Release Point editor Alex Williamson is a co-author of this article.
Upshots, a.k.a., approach shots. They're not flashy like throwing far. They don't feel like they immediately affect your score like putts. For reasons like these, disc golfers rarely think about practicing them.
But approach shots are just as important as any other aspect of the game. Did you hit a tree halfway down the fairway on a par 3? A good upshot will be the difference between a par and a bogey. Great drive on a par 4? You'll still only get a par (or worse) without a solid approach game.
We picked out five videos that give a variety of great tips for throwing and practicing upshots. These are videos that helped the 1001-rated co-author of this article, Kyle Giovannini, develop his game, and he still re-watches them to make sure he's staying sharp.
For each video, we provide a breakdown of what it focuses on and the times in the video when specific points are made.
Tip for Deep Dives
If you want to watch anything in the videos below frame-by-frame, here's how:
1. Pause the video.
2. Use the "," and "." keys to go backward or forward frame by frame (Mac or Windows).
This works on all YouTube videos and is a great trick to know if you want to see something specific about someone's form while watching tournament coverage.
1. A Single Throw That Teaches Tons
Paul Ulibarri is a veteran pro who's been competing at the sport's top tier for around a decade. His distance off the tee is respectable but lags behind many top pros', so having a well-rounded game has been essential to his success. Extremely precise upshots are a huge weapon in his arsenal.
The video below from Infinite Discs' YouTube channel shows Ulibarri teaching a group how to throw with his go-to upshot technique. Watch, find yourself at least 100 feet/30 meters of space, and try it out:
2. The Basics
Ulibarri's video is most useful for players who know the sport pretty well and have simply been struggling with upshots. The one below from Scott Papa and Discraft's YouTube channel is perfect for those who want to know more about the basic aspects of an upshot.
3. Forehand Upshots
There are many benefits to learning how to throw forehand upshots with putters and other slower discs. Some of the most beneficial are that you have a wider choice of angles and body positioning on tight fairways, you can easily always look at your target, and the range of motion needed to generate the shot is smaller, creating less possibility of mechanical errors.
The video below from The Angle Disc Golf is both a great introduction to forehand upshots and forehands generally. If you can master the motions shown below, you'll be well on your way to a solid longer-range forehand, too.
4. Reinforcing What You've Learned
The next video from Dynamic Discs' YouTube channel goes over many aspects of upshots we heard from Ulibarri and Papa. However, it also points out some specifics about technique that they never mentioned.
5. Practice with a Champ
Paul McBeth is considered by many to be the best disc golfer of all time. He just won his fifth World Championship in 2019. When this video was released by SpinTV in February of 2014, McBeth already had two of those championships under his belt.
The video doesn't go into specifics as much as the others do. This one is more for seeing examples of a master at work. Pay attention to how he practices, his methods, and use the information from earlier in this article on how to go frame-by-frame through his shots to inform your own technique.