Putting

Putting… ahh putting.

The secret to lowering your score by 3, 5, even 8 strokes?
Putting Release Consistency.

The secret to release consistency?
Practice!

Putting @ Napa

Kind of…

For my first year of putting I took to lobbing the disc at the basket. Lobbing a putt is like throwing a stone at a target; the same motion as horseshoes, corn-hole, ladder golf, or any other underhand throwing style you can think of.

This is a great place to start out – It lets you to really focus on getting your arm to swing from your shoulder (not bending your elbow) across the center of your body, consistently. Many folks compare this style of putt to the straight up and down motion of “painting a pole”.

This is ultimately the core to any style of putting you choose. Left-to-Right accuracy is king and reducing the amount of times you miss when throwing too low or high really comes with distance and elevation control (aka, things to be learned later!)

The lob putt worked very nicely for quite some time -but- as my game evolved I started feeling like I should be able to reach the basket from a lot further out than I could (all the more experienced players were!). I found that I was straining to get the disc farther than 15-20ft and as a result my putting form was getting completely out of control. Too much muscle and not enough technique – it was time to find a better way to get the disc to travel!

matt_ggp_putting

Enter the spin putt.
Some of you probably already do this and haven’t bothered with lob putts (and you should try’em!) Both styles are really great for different situations.

Spin putting is the act of generating enough rotation on your release to get the disc to spin at a moderate rate. As you might know from driving and approach shots, the longer a disc spins, the longer it will hold it’s line of flight before fading out and falling out of the air distance! When it comes to putting longer distances, that spin will let the disc stay in the air all the way to the basket, with nearly the same amount of power

So how do you get a spin on your lob?

This is the good lesson for solid driving and approach shots too – grip! A firm, clean (not getting your fingers caught up in the rim too much), grip will get the disc to release from your hand without wobbling. Depending on the size of your hands, this grip will vary significantly. More information on proper grip mechanics can be found here. (soon)

What did I do to find spin? Well, after making every part of my shoulders and back sore, modifying my form a million times over, becoming less accurate AND losing distance- I finally rediscovered that familiar, comfortable lob release form I had been doing from the start. Surprise! the thing that feels natural and comfortable is what you should be doing all the time, the more often it feels comfortable and natural, the more often the disc is going to the same place.

I was able to get more spin (and distance) by modifying my stance and forward shoulder placement so that my throwing arm came across my body more – this allowed for a longer arm movement, generating more speed. Ultimately, finding the stance that let me line up and release just like my lob putt while also generating more speed with my arm let me use the same amount of muscle, but increase the spin and distance I could throw.

That said; the following video playlist on putting will progress you through lob putting to spin putting, in some of the best descriptions and

Putting Technique Video Playlist

20130404-214206.jpg Video: Putting - A collection of informative putting technique and practice tips on the youtubes.