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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.