Question from Heather:
How do improve my putting? How do I practice putting so I can create better putting habits? Thank you!!
Now, I will be the first to admit that I do not like practicing. Practicing to me takes the fun out of the game for me, like homework almost. But there are the rare occasions that I get out the backyard and the one thing that I work on is my putting. Although, I might not be the best role model for putting, I can also say that it dramatically helps create positive reinforcement when you step out on the course.
Here are a few of my putting tips that I use when I step behind the mini and gaze into those shiny chains…
1. Focus- Instead of focusing on the basket as a whole, focus on an area of links that you want to hit. This will narrow your focus and allow you to more accurate hit your intended goal.
2. Repeat your Mantra- I always have some sort of mantra that I say to myself as I am focusing on my putt. I relate it to what I am having trouble with to try and tell myself to remember. I stick to one simple saying like “reach” or “aim high”, or even “give it your all, Val!”
Question from Heather:
What's the best way to increase distance on my drives?
A lot has to do with technique. It is hard to help with out seeing you throw but here are a few quick tips. I would suggest using the x-step for your run up. (Check out Sarah Stanhope's Article on "X-Step" by clicking here )
Question from Karen:
How far should a women's grandmaster be able to throw? I took a lesson from a male pro, who thought I should easily be able to throw 200 ft, and was disappointed that I didn't get there during the lesson. I noticed that during worlds, the long distance drive for a women's grandmaster was 189 ft. It seems like unless the conditions for the contest were really extreme, then someone who's nonathletic probably shouldn't expect to throw that far. So, from your experience, what should I expect?
The follow-through is a very important part of the whole throwing technique. It completes the throw by allowing the player to utilize all of their power, instead of stopping shot and limiting it. The follow through is the key to so many other sports too. Think of a baseball players swing, a soccer players kick, a tennis players serve. They all follow through because it is the offset of all the power exuded in their “strike point”, or our release.
Question from Andrea:
I feel like a beginner, though I have been playing for a few years, and have been given lots of advice. I have two toddlers, so I mostly just throw in the back yard (we have one long 300 foot-long field). One thing I keep getting told is to not do a run up (or X-step) until I have some consistency with aim. I feel like I have enough consistency with approach discs, though throwing drivers is still a lost cause (I can't put enough power on them to control them consistently). When would you recommend a person start incorporating a run-up or X-step? Is there some way for me to gauge when I reach that point in the learning curve? Because I am beginning to feel that no one is going to walk up to me some day and say, "I think you should try the X-step now".
Tips to help save you strokes on the course without even practicing. Putting and driving can give you the advantage on the course, but these tips can give you the advantage over the field. If you can remember one or two of these tips, you can use them for your lifetime in the game.
1. Take Your Bag Off!
It’s an easy tip, but I’ve seen it too many times. Unless the shot is right under the basket and your hand can reach the chains, take your bag off! If you don’t practice putt with your bag on, why would you have it on while your putt in a tournament? It can throw your body off balance, not allow your extend your arm, and most importantly cause you to miss the putt. Take your bag off, drop in the putt, and move on to the next one.
Disc golf, just like traditional golf, incorporates many different disciplines. From the mental game, to the physical ability, naturally gifted talents and the art of managing them all together, when every single stroke counts.
A friend, a few years ago, recommended I read, Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect by Sports Psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella. And now, I recommend it to anyone who is serious about coming up with a game plan to become a better player and possibly, through the process, a better person. His short book will help illuminate all those pesky, seemingly unsolvable problems players stumble on when they know they are a good player, but something changes as soon as the two minute horn is blasted.
Question from Lisa:
After playing for many years I seem to have found a rut. My game is ok but I would like more. Any ideas how you can keep things fresh and have a little growth? After playing for so long it's hard to see the little changes.
Response from Val:
I hear ya, playing so much can really cause repetition in your game, which may not always be a good thing. One thing I would suggest, if you haven’t done this already, think of the part of your game that is lacking, or a certain throw that you don’t have in your bag. I
Question from Indigo Brude:
This year I have been practicing a lot and trying really hard to become more consistent. I've stopped going for distance on my drives, and have been focusing on placement (keeping it in-bounds, in the middle of the fairway, within decent up-shot distance to the basket).
Still though, it seems like at least once every round, I "blow up" on a hole. I throw a crazy drive, have a tough time recovering, miss the putt... and there goes all the work I've done throughout the whole round in that one catastrophic double or triple bogie. Is there anything I should be doing in practice to keep this from happening in tournaments? How do you play so consistently good?