As a UDisc Ambassador for Sabattus Disc Golf’s courses I get to see lots of stats about our courses. Stats like how many people played, how many finished their rounds, and importantly what the average score on each hole was for the past 30 days.
Hole 7 on the Hawk averages a 4.12 overall score. It’s regularly in the top 3 hardest holes on the Hawk each month. I think that’s because it’s virtually impossible to eagle, and it’s not a hole shape I’ve seen frequently in my years playing disc golf.
Along with Hole 9 (where you should just bite less off the tee), and Hole 1 (where people are just not warmed up). Hole 7 I think begins the real challenge of the Hawk course. If you can stay clean with pars and birdies on holes 7-11 you’ll probably have a decent score at the end of the round.
And I assume (and acknowledge my bias) that disc golfers who use UDisc tend to be better because they’re willing to invest more into the sport than players with paper scorecards.
So the average may be even higher than that +.12 shows. If you grabbed paper scorecards after the round I expect you’d see a lot of 5’s and 6’s and even higher numbers.
So I want to take you through how I usually get a 3 on this hole. I average a 3.3 on this hole (according to my UDisc). More often than not I execute the shots required. But also, I limit myself to a 4 at worst by taking the big numbers out of play with safe play.
I’m going to go over several things that I think will help you break down this hole.
How did I arrive at my method?
That’s easy, I stole the lines from the pros when they visited. Scrub to the 11:30 mark and you’ll see what I mean.
In 2016 for the USWDGC the baskets were moved back on several holes to make it more difficult. They had to get further down the fairway because they were pushing back further in both distance and to the right for a dogleg shot. Since the basket has moved back to the normal spot, I don’t need to get as far over as they do
One thing I want to point out is for all forehand players. Look at where Sarah Hokom stands on the tee pad. She really works the teepad to her advantage by giving herself the most room possible for her disc to swing from left to right.
The first thing is that this hole is up, over, down, and then putt. That’s 4 separate throws if you want. But if you can combine up and over, and over and down from 3 shots into 2, you’ll be looking at birdie putts.
Here are the things I want to go over about Hole 7 today.
- Disc choice for forehand throwers or backhand throwers.
- Landing zone 1. Landing zone 2.
- Why the approach disc is a little faster on this hole than usual.
- How to avoid skipping off the chips.
Forehand Choice: Overstable, low glide driver
You don’t need a big forehand for this hole. I throw an overstable high speed driver called the Predator. 9/4/+1/4 are the numbers on it. The reason I throw this is I want the disc to go to the right. I throw it up high to stall out so that when it hits the ground it doesn’t have much energy to roll. If you have a Firebird/Raptor/Fireball something that doesn’t fly very far but is wicked overstable, pull it out.
Backhand Choice: Understable to stable, glidey mid or putter.
This is a great chance for my old MD3 to get into the game. I want something that I don’t have to worry about it flexing out and hyzering. Because left takes me down a hill and further away from the basket. Putters work, but I find I have less control over them when I’m throwing a sky turnover shot so I opt for a mid.
You want to land your drive past the tree to the right. This hole sets up very well for a forehand shot twice in a row. This hole is shaped so well for the right hand forehand throw, just getting to where you can see the opening is perfect. It’s also higher up on the hill than the backhand landing zone.
You want to be a little bit further down the fairway. This gives you a better line to the hole if you want to throw a hyzer shot. There’s several gaps here so you can throw a straight shot or a hyzer into the green depending on where you land.
Forehand: Stable Midrange with glide.
I’m trying to throw this disc focusing solely on angle control and keeping the disc low. Getting the disc high in the air brings speed into the equation and a disc moving quickly can skip or hit a tree and go into the water.
Backhand: Stable Midrange, with glide.
You want something like the MD3, Roc3, Pathfinder. Something that offers you a stable flight at slow speeds. Ideally you land where you can throw a slow hyzer shot down the fairway. Why don’t I like an approach disc like the Zone/Toro/Tactic? They’re a little too interested in getting to the ground, so you have to throw them with pace down the hill. The approach shot is all about a good touch. Putters are hard because you don’t want them to glide too far. I really like a mid that’s stable, maybe a touch of anhyzer, and just letting it go down the hill slowly.
Throw something slow and try to land your disc mostly flat. That’s why I recommend a mid that kind of sits on down instead of a disc that you would normally use like an overstable approach disc.
If you’re out of position on the drive, throw something slow and let it trickle down the hill. We have a hill that slopes toward the basket. So hitting a few feet short and skipping down the hill is better than hitting the chips at speed. This is one of the most important skills in disc golf, figuring out where you want your approach to land relative to the basket.
These are my steps to approaching one of the most difficult to score on holes of the Hawk.
- Get up and halfway over. Pick a disc that can execute that shot. Practice it a handful of times if there’s no one behind you.
- Throw something a little faster on the 2nd shot and match the slope of the hill as you approach.
- Find where you can approach from, and get there consistently. I’ve found my approach shot spot after a few years of trying to get as far down the fairway as possible each time.
Don’t let Hole 7 get you down. It’s a hard hole that requires a good tee shot and a well executed second shot that deals with elevation and woods at the same time. If I birdie this hole I feel good about it, if I par it I feel fine with it. Limit those mistakes and let me know how you play the hole.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397