PUTTING IS WORTH THE PRACTICE
By Caleb Kershner
What’s the point of pushing 400ft drives if a 30ft putt is a card breaker?
CONSISTENT PUTTING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN BIG DISTANCE SHOTS
Imagine this: you step up to the teepad with every intention of hitting your line, you crank out a massive drive and land pretty close to the basket. The wind is blowing, you’re ready to take your birdie and carry the momentum into the rest of your card. Everything up to here feels good, so why wouldn’t this be too? You take your putt and it tickles the chains but flies right past the basket, and now you have another putt to make, but this time you’re flustered. All of a sudden, your amazing drive has turned from -1 under par to +2 over and there goes all the wind out of your sails for the rest of your card. If you’re going through the effort to become better at this crazy sport of ours, why not work on being able to close the show?
FIGURING OUT YOUR PUTTING STYLE AND STANCE
The first thing we need to address to make sure the situation above is rarely one you find yourself in, is your stance. A lot of players have varying styles of putting, it’s the one aspect of disc golf that has the most variety in form. Figuring out what is most comfortable to you is the first step to achieving consistency. The beginner’s guide would tell you that you should square up with the basket, hips and shoulders all pointing towards your goal, and only moving your arm vertically in line with the basket. At the same time, that may not feel comfortable to you, so what then? The best thing you can do to answer this is to go out and putt. Stand in different stances, hold the putter in different ways, pinch the flight plate, adjust your index finger, throw with more spin, etc. If it doesn’t feel good to you when it leaves your hand then it’s going to be hard to recreate success in an event setting when the pressure is on. Let your body guide you to finding the right method for you to land in the basket, it should really just be that simple at the end of the day.
SPIN PUTTING OR PUSH PUTTING
This is where we get into the nit picky area of putting, the age old debate on which is the superior method of putting. Spin putts look like a regular throw, they fly pretty flat and are aimed straight at the chains, whereas push putts have a lot less spin and are more tossed up than thrown. Each has their merit on their own, but many players blend the two together in a way that helps them be consistent. Having a good spin on your disc can help fight the wind on those gusty days, but push putting leaves less of a chance for your disc to go left or right of the basket. This is essentially why so many players choose to blend the two, the benefit of “pushing” narrows the margin of failure and the spin minimizes the risk of the wind taking you off course. Choosing which method works best for you, or how much of each you end up blending together is all dependent on how comfortable and successful you are in practice and on the course.
LET’S PUT IT IN THE BASKET
To wrap things up, there’s really only one way to find out what is most comfortable for your body and what is going to bring you the most success: PRACTICE. Get out there and use a basket at the park, get a cheap one off of Amazon (like I have) and get those rounds in! A personal goal I have set, that may be a benefit to you as well, is trying to sink 100 putts a day in practice minimum. Do 50x inside Circle 1, 25x forehand, 25x scoober putts, or any variation you may see yourself wanting to use in an event or while playing with friends. Practice straddle putts, practice big distance, or if the wind is gusting, get out and practice from different angles so you can see how your nose up approach in a tailwind is like throwing a rock rather than a disc. There’s a million scenarios that could affect your success in nailing those birdie putts when you get them, try to be familiar with it all. I’ll leave some resources down below for where you can get your own practice basket, a look at our putters, or some shades to look absolutely stylish while getting your birdies!
Basket (multiple options on the site)
Putting tips and technique pointers
Putt BETTER after this Video | Disc Golf Basics
How to look good while keeping glare out of your eyes
Video credits to
SmallBoreOutlaw Disc Golf - https://www.youtube.com/c/SmallBoreOutlaw
Dynamic Discs - https://www.youtube.com/c/dynamicdiscs
R.M. Disc Golf - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw-Tgh2aFW3zyrfAxigrriA