As an intermediate disc golfer, I am wondering what everyone would say their greatest tip would be, whether it is about driving longer/straighter, putting more accurate, or just a general tip about the game.
The TomaHawk is a vaulable shot. I used a Tomahawk upshot in the month end tourney and my group was blown away. Said they never even thought about that shot. The Thumber and the TomaHawk can get you out of allot of rough spots.
Practice, practice practice! Go out to a soccer field and practice your drives ( for me, usually for 30 odd minutes). Get a basket/target at home and putt 100 times a day (takes about an hour). Not as fun as being on the course with your buddies, but when you do get back out there you will play better - which is even more fun!
100 putts in an hour-what are you putting with Discus's?
Get 10 Putters same weight/plastic etc. I use Wizards 174-175 Soft. Practice putting for 30-60 minutes daily. 250 putts in 30 Minutes. 500 putts in an hour. Discover your "Range" for putting. Range being the maximum distance away from the Basket where you can accurately and comfortably hit putts. My range is 28'. I'm hoping to be at 35' by the end of the season. Last year it was 20'.
I played in my first open tournement last weekend in sacremento. I asked a great pro if he and other pros always give aproach shots between 80 and 120 a chance to go in. He said that was what ams think they have to do and pros will usually play the safe smart shot and park it. I was lucky enough to play with the guy who won the tournement in the first round, and I dont remember him making any huge puts. I saw a few amazing up shots, and a ton of parked drives.
Yep, you took the words right out of my mouth too, Anthony. I'm usually only good for about 270-280' off the tee (can get up around 330' under optimal conditions). However, if I'm within about 75' to 100' from the basket and on my game, I'm usually dropping in my "putt" and not even taking my putter out of my bag. I play with a lot of guys who can out-drive me by 50-75 feet, but I end up ahead of them by 5-6 shots at the end of 18 holes. I've just started working on a forehand tee shot too (to try and get longer off the tee), but I practice those 75-150 foot approach shots a LOT...as that has been the bread and butter of my game. If you're good at those shots, you don't have to sweat the 30-40' putts...because you don't HAVE many 30-40 foot putts. :-)
Drive for show and putt for dough. Putting, Putting and more Putting.
Right handed. Stand tall with your right foot behind the marker and your left off to the side behind you, supporting you only alittle with 95% of your weight on your right foot. Stare at the very link in the basket that you want to hit. When you pitch the disc extend your hand up towards the basket as if to shake hands. You will be painting the right side of the basket with your upstroke. Your wrist should not go past straight. As I pitch, I raise up on to the ball of my right foot.
Stare then handshake. Those are my two steps for putting. Never stop looking at the link you want to hit through your movement. The handshake motion does not allow you to put alot of spin on the disc and that is a good thing according to Ken Climo. The least amount of spin possible for the disc to travel from your hand to the basket is optimal according to him.
Now that you have the standing putt; what about the jump putt??
My tip would be to focus on each shot, not worrying about what went beforehand (especially if the pervious shot or hole was a bad one). Once your technique is decent, the biggest hurdle to lowering your scores is mental, and a lot of people struggle with this aspect of the game. My first few tournaments, I was playing far too seriously, and whenever i threw a poor shot, i beat myself up mentally, thinking this would improve my performance. It had the opposite effect, and dragged my game down further. Once I learnt to throw each shot on its merits without thinking about what happened before the shot, my playing standard and personal best scores took a big jump. I'm far from the best disc golfer in our group, but i'm glad I've conquered the mental demons.
I would say the key to success in Intermediate is eliminating disasters, whereas the key to Advanced is scoring. Maybe this has changed with the ratings bump, but it was true when the cutoff was 925, and might still be.
In Intermediate, 12 pars in a row can be a good thing. The thing that makes all the difference in the world is making sure you get your 4 when have a total shank of a drive, and not turning it into a 5 or worse. Most players try to "get it all back" in one throw, and that can easily turn a bad shot into a disaster hole. If you shank into the schuul and you don't have a reasonable look at the basket, shoot to a spot where you know you can get up and down in 2 and just take that bogey and move on. If you are gong for the 2% shot, the prayer save, you can easily end up in a worse spot than you are now, or with the same crappy look but only 10-20 feet closer. Learn to make a realistic appraisal of the situation and take your lumps when need be.
Players shank shots, that's true of all players. The good players don't turn one bad shot into 5 bad holes. Since Intermediates aren't as consistent as Advanced or Open, it stands to reason that there will be more shanked shots, and being able to take your lumps and move on will make more of an impact in the final standings since everyone has more shanks.
You can also use this skill in evaluating when to layup for a dangerous 30 foot putt and when to give it a safe run. It's the same deal. A slight breeze in your face and 35 feet away with a big dropoff behind the basket? Layup! 50 feet with an uphill grade 15 feet past? Give it a run. :)