I was playing a tournament a few weeks back and I found myself with an impossible layup. Stuck behind a wall of trees and about 60 feet out, my only option was a flick roller. I drew it up in my mind pulled out my Toro, an overstable approach disc with a wide rim. My thinking was if I can just get it to stand up straight it should curl nicely to the left and finish right under the basket. I released nice and straight and it proceeded to flip right onto it’s lid and I took a 4. Thus, highlighting the importance of practicing escape roller shots.
If you play in the woods, chances are you’ve needed this an escape roller! If you want to see one of the best examples of an escape roller, look no further than Chris Dickerson on the final round, lead card, of the 2022 LWS Idlewild Open:
Now, this is an extreme example, and an insanely good shot, but don’t think for a second that Dickerson hasn’t practiced thumber rollers.
When you’re practicing your putting, take a minute to try a few controlled escape rollers. There are a bunch of variables to try out and to consider:
- release angle
- disc selection
- ground condition/ground play
- two finger vs thumb release
Tips to practicing an escape roller:
- Start with a putter/approach disc and a target (I try to get the disc to go through my gate in the backyard).
- Try getting the disc to go smoothly in three different angles: a left turn, a right turn, and a straight approach.
- Practice cutting those left and right turns at an extreme angle to get used to what is too much and what is just right.
- Play with different speeds to get the right touch based on your target.
- Get this nailed down with one disc before branching out to a different disc.
- Try it in casual rounds, rather than picking up that second throw, try an escape roller.
You may not need an escape roller every round, but when you do, you’ll have a gameplan and some confidence. You’ll look like a boss (impress your friends!), and save yourself a stroke or two.