This being my first tournament, I was out to watch the top ranked players and snag any and all technique and form tips that I could. Man o man did I luck out. On my first card, I manage to get placed with the man who owns and runs the latest greatest disc golf store, The Iron Lion, based in the quad city area of Illinois (Moline if i remember right, with website soon to follow http://www.ironliondgs.com/
. Some peeps are selling his discs on Ebay. He is going to run all the CFR and Dank Discs peeps could want like a CFR Gremlin). This man had a putting game that can best be described as phenominal. His name is Chase Roberts (PDGA #20460). The other great putter on that same card was Tod Abrahamson (PDGA #18490). To see a little action of Chase, Tod, and myself putting, watch this DiscGolfTV video. http://www.midre.com/dgtv/videos/Misc/Misc_040106a.wmv
I am wearing a blue with white top polo. I putt the opening putt of the video and have the honor of the replay of my putt jumping out of the basket. Chase is in the maroon shirt (you see him in the background on my putt) and is the 4th person shown (he putts before my jump out putt). Tod is seen putting back to back in the blue/light blue tye dye shirt which is shown right after my jump out putt. Chase is then shown performing a straddle pitch putt 1 clip after Tod's final putt.
I had about two and a half hours to talk to these men about putting technique, strategy, and practice routines. Here is what they had to say:
Find a stance that is comfortable and allows you to get in a great groove. You need to be able to focus easily, move easily, and feel relaxed.
You need to have more than one stance:
Tod uses the stretched out putting stance and felt that this allowed him the best position on flat or either up or downhill putts. When near an object in his way, its straddle putt all the way. He really never jump putted but instead hit some unfilmed power putts with his streched out stance.
Chase uses the staggered stance and really has some accuracy. This man has a really nice finesse style and as I found out and has a very deadly jump putt. When putting up or down hill he claims that the straddle stance allows him the most balance.
Take your time putting. While you dont have very much time it helps to have an aiming routine that helps you get in a grove. When your in your grove your on fire. When it feels funny, dont force it. Step back for a second, take a breather, and then line back up and take the putt.
Focus Focus Focus. People often quote "Find a link and make it as big as you can. This way if you aim small, you will miss small." Well, Chase takes it to the next level. People have the tendency to short arm or pussy putt sometimes. Chase lines up the putt, finds a link, and then finds the link on the other side of the basket and aims at it. This allows for the same accuracy, but with that little extra power needed to hit that link. This allows for a greater chance of making putts you might normally short arm and hit the catching basket.
Inside of 33 feet, your friends should know that your putt is a gimme putt. If you cant hit the majority (and i mean 90%) then you need to get out and practice. Dont even worry about jump putting until you fit this category.
Jump putting or having a smooth and powerful putt are a must from outside 33 feet.
Tod used a lower streched out stance to power putt. This created a lower flight path of the putt. The goal was to hit just above the catching basket and no higher than half way up chains. This way it allows any blow-byes have less height and distance to travel which all land withing 33 feet.
Chase uses a staggered stance, but with less distance between the feet and almost inline in stance. He uses a pitch type putt with wrist spin as needed for the distance. When jump putting up hill he switches to a straddle stance, but with his feet further apart but comfortable and he bends his knees and waist, almost like sitting down but leaning slightly forward. The idea is to get the majority of your putter's momentum from the legs. The nice thing about a pitch putt is that all the momentum is in a downward motion as it loses spin and speed. A blow-bye putt is usually no more than 15 feet away unless you really pitch it way to high in the air.
The final tip was practice practice practice. Playing rounds with your friends, others, or by yourself does not count. You need solid putting practice, just you and a basket. Or, you could just do like Chase does.....
When I asked Chase how he practices, he said that he has a rope in the back yard. I was stunned. He kinda laughed and said, "Well, I have a basket at the shop [Iron Lion Disc Golf Supplies], but I mainly practice on a rope." He has the rope hangin and marked with the heigth of the chain area on a basket. If you can hit that small rope, think about how big the basket suddenly becomes. I then asked if he just putts on it, and he said he jump putts on it as well. It all became clear exactly how his putting ability came into being.
Now disc golf has a saying kinda like the movie dodgeball. "If you can hit a rope, you can hit a putt."
Last edited by LastBoyScout on Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.