Minimize Your Bag Rodney

Minimize Your Disc Golf Bag

New discs are amazing!  Disc golf manufacturers release several new molds each year and I love it!  As a result, I carry way too many discs and I rarely leave them in the bag long enough to lose their factory scent.  I’m aware of my problem and it’s time to minimize.

Again, I love throwing a new mold or a new plastic of an old mold.  Heck, I even enjoy throwing an old mold in an old plastic.  But when it comes to playing better on the course and shooting lower scores, simplification is the best advice I can give you.  I’ve played a few one or two disc rounds and my scores rarely suffer.  In fact, I’ve had some of my best rounds playing with a restricted bag.

Disc Golf Shelf
There’s clearly a problem here (not enough shelf space, right?)

 

The Advice

throw fewer molds and learn every possible shot with them

Ask several pros for disc selection advice and you’ll likely hear a similar rhetoric.  In fact, Chris’ advice to me when I first started playing was the same.   I wrote about this a few years ago but I needed a reminder.  Here are some tips from World Champions:

The most important key in to not carry a million discs, I mean learn to make your disc do what you want. – Nate Doss

 

My suggestion is to pick one putter, one approach disc and one or two drivers, and to purchase at least 5 of each. This will allow the player to really get to know the flight characteristics of each disc, and to learn to completely control each disc. The best way to hone skills is not to play rounds, but to repeat a single shot over and over. Practice your 150 foot hyzer shots, 225 foot reverse shot, 75 foot spike hyzer over a bush, etc. You won’t just get better at playing your course, but you will get better, period! – Elaine King

 

The Action

try to whittle your bag down to a putter, a mid-range, and at most two drivers

Take an objective look at your bag.  Get rid of all emotion, all memories of wonderful shots, and don’t drool over the color or stamp.  Now think about your last round.  Anything you threw less than twice should be pulled out for now.  Any two discs that would fall within 50′ of each other on a normal throw are potentially overlapping.  Choose one for now and put the other away.  If you still have too many molds, choose the most consistent piece of plastic in each category.  Don’t worry, I understand there’s a need for a utility disc and maybe a wind beater – you can put those back in the bag in a few weeks.

Now head to a field and throw as many different shots as you can imagine with the driver and midrange.  Just like Elaine said, try different length hyzers, turnover shots, thumbers, rollers, putts, flicks, etc.  Your goal is to learn what these discs do in every situation.  Next go play several rounds with this minimalistic load out.  Get creative on how you attack the basket with so few discs.  If, after several field sessions and several rounds you feel like there is a glaring need, add a single disc to cover that slot.  Be sure you aren’t making up for a weak skill by adding a new disc.  You’ll be better in the long run if you learn to manipulate the disc.

 

The Arrangement

here’s my plan

In the past I’ve carried an overstable, stable, and understable driver for a few different distance tiers.  Narrowing this down to a single mold will be quite a challenge.  The extra distance it covers combined with an inconsistent thrower leaves for a lot of variation in results.  

Disc Golf Field Work

First I’m going to take a stack of drivers to a field, find which one feels and flies the best and purchase a few more of the same mold if needed.  My goal with a driver is to find the one that goes furthest with the most accuracy and also fights a headwind fairly well.  This will lead me to throw an overstable (to me) driver.  I plan on choosing between the following drivers I already own: Innova Wraith, Innova Beast, Innova Destroyer, Discraft Crank, Discraft Surge, Dynamic Discs Trespass, Dynamic Discs Sheriff, Westside Discs Catapult.  I’ll also be throwing some lower speed drivers like the Innova Thunderbird, Discraft’s Undertaker, and the Discmania FD Jackal.

All of my previous bag load outs have revolved around a flagship midrange like the Buzzz, Roc, or Truth, all of which are great discs and should be in your collection.  These are all similar enough that I’ll probably choose the one mold I already own in the most plastics.  Until now, I’ve relied on a mold that feels similar to those flagship models to assist with a hyzer or anhyzer line.  Discs like the Buzzz OS and SS are perfect complements to the Buzzz.  Last season I carried a Verdict and a Warrant in addition to my Truth.  Those extra discs work really well but I’ve used them as a crutch for too long.  Minifying the bag will force me to learn new shots for sure.

Finally, I’m going to stay with the Judge as a putter and approach disc.  I own a few Judges in just about every plastic and I have several that have been aged to perfection.  This should be an easy change for me, but I’ve relied on the understable Swan 1 Reborn for some really long putts.

 

The Accountability

let’s hold each other accountable

I know I carry too many discs – deep down you may know this too.  I’ll always be testing a new disc for the blog but aside from that item I plan to carry a very minimalistic bag for a while.  I’ll be doing an in-the-bag video soon to show you what my minimized bag looks like.  Leave a comment if you’re willing to try to minimize as well.

 

Don’t forget to follow the DG Puttheads on Facebook here, and check us out the DG Puttheads on YouTube here where we’ll be stepping up our efforts soon!

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23 thoughts on “Minimize Your Bag

  • March 13, 2017 at 7:16 pm
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    Awesome article. I’m in the process of doing this exact thing. Thank you for the pointers.

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    • March 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm
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      Thanks Josh and good luck. Let us know how it turns out for you.

      Reply
  • March 13, 2017 at 7:26 pm
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    I think this is a great idea! I’ll keep my bag limited to an Axiom Insanity, MVP Switch, Axiom Theory, MVP Atom for upshots, and MVP Anode. I do like having a different putter for upshots than I do for putting. One question, will this also be the set up for tournament rounds as well?

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    • March 13, 2017 at 8:41 pm
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      Sounds like a good overmold setup for sure. I’m guessing for tournament play this setup would work just fine if you’ve put in the work to learn some new shots with your discs. You may find a need for an overstable utility disc for wind fighting and other weird shot shapes but other than that change I’m planning to keep it simple for my next tournament.

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  • March 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm
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    Great read. I am 62 and carry alot but master none. I am very recreational player but love the game. I like the idea of choosing a couple and throwing the same shot over and over and even from different positions. Will apply this moving forward.

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    • March 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm
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      Thanks Curtis. Good luck with it – you’ll surely learn some new shots. Remember to try different power levels with each disc too.

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  • March 14, 2017 at 2:20 am
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    Thanks for a good article. Back when I started I had a Shark and an Aviar and thought I was set for life… Well, the last time I was out I had ten discs in my bag.
    As it stands, I’m trying to take a slightly different approach to minimalizing my bag. Even after two years of playing, my throw is still an utter mess so I’m trying to convince myself to take out everything but my putters and stick to those for a while. Knowing myself, I’ll probably end up keeping a mid or two in my bag, but the drivers are staying home.

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    • March 14, 2017 at 7:52 am
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      Pick your favorite mid and carry it with your two putters. You’ll learn a lot by throwing a mid and a putter over and over.

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  • March 14, 2017 at 2:22 am
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    Oh my god! This is the best article I’ve read about disc golf. Ive only been playing a little over a year and just now realized, after reading this article of course, that i always go for the same disc’s when playing any hole. I will be minimizing my bag for the next few months. Heck i might not even carry a bag for a while. Depending on the course i think I’ll just pull out 4 or 5 discs to play with. I already know what each one does but i definitely need to perfect my throws with them. Once again, oh my god!!!! Awesome article. This really helps me so much! Thanks.

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    • March 14, 2017 at 7:51 am
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      Thanks Dale – good luck!

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  • March 15, 2017 at 12:03 am
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    This is great, I’ve been buying way too much plastic lately and need to simplify my approach to improvement.. thanks!

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  • March 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm
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    I am also doing the same thing and trying to narrow it down to less then 8 or so molds

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  • March 17, 2017 at 11:16 pm
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    So I have done this with my bag. I have cut down my bag to my Roach, my Buzzz, my Predator, and my Nuke. My question is… Do I just need to carry one of each mold? Or does this ideal work if I carry multiples is different stages?

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    • March 18, 2017 at 9:30 am
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      That’s a solid load out. Just like the pros, multiples of each mold are good to carry. You could carry a lighter Nuke for tailwinds and multiple buzzzes in different plastics and wear to cover the spectrum

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      • March 21, 2017 at 8:08 am
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        Awesome! I played 4 rounds this weekend with my new setup and I was very satisfied with my results. I did find there are some shots I need to learn but I know I can get there with my.discs.

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        • March 21, 2017 at 9:20 am
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          Great to hear! I too found some shots I need to learn, like a consistent hyzerbomb and a backed down driver. The reduced bag will force us to learn those.

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  • April 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm
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    Been playing with 3-5 discs for years. Easily do an XHeat, Squall, and Suspect. Just be prepared for a lot of jokes about your small bag. 70 years old and 3 discs lends itself to that.

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  • May 5, 2017 at 11:19 am
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    When is that in-the-bag video with your minimized bag coming out?

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    • May 5, 2017 at 11:22 am
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      Good question. I’ve been able to start with a driver, mid, and putter and now I’m filling in the few utility gaps that I have found to be necessary. I plan to do an in the bag next week.

      Reply

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