Disc Minimalism and retrofitting

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Disc Minimalism and retrofitting

Postby disc_golfing_fool » Tue May 23, 2006 1:39 pm

Let me just first say that this website and forum has been a profound influence on my DG game. As an educator myself, I am particularly impressed with the clarity and depth of knowledge that Blake and others have contributed.
Thanks Blake T for everything!

Everything that I've read here over the past couple of years has always turned out to be true, including Blakes beliefs on the benefits of DX plastic and disc minimalism.

I've been playing for 1.5 years, and have gone through all of the stages Blake describes. I've thrown just about every mold I've ever seen, and have evolved my bag over that time to be a tight compilation of discs.

However, the thought of switching to all DX has been an intriguing one. I've tried it on a limited basis and find it frustrating, but that suggests to me that I have some things to learn.

So my question/topic is, how does one go back to basics? I'm fairly comfortable with my bag, and I throw a nice compliment of stabilities within my control range. I am continuing to get better, and am hesitant to fiddle with a good thing. Is this situation still going to benefit from playing around more with DX discs?

Should I play some all DX rounds? Mix them into my bag?
Dump out everything and play all DX and only DX until I "get it", donating painfully at tournaments and doubles?
Forget this DX nonsense and stick with what I'm doing?

I'm particularly interested in this notion of throwing DX to learn what makes a disc fly. Wisdom versus knowledge. I've gained some knowledge during this DG trip, but its time to gain some wisdom.

My bag:

E spirit: headwinds, hard/skip hyzer, flick hyzer, UDs
SOLF: long straight control driver, flip up and finish straight
S-SL: long straight control driver, gentle fade at end
Pro-SL: hyzer flip, s-curve, long approach driver
Surge: all out max-D driver, predictable fade
S-TB: control hyzer driver
X-XS: anhyzer driver
X-Stratus: anhyzer mid
E Element: all midrange shots
S Demon: same shots as Spirit, shorter range
Champ Rhyno: All upshots
Wizards: All putts

Golf D: 300-325; Max D: 400; 2 years playing

I've gotten to the point where I know my bag, have most every shot, and am comfortable with my plastic.

Should I try to fix what ain't broken, and use the DX as a "learning experience"?

What should I be aware of during this learning process throwing DX plastic? (ie. what to watch for as important to making a disc fly)

How should I begin this retrofitting process?

Thanks, Blake!

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Postby MrTasses » Tue May 23, 2006 3:46 pm

1. I'm not Blake 2. I've been playing less time than you, and you're probably scoring better. But I did make the change to prodominatly DX about 4 months ago.

I think the answer to your "how should I work DX into my game" is really only one you can answer. If you are a person that likes to go gangbusters and do something all out vs. controlled changes.

I like to play casual rounds where I just bring 3-5 discs (putter, 1-2 mids, 1-2 drivers). It forces me to make that hard hyzer with my stable driver. I don't really enjoy playing rounds where I am doing a regimented practice routine so a disc minimal round that is low-end plastic based is my practice round.

If you are already doing well enough in tourneys that you aren't donating, then it doesn't sound like any huge and rapid change is really needed in your game and would probably just frustrate you while you're working it out.
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Postby bigs348 » Tue May 23, 2006 5:44 pm

I've been thinking along the same lines as you recently. For reference, I've been playing just shy of 4 years. I putt every night, hit the field for practice usually twice a week, play in a weekly league, and play at least 2 to 3 tournaments a month. My bag is currently:

Wraith x 3 (Star, 2 DX)
Star TeeRex
Z Pred
TL x 4 (Star, 2 CFR Glo, Pro)
Q Sentinel
Buzzz x 2 (Z, D)
Aviar x 3 (10x KC Pro, 2 Star)

The only DX I carry are my Wraiths for wide open distance and my D-Buzzz which is beat for a turnover mid. My game has improved tremendously as I've decreased my number of discs, my number of molds, and as I've learned to throw putters and midranges better and more often. After this improvement with my regular discs, I've thought many times about whether to go back to DX and change my plastic up. I've come to the conclusion that if I did such, I would only be changing to DX for the sake of changing to DX.

Going back to throwing DX is useful to improve your technique, to learn your discs better, and to make a single disc do everything. I feel that I've learned these lessons pretty thoroughly, and am playing well with the discs that I throw -- even if they aren't predominantly DX plastic. If I were to switch up, it would be detrimental to my game at first, and I don't think that I would improve enough as I learned them for the switch to end up being beneficial.

You have to think about your motives for why you want to throw DX. Do you want to learn your discs really well? Do you think it could really help your game in the long run? Maybe you're just looking for a change and want to buy new discs?

Whether or not you switch to DX is up to you. I think that you have been playing for a short enough time that it would probably only be a slight drop in your game followed by noticeable improvement. No matter what, I think the first thing you should do is cut down on your number of molds:
- Keep the Spirit for headwinds, and the Surge for max D.
- SLs and SOLFs are too fast for most people to use as control drivers, and maybe a step down to Teebirds, Gazelles, Cyclones, or TLs would be good for your game. Unless you choose TLs, that would also give you a chance to try out some DX. If you choose Teebirds, keep the Star TB for an overstable control driver, and get a bunch of DX to beat up.
- DX TBs would also replace your XS as they got beat up
- You should be able to use the Element for all your Stratus shots.
- Learn to throw your Wizard for every shot that you possibly can.

That's about all I got, sorry for the long post. The choice is up to you, and hopefully Blake will weigh in soon to give you much better advice than I can. :D
"a man is a success if he gets up in the morning and he gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do."
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Postby Blake_T » Tue May 23, 2006 6:39 pm

reasons for throwing dx plastic:

1) max D. any disc available in DX is 10-20% longer than the comperable disc in champ, and 5-15% longer than pro.

anyone that disagrees with this hasn't thrown enough DX.

2) you want to learn every shot under the sun, or at least a good chunk of them. a handful of shots are exponentially more difficult to learn with champ plastic.

if your idea of a "good roller" is to throw your flippiest disc flat and as hard as you can, you would definitely benefit from throwing dx. if you have a very strong array of stall shots, flex shots, shots that change angle in flight (whether turning more or getting more vertical during the fade), being able to make your disc fly like it is on a string, etc. you are likely beyond needing this step.

3) you struggle gripping champ/z plastic.

4) if there is any doubt in your mind that broken in discs aren't as good as or better than new discs.

99% of the time players start with discs that are too fast and/or too overstable for them. half of this is caused because the manufacturers do not promote their best beginner discs to beginners (they just want to promote their newest disc) and the other half is because people harbor the idea that more expensive = better.

keep in mind i promote throwing champ/z overstable drivers as long as you aren't trying to make them fly straight. i believe headwind drivers are better generally in lower end plastics for distance, but for shots like spikes, etc. i use z/champ.

if you look at your bag setup, you are missing a stable control driver, which i consider to be more problematic than what plastic it is in. there is also tons of mold overlap, even moreso than i would generally say are "specialty discs."

the big question comes down to this:
if you had to only play a round with just your orion lf, element, and rhyno, how well would you do?

if there is a significant dropoff, that does show some holes in your game.

(i actually have better scores if i carry 2-3 discs than if i have my full bag).
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Postby Blake_T » Tue May 23, 2006 6:40 pm

btw, as for the integration process, it's usually started around choosing what you "need."

e.g. 3 dx rocs in varying stages would eliminate your 3 mids.
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Postby disc_golfing_fool » Tue May 23, 2006 7:19 pm

I think I'll try the SOLF, element, rhyno combo tomorrow and see how it compares to the average round.

I'll carry a few DX discs for second throws as well.

Lots of good food for thought here. Thanks.

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Postby Blake_T » Tue May 23, 2006 7:35 pm

make sure the dx discs you choose are versatile ones if you are doing a true shootout.
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Postby disc_golfing_fool » Wed May 24, 2006 3:48 am

sorry I missed you again last night blake. I was imbibing fermented beverages... :D

I will be using a dx teebird, dx eagle, and d cyclone as "stable control drivers".
DX rocs stable/overstable midrange. I would like to get the light one to be a "flippy roc" soon.

I'll let ya'll know how it goes.


peace
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Postby Bradley Walker » Wed May 24, 2006 11:09 am

It was really not that hard for me to transition BACk to DX.

I played of and on for years, and there were no other plastics available.

When I started back full steam this year, I was having to work so hard to get any D with anything. Amazingly I could still throw my Aviar 300 ft. Huh? That's weird...

I may get slapped by with a steel hanky here, but the new plastics SUCK. That's right, they suck (this is my opinion). I hate throwing any of them (except the Surge I guess).

The best plastic ever was Cyclone Pro plastic because it flew like DX but is infinitely tougher.

I am biased, as I cut my teeth when a "heyser flip" was most every shot. Some disc flipped more than others. There were no "overstable" discs at all. Not surprisingly I can throw a heck of lot more shots than most anyone I play with (there are exceptions). In the old days it was about making the disc "work" to get the most out of it (sorry to harp on the old days but it is true). My friends are amazed that I can throw a putter, Roc or Goblin straight at the hole, because they all have torque in their release and do not even realize it. They are forced to heyser anything that is not overstable. they are all turning over their Rocs and Cyclones.

I am 100% DX and having the most fun I have ever had since I returned to playing... and I am throwing some huge boomers.

(1) DX Banshee for headwinds (like a Teebird + more stable)
(3) DX Teebirds-stable heyser to slight turnover max D and low glides
(1) DX Eagle- for right hand S Curves, Big D S curves
(3 ) Pro Cyclones-for most anything except max D
(1) Pro Cyclone 2- Cyclone for headwind (better than a Cyclone possibly---more needed for more testing)
(1) new DX Rox- less than a Cyclone, more predictable, great design but more overstable than the Goblin
(1) Goblin-for shots at the far end of the Aviar, and short knife heysers and anheysers
(1 + 2 spares)- DX Aviar Putter-for anything less than 300' if the wind is not blowing, and putting

As for D, I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that I am throwing crappy old Cyclones further than I was throwing Star and CFR Wraiths before, I am throwing Teebirds and Eagles much further than those under the correct conditions.

I went to a park the other day by my house. There is no course there BUT THERE SHOULD BE. Talk about "make your own course" nirvana. I was having a blast, as my discs are really starting to break in and I was snapping the shit out of everything.

I decided to make a few parting throws before heading to the car. I picked a tree on the other sidfe of a little gully, maybe 350' away. A family was watching and wowing at the fact that I was hitting about 50' up in the tree with every throw. On the last throw my pink T-Bird found the hole in the limbs of the tree on the right side and glided out. Even I said "whoa, that was crushed". When I went ot pick up the disc it was about 200' on the other side of the tree. I will never forgetthat as long as I live... I love DX.
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Postby Weebl » Thu May 25, 2006 8:16 am

I also enjoy the sound of a DX disc blasting through the air when compared to Champ/Z; the audible sound is much less 'noisy' with DX, and I've been assuming it's because the Champ/Z has much more drag (ex: when pulling a plunger stuck on the wall horizontally with the wall

I also have had the guys playing 30 years who one set a distance record in 91' with a Scorpion (159.7m) say 'wholy shit' when I get ontop of a hill (365' out 40' up) with a DX Teebird when they can only do it with their CFR/Star Wraith. If I was throwing a champ TB i wouldn't get close to getting ontop, people just dont believe me when I say DX flies farther.
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Postby disc_golfing_fool » Wed May 31, 2006 1:44 pm

I have had the chance to play several rounds since the original post, and I have several observations and some questions. Thanks to everyone who has replied with excellent comments.

Observations:
1. My launch has significantly improved since last throwing these DX discs a year ago. The DX discs were flying entirely differently than before, and were actually flying like they were described to fly by others. For the first time, I saw the natural turn of both the D cyclone and DX eagle with a flat throw. I can definitely see how throwing DX reveals more about how a disc flies, and what makes a disc fly. DX discs “fly” better than premium drivers, which act more like projectiles (is this what you two that mentioned this were getting at?)

2. I had successful three-disc rounds, shooting similar scores to my usual performance. I see the benefits of making a disc fly differently than it naturally does; I just don’t particularly enjoy the exercise. I would much rather just reach for the disc that I know has the correct flight, especially in a tourney. I will be doing more of these for practice, but probably with different discs.

3. It took me about two throws to realize that the DX roc is probably one of the best discs ever made. I just didn’t have the technique to throw it properly the last time I experimented with it. Huge flat towering shots that were traveling just as far as the SOLF, but with a totally different flight path. (Later on I had problems, more below…). Instantly it found a place in my bag, I am currently throwing a 172g, but may also add the 176g (straight and hyzer, respectively).

4. The DX teebird is the disc that I have been looking for all of my life! It is a totally different disc than the TB in other plastics, and it definitely flies 15% further than its counterparts in other plastics. I love the “pffffft” sound that accompanies a good rip with the DX TBs and Rocs.

5. I need to learn to throw my putters better. After throwing S-wizards exclusively for a few round, I found the champ rhino to be unpredictable in its flight and hyzer finish.


Problems/Questions:
1. The DX Roc exhibited a similar flight to the D cyclone after initially breaking in. I had trouble grip locking it when I was tired and when I was trying to throw it on a hyzer. I think the former was because of off timing, and the latter was because of wrist roll/torque. The DX roc definitely reveals flaws in one’s throwing technique. Now I am also concerned when I see that S- curve flight pattern, even if it on my intended line, because it seems to indicate turbulence in the throw. I need to get out into a field and learn more lines with the DX roc. How can I tell the difference between natural turn and turn caused by bad technique?

2. The DX roc, D cyclone, and DX eagle all had a similar flight path (gently S-curve from slight hyzer, textbook hyzer flips). At the moment I found that redundant, but wonder if having that line in different lengths is beneficial. I have played with many old-schoolers who throw predominantly hyzer-flips. Is there more to the story than these three having similar flights? Do I need to dig deeper here? Basically, I am wondering if I should spend more time with either the DX eagle or D cyclone or both as compliments to the DX roc. Or maybe try the DX gazelle?

3. I enjoyed throwing my DX drivers (orc, wraith, beast), but did not see a major difference from the Surge and SL. I am thinking of beating them in, to see if they change significantly as they wear and then comparing them again. I have an “old mold” DX beast that has beat in to flippy, and I just don’t think it’s predictable. Is that what I should expect from beating in other DX drivers?

4. The DX teebird will be my “stable” driver. Do I need another “stable” driver to compliment it? I plan on adding another when the first becomes flippy. Again, is there benefit to adding the DX gazelle here?

5. Is the 172g roc going to be heavy enough to be a reliable turn-over disc? Should I accelerate the break-in of the 176g to fill that turn-over role? I lost my X-Stratus over the weekend, one of my first discs ever. A real heartbreaker. Now I am completely without a turnover mid! Yikes! I haven’t even decided what to do about it yet. My first instinct is to replace it, its such a unique disc.

6. I need to figure out what to do the closet full of uber-duper-ultra-durable plastic that I will likely never throw again. Anybody want to buy some discs?!? LOL!

7. Where should I go from here, Blake?
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Postby Blake_T » Wed May 31, 2006 3:25 pm

I would much rather just reach for the disc that I know has the correct flight, especially in a tourney.


true confidence is knowing you can make a disc fly in any way you want by how you throw it.

the only way of "knowing" a disc is the "correct" flight is 1) it is always a teeshot, 2) it is on a course you already know really well, 3) the wind is always absent or always the same, 4) you always have the same timing and feel every day.

when playing unfamiliar courses or with alt pin positions you have never seen, safari layouts, etc. you will never really have shots "juiced in" on an unfamiliar course. i generally play my best rounds the first time i play a course since i'm just trying to execute and not trying to pin everything. having confidence in hitting, and CREATING lines is a great asset. when jernigan won 04 am worlds by like 20 strokes, he had 3 molds in his bag: teebird, roc, big bead aviar. most of the pros attribute that to being a large part of why he won: mastery of simplicity.

DX discs “fly” better than premium drivers, which act more like projectiles (is this what you two that mentioned this were getting at?)


yes.

How can I tell the difference between natural turn and turn caused by bad technique?


knowing whether or not it should have turned is the key in this. a roc is an easy one to measure with. if your throw is shorter than 350', and it's a roc, it shouldn't turn. keep in mind this is from slight hyzer. a flat throw is an anhyzer. it takes me about 2-3 years to beat a roc into the point where it will truly turn.


Is there more to the story than these three having similar flights? Do I need to dig deeper here?


the eagle and cyclone have nearly identical flight paths, with the difference being speed. unless you have a super poppy top roc, you shouldn't be getting a flight path like the others. the eagle and cyclone aren't separated enough distancewise to carry both, but the change to the eagle mold may be the tie breaker in the long run. the dx gazelle is basically like a split between the cyclone and teebird.

Is that what I should expect from beating in other DX drivers?


only if they have no natural stabilizers. i agree that old mold dx beasts get unpredictable (and way too fast), which is why i quit throwing them.

Do I need another “stable” driver to compliment it? I plan on adding another when the first becomes flippy. Again, is there benefit to adding the DX gazelle here?


true stable no. generally something with more of an S path does help. if you add another one before the first one gets flippy both will last longer.

Is the 172g roc going to be heavy enough to be a reliable turn-over disc?


lighter = more reliable turnover disc. the roc is fine, but you'll need to find a way to have a "lost horizon" type age 100 years in 12 seconds if you want a turnover roc tomorrow. real solution = throw anhyzer or flat with wrist roll.

Where should I go from here, Blake?


can't say for sure, you were going to call me last week and talk about it. depends on where you want to go from there.
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Postby disc_golfing_fool » Wed May 31, 2006 5:23 pm

A. What is the very longest "true stable" driver?
Is there one longer than the DX teebird?
Do any of the "new gen" drivers have natural stabilizers?

B. I only saw my Roc have an s-curve flight when torqued over/late.

C. As for where I want to go, my goal is to become a 1000-rated player.

Consistency has always been the key for me. When I'm hot, I can compete with just about anyone in Adv. When I'm not, well...
I want to learn to maximize my consistency. It sounds like the jj plan might work for me.
All of this moving around of discs is to try to achieve more consistency in the long run.

D. I would assume that those three molds that jj won with were multiples in several stages of wear, and were thrown backhand, sidearm, and UD. One still needs an array of shots, with many molds or few. I think the fact that I CAN shoot the same scores with three discs suggests that I have enough shot variety to play that way. I just like having more flavors in the pantry. I see both sides on this one, and play the same either way.

E. My latest bag setup, please suggest revision to fill in any gaps:

ESP surge: max D, stable
E spirit: headwinds, skips, UDs
SOLF: stable distance driver
Pro SL: understable distance driver (S-shots)
X-XS: hard turnover driver

Star TB; *DX TB: stable drivers
*D cyclone: stable S-curve driver
*(2) DX Rocs: stable/overstable mids
S-Wizards: Med. for upshots; soft for putting
(WILL REPLACE) X-Stratus: turnover mid

*discs added after advisement

Thanks for the feedback, criticism is essential to improvement!

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Postby Blake_T » Wed May 31, 2006 6:07 pm

A. What is the very longest "true stable" driver?


champ starfire-x, which is about 5% longer than the star starfire-x.

Do any of the "new gen" drivers have natural stabilizers?


very few. the orc kind of has one but it is more on the fade end rather than on the high speed stability. the avenger has a pronounced bead. the monster-x (original mold) and starfire-x's are true stable at high speeds. aside from that... no, there really aren't more since 2003.

I would assume that those three molds that jj won with were multiples in several stages of wear, and were thrown backhand, sidearm, and UD.


actually, this was about 99.5% backhand, but yes, they were in multiple stages of wear.

the thing is, you will improve over the long run much more if you can get BETTER scores with 3 discs than what you have previously done with 3 discs. i believe that adding additional molds should be responsible for no more than 1-2 strokes a round.

you still have heaps of overlap lingering in your bag right now though.
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Postby disc_golfing_fool » Wed May 31, 2006 7:32 pm

I would agree that there is some overlap, but I use each of the overlapping molds differently. Maybe I am missing the point of what you are saying here. For the sake of learning, please point out all of the areas of overlap, and maybe give me a template for the most concise bag out of the discs that are currently in my bag. Please lay it out for me, cause I'm obviously not getting it through this thick noggin.

I do see what you are saying about getting BETTER with only three molds.
I think I am going to try some TB, Roc, Wizard rounds. I also want to get more throw time with the Avenger and SF-X. I've thrown the avenger extensively, but didn't replace it when it was lost. The SF-X I've only tinkered with, but I liked it.

Let me also say that this talk of plastics and molds is really secondary to the trajectory I intend to take. My primary focus is on improving my technique and skill. "Its the Carpenter, not the tools". I also believe that some tools are better than others (craftsman, baby!). What would be the ideal bag setup to best develop technique and skill? (This may differ from the bag setup I am requesting above).
Step #1: Become a 1000-rated putter.

I can't call tonite. Going out with my lady.
I never thought of the time difference. You're two hours behind EST? I'm hitting the hay when you're just warming up...lol.

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