Just the Tip – Use the Tortoise, not the Hare

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This weekend I played in a tournament where I got to see first hand how something I was taught a long time ago can pay off.  It’s something that I think a lot of people have heard, but not everyone does.  It’s the advice to always use the slowest disc that gets you to your target.

What that means is that if you can get there with a putter instead of a mid, use a putter.  If you can get there with a mid instead of a fairway driver, use a mid.  If you can get there with a fairway driver instead of a high speed distance driver, go fairway.

In this tournament on Saturday, I played with a guy who didn’t even bag a midrange disc.  He carried two putters, but only used them for putting.  Virtually every other disc was a driver.  Many might laugh at this, but I’ve also played with people who bag throwing putters and mids but never throw them.  That’s the same thing, isn’t it?

It's not always the fastest one that wins the day.
It’s not always the fastest one that wins the day.

So, based on what I saw in action this weekend, here’s a quick list of why you should always try to throw the slowest disc that gets you to your target.

  1. Slower discs are more likely to stay where they land.  Why throw a sharp edged driver to hyzer around trees to the basket when an over stable mid will fly the same line but stay put when it lands?  That driver will often skip and fly well away from where you wanted it to end up.  The mid or putter will most likely not.
  2. Slower discs are easier to throw straight.  When you are playing in the woods, discs that go straight with less effort are like gold.  Just because you can throw a high speed driver straight doesn’t mean it’s the easier or wiser choice.
  3. Speaking of playing in the woods, if you do happen to hit a tree, a faster disc will fly much further in the wrong direction after the hit.  Slower discs are much more forgiving on a ricochet in most cases.
  4. Slower discs don’t fly past your target as easily.  I’ve seen a lot of people watch a driver fly way past the basket because they “got all of that one”.  A slower disc is much more forgiving in this category.
  5. Slower discs can be thrown with more finesse.  High speed discs need to be thrown at higher speeds to fly their normal lines.  Lower speed discs require a lot less power.  I am a lot more accurate when throwing 70% than when trying to throw at max velocity.
  6. Slower discs tend to glide more.  If you are playing with a low ceiling, this can be key.  If you’ve got an uncomfortable stance with no opportunity for a runup, this is also helpful.  Extra glide can come in handy in a lot of ways and it’s more common for a slower disc to have a lot more glide than a faster one.

slow down

Time after time this weekend I saw others in my group throw drivers where I threw mids or putters.  Time after time I was inside my 20 foot confidence circle and they were scrambling.  Time after time I asked myself, why do they keep throwing all that fast plastic?

The next time you are out on the course, ask yourself, “Can I get there with a slower disc?”.  Ask yourself, “Do I have to throw a driver?”  In fact, the next time you go out to play a round, only bring your mids or putters.  When you get to holes where you normally rely on high speed plastic, you might be surprised at how well you play and how well you score using the slower discs.  You will also see how mistakes are minimized and you don’t find yourself scrambling as much.  Remember the old adage, slow and steady wins the race.  If you can, use the tortoise, not the hare.


Do you enjoy these disc golf tips?  Have they helped your game?  If so, you should subscribe to the blog.  That way you make sure you don’t miss a single one.  You never know when we might share something that helps you break through to the next level!

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6 thoughts on “Just the Tip – Use the Tortoise, not the Hare”

  1. I like this idea. I think I do it unintentionaly because to me throwing a slower speed disc makes sense. If I’m throwing a 300ft shot from the teepad, I will almost always throw a Roc instead of Teebird or Eagle. I can put all I have in the Roc instead of holding back on the fairways drivers. There is a constant breeze where I live in Texas and more often than not I will throw a midrange in a tailwind rather than a high speed drivers. In my mind the high speed drivers, with there thin edges and low profiles, are made to cut through the wind while midranges, with there thick edges and high profiles, are made to be pushed by the wind. Often times I will out drive someone every time I do this. Idk if any of that makes sense but I see where you’re coming from haha!!

    • That makes a lot of sense. It’s easier to just throw something at a power you are comfortable with instead of always trying to figure out how much to back off on a faster disc.

      I play with a guy occasionally who throws Rocs on almost all shots and can throw them further than I can throw my longest drivers. It’s so humbling when his disc is 20 feet past mine, mine is a Trespass and his is a Roc, and I threw the Trespass a solid 380′.

      Thanks for following the blog, much appreciated!

  2. It is a GREAT idea. I have been playing for over 30 years and only in the last couple have I started using my putter for most shots inside 200 feet. Strangely enough I also find my putter closer to the basket than the others I used to throw. If you don’t – give it try. You might be amazed at your results.
    OMOC (Old Man ON Course) (Fischer – not Fisher)

  3. thank you… Thank You… THANK YOU for this reminder! Slow and steady = more favorable results for me every time… just have to remember this when it gets frustrating out there, especially with the trees and the wind… lol Thanks again, your blog is always wonderful.

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