I talk about it obsessively. The pros insist on it. Everywhere you look, anyone that gives advice about getting better at anything, disc golf included, extols the virtues of diligent practice. That’s great advice. But to be honest, it’s also severely lacking. Those of us advising consistent practice often leave important details out. In many cases our advice to go practice can even do more harm than good.
Before this year, if I saw you with your discs in some kind of cart, my response would have been, “So how’s it feel to admit you are old and feeble?”. All in good fun, of course, but deep down I thought carts were only for the weak and lazy. I figured if I couldn’t muster the strength to carry around a back pack with 10-20 frisbees in it, I was in big trouble. Besides, there was no way I was going to spend a significant amount of hard earned money on a cart when I already owned 6 different bags.
My how things can change in the space of a year. In 2015 I had a change of heart in regards to disc golf carts. So much so that…
I admitted that I was old and feeble.
I spent my hard earned money on not one, but two of them.
Flight numbers. Who, exactly, came up with these things? I feel like at the disc factories they have their own version of the sorting hat from Harry Potter. As they make each new disc, they hold it under the hat and the hat says… Speed 14, house Innova!!! Then all the other discs cheer and hijinx ensues.
OK, maybe I’m being a little harsh. I actually do have a pretty good grip on what they are “supposed” to mean. The problem is that the numbers are based on one particular speed and type of throw. If you don’t happen to throw that exact way, the disc won’t fly “by the numbers” for you. And you have exactly two chance of that happening… Slim and none.
This makes buying discs based on the flight numbers an almost useless practice. Sometimes you’ll buy a disc and it does what the numbers say it should. Many other times, it’s like the numbers on the disc are some kind of not so funny inside joke that the folks at the factory are laughing hysterically at.
Mind Body Disc has you covered. Every Sunday we’ll bring you a featured round of the week so you can keep the disc golf going even after you stop playing!
This week we are featuring final round coverage of the Australian Open, played on the Mundaring disc golf park in Perth, Australia on January 29 through February 1, 2015. This was the first PDGA major of the year in 2015 and the final round features 4 of the best disc golfers on the planet:
Did our previous post on distance leave you itching for more? The wait is over. Here is part 2 of our examination of the importance of disc golf distance.
How Much Distance is Enough?
This is really the $20,000 question, isn’t it? How much controlled golf distance is enough? How much do you really need? Sure, another 10 feet would always be nice, but at some point you are chasing something that doesn’t actually help your score.
The first thing you need to do is take an honest look at your game and your score card. Where are your extra throws coming from? If you can only throw 200′ with accuracy, but you 3 putt every basket, you really need to learn to be OK with 200′ for now. I know it’s boring, trust me I know. But putting practice needs to come first in this situation.
At some point, distance will become a priority. 200′ isn’t far enough to be helpful if you want to play competitive golf. That begs the question, how far is? Part of that answer has to do with the courses you play. Part of it has to do with a point of diminishing returns. Part of it has to do with disc golf course design in general.
Without getting into too much complexity, I want to throw a number out there…
None of those people want those things more than disc golfers want more distance. If you took the quest for more disc golf distance off of social media and out of the disc golf forums, the internet might implode due to the gaping vacuum you just left.
I get it. I really do. I would love to be able to throw 500 plus feet. But you know what? That’s probably just not going to happen. At 44, and playing more than 11 years (I wish I’d found this sport earlier in my life), I’m pretty comfortable with the controlled distance that I’ve achieved. On flat ground, thrown on golf lines, I’m good with how far I can throw. And it’s usually not even over 400′.
Not mastering this particular skill causes more added throws to your score card than any other disc golf related skill out there. Forgetting this one thing has contributed to lost league matches, missed ace pots, and embarrassing tournament performances. A lack of this skill has quite possibly resulted in almost every other disc golf scoring issue you’ve had for the entire time you’ve played the sport.
Before you can even think about course management, you have to tailor your disc golf practice to the shots you’ll actually need out on the course. It doesn’t do anyone any good to know what shot you need to throw and then not be able to throw it.