How to hit your line

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How to hit your line

Postby harkerj » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:42 pm

Hey guys, loving this board. Wish I had more time to sift through 25 pages of posts per thread, but I'd rather be out playing!

Still very much a noob, learning something every time I play, but I'm getting really comfortable on my "home" course (http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=3303), which is longish (7000'+) and very open. There's probably only 3-4 holes where you need to take some care with your drive - the rest are basically grip it and rip it. I find that my 300-325' average off the tee is enough in most cases to give me a nice easy approach that might go in if I'm really lucky or will at least give me a nice easy putt for 3. On the longer holes I'm basically driving twice, no real danger unless I just plain screw up. Par is 72 and I'm usually in the lower 60s, with 60 being my best score.

However, when I venture onto some other local courses, I struggle big time. We have some tight, heavily wooded courses that just drive me insane. (http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=233 and http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=3338) I can't tell you the number of times I've thrown a disc and felt great about the release, only to realize a fraction of a second later that it's gonna crash into that f---ing tree right there! If I need to thread the disc through a 20' gap between two trees that are 30' from the tee box, I'm basically screwed. We won't even talk about what the disc needs to do AFTER is makes it through that gap...

SO what are some keys to being able to keep the disc on the line that you intend? How important is shoulder and hip alignment at the various phases of the throw, etc. What are common mistakes that people make?

On the upside, I think my new Champion Sidewinder is DEFINITELY broken in after last night's round....
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby Timko » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:57 pm

I actually think imagining hitting lines in the trees is easier. You don't have to imagine what you want your shot to do, or what line you want it to fly. You just have to throw it where there aren't any trees.

My suggestion would be just play those courses more. Wooded courses will always make you more accurate.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby kern9787 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:04 pm

For me at least, there are several factors.

First and foremost, the better you know the behavior of your discs, the easier it will be to hit the lines you want to put it on. This is one of several reasons that, especially for beginners, disc minimalism is pushed. More on that can be found here:

http://discgolfreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=640

Something that goes hand in hand with learning how your disc behaves is leaning how to throw it for different types of shots (i.e, flat release, hyzer, anhyzer, hyzer-flips, and whatever variety of intentionally stalling shots there are) and how it behaves then. Throwing in an open field where you can experiment with different types of throws without having to worry about placing the shots will help here tremendously. Of course, the cleaner your form is, the easier it will be to throw a variety of shots consistently.

When it comes to actually visualizing the shots I want to make, I picture myself throwing through a hoop, or several hoops if necessary. This works really well when you are doing any sort of hyzer or anhyzer shot, as you put the hoop at the apex of the flight and another one where you want to disc to get from that apex to. What you have to do is figure out what position you want the disc to be in when it passes through the hoop in order to get it to your next target.

For example, if you are throwing an anhyzer, you don't want the disc passing through the apex (hoop) flat, as the disc won't work back to the right for you. Instead, you should make your shot so that as it is passing through that hoop, it has some degree of anhyzer angle on it still, and the nose should go from facing up on the release to facing down as the disc begins its decent.

By visualizing what you want the disc to do as its entering the hoop, you have also simplified what your goal is for that particular throw. Hopefully, that helps some.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby Timko » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:00 pm

Here's the deal though; in the woods, you don't visualize shots as much. Granted, you have to get height right, but once you play a wooded course a couple of times, and walk some of the holes, you see the shape of shot you have to throw; it's where the trees aren't.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby kern9787 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:07 pm

Timko wrote:Here's the deal though; in the woods, you don't visualize shots as much. Granted, you have to get height right, but once you play a wooded course a couple of times, and walk some of the holes, you see the shape of shot you have to throw; it's where the trees aren't.


Still works the same way though (and I'd still be placing hoops out there, even if there aren't any options, as I'm a very visual person). And its still a matter of throwing where the trees aren't and having the disc oriented how you want it when it reaches that particular opening.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby Timko » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:28 pm

I think the point I'm trying to make is that folks have problems visualizing shots in an open field because they don't have any sort of visual aids to act as markers. In the woods, you have plenty of them.

Playing in the woods is how you get better at playing in the woods.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby Wyno » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:36 pm

This ^^ plus it's a bit more unforgiving than imaginary loops in the sky so it forces you to actually hit that line ;-) and you learn a lot about risk vs reward at the same time.
I'll say one thing though, to experiment with new lines that can be very useful in the woods, you have to practice in a field. For instance, I'm working on a sky anhyzer now, a shot I never need out in the open but that I see a definite use for in the woods (say, as a rescue shot when you have shanked your shot, you're out on the right side and need to get up and over trees and come down in/right by the fairway.) In the woods, I would never practice a new, high shot like that - the margin of error is too large and I'm not that fond of searching for discs :-)
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby kern9787 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:44 pm

Timko wrote:I think the point I'm trying to make is that folks have problems visualizing shots in an open field because they don't have any sort of visual aids to act as markers. In the woods, you have plenty of them.

Playing in the woods is how you get better at playing in the woods.


I wont' disagree here. As I said, that's what works for me, and I am a visual person. Although I'd still recommend field work with your discs to learn what you can or can't do with them. I know several people who fall into the idea of having a disc for every type of shot, rather than learning how to make discs do what they want them to.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby cajual » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:41 pm

I think what the OP is after here is some techniques to help improve his aim over all, and although telling him to play more may be the most fundamental of suggestions available, I think he is looking for something a tad bit more tangible and immediately applicable.

I am still young in my game so my experience based advice is not the most circumspect, but I have watched hundreds of hours of video and read pages of thread here to help supplement said play, and what I have found to be the most consistent for me is this;

Keep my eyes on my line as much as possible
and lead with my shoulder

I have learned to leave my practice to the fields, literally, and that when I step up on a Teebox I must commit to my throw fully -- think about the disc landing by the pin, visualize the flight, and do not think at all about throwing the disc.

Those are just my 2c and what have been successful for me at this point in my journey.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby Timko » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:45 pm

I think it's tough to give tangible advice unless you know how he's missing. Left, right, up, down? With a particular disc or all discs? Can you hit that type of line with a midrange or putter?

That's why I say the best way to learn to play in the woods is to keep playing in the woods. You understand your tendencies better, which are easier to address.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby harkerj » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:57 pm

OK all this is great, but my original question still is:

Suppose the first "hoop" you want to throw through is the one that is 20-30' in front of the tee box and is 15'-20' wide. Let's assume flat release, as straight a shot as possible. What kinds of technical things do you need to pay attention to get your disc through that first hoop? On my open course, it doesn't matter if I miss that first hoop. On the wooded course, missing the first one costs me AT LEAST one stroke, often more.

Is it really just a matter of practicing throwing through that first hoop until I can consistently do it? Or are there certain "cues" to watch out for as I practice, certain telltale things that noobs do that causes them to miss that first hoop? My local field also has voleyball poles up year round (no net) - should I just go in that field and practice throwing straight through them until I can do it? Any tips as to feet, hips, shoulders, whatever, that might focus my practice throws a bit more?

@cajual - exactly. Just looking for aiming tips.

@timko - I miss with all discs equally, although the likelihood of a miss increases with the distance of the throw I'm attempting. As such, misses with my drives cause me the most problems. I miss all over the place (left and right) and I end up feeling like the self-imposed aiming corrections that I'm trying to force onto my throws are probably contributing to, if not causing, my misses. Give me an open field, and I'm always happy with my line because I know the disc will work around eventually. Stick some trees in front of me, and I'm gonna smack 'em. I can feel myself overcompensating, trying to direct the disc somewhere, trying to control it too much.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby Timko » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:02 pm

There are a number of reasons that people miss left and right. Generally, it just takes some time to figure out where you're miss is (mine is coming across off plane with my wrist at the end of my throw and torquing it right most of the time). If you want people to help with general stuff, I would suggest posting a video.

Blake addresses a number of common issues with missing here: http://discgolfreview.com/resources/technique.shtml. If you have a specific way you're missing in that you can describe, people can start to work with that and go from there. But it's tough to see why you're missing everywhere without some visual help (weight forward, not enough rotation, bad grip, off axis torque, incorrect disc selection, etc). Those are some of the basics that are discussed in the forums here, but it's tough to know.
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Re: How to hit your line

Postby Banjar » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:58 pm

harkerj,

If I read your post corretly, you are basically looking for tips to aim better in general. I am sorry to say that for me, there are/where no easy outs.. My home course is quite wooded and has one of those 20 foot gaps about 80 feet from the tee. Very punishing.. I've played for about two years now, and only just now am begining to feel some confidence in my aim. So for me, it just. took. time. I think getting comfortable with your form (repeatability) is a big key. Maybe someone more skilled has better advice, but I would just recommend throwing more..

For the particullar type of hole you are talking about - and generally on wooded courses - here is my advice for you: Use a putter. throw every shot controlled, never power them, putter do amazingly well when thrown with controlled firmness - they also dont kick as far away as a 'hail-mary' drives when they hit trees... A putter doesnt fade nearly as much, so a straight shot will stay on the fairway, even if the disc gets to fly its full length. and as everyone says, throwing putters is good, so it is win win.

I stumbled across another very helpful thing in the woods when I was playing with my wife - we both throw two discs and she takes her best shot and I play my worst shot. Playing worst shot with yourself is VERY good at teaching 'damage control' and make you play more conservative (which is actually a good quality on wooded courses). It can also be incredibly frustrating, though! Good luck!
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