“Drive for Show, Putt for Dough”
If you’re looking to improve your disc golf game, then start with this putting drill I call “9 & 15.” Putting is the most important and easiest place to start working on fundamentals. I’ve recently started heading to the practice basket and putting for a hour, and I’ve seen some great and unexpected effects on my game. By developing a good practice routine, I’ve benefited from having a stronger putting throw (more distance putts), more accuracy, more comfort with my discs, and probably the most important and unexpected gains…more confidence that carries over to driving and approach shots.
My Disc Golf Putting Drill
- 30 minutes to an hour
- 5 to 10 putters (but I also will throw drivers and mid range discs)
- Athletic shoes (I turn the retrieval into a cardio workout)
Setup. Place two markers (cones, discs, or whatever) on the ground in a line from the basket; one at about 9-10 paces out (one normal walking step) and another at about 15 paces. I start out with just my putters for the first half of practice. I have about 5 Aviars that I use — with mixed plastics and weights (Currently, (3) 175gm DX Innova Aviar’s; (1) 150gm DX Innova Aviar; (1) 175gm Yeti Pro Aviar). After I throw my putters, I integrate more discs so I bring out about 15 discs including distance, fairway, and mid-range drivers.
Warmup. I start by throwing round after round of my putters form the first closest marker. I retrieve my discs at a fairly fast pace and incorporate squats into picking up discs that didn’t make it into the basket. I’m also stretching a little in-between to make sure I’m loose. After about 15 minutes of continuous putting with five discs you should get a decent workout. You can go about this drill gingerly too, especially if you have health issues. The part of the drill that’s most valuable is the repetition, and focus on footwork, accuracy, etc.
While putting, I try and pay attention to my foot position which is wide-stance perpendicular to the basket. I also am working on building a fluid arm stroke toward the basket that eliminates drag and wobble, and of course aim. For windy days you can work on the glide and dip of the disc.
Routine. After I’m warm and have a good feel for my putting discs, I move on to incorporating all of my discs…at a rapid fire. Once I am consistently hitting the basket I move back and continue the drill. For me, I’m working on arm strangth and going straight at the basket, so I’m incorporating a jump forward on the longer putt, going straight at the basket. By now incorporating all my discs, I start to get a bit of a file for how each disc flies at short range. While this is not always practical to use your drivers at short range — it has helped me build a bit of a “vocabulary” of what my discs can do. I’ll then alternate, from the closer marker to the farther marker depending on how I feel.
Finishing. While it’s not totally necessary, but I try and finish my disc golf putting drill with a few last rounds with my putters. Then I take a few notes using my memo app on my phone. This helps me in the field when I’m missing putts. Like, “Head up, shoulder back on up hill shots.”