Most disc golfers categorize their putting style as spin putting or push putting. Sometimes a player has a slight mix of styles and I’ve often described my putting style as a straddle spush putt. I’ve been thinking a lot lately and I believe the straddle putt stands alone as a putting style. Here’s my implementation of straddle putting.
If you’re familiar with my philosophies, then you probably already know that I’m a huge advocate of video analysis on form. There are many ways to make this process simple, yet it still involves some effort and has one significant deficiency. Video analysis observes the past so your muscles don’t get used to the feel of form adjustments in real time.
So why am I refuting a technique that I so passionately advocate? I do so in order persuade you disc golfers to add an additional technique to your training repertoire! A technique that’s also great if you’re stuck inside due to cold winter weather.
Check your form in a mirror.
It’s a simple concept that sounds like something a 6th grader would do while practicing for a dance routine in a talent show. But it works! It works because you can adjust your form in real time by using visual cues and your muscles can feel the adjustment. This way you already know what the form adjustments should feel like when you get on the tee pad and don’t have a mirror handy.
I hate to admit it, but I don’t have any hard data for you on this because collecting this type of data would be difficult and time consuming. However, I can provide my qualitative experience. While I’ve used this technique throughout my disc golf career, there have been two times where it’s been extremely important.
The first was my power drive. Six years into playing disc golf I moved in to an apartment about 2 miles (3.22km) from the MSU Disc Golf Course. This course is wide open. It’s seriously in the agricultural events field, a wide open field. The course has since been modified, but at the time scoring favored long drives over accuracy. I took this opportunity to increase my driving distance and utilized the large sliding door mirrors in my apartment to adjust my form. In particular, I focused on my reach-back. By using the visual to set my reach-back further, I could pay attention how it felt to reach that far back and then remember how that felt when I got to the course. In the span of that summer I increased my drive from about 385 ft to 425 ft.
The next time I relied heavily on the mirror form-check technique was recently while attempting to reset my from after numerous injuries. I wasn’t rotating properly, I wasn’t pushing off of my back leg, and I wasn’t getting my elbow through early enough. This was largely a timing problem and one of the best ways to address a timing problem is to slow the process down and proceed in order, component by component. Using a mirror I could visually ensure each component of my throw fired correctly in order and I could pay attention to how that sequence felt. Of course later I needed to speed the sequence up, but watching in the mirror and feeling the sequence allowed me to essentially reset.
Perhaps one of the best parts of the mirror form-check technique is that it requires very little time or effort for potentially high returns. Simply grab a disc and stand in front of a mirror, just make sure your kid’s Lego pieces aren’t underfoot. You can do this any time that is convenient and you may find benefits from a multiple 2-3 minute sessions spread through the day.
It’s as simple as that, so go find a mirror and try it out! Test it for a couple weeks and then let us know if you’ve noticed any difference in your game and please share this article if you found it useful!
One of the most common questions we get is “How do I get better at disc golf?”. The answer to this question is very simple, just throw; we must do in order to improve. But the person asking this question is usually looking for a deeper answer. The simple answer is correct but let’s dig into why.
Watch a round of disc golf at the local course or a professional tournament, and you’ll notice something very quickly: there are a lot of different putting styles! Spin, turbo, push, spush, walking, and list could go on. Each of those basic putting styles has seemingly unlimited possibilities and personalizations. Zoom out a little and you’ll notice that successful putters have a few basic similarities regardless of individual technique.
What is a disc golf stall shot? I’m always surprised by the number of times I’m asked that question when I describe my putt and approach game, but it seems that either the shot or the term is not as common as I had assumed. A stall shot is purposely throwing nose up so that your disc either rises drastically or catches enough air that it stalls early in in the flight path. While usually referred to as a stall shot, I’ve also heard it referred to as an air bounce because the putter appears to bounce off the air, a bounce putt, a loft shot, rise shot, or generically a nose-up shot. Read more
During one of my first rounds of disc golf in 2002 I lined up for my first disc golf putt with my index finger on the rim of my Discraft Elite Z Putt’r. My mentor, Matt, immediately corrected me and sternly stated, “Never putt with your finger on the rim!”. Matt never provided a compelling reason against using my index finger to support the putter, he only warned me that that it can cause unbalanced putts and suggested that many people carry this habit over from throwing ultimate discs or casual Frisbees.
So is it okay to put with your index finger on the rim of your disc golf putter? Read more
I’ve been disc golfing for only two years but I’ve been able to exceed my expectations by far. I’ve also improved faster than my other friends that started at around the same time (Chris will attest to this). When I pair up and play a round with new people, none of them believe that I’ve only played a few years.
My early success is a result of solid disc golf technique. I know I have a long way to go but I’m certain I have started on the right track and I owe a lot of credit to Dan Beto and his disc golf technique video. Read more
When I first started playing disc golf, I was terrible at putting. I used the typical wristy motion that almost all beginners attempt. I would miss way right of the basket, or way left if I forgot the natural path of the disc, or really long if I threw with decent enough form to create glide. As a result, my first several rounds involved laying up from 20′ and out. I was so scared to miss badly that I just went for a toss near the basket.
Then, I came across a video of a great clinic put on by Dave Feldberg. Read more
During lunch today I practiced putting in the heat by playing The Range disc golf putting game with a coworker. I made it through nearly 200 putts before my putters started floating errant. The sun and 85 degree heat had finally caused putting fatigue to set in and this was a prime putting practice opportunity. I was determined to keep up my putting form and focus during practice so it would come much easier while on the course. Read more