Of the various types of disc golf discs, the putter may be the most underrated. Not only is it the most used disc in every disc golfers bag, but it may also be the most underused. How can this be? The value of the putter goes far beyond the finishing shot on each hole.
Reducing your Scores
If you ask any touring pro, local pro, or anyone that has played disc golf for a number of years, what the easiest way to reduce your score on the course is. The majority will tell you the same thing, putting. Sure, everyone enjoys throwing their high-speed discs off the tee and getting as close to the basket as possible. But what is the point of driving well, if you cannot make the putt? Practicing putting and becoming comfortable with your putter is equally, if not more, important than being able to control your drives. However, putters can have benefits on all aspects of your game.
Check out the Practice Putting feature on the UDisc App: https://udisc.com/
At some point in most disc golfers careers they reach a point were their natural talent and abilities limit their control and maximum distance. Instead of buying the fastest PDGA approved discs on the market, the best way to continue to gain distance and control is by evaluating your form.
Although there are overstable and understable putters like the Discraft Zone or the Innova Mirage, the vast majority of putters have relatively neutral flight characteristics. This lends putters to be outstanding form check discs. A form check disc is typically a straight flying disc with a decent amount of glide. I personally use the Innova Aero as my form check disc.
The flight of a form check disc should be slow and straight. If the disc continues to rise out of your hand, fades out early or turns over, your form is likely the cause. This may mean you are not engaging your lower body, throwing with the disc nose up, or improper reach back and pull through. Each of these will cause a form indicator disc to fly slightly differently than it is designed. By continually throwing form indicator discs, you can work on improving your form and increase your distance and control.
Everyone knows the best way to improve at something by practicing it. As stated above, the easiest way to reduce your score on the course is by improving at putting. With that being said, there are benefits to practicing with these discs other than becoming a better putter.
An example of this is playing putter only rounds. Throwing putters off the tee and for upshots can not only help you with your form, but also help build confidence on the course. The vast majority of disc golf courses were designed with primarily par 3 holes. This typically leads to these holes requiring a drive and a putt, or two, leaving little to no room to practice upshots and approaches.
However, when you play a new course or the tournament nerves hit, you often find yourself in a situation where you need to have a good approach shot. Playing putter only rounds is a great way to simulate these situations. Typically, throwing putters off the tee, will land your drive in a shorter positions, leading to the need for an upshot or a long putt. By playing full rounds in this manner, you will build familiarity and confidence with your discs in these situations.
A combination of improved form, better putting, and practice with upshots and approaches will lead to increased overall confidence on the course. Instead of focusing on throwing the perfect drive, you can now throw the ‘best’ drive. The difference being, if you have confidence in your approaches and putting, you don’t necessarily need to put the disc as close to the basket as possible. Instead, you can throw the shot that best fits your play and the hole. This will lead to less forced shots off the tee, and potentially more consistency, further increasing your confidence.
An additional way to increase confidence is to have multiple putters. Having multiple of the same putter makes it much easier to do form checks or practice putting. You will spend less time walking to pick up your discs and more time throwing them, thereby increasing your throws per minute and improving your muscle memory, both of which are keys to improving and gaining consistency.
However, you can take this a step further by having multiple putters that are also identical. This means the same run, plastic, color, weight, stamp and stamp color. If all your putters are exactly the same, you will feel confident with any of them in your hand. If your throw a red putter and a blue putter, what happens when you have an off day and you miss multiple putts with the red one? You will start to think that maybe the blue on is better and you need to switch, when perhaps you were just off, or the wind was causing the misses. This will lead to a lack of confidence that can be avoided by have identical putters.
Some brands sell putters in 5-packs at reduced rates, check out these from Dynamic Discs: https://www.dynamicdiscs.com/putter-packs-s/2511.htm
Where to Begin
If you are at a point where you feel like you have reached your maximum distance, are consistently scoring the same round after round, or are just beginning with disc golf, getting a handful of putters may just help you take your game to the next level. Through practice putting, checking your form, and playing putter only rounds, you can reduce your scores, improve your distance and control, and gain confidence on the course. I hope everyone can now see the value of the putter.
Check out our disc golf putters here!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cody and John are active disc golfers and outdoor enthusiasts. You can follow them on Instagram @average_throws_dg. Be sure to use code walrus88 at checkout for 15% off and to support them.