At my home course, we have leagues on Wednesdays. I’m very happy to have Wednesdays off. This allows me to get there before they start and get some practice in. Being that it’s a very busy course, it also allows me to see group after group show up to get in a round after work.
I noticed something the other day as I watched these people get out of their car and head towards the first tee. I almost never see someone warm up. At best, they’ll hit the practice basket for 5-10 putts. Then it’s on to the first tee. I not only see this when people play casual rounds, but I also see this at tournaments. Not everyone, of course, but enough people don’t warm up that I notice it.
If you go to any professional sporting event. This is definitely not what happens. In baseball, they have batting practice, stretching, calisthenics, fielding practice, and then they’ll play catch for a while. Only when they are fully warmed up do they play the actual game. All major sports do something similar. In fact, most organized sports at any level will include a decent amount of warm up before the game starts.
So why not disc golf? Why does person after person just pull up to the course, get out of their car, step up on the first tee and throw? At best they might do a couple of windmills with their arms. But aside from no physical warm up, their first drive is their first throw of the day. Their first putt is the first one in the round, and it counts towards their score.
It seems to me that if we only get to play a set number of holes, and all of them count, it makes sense to warm up at least a little bit before playing. It doesn’t even need to be a lot. Just give yourself 10 minutes. Show up 10 minutes before your buddies and get some practice throws in. That short amount of time is more than enough to get a good amount of pre round practice in.
At worst, play catch for 5-10 minutes with a friend.
One step better than that is to play catch and then play a quick game of PIG or DISC at the practice basket.
One step better than that is to grab a few putters and put them all in from 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, 100, and 150 feet.
In the end, the point is to do something. It’s sure to save you at least one throw once the real round starts. It’s sure to prevent at least a little bit of frustration. It might even prevent an injury if you include some stretching and mobility work. On top of all of that, it’s fun! You’re still throwing a disc. Isn’t that what you came to the course to do?
The next time you head out to play, give yourself that 10 minutes. You will probably find that you play better. It will get your mind ready for the round. It will get your body ready to throw. Best of all, it will get your score card ready for lower scores!
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