Is spin putting really all that bad?

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Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Peot » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:55 pm

I've been trying to work a lot on pitch/push putt with a little bit of spin whenever I'm in the circle. I've been doing this for most of this season so far, with mixed results. When it's on it's very good, and very forgiving if I hit right of center (lefty putt). With not a lot of spits, it's tempting to keep doing this.

However, it requires a lot of consistency with my form that has been hard to develop. I tried spin putting today briefly and it was working very well. Few misses, very few spits. i had the confidence to fire it right at the basket and not worry about blowing by. It seems like a lot of high level pros have eschewed the spin putt though- I know Feldberg in particular is pretty outspoken about it. Is it really all that bad? I'm tempted to keep working on it just because E-Mac hits some absolutely unbelievable putts from 60+.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby zj1002 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:07 pm

every putting style has pros/cons. best bet it to master one style(stick with what works for you, not what feldberg says). I wouldn't get super caught up in these pros that say there is only one correct way to putt. They are teaching you their style not the one that doesn't work for them. My advice is to pick up on key points and adapt that to your putt. I use a hybrid style with things I have picked up from clinics and videos. Try to find a local pro that is good at spin putting(if that is your preferred style) and see if they can tweak your putt. If anything working with a pro will increase confidence, which most people here agree is the most important aspect of putting. Getting caught up in "form" during a putt will usually result in a miss. Practice is where you think about form, and the rounds should be focused on seeing/hitting the line.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Jeronimo » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:19 pm

If it works, and you're hitting putts without 3 putting... Then no, it isn't bad.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby himynameismatt » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:28 am

Doss seemed to do fine with it this past weekend.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby JR » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:33 am

The number one thing for a good spin putt is to never allow the elbow to straighten prior to the disc leaving the fingers. The downside to spin putting is the previous sentence. You need a fast arm acceleration to pull that off and the more you are tired the more difficult it will get. The result of tiring and punching forward with the arm slower than needed is that you hold on to the disc when the elbow is straight and the momentum swings the wrist right of neutral and you have a tremendous chance of missing right if you're not within feet of the basket.

Another possible drawback is the chance of blowing by too far. There power control helps a little and if you have a suitable putter you can throw a hybrid form or a spin putt with minimal nose up and loft or no loft and with power control (takes time to learn for each putter) you'll seriously limit blow by distances. Without sacrificing too much wind tolerance. Which is the natural advantage of spin putting. Putting from the knees also requires some sort of spin putt or hybrid of spin and loft putt for any sort of distance. When you putt from the knee chances are that you have a low ceiling and that tips the scales toward the spin putt.

Spin putt is not a bad thing and you should be able to throw in loft and spin putt styles to negotiate obstacles.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:00 am

Most players don't have the wrist to push putt so spin putting is what they do, me included.

In basketball, is it better to lay it in or dunk? It doesn't matter if you can't dunk.

Push putters have great wrist snap and snap is very difficult to develop. Would a push putter be better off spin putting? I have no idea but suspect they would be very good at either with enough practice and confidence.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Peot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:02 am

JR wrote:The number one thing for a good spin putt is to never allow the elbow to straighten prior to the disc leaving the fingers. The downside to spin putting is the previous sentence. You need a fast arm acceleration to pull that off and the more you are tired the more difficult it will get. The result of tiring and punching forward with the arm slower than needed is that you hold on to the disc when the elbow is straight and the momentum swings the wrist right of neutral and you have a tremendous chance of missing right if you're not within feet of the basket..


See, the way I've been push putting is basically squatting and getting finger spring when I pop up. I can do it pretty well, but in terms of the kinematics of the motion, I feel like much more can go wrong here when fatigued than when spin putting while fatigued. (I actually came to this conclusion yesterday. I lifted weights in the morning, then had wrestling practice, and went to the course to throw upshots and putt thereafter. My putting was sucking, but when I switched to spin putting it was easier when I was tired and sore).
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Apothecary » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:05 am

were you still wearing your tights?
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Peot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:46 am

Yes. I was wearing a singlet. I only play disc golf in a singlet.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Dbuntu » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:05 am

Mark Ellis wrote:Most players don't have the wrist to push putt so spin putting is what they do, me included.

In basketball, is it better to lay it in or dunk? It doesn't matter if you can't dunk.

Push putters have great wrist snap and snap is very difficult to develop. Would a push putter be better off spin putting? I have no idea but suspect they would be very good at either with enough practice and confidence.


As a guy who used to play a lot of basketball, laying it up is probably more consistent than dunking especially if you are not an experienced dunker. Too much emphasis gets put on slamming it down. I've seen a lot of guys [myself included when I was young and could jump] bounce a dunk out just because there is too much force behind it. That may have something to do with a lot of layup practice before I could really dunk.
I'm not sure it's an important distinction when making a putting analogy, except to say control is what makes baskets.
I throw something of a hybrid putt; pushed with spin, because I've been throwing it with ultimate discs for a while and it's accurate for me.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby CatPredator » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:41 am

Peot wrote:See, the way I've been push putting is basically squatting and getting finger spring when I pop up. I can do it pretty well, but in terms of the kinematics of the motion, I feel like much more can go wrong here when fatigued than when spin putting while fatigued...when I switched to spin putting it was easier when I was tired and sore.


I've made similar observations but I've stuck to the push putt because it's more conservative and consistent. It's just so easy to slip into lazy mode while practicing spin putts. The routine before a push putt, making sure my whole body is lined up and engaged, helps me get focused and committed to making my shots in both practice and rounds. In rounds I still end up spin putting in quite a few sticky situations, and working on the mechanics of push putts has only improved my timing, weight transfer, and finger spring on spin putts.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby JHern » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:54 am

Nate Doss and Josh Anthon are both spin putters...I think their reputation precedes them.

Do what feels right. Practice with the same putter mold. Build on the feeling for when you are able to propel the disc right into the center of the chains with strength and confidence. Stay away from awkward motions or styles that feel like they take too much effort.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby luke.baker » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:31 pm

My hypothesis is that disc golf is still young and still figuring out what the best techniques are. While watching the Feldberg video, I was often reminded of things that I was taught when learning to shoot a basketball (e.g., keep the number of moving parts to a minimum to eliminate the number of things that can go wrong). I don't know that there's enough evidence to firmly state what the optimum putting form is, but I'd be wary of statements like "do what feels right" or "don't do something if it feels wrong". It's very easy to have bad form feel right and good form feel awkward. Shooting a basketball by propelling it with both hands often feels right to beginners and is significantly easier. However, if you expect / want to be able to shoot consistently you need to relegate your off hand to merely guide the ball.

I haven't followed professional disc golf for very long, but I'd look to the forms of people who are consistent winners. I wonder if putting prowess is exaggerated for the people who make the occasional long putt over the person who is consistently better at short to medium ranges. (Time for disc golf to get on the statistics bandwagon? I want to see putting percentages from various distances of the pros, etc. :-) )

Back to your specific case, if you feel like you need to improve your putting, I'd recommend consistent deliberate practice. If after doing that your putting is still not acceptable, then it might be time look at ways to tweak or overhaul your form.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Peot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:06 pm

Well I would say putting is probably the strongest part of my game. I consistently and deliberately practice pretty much every day. I just don't want to get complacent with one thing. If I can improve at anything, I will. Hence the thread- if I can be a consistently better spin putter, maybe I should switch.
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Re: Is spin putting really all that bad?

Postby Sean40474 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:25 pm

Peot wrote:Yes. I was wearing a singlet. I only play disc golf in a singlet.


LOL, I bet that got a lot of attention from the ladies (maybe some dudes).

I started as a spin putter myself, but ended up doing a push putt style. I liked how push putting was more conservative and I felt like I had more control over consistency. Realize that even though something isn't “textbook” or it is completely unorthodox....A LOT of practice will make you better.

The question left standing after all that is: Which putting style will yield the most potential for you?

The answer to this may be different for a lot of you. Sometimes people will agree that the question is more important than the answer.

I like what was said before about observing the top pros and adapting their techniques into your own style. Think about proper form when you throw for distance, some people might look ridiculous when they throw, but what mattered in the end is how they hit it, not necessarily how they got there. I like to think that the same concepts go for any putting style/technique.
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