Katy is a passionate disc golfer who has put countless hours into perfecting her putt.
How to Improve as a Disc Golf Putter
Long or technical drives may get all the attention, but ask any serious disc golf player, and they will tell you—rounds are won and lost in the putts.
Getting the disc from your drive into the basket without adding more than one or two throws requires technical and mental skill. To become a better putter, it's important to learn about putting techniques (including the push putt), decide what grip style is right for you, and commit to practicing right.
The Putting Grip
Quite a few putting grips are acceptable. Players get comfortable putting a certain way and start to adopt their own specific grip, swearing by the control and results it gives them. As you play around with your grip, keep in mind these important qualities of any good putting grip.
3 Important Qualities of a Good Putting Grip
- Comfortable and natural
- Gives you solid control
- Allows you to release the putter flat
The third point is really only necessary if you're doing a "push putt," which we'll discuss later in the putting methods section.
Techniques: Spin Putt vs. Push Putt
There is more than one way to putt a disc! The method you use might change with distance to the basket and as your skill improves.
A “spin putt” is when the thrower uses a normal frisbee backhand motion to putt the disc. This is definitely the most natural for beginners because they are used to driving that way, but it is also very difficult to control.
Putters have a different flight pattern than drivers, and that can get confusing for a beginner when they’re using the same motion.
Disc Golf Push Putting
“Push” putting is the next thing to try after you've used the “spin putt” consistently and you're looking for more control and repeatability. A push putt is exactly what it sounds like: you will push the disc instead of throwing or flinging it.
The real advantage of using a push putt is it enables the thrower to keep the disc completely flat and have a huge amount of control from their grip and release. A lot of professional and skilled disc golf players will use a push putt. You can watch them make a pretty good distance with that type of throw. For beginners, a push putt is easier to master at shorter distances first.
The Putting Stance
Your putting stance will vary depending on how you choose to throw. Most beginner disc golf players that struggle to improve their putts focus only on the release and their grip, but the stance is the root of your throw. Getting a steady stance will allow your arm, wrist, and release to be smooth.
If you’re using a spin putt, make sure your hips end up square with the basket at the end of the throw. Focus on this and your release point will improve.
A push putt is best started with feet completely square to the basket. It's hard to get much power this way, so reserve it for the closer putts. Lean forward as you throw the disc to give you extra power and control. Watch the pros do a push putt and you'll see them lean so far forward at the release that they have to step to catch themselves.
Develop a Putting Routine
Now you have a lot of information to think about each time you putt: grip, technique, and stance. These can get overwhelming on top of the specifics of the game you're playing.
One thing that helps is using a putting routine. This simply means, do the same thing before every putt. This gets you in the right mindset to approach the putt and lets you calm down. It also forces you to tap into the muscle memory you have stored up from all your previous putts.
It doesn't have to be elaborate, but you do need to do it the same every time. Here's an example of a putting routine.
- Place your right foot against the marker.
- Do two practice swings.
- Take one short breath.
Do this every time. You're going to use this routine when you practice, when you throw with your buddies, and under high-pressure situations—every time.
Practice, Practice, Practice
It takes a lot of practice to get consistent at putting. You want to build muscle memory so your body knows how to get the disc in the basket. Relying on your brain to think through it every time can result in psyching yourself out.
Throw from the same spot and make the same shot multiple times until you’re sure you can get it every time. Then move on to a slightly further or more difficult spot and practice until you master that shot.
Rinse and repeat and you will start to get much more comfortable on the course. Birdies, here you come!
© 2018 Katy Medium