Learning to Throw Left Handed

disc golf lefty toss

One of my first lefty attempts

Today marks the eight week mark post shoulder surgery. I am taking my rehab conservatively, I kept my sling on a week or so more than most protocols require. I did this because I wanted the extra assurance. I had no reason to rush the recovery process, since I have the time I figured I should take advantage of it by using the extra week.

That means that now I am still only exercising with either no weight or a 1 pound weight for my rehab exercises. Although conservative, rehab is going well. My range of motion is better than I expected it would be and the stability gets better every day. Still sore after rehab but better none the less.

I have been debating if I should embark on throwing left handed or not. At first you might ask ‘why wouldn’t you?’ But it is a big responsibility. If I bring that shot into the picture it adds to the mental aspect of my game. When I am playing a tourney round I have to think, ‘Am I going to throw lefty or forehand?’

After thinking it over I decided that the benefits will outweigh any indecision it might cause. The first big benefit is that I need to make sure not to throw forehand until fully healed. This is trickier than it seems because when you have a 150 -200 foot right dogleg it is very tempting to want to throw a forehand. For me it will be imperative to not do this for some time. Instead I hope to be accurate with a lefty backhand.

Another advantage is that it gets me back to throwing discs weeks before I will be able to with my right arm. This is a huge boost in moral and keeps me in a good practice mode. Not to mention it will teach me a lot about my form even in my right handed throw.

So today I went out and gave it a shot. Before today I had probably tried throwing lefty about 10 times. I knew I could throw an over stable driver a ways but it wouldn’t look or feel that great. My goal is to throw putters, mids and more under stable discs properly, just like any beginner should in order to get their form down.

The only other activity I have done left handed are swing a baseball bat. I could hit slow pitch softball fairly well left handed but by no means am I ambidextrous. So I grabbed 6 discs and set up a target 200 feet away. The discs that I had were a 167g challenger, a 175g challenger, a 175g Rhyno, a 174g 2nd first run Buzzz, a 180g DX Roc Rancho mold (beat in) and a 170g Zombee.

I use these discs because they will reveal any OAT (off axis torque) and other issues with form. I wanted to just throw some hyzers and see how bad things were going to be. To my surprise it went pretty well, I was able to throw my putters and mids a little over 200 feet without too much power, just focusing on form.

I noticed that if I tried to break down the shot and only throw the last portion, such as the snap, I would have a hard time with angle of release etc. So I gave myself a moderate reach back and really focused on releasing that hyzer angle as not to turn the disc over. I threw about 50 shots so we will see how my left arm feels tomorrow.

All in all I am pretty happy with the results so far. It showed me that with a few months of practice it will be feasible to rely on short drives and approaches with my left hand. Once I start working in forehand and over hand shots I will have quite a diverse shot range to choose from!