I love the jump putt. I think it’s a very underrated part of the approach game.
If I’m 35-100 feet away (and going for it) you’re probably going to see me jump putting for my approach. That’s why in my blog about getting more tap in birdies, I listed the jump putt as one of my first choices for an approach shot.
Rules of the jump putt
Here’s the PDGA official rules on what constitutes a putt. It’s anything inside 10 meters, and you must maintain balance behind the lie afterwards. But if you’re outside 10 meters…
So you’re allowed to jump from as far away as 33 feet, as long as your lie is behind the circle 1 area.
Why do I jump putt?
For me it’s just so accurate because I get physically closer to my target. I think it’s probably a combination of the years of ballet, lifting weights, and practicing my jump putting technique. They’ve led me to having good coordination and leg strength.
The other reason is it’s so powerful. You can throw the jump putt a lot further than you think. Here’s Ricky Wysocki doing a jump putt with a Pig. A disc that’s not really meant to fly far and he’s still crushing it.
Tips for you to get started jump putting
- Have a few of your putters ready to go, or have a friend near the basket to throw the putter back to you. Getting reps in is important. You need to find that spot to release to.
- Go with something stable and glidey. Stable because you don’t want to rely on releasing on a big hyzer, and glidey because you need a disc to get there. For me a nice baseline P2, or a Rainmaker will do.
- Try different placement of your feet! The closer your feet are together the more power you’ll get. Kevin Jones is one of the best jump putters on the Disc Golf Pro Tour, and he has the power to keep his feet far apart. I don’t. So I put my feet together for more lift. This article by Stan Mack explains how gymnasts and other athletes jump off a single foot. But in disc golf, we can use two because we’re not using a running start like basketball players for dunking. Soccer players use two feet to jump for extra power as well.
- Make sure you’re landing somewhere soft. One of the things you see step putters on tour do is practice where their foot will land. That’s because landing on uneven ground can be a real ankle twister.
- Believe in yourself. I’ll never quit believing in you if you keep trying to get better at it. The more you practice, the more you dial in your jump putt.
What do I actually do, step by step?
Establish if you’re going to lay up or you’re trying to make your putt. If you’re unsure about it, you’re laying up.
Once you get your feet set where you want you’re going to swing your arm down and bend your legs at the same time. You are a coiled spring and you will move your arms and legs upwards (and forward) at the same time. Get a few practice swings in, find your release point.
Focus on the height you want the disc to get in the air. Players often struggle with either throwing low line drives into the ground or skying one really high.
Lean forward. Yeah it’s that easy. If you jump putt straight up in the air that’s where your disc is going to go. How far should you lean forward? You should be able to stand up if you had to but off balance. Like you’d have to step forward with one of your feet to catch yourself.
Letting go of the disc is easy. You still spin it like you would a normal putt, but now you’ve incorporated your legs into it.
Timing is important with the jump putt. The last step is putting it all together and feeling normal. When you do these steps incrementally, the smooth flow gets lost. It’s kind of like my X-Step blog, you can put the pieces together in order and it feels clunky. Keep at it until you have a couple of the steps down and then continue. Everything gets better after you’ve thrown a few into the ground and skyed a few putts as well.
We all start somewhere and reading this blog, then practicing, will help you on your way to get lower scores.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397