Jomez released a fantastic video the other day. It’s of Catrina Allen, Kona Panis, Missy Gannon, and Holly Finley as they try to hit distances from 50 feet up to 425 feet. Go, watch it if you haven’t already! The blog will be here for you when you get back.
I’m definitely going to spoil this video for you below in the article. So if you want to be surprised watch it first.
I love videos like these. Skill videos are fun because they’re replicable. I can go out there with a friend and compare myself in a field to the pros above. I won’t be able to go out and play Jonesboro with the pros, but I can do this. It’s worth planning out this activity with friends just as a little change of pace from a regular round.
Cones set at 100-200-300-400 feet. (like the white signs are)
Cones to drive from, or a couple discs to create a teepad.
A reliable friend to retrieve your discs, check distance, and record your data.
Now is this practice or entertainment?
I’d say this is both practice and entertainment. It’s practice because how many holes do you walk up to and see the tee sign with the distance on it? Almost every hole, especially with UDisc telling you. Now if you know it’s 275 to the pin, and that your Kona Panis Tour Series Star Mako3 goes 275 regularly, you’re going to get that birdie. It’s also very interesting practice because of the randomizing of distances. If they went 50,75,100,125… and increased slightly each time then it would be much easier to dial in distances. Moving around from short to long to medium made it feel like a round. If you’re doing this at home with friends, make sure you randomize your distances as well.
The Pros Data
Red = Short
Green = Long
Blue = Perfect
What can we learn from this?
First we learn that pros are incredibly good. They hit distances well on holes under pressure every weekend on tour. They already know what their driver is going to do on a hole and the upshot disc will be. We can learn which of our discs go which distance.
Kona wins this competition and she’s on average 4.4% off distance on her shots. In fact her worst miss is 21 feet off. Kona has come out to play in 2021! It’s exciting to watch her do well. Kona has a big arm and she can crush. Catrina is right behind Kona in 2nd, missing a couple times by 30 feet. They both don’t struggle to throw 400’ and that was a big advantage in this competition. Holly and Missy however aren’t known for their big arms. It’s possible for them to reach 400 but it’s a tall task especially on a windy day. If you take out the 400 and 425 foot shots you’ll see that Missy goes from 12% off in distance to 11%. I think a score of 12.5% and under is elite. Holly and Catrina really showed off at 150 feet and under. They both kept their misses to within 12 feet, which is a tap in for them.
Did going last have an advantage?
Ah I see you think like I do. Holly points out that when she threw first her disc gave her competitors an advantage because they saw exactly how far her disc had to travel to get a score of 0.
So I did the math, did going 4th generate an advantage because they saw multiple throws and heard the results before they threw? I discounted the distances over 350 feet because there were huge data swings where players missed by a large amount. They were outliers.
Outcome: The first one to throw was usually the closest. The worst on average was 4th. When throwing first, the furthest anyone missed was 20 feet off. It’s not that close either, the order of most accurate by position is 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 4th.
Does this reflect things on tour?
I’m looking at the 2021 UDisc stats page. Catrina and Kona appear at the top in fairway hits, parked, C1 in regulation, and OB rate. They’re both on fire as of late, and it’s clear that whatever practice they’re doing is working.
Holly and Missy are both in the top 10 in putting this season in both C1 and C2. They’re getting it done within 66 feet of the basket. I think this skills competition shows off how exceptional Catrina and Kona both are at getting to the pin. Missy and Holly would excel in a putting challenge, and I’d be happy to watch that if Jomez made another video like this.
How do I apply this to my game?
One thing you should know is that not every disc is designed for distance. Some are designed to be overstable and get down, others are designed to float on the air. Some are meant to be very understable. So don’t worry if you’re throwing your TL3 200 feet every time. Use it when it’s required of you.
Find the distances that you are good at throwing and get out there and use them to your benefit. My favorite distance to be out is 325’. I know how to park my Wraith from there. Yours might be 100’ or 400’ but get out there and find the distances you’re comfortable hitting today!
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397
Comments will be approved before showing up.
We’re reaching an interesting time in disc golf. Where we’ve got a massive crop of talent at the top. Plenty of other touring pros cash frequently enough without scratching the top 25 in talent and can tour with their winnings and sponsorships.
So let’s take a step back from calling anything other than a win a failure. Improvements from year to year on a course could be a win for some of these players. Finishing top 10 should be considered good for young players. The days of players dominating and winning every single weekend are basically over. Competition is tight at the top, and it’s only getting better.