This time of year up in Maine we’ve got that white stuff that stops some people from playing disc golf. So let's talk about what you can do in your basement, in your front yard, or in your garage for practice. That’s right, putting is something you can and should practice year round. So how critical is putting in disc golf?
Putting is the hardest part of the game, and I get it can be frustrating to practice. We’d all rather throw drives in a field and watch as the distance driver turns and then gracefully fades down to the ground, than practice something we’re not great at. But it’s what’s going to save you strokes during your round. UDisc writer Anthony Williamson brought up a great point about putting at the 2019 World Championships here. Paige Pierce won worlds because she putt better than her average, and Catrina Allen had a tough week in circle one. That 14 stroke difference in putting over 5 rounds was enough to propel Paige to another world title.
If you have a basket, you can practice at home; if not go to your local course and practice. I like to have 8-10 of the same exact putter when I practice. The same weight, color, stamp so I don’t single out the disc that makes it all the time and put it in my bag. This way I can try the same shot 8-10 times in a row without having to stop and pick up my discs time and time again. At Sabattus Disc Golf we often get multiples of the same putter, so when I was looking for a putter I found one that we had plenty of. You can do the same thing on our website by clicking on the putter you like and seeing how many we have left right underneath the color.
There are some really great games out there to help you improve your putting. If I practice without a goal in mind I find that it ends with me just throwing discs at the basket in unusual ways. Here’s a few games that can help you keep focus and can track your score to show improvement.
H-O-R-S-E is a great game to play with a friend, it helps you develop your putts and work on them in a competitive way.
1025 is a game I used to play regularly with my dad and brother. It involves taking 6 putts from 10-35 feet and earning points for making each putt. You get extra points for making 6 putts in a row at the same distance which focuses on consistency.
Perfect Putt 360 is an app that you use for practicing 50 putts. This will give you a score between 0 and 360. It’s approved by Hailey King of Team Discraft so you know that some pros out there are practicing with this app.
#10for10Challenge was done earlier by Paul McBeth and Brodie Smith (as well as a few other pros). The goal is to make 10 putts in a row as fast as possible in 10 seconds from 20 feet away.
Join a league! During the winter up here in the Northeast there are plenty of leagues to join where you can compete against other folks inside.
Now the most important thing to do is to make sure you’re consistently practicing. You’ll have bad putting days and good putting days. But as long as you’re practicing you’ll get better and have fewer bad days. So get out there and have some fun with these games, and get your 2020 disc golf goals off to a good start. Are there any drills that you do to practice putting? Leave them in the comments below so I can get better myself.
May your discs miss all the trees, Andrew Streeter
I’m a sports management student at USM and for the most part I don’t like pay-to-play sports. I’d argue that they’re detrimental to the growth of the sport, target rich people, and ruin the fun nature of sports.
We’ve gotten to the point where we need caddies in professional disc golf.
That’s a bold statement Streeter. Why do you think that?
Well let’s start with the fact that disc golf seems to be unique at the moment. Ball golf has caddies and swing coaches at the professional level. As well as their own masseuses, and nutritionists. The swing coach works with a golfer off the course, and a caddy takes care of them while they’re on the course.
Disc golf doesn’t have a rule about which disc you can throw at any point on the course. You can putt with a driver and drive with a putter if you want. As long as it’s PDGA approved you can throw anything you want from anywhere on the course. This is one of my favorite things about the sport. Someone will throw a high speed driver, others, a putter off the tee. The variability of people’s skills is fun to watch.