The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby Monocacy » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:32 am

Chuck Kennedy wrote:. . . As a loft putter, I tend to land near the basket on misses. So even if I might be the partner who is much better and typically putts second, on certain putts due to danger, I might offer to putt first so if I miss, my partner can feel more comfortable to give it a run.

Yes, I do this too - not that I'm a great putter, but my misses usually land close. If I am partnered with a spin putter, I usually offer to putt first on a fast green.

This is where personalities also come into play. I definitely putt better putting second - I suppose it helps me focus. I have had partners who are better putters than me, but who putt better when it is not "do or die." In that situation I let them go first or we alternate.

One thing I do find with doubles or especially triples - it can be difficult for each player to get enough chances to retain their putting mojo during the round. If you are playing favorite shot and one player parks their drive/approach, the other partner(s) can putt from one of the other discs that landed further away. This helps each partner get a few long putts in during the round, and it is low risk because the last partner has an easy putt if they miss. This (and the righty/lefty thing) is why I prefer favorite shot over best shot.

There ya go, Mark, a conversation . . .
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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby PMantle » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:49 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:My attempt to create a discussion here has evidently sputtered, turning into something closer to a soliloquy. :D

So perhaps questions will work better than statements ...

What are your favorite and least favorite kinds of teammates? If there were a Hall of Shame for teammates what kind of players would have statues erected for them?

What do you do to try to pick your team up if you are stagnating during a round?

What are YOUR biggest flaws as a teammate?

Do you love or avoid doubles? If you had the chance to play in a singles or doubles event which were equal ( cost, travel distance, etc.) which would you pick?

Do you have an unwritten rule?



Least favorite = the one that wants to use his shot even though it's shorter and behind 57 trees.

Favorite = the guy who is out there to have fun regardless of score.

Not had to pick up our team yet.

Not sure I'm aware of my biggest flaw, but I'd guess letting the event get to my head on putts.

I love doubles, especially if I have time to play a regular round before or after. In an event, I'd pick doubles because I'm still learning and a bit self-conscious of my disc golf suckage.

My unwritten rule is: I will not play if forced to play in a 6-some. Maybe it's a holdover from golf, but I just cannot stand the pace of play with 6 people in a group.
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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:06 am

Monocacy wrote:
Chuck Kennedy wrote:. . . As a loft putter, I tend to land near the basket on misses. So even if I might be the partner who is much better and typically putts second, on certain putts due to danger, I might offer to putt first so if I miss, my partner can feel more comfortable to give it a run.

Yes, I do this too - not that I'm a great putter, but my misses usually land close. If I am partnered with a spin putter, I usually offer to putt first on a fast green.

This is where personalities also come into play. I definitely putt better putting second - I suppose it helps me focus. I have had partners who are better putters than me, but who putt better when it is not "do or die." In that situation I let them go first or we alternate.

One thing I do find with doubles or especially triples - it can be difficult for each player to get enough chances to retain their putting mojo during the round. If you are playing favorite shot and one player parks their drive/approach, the other partner(s) can putt from one of the other discs that landed further away. This helps each partner get a few long putts in during the round, and it is low risk because the last partner has an easy putt if they miss. This (and the righty/lefty thing) is why I prefer favorite shot over best shot.

There ya go, Mark, a conversation . . .


IMO putting Mojo comes not from lots of chances but from making the putts you get and the confidence which flows from watching them stick in the basket. I love it when I don't have to attempt putts (because my partner made already made it). There have been those magical rounds where I go an hour or two between putts. Confidence doesn't have to be personal (I know I can make it), it can also be confidence in the team (We know we can make it).

As for picking the shot farther away to putt from merely to keep Mojo for the round, this is something I have never seen any team do. This is just showing off. :D Or craziness, or something. How can Mojo be harmed by drop-in putts?

Triples can be a good format depending on the number and level of players. If you happen to have 9 players and the group wants to mob it (play all together), then triples is the fastest way as 2/3rds of the drives and upshots get picked up. If you had 6 players with 2 Pros and 4 Ams the best way to get teams of equal strength is triples.

The difference between Random draw and Engineered teams (attempts to make teams relatively equal in strength) depends on what the goals of the group are. Random allows the 2 best players to potentially become partners, sometimes making them a prohibitive favorite. It also allows the 2 weakest players to become partners, essentially assuring their defeat. The advantage of this format, especially for a league which adopts a permanent format, is that it keeps the league attractive to the top players and keeps them coming back.

I ran a league for years where I created the format any given week based on the number and level of the players who showed up, always trying for a format which created the most equal teams. The lowest players liked it but the Pros did not and eventually stopped attending. Pros, while MUCH more likely to obnoxious than others, are an advantage to a league even if they take most of the winnings because they expose their skills to players who would not otherwise witness those shots. Lower players improve by playing against better players much faster. It is tough to figure the game out on your own.

When a league uses Random draw, it should IMO, assign groups and starting holes. If you let the Pros both have the chance of picking another Pro partner AND allow them to choose their own groups, they will inevitably go off with their Pro buddies. Thus, their greatest value to the group, EXPOSURE to the Ams, gets watered down. When playing groups are randomly assigned it makes a friendlier, less cliquish league.

Even in a Random draw format some allowances can be made. For example at the Sunday Kensington league I regularly play, we allow beginners and women (non-Pros) to throw from the short pads. This increases the value of those players to the teams and results in them being treated better by their partners, having more success, more fun and being more likely to return.

Chuck Kennedy, the resident mad genius of the PDGA, posted here. What few may know is that Chuck is a very good doubles player. While my memory is highly suspect it seems to me that Chuck and his partner (lefty Doctor from somewhere East?) beat me and Carlton head to head in a round at National Doubles (Round Rock, Texas) one year. Carlton, btw, is not a good doubles partner. He is great and carried my sorry behind for many tournaments. How would you like a partner who doesn't miss lines or putts?
Last edited by Mark Ellis on Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:16 am

PMantle wrote: My unwritten rule is: I will not play if forced to play in a 6-some. Maybe it's a holdover from golf, but I just cannot stand the pace of play with 6 people in a group.


6 fast players are faster than 4 slow players. I have been in 6-somes waiting every hole behind a God awful slow group of 4. Actually playing in a slow group is much better than playing BEHIND a slow group.

Learning tolerance for slower pace is necessary for tournaments. Some tournaments on some courses are guaranteed to be slow.
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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby PMantle » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:46 am

Mark Ellis wrote:
PMantle wrote: My unwritten rule is: I will not play if forced to play in a 6-some. Maybe it's a holdover from golf, but I just cannot stand the pace of play with 6 people in a group.


6 fast players are faster than 4 slow players. I have been in 6-somes waiting every hole behind a God awful slow group of 4. Actually playing in a slow group is much better than playing BEHIND a slow group.

Learning tolerance for slower pace is necessary for tournaments. Some tournaments on some courses are guaranteed to be slow.

I've still never had to wait. Disc golf is in it's infancy here. a 6-some is torture for me.

As to a lot of the above stuff, the "leader" of our local disc golf community demands that we alternate off tees, and whichever shot is chosen, the other player must play first.

I like the idea of putting from the far disc if one is under the basket. of course, under our rules, it's only going to be one guy, and it's going to be the guy who just parked his disc. More putting is better than no putting. There's no way I can be convinced otherwise.
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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby JR » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:16 pm

Mark are you referring to doctor Doug Ertman MD?

"My" first victory against a large field came in doubles last fall playing with Jalle Stoor 1007 rating at that time IIRC and he shot better than all the teams by himself so that is the kind of favorite partner. And i messed up worsening the score on a worst shot hole forgetting it was such. I had been up 19 or 20 hours coming from work to play when i got to the last hole. Cannot remember which because i was so wiped out. I did pick up a birdie after a rare putting miss from him from 35-40' IIRC. And on another worst shot hole i parked and we took his lie so the hot 53 at Tali in a 19 hole layout was by no means a perfect round but a tremendous one anyway for him because the temperature in November is low here and the ground was wet and muddy thus slippery indeed. I suspect that Jalle would have led against anyone because the 18 hole course record is not that much better in the summer. Avery Jenkins holds the record.
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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:50 pm

Yes, Dr. Doug was my partner when we faced Ellis and Howard in the dreaded 6-6-6 round at Round Rock in the 2000 National Doubles event where we took 3rd in Masters. Here's Dr. Doug showing his (fake) righthanded putting motion at Round Rock that year. Image
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Re: The Unwritten Rules of Doubles

Postby Jerbob » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:38 pm

Random fact. Doubles aside, Dr Doug is also a pretty good indoor volleyball player. We won a number of league championships together. Little did I know of his disc prowess until a number of years later when I bumped into him and we warmed up together for 6 or 7 holes before a B tier. I realized I had a lot more to learn. Great guy with a smooth throw.

Pardon the interruption, back to doubles.
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