How to Throw a Roller in Disc Golf

how to throw a roller in disc golf

Last updated on March 12th, 2024 at 01:50 am

Last updated by Maredith Damasco

Playing disc golf challenges your creativity and shot-making skills, a positive aspect of the game. It’s not just about throwing for distance; mastering the “roller” is essential for maximum distance. If you’re new, learning the roller throw is crucial for your progress.

But what is a disc golf roller shot? What are the best discs for rollers that a disc golfer can use? Is there a right technique on how to throw a backhand roller? All of these questions will be answered as you read this article about roller shots. I have genuinely created this content to provide information and to help aspiring disc golfers learn this tricky shot and help them in improving their game.

What Is a Roller Shot?

A roller shot is a type of disc golf throwing technique that will enable the disc to turn over when hitting the ground while spinning at a high speed. The speediness will then make the disc to roll and travel for more distance than it could in the air. Based on my experience, correctly performing the roller shot in ideal conditions can increase the distance thrown by up to 15%.

Serious players aiming to improve their long-distance throws should consider learning rollers, while others seeking to navigate challenging obstacles and situations that restrict air shots can benefit from mastering rollers. Additionally, aging disc golfers with limitations in their air throw distance can use the roller shot as a compensatory technique.

Can you use the roller shot at any time during a game? The answer is a resounding no. As mentioned earlier, the roller shot is effective only in specific playing conditions, particularly on smooth, hard terrain. It becomes challenging when the ground has long or wet grass, uneven surfaces, or debris. Additionally, it’s not advisable to use the roller throw on uphill terrain or in windy conditions.

What are The Different Types of Roller Shots?

New players may initially find it challenging to achieve the perfect roller angle, especially if they’re new to this technique. It’s crucial to become acquainted with various types of roller shots and practice them to gain experience and consistency. After acquiring this knowledge, I’ll introduce you to more advanced roller variations, each with its own level of difficulty beyond the basic roller shot.

Flat Release Roller

This is the perfect roller shot that lets you get comfortable in getting the disc rolling on the ground even if you are new. In this type, the player will throw the disc at an anahyzer angle at a low altitude. The disc will then turn and hit the ground very quickly resulting in a less traveled distance. For newcomers, attempting to make your disc hit the ground at a 45-degree angle and roll along it is the perfect way to become familiar with this roller shot.

Max Distance Roller

After mastering the basic roller shot, it’s time to tackle the max distance roller, which requires a faster shot at a moderate altitude. Here, the player employs a steeper anhyzer release and slightly greater altitude to keep the disc airborne for an extended period, reducing resistance from obstacles like grass, debris, and bumps. To execute this roller shot effectively, aim for a steeper vertical landing to maximize the disc’s rolling speed.

Cut Roller

In my experience, the cut roller in disc golf presents one of the most challenging roller shots, involving a steep anhyzer angle release and maximum power. The disc should hit the ground at a 20 to 30-degree angle, initiating a curved path while gaining speed. Cut rollers are employed to navigate around obstacles and reach areas where airborne disc throws would be impractical.

How to Throw a Roller

best discs for rollers

The success of throwing a successful roller all depends on several factors and conditions. But, just like when you are still learning how to throw a disc golf disc, the most important thing is to have the basic fundamentals in throwing a roller shot.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: The Right Disc Selection

As a player, I feel that this is one of the most important factors in determining the success of a roller shot. In fact, the type of disc you throw for a roller can have a huge effect on the result. For distance rollers, you want a disc without a ton of glide and fairly understable disc.

In general, a distance roller shot benefits from an understable disc because it possesses the highest turn rating compared to other discs.

But what are those discs with these type of attributes?

Some personal favorite roller discs that I use are the Mamba and the Avenger SS. Mamba has the highest turn rating which makes it perfect for roller shot.
You can use the Avenger SS when aiming for a longer distance in your roller shot. Check out this page for our best inexpensive roller discs.

An overstable disc is ideal for a cut roller as it veers left upon hitting the ground. To execute a cut roller effectively, aim to bring it to the ground swiftly and vertically, as it won’t maintain a rightward trajectory for long.

When throwing forehand, choose an overstable disc for better angle retention and increased power requirements during the roll. Midrange discs are also good for roller shots if you need a more controllable shot.

Step 2: Aiming your Roller Shot

When throwing a roller, you will not always be guaranteed to produce a perfect result. There are a lot of conditions in the ground that makes the rolling more inconsistent and possibly affect the outcome. Conditions such as terrain, grasses, debris, among other things can  affect the quality of the roll when the disc hits the ground.

Consider all ground factors when aiming your roller shot. Disc stability determines how it rolls. An understable disc, for right-hand-backhand rollers, stands up easily and leans toward the right at the finish, so aim slightly to the left. An overstable disc requires more power to stand up and falls left, so aim slightly to the right. For cut rollers, aim right as the disc sharply turns left upon hitting the ground. Adjust these instructions for left-handed or right-hand-forehand throws.

Step 3: Your Footwork

Nothing much will change in the footwork if you want to do a roller shot. I will recommend the X step style in setting up your roller shot. This footwork has proven to achieve the maximum distance when throwing a shot in disc golf. If you’re a new disc golf player, I recommend learning and practicing this effective footwork to maximize your roller shot’s distance.

Step 4: Reachback and Releasing the Shot

Different types of rollers require different types of reach-back and release. For flat rollers, I would recommend you to reach back and release flat while doing a follow-through after releasing your shot. Doing this will help in preventing the disc from going up in the air too much. For the max distance roller and cut rollers, it’s practically the same. You need to lower your reach back while creating a higher follow-through and a lot of anahyzer release.


Learning to throw a disc golf roller is a challenge for both new and seasoned players. It hinges on your determination and consistent practice. More effort in practice will lead to mastering the perfect roller in no time.