Is a putter enough for a beginner?

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Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby Der Alte » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:35 pm

I just found this sport at this September (2010). I have to admit that I'm a total beginner and I'm making all possible mistakes which you can think of. Reach back is missing, I'm throwing hyzers, anhyzers and everything else between these, there is definetely no snap etc.. And of course I have a pile of discs:
Innova DX Aviar P&A
Innova DX XD
Innova DX Roc
Innova DX Valkyrie
Innova Star Aviar P&A
Innova Champion Spider
Innova Champion Valkyrie
Discraft Pro-D Soft Magnet
Discraft Pro-D Buzzz
Discraft Pro-D Avenger SS
Discraft Elite Z Buzzz

The funny thing is that basically it doesn't matter which disc I throw and the distance is almost same. Usually the max distance is somewhere between 50-80 meters (150-240').

Last time I was playing I used just a putters and the results didn't differ from previous sessions when I have been using a driver, a midrange and a putter.

So, I have question for You Guru's: Is it wise to concentrate to use just a putter and a midrange? And when I can master these discs then it is time move on to faster drivers? Accuracy and form is more important than the distance, isn't it?
Last edited by Der Alte on Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just a putter is enough for a beginner?

Postby Frank Delicious » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:40 pm

Moved this to the technique section.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby turso » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:25 pm

Accuracy and form IS distance, so yeah, get yer form good with discs that are not fast and are not overstable and don't like OAT. Putters usually fit that description perfectly. And do most of the practising on the FIELD, not on course, there you'll pay more attention to your form and don't get confused with "how should I play this shot". Just throw throw throw on the field and your form will improve. You'll find plenty of material how to build your form in here, you might do well to start with beato's right pec exercise.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby jubuttib » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:00 pm

Unless you can throw a putter consistently and cleanly to at least about 230-250', you don't need other discs. Well, maybe a stable-overstable mid for headwinds (nothing harsher than a Roc though). In any case, it's going to be the disc you throw the most during the round, so you might as well get comfortable with it.

Putters don't pamper you. They won't fly well (far) if you don't throw them well. They'll tell you clearly when you're doing something wrong. It can be frustrating, but when you learn to throw putters, you can throw anything.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby keltik » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:00 pm

when I first started I had the same results. all discs went the same distance 50-80 meters.

The discs you have are fine. but I do recommend that you play and practice for a while using just your putters. and after 10-15 rounds of play with only putters you can add in your Mids to your routines. really concentrate on throwing smoothly and with as close to perfect form as you can muster. there are plenty of other threads out there about proper form. just keep playing/practicing.

welcome to your new addiction (the sport and this forum)!!
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby Mike C » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:25 pm

Yes, putters, then neutral mids, are the best learning tools. There is no quicker way to learn good form than to throw these types of discs. Like others said, play some putter rounds, then eventually work in a Buzz or Roc and play with that pair for a while. Focus on learning how to throw the putter on hyzers and anhyzers, or straight shots, and being able to do this consistently and with good control. Not only will learning to throw a putter well teach you the fundamentals of form you'll need to throw drivers well, but you'll learn how to drive and approach with a putter; something many players aren't proficient at though it lends one certain advantages compared to using a mid-range at short distance.

Don't underestimate the putter, they can do quite a lot.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:10 pm

I'm not sure I agree with the majority of responses on this topic.

Putters are made to NOT glide. Midrange discs are made to glide some. Drviers are made to glide a lot.

A beginning player starts out as a blank slate and needs to learn every skill, including distance, direction and control. Learning the game is mostly trial and error. Noobies try out shots, watch what they do and adjust their technique to make shots go where they want them to go (eventually).

If a beginner only throws putters, on those shots which happen to be thrown well, they won't glide very far (of course, because they are putters). So if the noobie threw a pretty good shot but was not rewarded with distance he may not realize what he did well.

I think beginners should throw lots of different discs in lots of different ways and see how discs fly. Before long they will understand that run-ups and follow-throughs with sharp edged, understable drivers result in longer throws. Before long they will realize that putters don't go far for a good reason, as there are times they don't want their shot to go far past the basket.

IF, and this is a BIG IF, the noobie has a good teacher to guide them, then the whole process is much easier and faster. The teacher hands a particular disc to the noobie and explains just how it should be thrown. Sure, then the world is easy and basic competence comes quickly. But we know this is not the norm, it is the exception.

Most of us learned on drivers (or whatever disc we happened to start with). It didn't kill us. It won't kill the next generation either.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby Ryan C » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:56 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:I'm not sure I agree with the majority of responses on this topic.

Putters are made to NOT glide. Midrange discs are made to glide some. Drviers are made to glide a lot.

A beginning player starts out as a blank slate and needs to learn every skill, including distance, direction and control. Learning the game is mostly trial and error. Noobies try out shots, watch what they do and adjust their technique to make shots go where they want them to go (eventually).

If a beginner only throws putters, on those shots which happen to be thrown well, they won't glide very far (of course, because they are putters). So if the noobie threw a pretty good shot but was not rewarded with distance he may not realize what he did well.

I think beginners should throw lots of different discs in lots of different ways and see how discs fly. Before long they will understand that run-ups and follow-throughs with sharp edged, understable drivers result in longer throws. Before long they will realize that putters don't go far for a good reason, as there are times they don't want their shot to go far past the basket.

IF, and this is a BIG IF, the noobie has a good teacher to guide them, then the whole process is much easier and faster. The teacher hands a particular disc to the noobie and explains just how it should be thrown. Sure, then the world is easy and basic competence comes quickly. But we know this is not the norm, it is the exception.

Most of us learned on drivers (or whatever disc we happened to start with). It didn't kill us. It won't kill the next generation either.


/completely agree

If there is such a thing as hardcore disc golf fundamentalism, DGR embodies it. When I had been playing 2 weeks, I looked at an Innova board and decided on a Boss because it was supposed to go far. I sucked with it, but it made me try other discs and experiment. No one ever told the "correct" way to get better. Most people are not completely stupid, and if they care enough about disc golf to post on a forum, then they'll probably just learn on their own.

Back to the question at hand... I'd suggest a good midrange disc, like a Buzzz or Comet for a new player only carrying one disc.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby JR » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:34 am

Hello and welcome to the forum. Is your user name from the decades running German police series?

I learned fairly little on my own with beach frisbees and then moved to drivers. Two mistakes discs wise and a third learning by myself if learning fast is the yard stick. Beach frisbees aren't bad per se for learning but they aren't golf discs either. For fast learning and a steep learning curve putters are best. Even the slowest least power needing and most nose angle insensitive drivers like Leopards hide a part of throwing form mistakes. you absolutely do need to push yourself eventually to learn all kinds of discs. I would say that it is fine to start throwing slow drivers when you throw putters to 60 meters or close to it for pushing your boundaries. It is good that you know your form shortcomings but that's just the first step. When you know what you need to achieve to overcome them you can do the field practice necessary to learn to implement that knowledge.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby Der Alte » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:59 am

JR wrote:Hello and welcome to the forum. Is your user name from the decades running German police series?


Heh, that's exactly where my username comes from. I can't speak German but I'm a true believer that Der Alte stands for kettu in Finnish :lol:

Today I went to a local football field to test my throws. And once again it seems that it doesn't matter which disc I throw. Soft Magnet or Valkyrie flies nicely about 60 meters. No steps, one step with reach back or x-steps - it doesn't matter. The good thing is that discs flies pretty straight and nicely.

This is a little bit frustrating but practice makes perfect!
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby jubuttib » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:24 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:Putters are made to NOT glide. Midrange discs are made to glide some. Drviers are made to glide a lot.

Funny, from what I've been told I thought putters (Aviar especially) started out as the distance drivers of their time. Nowadays the design principle is of course very different.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby Mike C » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:50 pm

Mark, I'm sure you know a lot more about DG than I do, but I always felt putters had excellent glide. They don't have speed....their blunt nose doesn't let them penetrate the air well. But if you have room to air it out nice and high, they glide for a long time and drop slowly in my experience.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby JR » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:54 pm

How high does the Valkyrie fly? Does it fly front above the rear and does it shoot up high lose speed and stall hard left for a right hand backhand throw? Drivers are usually best thrown front at equal height to the ground than the rear of the disc at low heights. When do you start accelerate with the arm? You should check out if you can get more arm acceleration and distance by starting the arm acceleration in earnest only after the disc is by your right side. If you are right handed and are throwing a backhand throw. If any of the terms are unfamiliar to you i can translate them to Finnish.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby garublador » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:21 am

Mike C wrote:Mark, I'm sure you know a lot more about DG than I do, but I always felt putters had excellent glide. They don't have speed....their blunt nose doesn't let them penetrate the air well. But if you have room to air it out nice and high, they glide for a long time and drop slowly in my experience.
It depends on how you define "glide."

I'm with Mark to an extent. I think sticking with a putter, a mid and a slow, easy to control fairway driver until you're proficient with those discs is a good idea. It wouldn't hurt to consider an overstable driver after a little bit, too. There is a lot to learn from each of those discs and I think leaving any one of them out runs the risk of developing habits you'll have to eventually fix.
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Re: Is a putter enough for a beginner?

Postby Mark Ellis » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:55 pm

Mike C wrote:Mark, I'm sure you know a lot more about DG than I do, but I always felt putters had excellent glide. They don't have speed....their blunt nose doesn't let them penetrate the air well. But if you have room to air it out nice and high, they glide for a long time and drop slowly in my experience.


I guess it is all a matter of context. Compared to a manhole cover, putters have great glide. But compared to modern day drivers they do not.

But the question is whether learning the game with drivers will hold you back ( since they are claimed to mask flaws in your form). I don't think so. The form we develop for throwing Drivers may be different than the form we use for throwing Mids and Putters but we need to learn those variances. Hyzer form is different than Anhyzer form. Power form is different than touch form. There exists a whole spectrum of forms we need to master to play the game well.

If we were learning a particular skill in sports, say shooting a free throw in basketball, then we could learn one perfect form and repeat it forever. But throwing a disc is always a different shot from the last so we need to learn an adaptable set of forms. Throwing a long drive off a dry, level cement tee pad is totally different than throwing a thumber out of picker bush or putting up a steep hill. Learning one shot doesn't necessarily help you much with the next.

The other thing is that "perfect" form (whatever that is) is probably overrated. Watch a bunch of good players and you will find some who throw with weird form but are still effective. While I think that some forms are so flawed they can hold a player back from their potential, most players, as they progress, learn to continually adjust how they throw particular shots. The process of getting better is one of continual adjustment, so it doesn't matter all that much how precise your starting form is.

Developing basic competence and learning touch is plenty for a newbie to tackle. I would start a newbie out with drivers, mids and putters then give periodic suggestions as they learned the game. Only when a newbie became serious about competing would minor changes in form matter much.
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