few things over the past month of regular field work. Here are a few tips to help you overcome, and or avoid the heavy fade:

1. Get your stroke under control before you take on a challenging disc golf course. Go to the nearby park or softball field, take as many discs as you can and just throw them around. Practice your backhand and forehand. Focus on your form and your consistency. When you do this enough you get a really good feel for how each individual disc will react as it releases your hand. You develop muscle memory, and confidence that your throw will go where you want. Then when you’re on the course, you’ll have a much better feel for which disc you should use, and how you should throw it.

2. Keep your throw low. With disc golf, height does not equal distance. When your disc stays low to the ground it stays straighter and has far less room to fade very far to the left.

3. Make sure you follow through after your release. My most level throws happen when I have a good follow through. When I fail to follow through on my throws, my discs always sail far to the left.

4. Understand that your disc WILL fade. The aerodynamic nature of disc golf drivers and the way they rotate will naturally make them fade as the disc slows down. Learning to use this fade can actually be a great advantage on the disc golf course. Most disc golf courses have trees or other obstacles. Being able to curve around them is an effective way to reduce your score.

5. Use the Right Disc. Not all discs fade as much as others. Know your discs. Know which ones will have a heavy fade, and which ones will fly almost straight. It’s a lot easier to understand how much your disc will fade than it is to try and eliminate fade. It is very hard to get a driver to fly perfectly straight. If you are really looking for discs that won’t fade, here is a list of what we have found to be the best straight flying discs:

Straightest Flying Disc Golf Discs

  • Innova Sonic – This is a putter that feels and flys like a traditional Frisbee. This disc has less fade than any other disc we’ve tested. For short throws and approach shots, you can avoid fade.
  • Innova Dart – This approach disc is a straight flyer. It will fade slightly at the end of the flight, but we’re not kidding about the slight part. It’s not a driver, but a lot of the time its better to have a straight 200 foot shot than it is to have a 225 foot shot 45 degrees left of where you want to be.
  • Innova Wolf – The Wolf is a mid range disc that has hardly any fade at all. It takes a little getting used to, but after a while you’ll love it.
  • Skyquest Medusa – Of all the drivers I’ve tested this disc has the lowest degree of low speed fade. I love the plastic of the Medusa and it’s ability to fly straight and hold its angle.
  • Innova Roadrunner – The Roadrunner has a high degree of “turn” or what Kirk likes to call “anti fade.” While this disc will still fade at the end of its flight, the turn causes it to glide further right before the low speed fade kicks in.

Disc golfing is pretty much fun no matter what, but it is even more enjoyable when you are in control, and your disc actually does what you want it to do.