I want to share a video that I found a while back, and find it extremely informative and helpful to putting. I’ll also ramble on about my… we’ll call it lack of skill… with putting. So enjoy!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a pretty new player. I’m also someone who believes in the power of the YouTubes for learning things. Naturally, I’ve been browsing around and finding some good tutorial and lesson videos. One thing I wanted to start working on was my putting. Yeah, my drives weren’t great (you mean there’s a throw other than an inaccurate super high hyzer bomb?). My approach shots have been where my strong play is at since early on. But I quickly found that putting is where the real money is at. If I can get the disc within putting range easily, I need to be able to put accurately. Clearly.
I started getting a bit better putting after a while, using some sort of spin put. Still wanting to get better, went back out and did more of the YouTube searching to see what other interesting things I could find. Lo and behold, I stumbled onto this 2011 David Feldberg lesson on push putting. I’d heard of it, didn’t know much about it. Anyway, after watching the first, oh, 10-15 minutes of this video, I was sold. It just seemed so elegant and simplistic. Less moving elements in your throw means less variables to have go wrong, right?
So, I went out and set up my basket in my yard (okay, dirt area near my door at my apartment) and started going through what I saw in the video. Keep your arm straight… Push off with your back leg… Guide with your index, don’t grip… And seriously, I was pretty stoked that right off the bat I was sinking a very large majority of my 10+ footers, if not 90% of them. Not bad, I thought!
Went out and played a game with this style of putting, and found much less success. Okay, I’m still getting the hang of it. It’s different out on the course. I’ll dial it in. Things started to click, and in a few games I was hitting some pretty long putts I would’ve missed before–putts that my buddy Adam calls “hero putts”. It seemed ridiculously better for my game, but still needed work. I’ll persevere and get better. I’ll push through the rough spots. No pun intended.
Well… About a month or so goes by, and many, many missed putts later, I’m feeling worse and worse about my push putting. Nothing was clicking. Weak release. Too high. Floated it. Bad line. Not enough power. …. Seriously? How am I getting worse at something I’m practicing regularly? Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe I lost something in the motions along the way. Maybe I was slowly anti-correcting myself. I don’t know. What I do know was that I started to not have fun.
One thing that stuck with me was that my buddy, the aforementioned Adam, had made a random comment that my putting style had been a hybrid spin/push putt. Looking back, that’s exactly what it was. I think. But I was much more accurate at the time, and that was a good long while ago (relative to my short time as a disc golfer). Maybe it’s time to get back to that. Just ditch the Feldberg style (of which I still love the style) and just put friggin’ plastic to metal.
One or two games into the transition back, and I’m feeling like I have a whole new putting game. I have a better knowledge of the mechanics of putting, and I’m making a lot more putts than I have been ever. Today I was regularly hitting even more difficult putts that I wouldn’t have made the week before. Most importantly, I was having more fun. Even when I missed putts. Yeah, I grazed the chains on that putt. I’m fine with that, I could barely mando lean my way around a tree to see at least half of the basket, hyzer’d it around and missed by a few inches. I’ll take it. I made the next.
I know, this site’s called Sacramento Disc Golf, and this isn’t about the local scene. Well, as a new player, I want to write about my own playing. This site is part news, part blog, so, these sort of posts will definitely be happening.