Putting Practice tips from the Bowling Green Ams....

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Putting Practice tips from the Bowling Green Ams....

Postby LastBoyScout » Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:31 pm

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.
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Postby sleepy » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:27 am

Thank you very much for typing all that out! Some great knowledge in there. It's stuff like this that makes discgolfreview.com the best collection of disc golf knowledge around.

When you mentioned the 'putting on a rope', I got visions of the sequences in old kung-fu movies where the apprentice is getting trained by the master using basic, old-school methods. :P


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Postby LastBoyScout » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:59 am

man, i was in awe when the told me a rope. I did a double take and had to re ask what he said he used. Just a rope hanging from a tree. Makes great sense to me.
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Postby adidadg » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:52 am

Those are some great tips, I like the rope concept as I am too cheap to buy a basket, now if I only had a backyard....

So how did you end up doing in your first tourney?!
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Postby sleepy » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:06 am

LastBoyScout wrote:man, i was in awe when the told me a rope. I did a double take and had to re ask what he said he used. Just a rope hanging from a tree. Makes great sense to me.


Also reminds me of describing the sport of disc golf to my father. He thought it was all very cool, but was kind of surprised when I showed him a picture of a basket. He thought it looked too easy with all the chains, and thought we should go back to using just the tone-pole! :shock: :P


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sleepy wrote:I sleepy, do hereby commit to use the Comet as my main midrange disc for a period of no less than one (1) year; commencing 11/24/09 and ending (if I so choose) on 11/24/10.

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Postby adidadg » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:08 am

I find Tones to be easier than baskets....maybe its psychological
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:37 am

Where are there tone poles? I'd like to try them.
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:38 am

although theres more risk putting on a tone pole (more fly bys) I do tend to have more left/right accuracy. The problem I find is in casual rounds I often lose focus and just throw my puts instead of picking a link and putting
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Postby presidio hills » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:21 pm

cool video, man!

i like your tips, too. have more than one stance (i always practice a straddle and regular stance), take your time, focus etc...
hitting the rope is a good idea because there's no such thing as blow throughs, or lucky putts going in... just "can i hit this target"... seems like it would be better practice, mentaly, to see how many times you can hit a target rather than how many putts stay in the basket.
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Postby adidadg » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:46 pm

Better yet, instead of a rope hang up a length of chain and practice aiming for that single link
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:09 pm

I used to put into a monkey swing (tire on a rope). I am also guilty of losing focus and tossing (throwing like you would in a game of horse shoe) instead of snapping.
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Postby LastBoyScout » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:53 pm

Man o man.... I did the worse personal play on all of the courses. I thought i would do better since I live only an hour away and play the courses a few times a month. I ended up near last because i was not dead on with my putts. I had alot of side chain putts that just fall out to the side.

As far as the focus on one chain, its great for basket practice, but putting on a rope is alot harder. Im using a thin nylon rope.....used for clothes lines.

As far as other things i learned, I learned how to throw a roc by a few of the top players and i took my buzz out of the bag. Kept the coyote since it is basically a beat up roc. I also learned how to throw a line drive 10 feet off the ground for distance, and how to get over my front leg on release to add accuracy on really long Golf D drives.
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Postby Pagan » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:09 pm

LastBoyScout wrote: I also learned how to throw a line drive 10 feet off the ground for distance, and how to get over my front leg on
release to add accuracy on really long Golf D drives.


Do tell! I seem to have trouble getting over my front leg. What "trick" did ya learn to do this?

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Postby garublador » Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:49 am

One trick I've heard is to make sure to end up with your non throwing hand pointing in the direction of the throw on the follow through. The idea is if you have to be over your pivot foot during the throw to be able to do that.
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Postby LastBoyScout » Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:51 am

Well. It seems that the biggest mistake that I saw all weekend was peeps not opening their hips up on drives or accuracy shots. You do your standard long reach back, but as you rotate forward you keep your torso a little lower than normal and rotate your hips open. When done properly, your whole body will be directly over your pivot leg (RHBH = Right Leg) and most peeps tend to have their push off leg (RHBH = Left Leg) up in the air. My throwing arm always hits my left leg on my follow through. This was crucial in my learning of the 10 foot high Golf D throw.
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