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Disc Golf Research at Berry College (Rome, GA): TechDisc and Suggestions Needed!


Nov 14, 2023
I work at small college in northwest GA, and I teach an advanced experimental course every other year to our physics and engineering majors. While my main research area is condensed matter physics, I love disc golf and have been thinking about beginning a study related to throw mechanics for about a year now. This semester I have 4 undergraduate research students who have expressed interest in carrying out a study that investigates disc dynamics as a function of thumb placement on top of the disc (and perhaps a few other parameters). However, TechDisc isn't able to ship out any new discs until late March, which really wouldn't allow enough time for data collection and analysis since our semester ends in late April. I posted on reddit yesterday, and I'm posting here today. The purpose of this post is two-fold:

(1) I'm wondering if there's anyone out there willing to sell or loan us a disc (preferably the driver version) before we commit to this project and begin planning the experimental design. Ideally, it would be great to get 2 discs, but we'll work with whatever we can get.

(2) If anyone has any suggestions for simple research questions related to throw form/mechanics, feel free to mention them here. Since I have 4 students, I will likely break them up into pairs with a unique research question for each pair. My current plan is to systematically vary the position of the thumb while attempting to minimize changes in other parameters. There is some pretty basic (but interesting) physics to investigate with this approach, and I'm really interested to see if any trends emerge in terms of angular speed, nose angle, and total distance. I'm certainly open to other ideas, though!

FYI, I have already reached out to TechDisc and let them know what we're planning, and they don't have any inventory available for us. I've also reached out to my local disc golf shops with no success. Hopefully someone here can help! Thanks everyone!

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