Throwing Accurate Approaches and Upshots
Sep 15, 2008 // All Blogs, Pro Tips //

2008 USDGC - Hole #9

2008 USDGC – Hole #9

One of the most defined skills of any professional player is the ability to throw accurate and precise approaches in any situation. These shots are most helpful when playing long holes that are just out of reach off the tee or in certain predicaments following errant drives on wooded holes when a stroke-saving shot is required.

The properly thrown approach shot can ease the tension and stress of having to make a long putt to save par, as well as reduce the number of strokes recorded on the scorecard.

It may be one of the most routine shots in disc golf to execute when compared to drives and putting, but quite possibly the most important shot that you have to perform in order to score well on the golf course.

There are a variety of situations that require different approach shots, but here are some general things to remember in any upshot situation:

Proper alignment – Always face the target or intended flight path (gap) of choice when throwing toward the basket.

Solid stance – Balanced foot placement with lead leg (same side as throwing arm) behind mark or lie. Or when straddling out on a lie the use of either leg is preferred.

Body positioning – Position body with slight turn in stance to ensure smooth and fluent arm swing. Always make enough room to complete a full throwing motion by sometimes straddling out from the mark depending on the lie off the fairway.

Disc selection – Choose a disc depending on the shot (whether stable-left or understable-right for a right-handed thrower) to be a controllable midrange or putter. A driver can be used if thats what the shot calls for in low ceiling or skip shots situations. I prefer putters for shorter range shots because they are easier to control and shape the flight path depending on the shot. They also stay close to the basket when landing due to their slower flight and deeper rim.

Throw and release – A smooth, fluent arm swing toward the target with control and touch appropriate to the shot that is being executed is important. The release should be deliberate and the timing needs to be precise when maneuvering through objects on the way to basket. Remember to either power up or down or the shot depending on elevation changes and always determine the speed at which you want to throw in order to keep the shot close to the target.

Follow through – Ensure the flight of the disc is on line. The follow through may be shortened or obscured in certain situations when trees or other object are near. Use caution and make sure to quickly stop the arm swing after the release of the disc to avoid hitting objects on the follow through.

The ability to throw accurate approaches and upshots will make the difference in everyone’s game and is guaranteed to improve round scores. I recommend playing as much catch as possible to get in lots of repetitions along with learning shot timing and release angles. Practice is key to being great at anything, so get out there and practice throwing those approaches and upshots. Good Luck!

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Always glad to receive questions, drop me a line.


10 Comments on "Throwing Accurate Approaches and Upshots"

  1. Dale Clark says:

    thanks for the tips!

  2. Stay tuned for more Pro Tips to come as I will release others to follow such as Putting, Driving, Sidearms and the Mental aspect of the game.

    Thanks for stopping by, be sure to check back often.

    -Avery Jenkins #7495-

  3. Tom Ford Sr says:

    Hello Avery J. I was happy to have met you on a personal level while we were in Santa Cruz, even though we had played on the same golf team in San Deigo, I had not really met you then. Welcome to Frisbee World. It’s always nice for me to see up and coming players and not just golf, you have the skills for all frisbee disc games. Yes you have the skills of a overall champion. . I hope to see you again soon. Tell Valarie I said hi and if she talks with her friends from Ohio, tell them hello from me also.Take care big guy.

    ts ford sr #4140

  4. Tom,

    It was great to see you again as well. I was actually reminded of you the other day when I was checking out all the signatures that I got on a World Disc Games Frisbee. Your name was right next to Nate Doss, very cool.

    All is well up north in Oregon, definitely enjoying the off-season training and preparation for this year DG Tour. It will all pay off in the summer.

    I will also try to do more Overall events if my Schedule allows. Jack Cooksey is trying to get me out to an event in Jacksonville sometime in early July. I really want to go to that one.

    Great to hear from you, I hope that you are doing well. See you around sometime soon.

    -Avery Jenkins #7495-

  5. Bryan Brasher says:

    Great article Avery. Thanks for posting!

  6. As soon as the Season starts back up I will be posting more Pro Tips on this site as well as my own Q&A section at on Putting, Driving, Sidearms and the Mental Game of Disc Golf.

    Stay tuned for more tips to come.

    -Avery Jenkins #7495-

  7. Rix Perez says:

    Awsome tip! I’ve only been playing about a year and approach shot are the strongest part of my game (right now).

    Keep the advice coming!

  8. Joe Bailey says:


    I watched the video of you throwing drives at Hawk Hallow. It seems your drivers rest more on the fingers than inside the palm of your hand. Is this true? Also, I struggle with shots <120 any grip tips or actual arm motion tips? Thanks for the awesome website.

  9. bymnenuntee says:

    Hi, Congratulations to the site owner for this marvelous work you’ve done. It has lots of useful and interesting data.

  10. Cflo says:

    Hey Avery,

    Remember seeing you here in ingleside Texas here a couple of years ago. Monster side arm on a hole I’ve never seen that on. Anyways, you should make a stop back by. We have a new gold course out here that’s just as brutal as the one u played. Come check it out.

    Keep em flyin

    chris Flores—–> cFlo